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"Picking a new rule set" Topic

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ZiggityBop26 Jul 2017 11:24 p.m. PST

Alright, I have recently decided to quit Axis and Allies miniatures (I'm sure many of you can guess why), and am trying to sell my collection. However, I'm not done with miniature wargaming, and am actually looking to "upgrade" to a more sophisticated system and build my own figures. I know you guys probably debate about your favorite rulesets all the time, but there's a lot of options out there and if I could get any help in picking one it would be much appreciated. Here's my criteria:

- WWII (preferably flexible in theater)
- Skirmish to company scale (I'm not sure what exact scale I want, but I like 1 model = 1 man/vehicle, and if I can find a system that works with a variety of battle sizes, that would be ideal)
- 15mm or 20mm
- Portrays WWII combat with realistic accuracy
- Good for someone starting completely from scratch in his collection
- Can be taught to friends/family, but popular enough that I might find another player every once in a while

I think this probably throws out Flames of War and Bolt Action from the start, because I hear those are fairly gamey and are not historically accurate. Shame, because they seem to be the most popular, but that's alright.

I've looked at Chain of Command based on some rave reviews. The recon and command features make it seem like a pretty dynamic game, but I'd like to be able to do more than just platoon+. Also, the support lists make me pause for a bit, since they randomly determine what support units you get. I suppose you could cover the lower-level items with a typical infantry box set, but what if I role for a Churchill and don't own one? Seems like this system might be designed for experienced wargamers with thorough collections, but maybe I'm just overreacting.

I've checked out Nuts!, which looks like it might be similar to CoC but I really don't know much about it. Any words on this one?

I've also looked at Battlegroup. This one seems to be the winner as far as versatility goes, since they've released expansions for many different theaters and supposedly the battle sizes vary quite a bit as well. I hear a lot of people complain about chrome and bookkeeping though, as well as the IGOUGO turn mechanic. Not sure how popular any of these are in comparison to each other.

Anyway, those are three of the more promising ones I've found. Let me know which one you think matches my criteria the best, as well as any other useful advice you might have for a beginner. Or if you have a different idea entirely, I'd love to hear that as well. Thanks a lot!

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 1:21 a.m. PST

ZB you make your point very clearly and logically. Thank you. First problem is that you have poked a hornet nest of "surely what i like is best for you!". Don't let them put you off. Choosing the right rules is a subjective and player matter. It woudl be great if you could get to a local club and have a go at things, if there is one in your area. If the rule sets are cheap you might buy the three you think are promising, try them out, then sell the ones you like less. A fair few of the more recent rules try to give you what you want rather than what is plausible. So they will give you an artillery gun, a tank, an armoured car and a platoon. A little bit from all the local units. they might also throw in battalion or divisional level support from aircraft and artillery to add to the player satisfaction.

My one piece of advice is to use a rule set which requires the table size and scenery density that you have available. maybe also avoid rules which call the different nations "factions" as it indicates they are basing the rules on something not WW2.

Good luck with your search!

jdginaz27 Jul 2017 1:56 a.m. PST

I would suggest "Chain of Command" for skirmish level gaming and I Ain't Been Shot Mum" both from the TooFatLardies


Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

jdginaz gave good advice. If you want something that handles the level above Chain of Command – essentially a company with support – IABSM is a game worth checking out.


smolders27 Jul 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

I just started playing a set of rules for WW2 division-level rules called "Spearhead" I really like them and they're easy to understand.

For scale I use 6mm (1:285) inexpensive, easy and fast to paint and look awesome on a table top.

I also like Chain of Command with 28mm scale figures

thosmoss27 Jul 2017 6:45 a.m. PST

The biggest driver should be what's available in your area. If you're the driving force, then the effort is yours. But if you're looking to join other gamers, see what they are playing. I can only give a little advice on the game titles I'm familiar with, here.

> I think this probably throws out Flames of War and Bolt Action from the start

Both games can be approached in different ways. If you want to keep them more historically accurate, you can design the scenarios to represent the sorts of battles you want to see. It doesn't *have* to be a parking lot full of vehicles.

> I've looked at Chain of Command

This is my current favorite.

> I'd like to be able to do more than just platoon+.

CoC's (free) supplement "At The Sharp End" allows you to field multiple platoons, preferably one platoon per player. If you can get a tableful of gamers, you can push around a company all at a 1:1 scale.

> Also, the support lists make me pause for a bit

You don't randomize what vehicles you get for support. You do randomize how many points to spend. Rolling a lot of points might give you a tank, or you can parcel them out into smaller support units instead. Many of the scenarios and CoC campaign games throttle the point expenditures, narrowing the randomness and insisting you buy this sort of support over that sort of support. And again, you can always modify the game within its framework to suit your needs. You want to put a Churchill on the board? Here's the point cost, you should upgrade the opposing side accordingly.

> I've checked out Nuts!

I really wanted to like Nuts! The trouble I had was I lost local support. Things could be done to make the rules do the things I wanted to do, but by the time I started proposing changes like this my local players had lost interest.

Good luck.

Also, don't immediately scrap your A&A gear. A lot of it is perfectly serviceable, especially with a little bit of paint, if you're staying with that scale.

Andy Skinner Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 6:59 a.m. PST

Thosmoss, I believe At the Sharp End is about campaigns. The free supplement for larger than platoon is Big CoC.


Steve27 Jul 2017 9:00 a.m. PST

There is one more that fits your bill, that is Disposable Heroes 2. The updated version was released earlier this year. It is similar in size and scope to Chain of Command, but allows you to build a force using a point system or a historical order of battle. So you could have 4 tanks plus a platoon of infantry if you wanted. We actually use both CoC and DH2.



Lascaris27 Jul 2017 10:34 a.m. PST

Seconding several of the previous opinions.
1: FOW can be played historically. We do FOW-Vietnam with no points, no "missions" etc,
2: Both Chain of Command or IABSM are great sets.
3: Disposable Heroes probably ticks your boxes also. I haven't played version 2, but I played V1 for years and liked it. Not totally sure on what's changed.
4: You can go old school and do WRG. Finicky in some ways but we had many really great games with the set.

Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy27 Jul 2017 10:51 a.m. PST

Not everyone likes NUTS because you don't have total control over all your figures. You can choose what your personal figure does but the rest will try to follow your orders while staying alive.

They do practice military tactics with NUTS at West Point.


Pizzagrenadier27 Jul 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

These boot camp posts were made by me (the author) for the Disposable Heroes II Kickstarter. They should give you an idea of what the rules are like. They fulfill your criteria for platoon sized games, and if you give each player a platoon in 15 or 20mm, company sized games on the same table space as 28mm (1 defending platoon vs 2 attacking).

They are heavily geared towards fog of war and the platoon sized battle space (so you won't see a table crammed full of tanks and models like a stadium or parking lot).





Hope that helps!

jdginaz27 Jul 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

There are several youtube videos done by the lardies that help explain the game.

Here is a link to the first you can find the rest from there.
YouTube link

BCantwell27 Jul 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

Our group has tried a number of these but have gravitated to Battlegroup and we have used that as our main WWII rules for a couple of years now, supplanting IABSM. We do find the Battlegroup rules to be pretty versatile. The combination of the orders, battle rating system, and various unit/force characteristics give a lot of room for tinkering to achieve a fit to a scenario or such. E.g. we have used these rules to play the scenarios from IABSM scenario books and have been able to convert them easily. The mechanics are straight forward and the limited modifiers make sense and seem to be "the important stuff". As for the issues you have heard about the game, there is some chrome, but I don't think it's necessarily any different than most other games at this scale and genre. Some have more, some less and this is mostly a matter of what level of detail you aim for. The game does have the IGOUGO sequencing, but since you do not always have enough orders to move everything, it feels less regimented and predictable than FOW. IGOUGO also makes it very much more suited for multiplayer games as that keeps all the players more active versus the card based action sequences of the TFL games that tend to favor smaller numbers of players as it can mean more time sitting around waiting to move your troops in multiplayer games. Finally, the bookkeeping aspect typically revolves around the tracking of ammunition for AFVs. While this seems like something at first glance that would really slow down a game, the reality is that once you get used to it, it actually speeds up the game by discouraging players from taking every low-percentage shot they have available to them because it "might hit". If your ammunition is limited you maneuver more and save your fire for shots that matter or have a high chance to do something. It also allows introduction of some basic logistics concerns as you will generally include a supply truck to reload those AFVs that run out and protecting your squishy supply convoy becomes a real challenge (and gives light units something historically appropriate to do as they try to sneak through to attack the enemy logistics base)

mwindsorfw27 Jul 2017 5:58 p.m. PST

I like Jagdpanzer 2nd ed. It is about right of my taste, and has a great database of vehicles. I like Five Core Company Commander for simplicity.

DukeWacoan Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Jul 2017 6:13 p.m. PST

Battleground WWII for 1:1

shirleylyn28 Jul 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

I like Battleground ww2, also.

10mm Wargaming29 Jul 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

I would recommend Rapid Fire Rules. Hope it helps.

As always, comments are appreciated.

Take care


Boguslaw30 Jul 2017 10:37 a.m. PST

Nuts, you can start with squad and make bigger games while you will be more familiar with rules. I like them, because there is not full control of your forces. Another point they are excellent ( the best in my opinion ) for solo games. You can play and learn solo, and when you will be familiar with them, you can start play and teach other players.
Nuts is one of my favourite skirmish games.
You can check, mechanics with free Chain Reaction rules, if you will like them, Nuts is the way!

ZiggityBop31 Jul 2017 6:53 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the advice guys! I've ordered the rules for Battlegroup right now, but I might go ahead and get Chain of Command as well, since it seems to be a hit among a lot of people.

Marc at work06 Aug 2017 11:15 p.m. PST

Battle group has a lot of pluses, and a very well supported forum.

Have fun


UshCha13 Nov 2018 7:05 p.m. PST

It really l depends on your priorities, simulation and fast learning of friends and Family may not make good bedfellows. Many games at even platoon level do not do well with regard to engineering, barbed wire, mines (done properly) mine sweeping to name but a few. Also vehicles tend to be poorly done in small game. In a small infantry game ranges are going to be small and real tank visibility will be so poor it's a sitting duck. You make it realistic and the tank is done for. Or you make a game and it not realistic, not really another option.

At company level 1 to 1 with supports is an awful lot of figures to move and may be impractical.
Our own rules are sort of 1 to 1 but figures are based in groups. Again realism, generally far less real men die in the real world than do in a wargame and taking figures off is unrealistic but some folk won't have it ant other way.
I'm not going to recommend us as certainly our core rules are going to struggle at 6 to 12 figures. Plus realism means that training is important. If your players have no knowledge of how the real world works, they will be slaughtered like raw troops as they are in the real world. You may be better looking at two games a "gamey" game for friends and family and a serious game to explore the world of simulation. In any decent game the figures should be fine for both.

Juhan Voolaid23 Nov 2018 8:16 a.m. PST

You can check also Iron Cross skirmish rules

Lee49408 Feb 2019 11:32 p.m. PST

You're welcome to check out my rules Skirmish Action and Combat Action Command. You can find more information on website enjoy!

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