I really want to like it because I grew up on a cracking set of home-grown company level WW2 tank rules to which I contributed the air rules and IIRC helped with the infantry rules. To a large extent that, along with Napoleonics and 'cardboard' WRG Ancients, are my first loves in wargaming. Back in the day (turn of the '70s/'80s), we were restricted to what we could scare up from Messrs Airfix and Matchbox as regards AFVs, along with a few other obscure things (I still don't know where the lone 1/72 M4A3E8 HVSS Sherman or the JagdPanzer IV came from, although a little research suggests they might have been Hasegawa kits), so just simply the idea of the massive range of 15mm tanks and vehicles available from Battlefront is enough to make me drool, let alone the other manufacturers.
I really want to like it because there's a hell of a lot of decent people at club who play it, as well as a bunch of nice 15mm scenery: no shortage of opponents, no shortage of people who have and know the rules, have the supplements, etc. And I'm completely unashamed to admit that if I could like it, I'm the kind of person who'd be buying every book and add-on, and shedloads of vehicles and figures.
But I can't.
I've tried, but I can't.
I can't at least in part because they don't feel to me like rules that actually reflect the conflict they're representing. They seem to encourage things like massive blocks of on-table artillery that would, historically, have been about three more tables away, and infantry seems to be just a speed bump for tanks (as someone I recall reading put it).
I can't because the army lists seem to encourage mini-maxing down to the last point, and the rules seem to encourage fine-tuning the position of a piece to the last mm to get the best possible dice modifier. And knowing the rules seems to be more important then knowing the capabilities of the units the miniatures represent in real life. As I said in a previous post, it seems more like very complicated chess with model tanks than an actual simulation of warfare, and little or no simulation of 'friction'.
I can't because it has that ghastly system of plonking down an objective marker at some arbitrary point on the board, and that seems to be the sum total of its nod to any concept of larger scale situational awareness. And yes, I know Napoleon at War has that in its tournament rules, as well. I don't intend to use it!
I'm well aware that folks who do like Flames of War are going to tell me I'm wrong (heck, who knows, they may just ignore me completely), and I should point out that this post doesn't reflect on the folks down the club, or elsewhere among my readers, who do play it, and clearly enjoy it. It's just not for me, guys.