Beginner's Guide to Getting Better at Flames Of War

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Beginner's Guide to Getting Better at Flames Of War
By Valendune

Well, let's go with an entry dedicated to the most basic aspects of the game, which never hurts. If you are just starting out or have just returned to Flames Of War after some time, I hope this article can be of use to you.

What am I going to discuss in this entry? Well, it's about making lists, battle roles, assault, shooting and other various matters that I hope will make you play Flames of War better. After almost 7 years of V4, I may have literally played more than 400 games and more than 25 tournaments, I hope sharing these tips will come in handy for you.

Flames Of War is a complex game, that means to play well enough it is necessary to master a series of basic aspects and then soak up the enormous amount of details after.

Today we'll talk about:

1. The Rules

  • It is essential to know the most basic rules of each phase of the game. Movement and orders, shooting, moral and artillery.

  • The better you master the rules, the better you will know how to exploit the game mechanics and get the most out of your units. Invest time in this part because for me it is the most important.

  • If I had to stick with one aspect I had to emphasise, it would without a doubt be the assault, which is the most complex part. These are the rounds that almost always decide the games.

Within the rules section, a VITAL section is knowing the rules of the missions. The ambush rules, reserves and, above all, Objective control rules, must be mastered thoroughly. Note that in Meeting Engagement missions (Dust Up, Free for All, Encounter) both contestants win in the same way.

In the rest of the mobile and defensive missions where there is a defined attacker and defender, they win in different ways. And sometimes it is necessary to wait for turn 6. You must take a good look at that in the victory conditions.

There is also another possibility here, in case you don't like to read a lot. A friend of the group did it like this, and today he plays very well.What did he do? He simply played a lot. By playing almost two games a week, or three, the guy ended up learning the rules, from the simplest to the most complex.

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2. The Books/Scenarios of Each Nationality

  • Now with 7 years of V4, Mid War and Late War are already finished or almost.

  • I have seen players who don't know their own troops well. Mistake. If you are one of those who find it difficult to memorize data, then before each game you take a look at the units on the list you have. Try to know the movement, weapons and characteristics of each unit. Or use the useful Forces Of War unit cards (printed) or digital.

  • But if it is important to know your own troops, it is even more important to know those of your rival. When your time allows, take a look at the rival armies. Or whatever you're going to play against. There is nothing more disastrous than facing an enemy army and you do not know the weapons and characteristics of the rival units.

3. Lists

  • A game begins to be won by making the list. I'll give you some advice that has always worked well for me: make balanced lists. Play with Infantry, artillery and tanks. The proportion will vary depending on the role you want to give it.

  • Before making a list, think about whether you want to attack, defend, or have an intermediate list in case you are interested in both roles. Of course, as long as you play with battleplans. Choose your troops wisely.

  • The famous combined arms. For me, infantry is what completes the Assaults and wins the games. But without the support of tanks or armored units to attack and defend, plus artillery and guns, you will be in trouble.

But it always has those three main types of units. The famous combined arms. For me, infantry is what completes the Assaults and wins the games. But without the support of tanks or armored units to attack and defend, plus artillery and guns, you will be in trouble.

Even a list of tanks to attack needs artillery to enter defensive positions with AT guns and infantry to Assault. The infantry Assaults much better than tanks: they do not get stuck in difficult terrain and if they retreat they do so automatically without a cross check, they enter buildings, unlike tanks, and there are many bases roll to hit in Assaults for a cheap price.

By taking these three variables you will be able to face most rival lists.

If you field tanks, try to carry medium tanks with moderate AT and others with high AT; With infantry try to always have a complete Formation to have the HQ nearby (essential for repeating Pinned and Counterattacks), get artillery with smoke and use this smoke when you Assault or advance with your troops (Russians, trust in quality from quantity).

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4. Objective Placement

  • In Flames Of War, games are won and lost by controlling Objectives. These must be placed depending on whether you attack or defend.

  • If you can place your Objectives in your Deployment area, do so in the clearest area of scenery possible. This way you will see the enemy approaching and without any cover.

  • And on the contrary, if you place the rival's Objectives in their Deployment area, do so in areas densely occupied by scenery. This will serve to cover you as you advance and also hinders the defender in his shooting lines. And put the Objective in a field or forest if possible. So if you attack with Infantry or tanks you can have concealed by terrain.

Let's remember the general rule of Objective control: you must start within 10 cm of an Objective with a tank, infantry or gun team, and end without any enemy tank, infantry or gun team within 10 cm or less. In some missions where there is a defender, he wins in a different way (repelling the attackers more than 20 cm from both Objectives).

When deploying, always deploy as far forward as possible and close to an Objective. Why? Because you prevent an enemy team from arriving, getting within 10 cm, and on their next turn from making an Assault and winning the game.

Therefore, if you are ahead of the Objective, the enemy must first eliminate those teams and then approach the Objective and stay 10 cm away. Let's say you win turns and give time for reinforcements to arrive.

There will be times when you must deploy the opponent. Just behind the target. Away from the scenery that hinders you, like a forest. This is more complex to see, and is learned over time. So in general, keep in mind what I told you in the previous paragraph.

These are the most basic aspects and the most important when starting a game.

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5. The Assault

  • The most complex part but also the most important. Read this section well and practice it.

  • When to do it. To do this, take into account the number of shots taken by the attacking unit and do the math on how many you would take. Then consider whether you do it or not. You may want to smoke bombardment. Sometimes you may only need to vacate one position, so you don't need to Assault with an entire platoon. Do it with just a team or two and minimize Defensive Fire. I have seen Defensive Fires of 30 shots or 35...calculate before attacking!

  • The ideal has never changed: Assault after pinning+smoke. Sometimes both possibilities will not be possible. If I blow smoke I'm not going to pin the unit. It happens often.

  • Take into account the flexibility that allows you to send a loose Infantry base to Assault. This is of tremendous importance. If you play your tricks well, you can cause real destruction.
  • Shoot other tanks with your tanks. Move an Infantry base or two from a platoon to Assault range. Do this if you expect several destroyed or baileds. then Assault. Many times I have destroyed entire platoons of tanks like this. Several baileds, some operational, Assault, survive the Defensive Fire and then fail the roll to Counterattack, goodbye platoon. On three occasions my humble piats have ended up with platoons of two Tigers. One was bailed, you Assault, you hit, the other gets a 1 or 2 (fp check) and goodbye platoon. Play with Infantry. It is the most flexible unit. Attacks well and defends better.

  • Assess the opponent's weapons when you Assault. If a defending unit does not have AT weapons, Assault without hesitation with your tanks. If you are going to Assault some tanks, don't do it like crazy. They will repel your Assault with their MGs. Do it in an area where you have concealed by terrain and if you want, use smoke. If you don't have plenty of AT weapons, like a single Piat, Assault those same ones after firing your tanks.
  • All of this will become clearer as you play.

6. Placement of Gun Units

  • Always do it behind Infantry units. The range of the Defensive Fire is 20 cm. Therefore, between the rearmost gun and the most forward base, there should never be more than 20 cm.

  • Leaving some mortars or guns alone will result in some tanks and infantry to finish them off. Protect them with Infantry if you defend.

7. Shots

  • My advice here is to always assess what you are facing. And if it doesn't suit you, run away. For example, I have a platoon of Shermans, 3, and in front I have 5 Panzer IVs, because they are going to destroy you. Look for reinforcements and bring other units, hide, flee, but wait for the confrontation.

  • Rate the confrontation between your tanks. If you think they are superior to you, run away. And on the contrary, look for Objectives with your tanks that you can defeat without great difficulty. This reduces the general strength of the rival. Later you will go for the toughest Objectives.

8. Play

The more you play, the more you improve. It is obvious, but it must be highlighted. Practice and you will see how your game is more fluid, you get more performance out of your units, and you can anticipate your opponent's moves.

I hope this has been insightful for you.