Sunday, 13 September 2009

What (WW2 land) rules to follow?

Despite some twenty years of 'punctuated intensity' in the wargames hobby, dominated but not exclusive to the twentieth century (and again in particularly WW2) I have yet to find my ideal set of wargame rules.The concept of "set" can be expanded to include, scale of the models (20mm, 15mm, 1/300, 10mm, 1/200 etc.), the tactical/operational level of engagement the game would represent, the timescale of turn and the simulation versus game mechanics employed.

Yes I have lots of sets (in the purchased sense), but many have not made it to actions on the table-top. Those that keep coming to mind are defined as the "good", the "hopefull" and the "sinfull". All my own personal views of course, and in no way a criticism to those who enjoy a different way/taste to mine in the hobby.

Some "good experiences" of the ones played so far have been:
  • Spearhead (and modified versions thereof, played with 1/300 or 1/200 kit, a fairly large sized battle of three to four battalions a side can be concluded in a club-night)
  • The Command Decision Series (to be accurate mainly WW2 Command Decision Version 2 but Version 3 is in my possession and has been read, played originally with my 20mm kit although I am planning another go with this set using my 1/200 kit, provides a battalion/regiment intense slog-it-out feel to a night)
  • Hell by Daylight (participated in various excellent 20mm Skirmish level games, always fun and leaving a feeling of authenticity in the mouth)
  • Squad Leader transferred to tabletop (can work well, but mainly with those who have already played it as a board-game, it can frustrate gamers not familiar with it and the infamous Stalingrad scenarios, again with 20mm kit)
Those "hopeful" sets yet to be tasted/tested in the heat of a club battle:
  • Battlefront (of which I have high hopes to use 20mm as well as my 1/200 kit)
  • (Canadian) Great Battles of World War Two (which looks to have some great concepts, probably using 1/200 kit)
  • Crossfire (which again looks to have good concepts and works for a good many people, a good 20mm prospect, particularly inspired by these chaps Tim Marschall and Lloydian)
  • Megablitz (well a few 20mm tanks should stretch a fair way in the OoB here, a very high level way to run a battle. Not a case of where are my squads but what are my battalions doing?)
Those "hopeful" sets yet even to be purchased:
  • Nuts! (skirmish)
  • I Ain't Been Shot Mum! (Company)
  • Flames of War (although very popular something tells me I shouldn't hold my breath on this one as I keep seeing it mentioned in the "points" competition sense, though their production quality seems excellent, so popular in 15mm, but a maybe for 20mm)
Ones that suited me not, as in they have "sinned" IMHO, or failed the 'wargaming environments' in which they were played in or perhaps personalities/style involved:
  • Rapid Fire First Edition (which had a notorious nights of wanton death that sealed its doom at several clubs I have attended, artillery being a notorious talking point)
Nevertheless the search continues for that "perfect" set. Visual appeal is very important for me, hence my drift away from Command Decision 2 in 20mm as the models in some cases seemed almost touching (in extreme cases, platoons of tanks almost in hand to hand combat) and it didn't carry the realistic visual feel across to me.

However my recent 20mm painting may make me reconsider this due to its modelling appeal. :)


Al said...

Have to agree with most of your comments Geordie, CD needs very big tables to negate the congestion you describe, one has to pick their battles, so to speak.



whisperin' al said...

My favourites would be Nuts! (skirmish), I Ain't Been Shot Mum! (Company) and Great Battles of WW2 (although you do need plenty of time to get the best out of it).

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello Al,

Well if you recommend them then they deserve to be on the hopeful list :)

Nuts! (skirmish)
I Ain't Been Shot Mum! (Company)

Arquinsiel said...

I don't know if you're familiar with Warhammer 40k as a game system, but Flames of War works much like that except that it's not horrible and things make a great degree of sense. It's very fast and simple when you get into it, and it's very much a learn-as-you-play game, but I've had good fun messing around with it.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello Arquinsiel,

Thanks for your comments. I should not pre-judge Flames of War as I have not played it in anger. Likewise I have not yet "done" 40K yet despite owning some figures (used more for potential Sci-Fi Role-Playing or just interesting painting projects) but U have played the WarHammer Fantasy.

Perhaps it is the games I have seen played at my local club, but it seems to fall on the more of a game side, versus WW2 simulation for my liking. I see some rather unhistorical match-ups across the tabletop. The games seem to crowd very quickly.

Yet the same could be said for DBM and WRG. All it takes is a decent OoB and a degree of plausible history should follow. I have to say that the print quality/appeal of the reference material seems first class and look good stocking fillers.


Prometheus said...

Which CDs were the best? 2 or 3? I know CD 4 Test of Battle is the current version.
I like the simultaneous movement that CD proposed. In Command Post they came up with a system where Green troops moved first (after dicing for initiative - unless they were Germans against Russians then Green Germans always go last as it's assumed they are better than Green Russians), then trained, then Veteran. With the team with initiative winning each dice off going second - idea is that they get to see what the enemy is doing and react.