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Flames Of War: Third Edition

The Design
by Casey Davies, Graphic Designer.

The third edition of Flames of War has been one of the most challenging graphic design and layout projects that I’ve ever undertaken. The challenge was to update Flames Of War to give it a fresh look, retaining everything that was good from the previous edition, while taking on board comments that our players have suggested over the past few years. I think the resulting book will please all of our current players and inspire a whole new generation to start WWII miniature gaming, while keeping Battlefront at the cutting edge of game design.

Read Phil's Stepping Up to Version Three here...
Download the Third Edition Quick Reference sheets here...

Listening to feedback on the forum, one of the biggest issues I wanted to address, was the ability to easily navigate through the book to find what you need. What we came up with was a expanded contents system and a comprehensive index.

As well as having a contents page at the start of the book, we’ve added an even more detailed contents page in the front of each section that lists every major and minor heading in that section.

On top of the comprehensive contents listings, Phil spent two weeks, ripping out large chunks of his hair, creating a detailed and intuitive index that is nearly three times as long as its predecessor. This means that you will be able to spend less time searching for rules and more time playing.


Right: The content page of the Shooting Rules section.
Content page of the Shooting Rules
One of Pete’s requests was to make the link between the rules in the book and the miniatures on the table more intuitive, making the rules engage the reader on a more personal level.

Below: Linking the rules in the book with the miniatures on the table.
Linking the rules in the book with the miniatures on the table
Rather than using traditional top-down diagrams, I wanted to achieve this using fumetti or ‘photograph comics’ to create windows into real game situations—summarising the rules on the tabletop.

Doing the diagrams in this style probably added over 100 pages to new version of the rules, but I think the clarity that they provide is well worth the extra space and effort.

“It is entirely possible to learn the rules and be able to start playing by just reading the summaries and diagrams.”
On a personal note, while it was about six months of hard work and stress, long weeks and sleepless nights, working on the third edition was very rewarding. Watching the rules evolve, and being able to influence the final product was awesome.

Designing the style of the book took about three weeks, going back and forwards with the editors—tweaking bits here, and redesigning bits from scratch there. The rest of the time went into implementing the style across the book, taking diagram photographs, and chasing Phil for finished rules sections to lay up!

Overall, despite the long hours, I’m very happy and proud of the finished book.
An example of the summary from the Motorcycle Reconnasissance rules Obviously the rules form the core of the book. Each topic has a summary that repeats the core information as a useful reminder. Once you have read the rules once, these summaries should be all you need to answer any rules questions.

Alternatively, it is entirely possible to learn the rules and be able to start playing by just reading the summaries and diagrams, and only read the full rules when you need clarification for some rules.

Left: An example of the summary from the Motorcycle Reconnasissance rules.

Each page has a the current heading in the margin to help identify your
whereabouts in the section, making it much easier to find the right page as
you flick through the book.

Right: An example of a margin heading.
An example of a margin heading
There is no more confusion between A4 hardback and A5 mini rulebook page references, as all the rules page references are the same between both versions.

Right: The ever useful page number.
Page numbers
An example of the corner tab
Each section has a corner tab repeating the section cover art to make it quick and easy to locate a particular section.

Left: An example of the corner tab.

To complement the summaries at the end of each block of rules, each section has a summary at the end that repeats all of the most valuable information.

Right:
An example of the Shooting Summary rules.
An example of the Shooting Summary rules
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Last Updated On Tuesday, October 1, 2013 by Blake at Battlefront