So the Read Bear finally arrived. Many of us at the local club were waiting for this book. I managed to borrow a copy off Nathan for few days so I can write a review and in a new year I will be getting y own copy as well.
Red Bear covers allied forces on the Eastern Front from January 1944 till February 1945.
Book costs 30 pounds and its 218 pages, A4 format in harback. I have to say that it is beautifully made with maps, pictures and photos of games played and it looks great so spending 30 quid on it is fully justified!
So what do we get?
First of all book co
ntains bit of history and description of ost important operations and battles on the Eastern Front, fro relief of Leningrad till invasion of Hungary. I didn’t have a chance to read it yet but I am sure most of us are not getting this book because of historical references 😉
ain thing of course is army li
sts and we have plenty of those here. Some of them had been released as PDFs, lots of them were in River of Heroes and other supplements. Now they are all in this book with adjusted point values and some rule changes.
Following lists are inclu
ded for Soviet forces:
guards heavy tank regiment
guards tank battallion
heavy self-propelled ar
light self-propelled artillery regiment
lend-lease tank battalion (usi
ng American and British tanks)
motorised rifle battalion
forward detachement (very
interesting list I must say!)
guards cossack regiment
battalion (defence formation with access to fortifications)
penal battalion (ever dreamed about showering your opponent with bucket loads of fearless guys with lots of SMGs? here’s list for you:)
shock rifle battalion
engineer-sapper battalion (one that I am taking to a next tournament in January)
storm battalion (infantry formation for urban assaults)
On top of that we have Polish Home Army Battalion included (thats for people wanting to play battles during Warsaw Uprising) and Romanian forces that were allied to Soviets after their defeated in 1944 (with 5 different lists).
Of course apart from that we have some special characters that can be included in some of the lists.
It is hard for me to say what units changed their costs exactly, but definitely t-34s are more expensive, sapper engineer infantry went up as well, whereas lots of Assault Guns and all other ROF 1 tanks went down in cost. Changes are ranging from small to very big (80 points less for platoon of 4 ISU 152 assault guns!) so in certain lists you will be definitely able to pack more stuff in, whereas in others you will have to limit number of your vehicles/troops.
There are few important changes though that had been already discussed a lot on forums. Russian rule “Hen and Chicks” changed (so now other tanks have to move if commander moves and cannot move if he doesn’t move, get +1difficulty to firing on the move wherease before they couldn’t fire at all if they moved too fast and also they can fire their MGs at the same time) and all medium ortars seem to be able to fire directly as well.
All in all I can say that so far so good and haven’t spotted any rule or point costs that I would really dislike.
End of the book has very good section on modelling (3 pages about odelling your Home Army forces for Warsaw Uprising ), painting etc. with nice pictures of Soviet and lend-lease tanks and their painting schemes.
If you are playing Soviets in Flames of War (Late War period) this book is must-have!