Flames of War: Fighting First Army Book
The latest Mid War book for Flames Of War 4th Edition is here. Fighting First is 52 pages and covers the American forces fighting in North Africa through the Tunisian campaign.
The Mid-War Americans date right back to the first version of Flames Of War, with the books Old Ironsides in 2003, covering armored forces, followed by Stars and Stripes in 2005, which added infantry forces.
A lot has changed since then, of course, and the latest book brings the US Army up to date with the most recent edition of the rules. In doing so, it will bring a lot of added variety to Mid War battlefields, which is sure to be welcome.
Fighting First bcovers the US forces in North Africa throughout Tunisian Campaign, from the initial landings in Operation Torch, through their painful baptism of fire at Kasserine Pass, their redemption in the Battle of El Guettar and the eventual triumph with the final defeat of the Axis with the capture of Tunis.
We put a lot of thought into the name for this book. One option was to revisit the title of one of the older books, as we did with Desert Rats—something which gives a nice sense of continuity. However, neither title was quite right. Old Ironsides, the nickname of the 1st Armored Division, is great for a tank-focused book, but leaves out the infantry, which are just as much an important part of the book.
I’m very happy with 'Fighting First'. Obviously it alludes to one of the famous nicknames of the 1st Infantry Division, perhaps better known as the ‘Big Red One’. However, it fits just as well with the 1st Armored, and indeed all of the US forces in the campaign. They were the first American boots on the ground in the fight against the Nazis.
While the history in the book focuses on the 1st Armored Division and the 1st Infantry Division, you can equally run a force from any of the other US divisions (or the independent tank battalions) that participated in the campaign.
Many things haven’t changed much from what veteran players will be used to. But the way units and formations can be combined gives an increased level of flexibility and freedom.
As is now familiar in 4th Edition, a force must include at least one Formation. You can easily build pure tank forces or infantry combat teams, or you can mix the two together by having a formation of each, or as many smaller formations as your points limit will allow.
There are six formations available in Fighting First - the most options so far for a Mid War force.
The first three formation options are armored companies, which can include any of three models of tank: the M3 Light (aka the ‘Stuart’), M3 Medium (the ‘Lee’), and of course the M4 Medium (best known as the ‘Sherman’).
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