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"Looking for some WWI rules, resources, US 28ID in 1918." Topic

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750 hits since 17 Nov 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Queen Catherine17 Nov 2016 3:12 p.m. PST

So, I'm contemplating doing a game commemorating the US involvement in WWI as the hundredth anniversary approaches. I know little about this period, honestly. Some things that would be helpful:

- Looking to game the battles of the 28th Infantry Division, so would need painting guides and books on their actions, memoirs, etc. During World War I, the division was involved in the Meuse-Argonne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Ypres-Lys (FA) operations

- Looking for a set of rules that is pretty simple, clean, and yet offers the options for the typicalities of the war during the above campaigns as well as unusual things like gas attacks, trench warfare and assaults, aerial observation, etc.

- I'm thinking of going small, but Bacchus looks too small for the bland color scheme so I was leaning towards Pendraken 10mm.

Any other thoughts and advice appreciated. I'm still just trying to plan and project the time and cost of the project, uncertain if I can pull it off.


Sundance Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 4:11 p.m. PST

I haven't had a chance to try them out yet, but I found a set of rules called Over There, by Nick Yankosky (I think it was on the freewargamesrules website). Personally, I like them – gives unit structures (in game terms) for everything from companies to divisions and corps. Pretty flexible and has some interesting (to me) concepts. I intend to do 10mm Middle East with them.

Buckeye AKA Darryl17 Nov 2016 6:54 p.m. PST

I also have some Fire and Fury mods that Nick sent me some years ago if F&F works for you. One can email me at preds81.ds at


John Thomas817 Nov 2016 8:34 p.m. PST

If you're looking to do trench attacks, Through The Mud And The Blood will give you the exact feel for that action. Probably a bit small for your purposes, it's a platoon or two per side.

monk2002uk17 Nov 2016 10:15 p.m. PST

Check out whether you can get hold of the CD-ROM entitled 'United States Army in World War 1'. The US Army Center of Military History has it marked as out of stock. The CD has fabulous electronic maps plus heaps of details. It was based on the book 'American Armies and Battlefields in Europe', which is also out of print ( I got my copy of the latter second hand. It would be worth contacting the Center about the CD-ROM.

Pendraken is the way to go for US figures. Not so much because of the size but because you can get the French-armed LMG and MMG teams, as well as the French 75s with American crews.

I recommend Great War Spearhead II for the rules. You can see the example of Belleau Wood here: link

Check out the rest of the site, as well as Robin's Great Adventure site as well:

There is a very active Yahoo Group and I would be more than happy to help out with creating maps for the specific actions of the 28th Division.


emckinney17 Nov 2016 11:32 p.m. PST

Official history: link (As with all official histories, keep a cannister of salt at hand).



monk2002uk18 Nov 2016 12:27 a.m. PST

Well done, emckinney. The official history link is to material that features in the CD-ROM that I mentioned.


Queen Catherine18 Nov 2016 5:28 a.m. PST

Yes, I should've stated that I'm interested in a Unit being about a company, perhaps a battalion, not certain yet. The presence of support elements is thinner than WWII of course, so I'm inclined to go "up" in size so that players have support options available to them.

I downloaded "Over There" and am going to give it a read-thru and see if pillaging some ideas for it and putting it into Neil Thomas' "One-Hour Wargames" may work, or his ACW rules in "Introduction to Wargaming".

The latter features a 4-base system and base loss causes a morale check; if failed an additional base is lost. It does however have a rally mechanism, so I'm considering just "suppressing" bases instead. OHW is simpler and has a 1-base unit with Hits put onto it [and my variations allow one to rally them off, also].

Thanks for the links!

Queen Catherine18 Nov 2016 5:34 a.m. PST

Reminds me – anyone have some good, realistic TO&E for 1918?

I have found the following book options at wiki, but Lord knows where I might find such decrepit publications!

Colbaugh, Jack, ed. (1973). The Bloody Patch: A True Story of the Daring 28th Infantry Division. New York, New York: Vantage Press. ISBN 0533008514. OCLC 1092266.

Gilbert, Eugene (1919). The 28th Division in France. Nancy, France: Berger-Levrault. OCLC 3147481

Martin, Edward, compiler (1924). The Twenty-Eighth Division, Pennsylvania Guard in the World War. 5 vols. Norwood, Mass: Washington Press. OCLC 2886171.

Pennsylvania in the World War. An Illustrated History of the Twenty-Eighth Division. 2 vols. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: States Publications Society. 1921. OCLC 3878635.

Proctor, Henry George (1919). The Iron Division, National Guard of Pennsylvania in the World War; the Authentic and Comprehensive Narrative of the 28th Division in the World's Greatest War. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: John C. Winston Co. OCLC 587848.

Warner, Frank A. (1919). Journal of Operations, Twenty-Eighth Division A.E.F., August 5,1917 [to] November 2, 1918. n.p. OCLC 4139192

monk2002uk18 Nov 2016 8:43 a.m. PST

All of the titles are currently available via Abebooks. Many are modern reprints, which suggest the originals are available online for free.


monk2002uk18 Nov 2016 9:40 a.m. PST

When you say that 'the presence of support elements is thinner than WWII', what support elements are you referring to?


Queen Catherine18 Nov 2016 6:48 p.m. PST

Hey Robert,

Everything that might support an infantry company, from guns to mg's to sappers / assault troops, armor, planes, etc.

My impression is that all the support weapons were thinner in WWI, and the big change in WWII is that companies began to be equipped like little battalions.

monk2002uk18 Nov 2016 10:48 p.m. PST

Thank you very much for the clarification. Bear in mind that the WW1 battlefield was much more compressed. A platoon in WW2 occupied the same frontage as a WW1 company; a WW2 brigade/regiment occupied the same frontage as the 28th Division, etc. If you go to a battalion as the basic stand and only game the 28th Division then you will have a very narrow battlefield.

Using a stand per company then your US division will have the following support elements, taking into account that US divisions were bigger than their continental counterparts:

2 x MG stands per infantry regiment – 8 in total at regimental level across the division
1 x 37mm infantry gun battery per regiment
1 x 3 inch trench mortar battery per regiment

12 x MG stands at the division level, which can be attached to any infantry regiment
6 x 75mm field gun batteries at division level
2 x 150 mm howitzer batteries at division level
1 x 6 inch trench mortar battery
6 x engineer stands
8 x motor machine gun stands

From the corps level, some of the following would have been allocated to support the division:
12 x pioneer stands
6 x engineer stands
3 x motor machine gun stands
8 x cavalry stands, plus 2 x cavalry MG stands
Elements of the corps and army level heavy- and super-heavy artillery, including railway guns, etc
Ground attack aircraft – typically 2 stands as these did not operate close to the attacking troops but deeper across German lines
Tanks – up to 12 stands of medium (British Mk Vs, Schneiders, or St Chamonds) or light tanks (Renault FT-17s)

All up, you will have 48 infantry company stands across a US division, excluding HQ, engineer and pioneer stands. Support element stands will total 125 or thereabouts, depending on the allocation of corps stands but excluding the super-heavy artillery, which does not appear on table.

If you go to one stand as an infantry battalion then you will have 12 infantry stands in total and most of the support elements will disappear because they will not have a proportionate level of impact at that level of game. MG stands will but their number will be significantly reduced to account for the same level of firepower as an infantry battalion put out. Likewise artillery.

Conversely, if you go down to the level of a platoon then an entire US infantry division will require hundreds of stands. Playable over several days with friends but not something that is doable in an afternoon, from my experience. Most games at this level focus on a regiment at most.


Queen Catherine19 Nov 2016 8:44 p.m. PST

Hey Robert, thanks a lot for the history and analysis. RE your excellent statement:

"Bear in mind that the WW1 battlefield was much more compressed. A platoon in WW2 occupied the same frontage as a WW1 company; a WW2 brigade/regiment occupied the same frontage as the 28th Division, etc. If you go to a battalion as the basic stand and only game the 28th Division then you will have a very narrow battlefield."

Can you put some dimensions on that, even general ones? About how large should the frontage be for a typically deployed German / U.S. company in 1918? Assuming that they may be deployed with some of the platoons in reserve, maybe a 2 up one back with CP sort of thing.

Overall, I would rather play out a division action in a couple of games rather than all at once, so I'm thinking more like two regiments of 20-24 stands of infantry, and 20-24 stands / vehicles of support, probably the most typical ones. Little to no artillery on the table, except trench mortars and such.

Btw, when you say stands, is that one HMG per stand? And how many guns would be in a Yank battery? I'm thinking 4 or 6.

monk2002uk25 Nov 2016 8:21 a.m. PST

Let me check on 28th Division examples for you, so that my response relates directly to your area of interest.

HMG stands represent whole companies of MGs, which for the Germans would be as many as 12 MGs. I will check on the US MG companies in 28th Division for you.


monk2002uk16 Dec 2016 2:15 p.m. PST

Still waiting for the German regimental histories to arrive. Pre-Xmas so not a good time for speedy deliveries from Germany ;-)


Blutarski16 Dec 2016 4:07 p.m. PST

Volume 1 of the Official History, "Organization of the American Expeditionary Forces" (per emckinney's link) will give you "official TOE" details down to the number of trench knives issued to a unit.


NKL AeroTom16 Dec 2016 5:47 p.m. PST

For rules you could try the recently released Westfront:


Good balance between simplicity and realism. Gas attacks, gas masks, orders from above, communication issues, and lots more. Army lists included for Allies and Central Powers.

monk2002uk16 Dec 2016 11:49 p.m. PST

Good to see the rules have been published but wrong scale unfortunately for QCs current requirements.


NKL AeroTom19 Dec 2016 7:00 a.m. PST

wrong scale unfortunately for QCs current requirements

ah whoops, missed the part about company / battalion as the smallest unit

QC you could keep an eye on raging empires, it currently only covers early war, but they're in development and working on mid and eventually late war, and it suits your scale. Looks like an interesting rule set, large hex based, but with miniatures:

The hex system allows them to do fun stuff with artillery like box barrages and creeping barrages.

Queen Catherine11 Mar 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

Thanks NKL
I'm keeping an eye on Raging Empires. I downloaded what they have, and there is an aspect of "a mechanic is a mechanic" when it comes to gaming, altho they'll no doubt tweak it to give period flavor.

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