There is a contents list, telling you what you get, and you get a ton of stuff in here! Card terrain, models, dice and books too. So lets open it up and take a look......
popping the box open you are instantly greeted by plastic toys on sprues! lots and lots of them, and bags of other bits to investigate.
In the next bag you will find two sprues with PAK 40 Anti Tank guns on. This also includes the bases for them, which are bigger then the normal infantry bases we have already looked at. You also get some round plugs, you can use these to fill in the holes you do not use on the gun base. You also get a little sprue with some Tank commanders on. There is crew for the PAK guns, but we shall see those later.
A closer look at the Sprue shows the detail on the models. Very impressive again, and next to no clean up required.
You can also see you do get some tank commanders on the sprue as well. The US Airborne MG gunners are lying prone and multi part, but look easy to assemble The detail on them is exceptional, you can see the air colling vents in the browning LMGs and the added camo strips on the paras helmets.
The crew for the PAK 40 are on this sprue as well.
A nice touch is they show you the breakdown of the squads, including the command level of each formation, sot he HQ being a Hauptmann (captain) down to the unteroffizier for the squads. You can also see the letters above each soldier, these reflect to the ones stamped in the sprue of infantry models so you know who to clip out for each base.
You get 3 thick card sheets, with tokens on them to represent objective markers, and different states your forces can be in, and card terrain. This is great stuff, yes its 2d, but it looks nice, and has all the rules for the terrain it represents written on it so it will help you learn. Its rare you get any scenery in starter sets, so I am really pleased and impressed that these have been included, it means you can get playing straight away (after building your models anyway). Its a great touch to get you gaming until you start picking up more terrain of your own.
The graphic design is really nice, the terrain is clear and will look great on a table.
You get two army lists, one for each forces, that have all the information you need for them, and are an excellent starter guide to the armies you will be playing from the box.
The forces book has army lists for US, British, German and Soviet forces in, they are just basic forces you can use to choose from, but give you an idea of how army building and list construction works. You also get beautifully detailed painting guides, that tell you the colours you need and provide tips on how to paint your models.
Here is the British Armoured Squadron force diagram. You can see the options there you can take to create your force. Options in black are compulsory so must be taken, and options in grey are optional so you may add them in as you choose. You can see you then get options again within each platoon, such as Sherman's, Cromwell's or comets, and then the numbers of each tank.
You then get simplified basic rules for artillery and air support. This Forces book is designed to be used with the Open Fire rules, rather then the Flames of War full rules, thought the concept and the way companies are made are the same.
Its very easy to read and digest, and has an almost Comic book style feel to it.
In the last pages you get a rules summary, which is an excellent quick reference guide you can refer to make sure you follow the stages right and get all the bits you need.
On the back of the book, it gives you more ideas of where to go, as Battlefront have produced some excellent videos to learn how to play and help you out.
This is a great set, it really feels like you get good value for money with all the models in here. The rule books are easy to read and follow, and the figures are superb quality. The card terrain is a also a very nice touch. The only downside I can think of, is I wish the set contained the full rulebook. There is a mini version that would fit in perfectly.
Stick with us as I actually build and paint... yes paint the models, and then get them on the tabletop. Olivia has already claimed the Allied forces. There will be building and painting articles, and battles too, as the Open Fire box includes 3 missions you can play so you can see us play those out.
If you have any intrest in WW2 and gaming, then this is simply a must have set, a good fun easy to learn ruleset, with great models, and then a huge amount of expansion. If you want to focus on Market Garden there are books specific to it full of information and specific historical army lists, or D-Day, Eastern front, battle of the Bulge, the Desert Wars, and now the pacific just to name a few.
I grew up with my Grandparents, and my Grandfather flew a Typhoon in the war, and my grandmother was in the WAAF, so I had a wealth of stories, and books to read. My Great uncles who lived over the road growing up both served in the Royal Navy through out all the war, and my other grandfather was a Sherman driver. The history is really close to me, as I am one of the last left of our family, and I want to pass on the stories to Olivia (my daughter) so she will never forget what people did for our freedom 70 plus years ago. Showing her a documentary is one thing, but bringing a model Typhoon to the table avoiding AA fire and unleashing rockets will help her show the kind of thing they did and keep their memories alive for the next generation so one day she can tell her children. Its more then a great game, its a teaching aid, and a hobby as well building lists, painting and collecting models, so this set really opens up a whole world to a gamer.
To find out more, and pick up your own copy take a look at the Battlefront Flames of War website here