Monday, 17 February 2014

Review - Italy Battles (FW229)

Hello All

The guys at Battlefront were nice enough to give me some prize support for my tournament, one of the prizes is the unreleased Italy Battles book. Well, I couldn't just leave the book unread now could I? After a read through I thought I'd be nice to you all, and do a review.

I will apologise now for a few of the photos, the paper was very shinny and so reflected the light.

The book itself is 120 pages and has three sections, the first section covers the history of the Italian campaign, looks at a selection of the battles and historical missions for those battles.

The second section gives you the rules for the Axis of Attack campaigns and two campaigns. Finally the last section is an updated version of the Infantry Aces campaign including a campaign report from the guys in the studio. The book rounds out with a look at the WWPD world wide campaigns and mentions what the next one is going to be (I'm not going to give it away here but surely it must be obvious!). So first impressions are if you like campaigns, this is the book for you!

First Impressions

Well the book is the same quality you'd expect from Battlefront. The lay out is lovely as normal but does feel more like your reading a copy of Wargames Illustrated instead of one of the briefing books. Not a criticism but an observation, I wonder if it was done by a different team?
The History Section

The overall history of Italy gives a great overview of the battles. Like the first impressions of the book if you have seen any of the other briefing books it's what you'd expect. What makes this different and well worth a look is the seven detailed battles. These include a look at Operation Orange Blossom, Operation Fischfang and Operation Buffalo. The Battles section has a page or two of historical text; a map, a mission based on it to play, some special rules and finally historical forces to use in the mission. I have never tried a historical battle before playing Flames of War but having read a few of these I think that's going to change.
One of the many lovely maps.
The history section rounds out with a look at the German Armoured units in Italy and their involvement around the Anzio beachhead. The interesting bit I found was it shows the armour thickness compared with the Flames of War stats. Like the Panther and Brummbar having the same FOW armour rating but the Brummbar having 20mm thicker armour. Shows the difference that slopped armour really makes!
Axis of Attack Campaign Section

If historical battles aren't your thing then how about a map campaign? The Axis of Attack campaigns have been on the Battlefront website for as long as I can remember. They are well worth a try if you haven't done so before. The basic idea of the campaign is you have five or so contenting spots on a map representing the key axis of attack of the battle (bet you didn't get that from the title!). You see-saw up and down the map until one side gets to their objective, each area of the map has special rules which either effect the battlefield or give one side an advantage.
The two campaigns are Cassino and Anzio. Each campaign has advice with terrain and their own terrain generators, these could easily be used for normal Italy based games. So if your looking for a small campaign where you play between 4 to 8 games check this out.
It's back!
Infantry Aces

It's back and better than ever! I loved the old Cassino book and a big part of that was Infantry Aces campaign, it's what got Winner Dave and Adam into Flames of War. The core is the same as it was in Cassino but the ace skills have been updated for Version 3. This book also has a studio campaign which focuses on Sean's Nisei and Mike's FJ's and their journeys through it.
The book rounds out with the WWPD world wide campaigns, an interview with Jon and Arran. They talk about how much the campaign has changed from Sealion to D-Day, how it works and whats coming next. I'll leave the rest for you to enjoy.

Final Score 8/10

Overall I really liked this book, If you are interested in the Italian campaign or playing campaigns in general you will want to get this book. With three different types of campaigns covered I dare say you'll find something to fit your groups gaming needs. Either with a bunch of new gamers playing Infantry Aces, a few historical based missions or an Axis of Attack Campaign. There is something for everyone.

Thanks for reading and until next time



  1. Sounds like exactly what I need to rekindle my FoW fire.

    1. If your looking for inspiration this is the book to get.

  2. Any new Aces abilities? I am getting ready for a Aces campaign,just wondering.

    1. No new abilities per say, the groups are th same as the one in Casino, but quite a few of the abilities that didn't work in Version 3 have been updated or changed.


  3. What lists are included? Any separate 16th SS KG lists?

    1. No lists this is a campaign book to go along with the two briefing books like they did for Normandy.

  4. Do they have anything in there as far as appropriate terrain for this setting? Was a rather rocky and hilly affair wasn't it?

  5. Thanks for the quick review.
    Very interesting.