Flames of War: The World War 2 Miniature Game

If you enjoy a bit of history and also wish to have a great miniatures game then you have a range of options available to you. Wizard offers a great miniatures-based WWII experience in the form of their Axis and Allies set, but if you're after something with less of a focus on historical accuracy and a little more attention paid to swift gameplay, Flames of War could well be the miniatures set you're looking for.

Flames of War: The World War 2 Miniature Game

What You Get In the Box

Flames of War is a little different to the Axis and Allies series in that it isn't a pack that comes with a multitude of miniatures, stat cards, counters, and other such items. When you buy into Flames of War what you're really doing is committing to a hobby since you can collect and use miniatures that are either from the official Flames of War camp or you can even use other 1:100 scale miniatures if you wish.

When purchasing the Flames of War WWII Miniatures game you receive the official Flames of War rulebook (the updated rules can be found on the official Flames of War Rules page) - this includes fully illustrated instructions with excellent diagrams that correspond to all types of miniature you may be likely to use. You also get 10 combat mission scenarios as well as simple guides that will walk you through various historical battles so that you may recreate them. You don't get any miniatures that form part of any kind of starting pack however - the collecting/painting of these is up to you. Quite bizarrely, even though the pace is relatively quick there are also parts of the game that can slow down quite substantially due to the often unnecessary depth/complexity of many of the rules , particularly when it comes to full frontal assaults on fixed positions.

Return fire, for example, is a factor/phase that isn't considered and this omission allows units to advance without fear of retaliation. You'll also notice the lack of realism in the rules when you realise that you are able to evacuate an entire platoon of men with just one jeep, and at no cost to the vehicle's speed whatsoever. So if you're looking for realism, you may wish to give this one a miss unless you absolutely must own this exact game.

Rules and Gameplay

The rules of Flames of War can be found at the link above, but generally speaking they are a set of instructions that allow you to apply different scenarios to many different types of miniature. You'll receive instructions for using things like transport vehicles (these have a more prominent role in the most recent version of Flames of Wars' rules), tanks, infantry, artillery, snipers, and many more. This covers all kinds of combat from reconnaissance to straight-up skirmishes, from street fighting to rescue - all kinds of scenarios are covered here.

The problem that many have with this game is in the gameplay itself. Rather than take the hyper-realistic approach that many miniatures collectors often like to do when simulating combat/war scenarios, this game's focus is more on the accessible and swift skirmish, with a playing time of around 2 hours or so, maybe even shorter depending on how many people are playing (a minimum of 2 players is recommended of course).


In the miniatures world there are those that feel attention to detail is paramount above all else, even above quality of gameplay. These kinds of gamers don't worry if the gameplay of their miniatures game isn't exactly top-notch or if it suffers from flaws, so long as the miniatures accurately represent their real-life equivalents and the game itself is loyal to the historiography. On the other hand you have gamers that are after a good time above all, able to kick historical accuracy and genuine battle replication to the side in order to just enjoy the experience.

 Flames of War: The World War 2 Miniature Game is best enjoyed by the latter of the above camps. This World War 2 Miniature game simply doesn't have the authenticity of many of its rivals, including above all else the true-to-life Axis and Allies miniatures sets which accurately represent the strengths and weaknesses of each of the units in the stat cards. Seen in isolation as a miniatures game and nothing more, Flames of War: The World War 2 miniatures game is an enjoyable experience, but in the context of historical accuracy and loyalty to the events/realities involved, this one really doesn't quite cut it.