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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flames of War ANZAC Review

by Sean O'Hara

At my first glance at the Flames of War Vietnam Tour of Duty book, I wanted the ANZAC forces.  The pictures looked phenomenal and the rules seemed to fit my play style.  Luckily, Steve was able to procure some for me to paint and review.  All in all, it was two platoons of infantry, a box of M113s, and a box of the Centurion Mk 5s. I saved the Centurions for last as I was most excited about painting them.

The infantry blister comes with seven medium bases and two small bases.  They don’t have a separate a blister for headquarters so you will get an HQ command stand with each platoon as well as a medic team. This will leave you with an extra medium base and a handful of extra guys when it is all said and done.  My first thoughts when I poured them across the paint table were how clean they looked. These are new sculpts and it shows.  There is little to clean up with clipping or cutting and not a lot of excess flash and lead.  In my eagerness I opened both blisters at the same time to separate like figures and commanders.  If I could go back I would have done one at a time as that many figures can get a little overwhelming after a bit.   These figures look great and are riddled with detail, which is great for an elite force and small units.  I want my elite platoons to look good.  The only downside is that with those small details comes more brush strokes. I prefer the panel painting method to show the depth of figure and the detail on these guys took more time and more brush per fig than any other I have painted.

I am used to painting Finnish infantry uniforms and webbing that are highly contrasting in color scheme.  Vietnam uniforms are various shades of green and it will take until the end to really see the progress I had been making.

Looking over the finished stands and figures makes it all worth it though.  There are mustaches, grenades, the poses are great, and the boonie hats look awesome.  I chose to paint mine in a tiger stripe pattern.

I moved on to the M113s.  This was my first time with Battlefront’s plastic vehicles.  I am impressed at the ease at which they come together.  It is only eleven pieces for the hull without the turret. They clip off and everything fit together pretty seamlessly.

The ANZACS use the T50 and M74c turrets so I had two blisters of those that I painted with them.  The extra turret options are a little wobbly and not flush when you put them on the hull.  This was easily solved by using magnets on both sides.  I used a few US decals that were provided with them and a few from the Centurion box.  They look great!  Since this is a small force I upgraded them all to having the T50 turret.

Last, but certainly not least, are the Centurions.  These are the coolest looking tanks I have ever assembled and painted.  These are not plastic and I appreciate that.  Maybe it is just an old habit that I want to have a large tank feel heavy.  Like the infantry, there is little cleaning that has to be done before painting and they probably came together the quickest.

They are really only green and khaki colored so it is easy to knock them out.  The decals are really the best part.  They come with a few “names,” I opted for my personal favorites “ Pussy Eater” and “ Canned Heat.”  I love these tanks and they are mean.

With that, the core army is complete.  I haven’t had a chance to play a game with them yet, but here is a quick highlight of some of the rules that caught my eye.  The ANZACs use your standard British Bulldog and Carry On Sergeant.  The infantry uses Cautious Movement!  These are hunters and they are seen when they want to be seen!  The infantry are SLR ( Self-loading Rifle) teams: ROF 3 reduced to ROF 2 when pinned, or ROF 1 when moving.  If they don’t shoot as a MG team they can fire the M72 LAW anti- tank rockets instead.  Free World infantry is already hard to kill so they will stick around.  The M113s use Ammo Resupply to give your infantry an extra die when shooting.  So it pays to keep them close.  You can also keep your infantry in the APCs when in reserve and bring both platoons in as one with Mounted Up In Reserve.  The Centurions can be attached to infantry platoons!  What about a tank, NO?!  The Centurion tank using a spotting rifle which means you don’t suffer the plus 1 for range if you didn’t move.  Stabilisers should mean you are hitting something every time.

Conclusion: 10 out of 10 
I am nothing but impressed at the ANZAC forces and models.  I was pulling to find downsides for this piece and there really aren’t any.  Boonie hats off to Battlefront on this one.

More eye-candy below:


Models provided by Battlefront Miniatures

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