Friday, October 21, 2011

Burning Empires - First Impressions

Last night I was able to steal a sneak peek at the upcoming Flames of War Burning Empires book at Adler Hobby. This is the third book in Battlefront's new Early War series and includes armies for the Italian and Greek campaigns as well as updated raiding rules for both early and middle war periods. Although I can't give a full review, these are my first impressions from the short time I had to spend with the book. My opinions are organized roughly by the book's major sections although I won't guarantee that I didn't miss anything. I'm writing this completely by memory. If you'd like to get a sneak peek at the book contact Gordon at Adler hobby and arrange a time to stop by his fine store and leaf through the preview copy.

Italy: There's one infantry list that can take all the usual support options including two platoons of M13/39 or M14/40 tanks. The infantry platoons range from normal sized to large to gargantuan to ridiculous topping out at 31 stands per platoon with all options added. There are additional morale options with Black Shirt and Alpine (elite) flavors although all still use the "3 Million Bayonets" rule.

Greece: The Greek lists include a mechanized list with motorcycle troops as the core combat platoon supported by hordes of Universal Carriers in platoons of five (5) and captured Italian tankettes in platoons of three (3). The list lacks much in the way of vehicle-based AT as all the vehicles are MG armed and the motorcycle infantry suffer the same fate ad the Hellfire and Back Italian Cycles - they cannot fire if they move. The other list is a Greek infantry list with lots of support from the same UC and tankette platoons. This list can take sufficient AT and Artillery guns to hold off enemy armor and could possibly have a similar feel to British UC horde lists if you wish. Interesting with Fearless Trained troops.

Germany: Germany offers some SS lists in the Motorcycle and Infantry flavors, not much new there. There is an Alpine infantry force and a Fallschirmjäger force that are slightly interesting but not much different than many of the other German infantry lists in the previous two books. The one gem here is a German glider infantry force that uses some new glider rules (included). I'm not sure why this list wasn't included in the Blitzkrieg book, but I'm thinking an Eben Emal historical scenario could use this list and glider rule set quite nicely.

France: There are Free and Vichy France lists. They're similar to the Blitzkrieg list mostly although with less armour choices and no armour-only lists. The Free French list can pull in several support platoons from British and Australian platoons also included.

Raiding Forces: The last 1/3 of the book is dedicated to raiding forces and desert fortresses. In addition to re-printing the existing SAS raiding lists there are many more added for most nations as well as some interesting desert fortress rules. Having all of the raiding rules in a hardcover book might make playing these smaller games more popular.

All in all I'm looking forward to having my own copy of this book even if I only use the raiding and glider airborne rules from it. The early war German glider company and Greek infantry company both also interest me enough that I may paint one or the other up at some point.


locker.wheelie said...

Man, this book looks cool. Thanks for the info.

The Kiwi said...

Cool. Thanks for ya thoughts on what you remembered.

AdamC1776 said...

I agree the Fallschirmjagers should have been part of the Blitzkrig book. I suspect they were left out since they mosly fought Dutch and Belgian troops not French. Personaly I think a Belgian army list could have been easliy grafted on to the French army in that book.