It’s a truism on the internet that posters and bloggers are far more likely to bitch than write something positive. It is with that in mind that I’d like to praise Battlefront for the way they’ve handled the 2nd edition of Flames of War (a WWII minis game).
The new $50 hardback game is due out in August. To ensure that the lion’s share of the fanbase moves to the new edition, Battlefront printed up a 164 page digest-sized book (in full color no less) that provides the entirety of the rules section of the new edition. They then sent these out to retailers who carry the line. If you had a first edition book, all you needed to do was go to your local store with it, get it stickered on the credits page, and then receive the digest-sized rules…for free. You could also handle it via the post if you had no local retailer. Thursday was the release day and Rick and I showed up at Oroboro. We got the new rules from Steve without a hitch and they also had the two new mid-war army compendiums, which collate all the previous army books, update them to the new rules, and add in some new options. I picked up Afrika and Rick got both that and Ostfront. I was impressed that the whole thing went off just as announced and really impressed at Battlefront’s strategy for the new edition. How can you complain about a new edition when the rules are given to you for free? I can only imagine what it cost to print all those color books, as color printing is much more expensive than doing it black and white. Frankly, I would have been just as satisfied getting a free black and white rulebook, but the color book is mighty cool. Big kudos to Battlefront.
As for the new edition itself, I haven’t fully digested it yet, but it’s looking good so far. The rules are much better organized, the writing is clearer, and there are plenty of examples and diagrams. Sad to say they didn’t fix my #1 pet peeve about the game (the way flame throwers work), but the rules for assaults and aircraft look much improved. Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to unleash my DAK soon and find out how it plays in comparison to 1st edition.