Friday, October 26, 2012

Open Fire! Unboxing

I received my copy of the new Flames of War starter boxed set, Open Fire!, today in the mail.  It seems that Battlefront has taken a page from the Games Workshop's playbook, in that a starter set with two viable forces is a great way to get people into the game.  Along with that, it seems that Open Fire! can stand on its own as a game as well, so it can attract both the beginner and the veteran gamer.

The box was generally the same size as Game Workshop's Battle for Black Reach boxed set.  The first thing I noticed is that the box was pretty heavy, so much so that I weighed it at just over 4 lbs.  The box is wrapped in very heavy shrink wrap--much heavier than I am used to.  I wonder if this is a New Zealand thing?

Opening the box, you can see that the sprues are in handy ziploc bags, which is a nice touch.  Throw them away once you've build them, or you can use them to store counters or other bits later.
 The set comes with twenty dice--olive green for the Allies and grey for the Germans.
The sprues themselves are olive green for the British tanks, while all the Germans and the American infantry are molded in grey.

The vehicle detail (Shermans, Firefly tanks, and StuGs) was decent, but not as good as the tanks I've seen from the Plastic Soldier Company.  Fully painted and on the table, however, these tanks should be perfectly servicable.

The pouch with the Pak 40s have some metal parts representing extra shells for the anti-tank guns, and in the bag there are also some small rare-earth magnets.  I'm not sure yet what they are intended for, but to include them is a nice touch.

The detail of the infantry miniatures looks better than that of the tanks.  Between the two infantry sprues was a sheet of bubble wrap to protect the two sprues from interlocked and potentially damaging each other--yet another indication of Battlefront's attention to good quality control.
Once all the sprues are removed from the box, you are left with the rulebooks and counters.  All of them are the high quality I've come to expect from Battlefront products.
 There are two full-size reference cards showing the vehicles stats...
...and on the reverse side is the information about the infantry formations.
 Also included is a handy assembly guide for all the parts and instructions on how to organize the infantry onto bases.

 The counters and sample terrain are on cardboard.  They are colorful and well made, but obviously are intended as stand-ins until the owner gets better terrain.  Since this is a starter set, however, it is a nice touch to see that on the terrain pieces the relevant rules are printed directly on them--now this is user friendly!
 Finally there is a start
Overall I am very impressed with Open Fire!.  It looks like a great introduction into the game, and could be played as a game in its own right.  For what you get in the box, the price is too good to pass up.  If you're interested in getting into World War II wargaming, this product is the ideal place to start.


ColKillgore said...

The rare earth magnets are to use on the tank turrets. Glue one to the turret and one to the hull.


Darkwing said...

I thought it might be something like that. Cool.

Vitor said...

I have been so tempted with this starter set, always loved ww2 hobby stuff and this game looks like it will last the distance so to speak.

Admiral Drax said...

It's an amazing intro set, by the looks of it: what a cracking way of giving 3 army options too!

Thanks for sharing, matey.

My 'Flames' force is almost ready to take to the field: now all I've got to do is persuade my FLGS to stock it - starting with this badboy...!