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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Fireball Forward - initial impression

I think it's safe to say that we live in a world of rules overload these days, with new books and systems appearing all over the place, and on Kickstarter almost daily, but every now and again a little gem pops up. The latest of these, for me, is Fireball Forward, which is a company level set of WW2 rules. I bought the rules on the strength of recommendations made by fellow G3 club members and, upon reading them, I was really taken by some of the mechanics presented, in particular the ranged fire and the opportunity fire rules.

Now, I'm not going to go into an in-depth review just yet, as I've only just managed to play it last night, but I was so impressed I though I'd post up some initial thoughts about it. The game we played was the first scenario in the book, the assault on the gun battery at Brecourt Manor by Easy Company, made famous by Band of Brothers. This scenario is an excellent introduction to the game as it is quite small in scale but plays to the strengths of the rules system. As the Americans you are under real time pressure to destroy the guns and must use effective fire and maneouver. As the Germans you are really trying hard to interrupt the paras movement and stall them long enough for the guns to rack up enough VP. It's also easily playable both ways in a club night, so I go to play both sides. In both games the Americans won by a whisker (1 or 2 VPs away from losing) and in my go as the Americans the day was actually saved by Lt. Spiers charging across open ground, under MG fire, and destroying the last gun! Couldn't have asked for more!

So what is the game like? First off, the rules are pretty lightweight, although at first glance they may seem a bit clunky with you needing to roll different coloured dice, but once you've played a couple of turns it all becomes second nature. So the games were very smooth, with almost no referencing of the book (although I acknowledge that my opponent was already quite familiar with the rules). They were also incredibly interesting in terms of the tactical situation. You have to pay close attention to the activation order and think about what you're doing or else it becomes all too easy for the enemy to derail your plans. For example, there are MGs putting down grazing fire to deny avenues of approach, so you have to try and suppress them first before moving the fire teams down the trenches. But you only have one activation and you need to destroy that gun before it fires! What do you do? It's these decisions that make a game brilliant fun to play and Fireball Forward definitely delivered! I'm really looking forward to playing it again and once I have a few more games under my belt I'll post a proper review, as I haven't tried the armour rules yet. However, I had enough of a good time to recommend it. If you're searching for a WW2 game using elements as squads (FoW bases are perfect) that is a bit different and a bit fun, the FF is worth checking out and won't break the bank to acquire the book.


  1. These sound interesting. Can I ask what scale figures did you use? The rules state they are for 15mm to 28mm but I notice you mention that an element represents a squad. Does a tank model equal a single tank or a platoon of armour? From reading your entry it sounds like a cross between IABSM and Avalon Hills Squad Leader. Do you require the counters North Star are selling to play the game?

    1. Because its bases you can really use any scale. I think that 10 -15mm probably suits it best, given move and shooting distances. And a tank model represents one tank. II haven't played IABSM, so can't comment, but I have played other TFL games and I don't think they would feel too much the same. As for tokens, the FF website has a PDF of counters so you don't need to buy them from NorthStar.

    2. Thanks for the reply. Your review has certainly caught my interest. I've had a look at the 'official' site and read other comments re this game, which I would say at the moment are all coming out very positive.

    3. The basic infantry rules are available to download on the site, by the way, along with the Brecourt Manor scenario. So you can try it out before you buy.

  2. Actually, the youtube presentation had put me off because it made them sound quite complex and slow moving. Interesting that you didn't find that. Hmmm, I might take another look at these rules.

  3. I can see how looking at the rules they could seem fiddly, but in practice our games flew along. I will reiterate that this was a small scenario, though. Things might change with bigger forces and armour (though I honestly think it will scale ok). I'll let you know more when I've played more, but the book is relatively cheap if you feel like taking a risk. I realise I forgot to mention that an umpire is recommended for hidden movement, etc, though, so that might colour some people's view a bit.

  4. Sounds very interesting, I look forward to your full review. I have a pipe dream of playing out squad leader scenarios, don't ask me why I don't just play Squad Leader in Miniature, because I don't know.


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