Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Flames of War Barbarossa Design Notes

Battlefront has posted the design notes from the upcoming Barbarossa book.  While many were expecting a full hardback covering this period, at this point we're getting a softback book.  Because the book is a soft-cover, the page count is lower, and there are proportionally fewer armies represented in the list. The book only covers Germany and the Soviet Union at this point, so there are no lists for Germany's allies. Hopefully we'll see these at some point in PDF form, or in a hardback compilation.

The Germans get a good mix of armored and infantry forces. The Light Armored Company is based around the Panzer III tank, and it appears that the baseline gun is the 5.0cm L/42 gun rather than the older 3.7cm model.  Though they'll likely be somewhat expensive, the higher AT values for the larger gun will be an absolute MUST in this book. There is also a Czech panzer company, though I imagine it will suffer as the 3.7cm gun is going to have trouble cracking Soviet armor.  The Panzer IV F/1 also appears to be in the book, though the short 7.5cm gun lacks the punch of the later long-barreled version.

In support the Germans get a good mix of the normal options, but there are a few new options.  The 15cm Nebelwerfer appears allowing use of this popular weapon in early war.  There is also an option to field the Dicker Max tank destroyer with its heavy 10.5cm gun.  When facing T-34's or especially KV tanks, the additional firepower is a welcome addition. Also available is the Flammpanzer II - hopefully this will be available on the proper Panzer II Ausf D/E chassis!

The Soviets get a mix of tank and infantry formations as well.  Formations based on the T-28, T-35, and T-26 were featured prominently in Rising Sun.  Barbarossa sees the BT, T-34, and KV come to the fore.  The BT series is an incremental improvement over the older T-26 series.  According to the stats posted on the Battlefront website, it gets both Fast Tank and Overloaded.

The real highlight is the T-34 - more heavily armed and armored than any of the common German tanks, it adds the Fast Tank and Wide Tracks characteristics making it the real king of the battlefield. The KV tanks sacrifice the mobility of the T-34 for much heavier armor (though the KV-1 uses the same 76.2mm gun). Also included is the KV-2 with its 152mm howitzer. I've always liked the KV-2, even though its utility on the battlefield is more limited.

I picked up a variety of Soviet tanks in the Early War sale - mostly the older marks - T-28, T-36, and T-35, but I also picked up a few KV-2 as well.  I'm also looking forward to the miniatures for the KV-1 obr 1939 and 1940 as this would finally give Finnish players a reasonably accurate miniature for one of the two Finnish KV's (the fenders would still need some modification). Barbarossa will be out sometime this month, so the long wait will finally be over.

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