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The Transition to FoW Pt.2 – Historical Gaming

3 Minute Read
Jul 11 2014

Many wargamers are afraid of “historical gaming”.  Here’s why you shouldn’t be:

Hi all Coxer here with part 2 of my Transitioning to FoW series – part 1 dealt with some of the game play concepts which were new to me when I started, and this time I’m dealing with playing a historical wargame.

How “Historical” is Flames of War…really?
Now some people will question about whether FoW is a historical wargame – many say it is ‘the game of the movie of WW2’ – and from my own limited experience there are other probably more historical games out there – but to me it is a wargame set in WW2 

Now I had certain misgivings when starting, mainly based off my experiences of observing historical gaming – I think many of you have possibly come across – or heard of instances where there is an argument as to whether a ‘Belgic’ or ‘stovepipe’ shako would be worn, or the conversation I once overheard ‘yes your slingers have driven off my cavalry, but historically that would never as happened, so let’s go with me winning the combat’. Both the ideas above are abhorrent to me personally, and thankfully in FoW it’s all ok!

As Historical as YOU Want It to Be
Yes you have FoW Briefings (historically accurate small army lists) which often represent a specific unit and the surrounding units it would have had for support – but you have huge variety of options in Flames of War, so you can field a force as historical or as ahistorical as you want – I can tell you now, I really enjoyed my Early Ear Finns fighting the Japanese last week. And even when painting your troops, you have a lot of leeway – if you want to know what colour of uniform to paint look at the picture below – the colour was anything but standardise. And some people go completely nuts, whether is being a ‘pink’ panther or a HYDRA themed German army, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea though.

And the rules are there to allow historical options – in fact they ‘scale’ very effectively. It’s recorded that the initial allied Shermans could not hurt a panther in the front – and check the stats, a 75mm Sherman is AT10, and the Front armour of a Panther is 10. I actually really like this now as having a scale which is set in history means that you know what should be able to do what – as opposed to the eternal question if ‘can a scatter laser damage a Land Raider?’ 

Finding Players
The final big concern with historical gaming over the more common WHFB/40K/WarmaHoardes etc is ‘are their opponents?’ Now this is I think a valid question – I’m lucky where I live, as 4 of us decided to jump into the game together, there were already another 4 in the same town attending tournaments, now we’re easily at a dozen + players who play regularly, and with a thriving tournament scene (in the UK) there are plenty of events to go to. The nice bit is the more people see us playing, especially the more ‘cinematic’ parts with not only the armies, but the terrain and scenarios, more and more want to try a game – and it keeps growing the player base.

Well I hoped that’s demystified Fow as a ‘historical game’ would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Next time it’s painting in 15mm

Author: Coxer
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