Tuesday, May 1, 2012

EasyArmy.com, or how a few dollars spent can save you over a hundred.

Let’s be perfectly honest—Flames of War has one of the more steep barriers of entry than most miniatures games out there. Battlefront has made improvements by leaps and bounds to improve this over the past 2 years, including the most recent additions of the “Hobby” and “V3 Forces” books bundled with the main Version 3 rule book. Oftentimes that work goes wasted as a good portion of budget-gamers opt for a starter set which omits the majority of these great beginner-friendly resources.

This could happen to you too. 
Admittedly I don’t have an exhaustive list of sources to back up all my claims, but I’ve spent enough time in the pillars of these online war gaming communities to notice that a trend with beginner war gamers is simply not knowing how to construct a basic list from start to finish.

Systems such as Warhammer 40,000 put this in the basic rulebook—expanded upon by supplements that offer fairly straightforward rules for how to purchase and field units with options.  For your average war gamer whose impulse is to buy some cool-looking figs’ and put them on the table, the chart that Flames of War offers isn’t the most intuitive format.

As a result, the online communities have come up with solutions such as Army Builder or customized Excel spreadsheets to help in list construction. While none of those options are bad, the stand out from the crowd is easily EasyArmy.com.

Having gotten the “ok” from Battlefront, EasyArmy.com is able to use many of the same graphics you’re used to seeing in the Flames of War supplements to offer an intuitive experience with its UI that will also cement your knowledge of building lists straight from the book unassisted. Beginners learning list construction from Easy Army will be able to turn to their books and discover what was once difficult is old hat (and what are old hats if anything but comfortable?).

The "V3 Forces" lists from the latest version 3 rulebook are completely
free to use on Easy Army, so take advantage of it. 
This is only a peripheral advantage of the system though. The real savings doesn’t come in the ease-of-use, or even the cost (most supplements offered through Easy Army only cost a dollar or two.) The true benefits arrive in being able to construct and deconstruct everything you might want to purchase ahead of time.

Before you even purchase the book/supplement you can spend a dollar or two and discover the lists to see if it’s even worth your wallet’s time. You’ll be able to explore the numbers of the units, the layout of the companies offered within, and from there easily decide to purchase the book or any of the options offered within.

600 points for 2 Elefants?! What a deal! There's half my list right there!
From there a whole new world of options opens up to your budding Flames of War players. Want to construct that horde of German PzIV’s? You don’t even have to buy them from Battlefront! Plenty of other companies offer a functionally identical product for a fraction of the price. Many of these companies even create products which by some accounts are even better than what Battlefront offers—this brings the “cost of entry” into Flames of War to really reasonable levels for a tournament-approved company or two.

1 comment:

  1. You are spot on, it is really hard to understand the lists in the Flames of War books. However this site allowed me to build by list in only a few minutes. As I had opted for a "V3 Forces" list I didn't even realise it wasn't free.