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" "Battlegroup" rules, have some questions" Topic

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1,443 hits since 25 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Shakespear25 Jan 2018 7:00 a.m. PST

I just stumbled across these

These are 1:1 scale? Designed for 15/20mm? I really like the idea of individual basing.

Is it like Bolt Action on a smaller scale?

What size table does it play on?

How big are the forces involved? (Number of models)

Point based?

Are the rules available in the US?

Puddinhead Johnson Inactive Member25 Jan 2018 7:24 a.m. PST

These are 1:1 scale? Designed for 15/20mm? I really like the idea of individual basing.


Is it like Bolt Action on a smaller scale?

More complex than Bolt Action. Less bloody.

What size table does it play on?

There's no specified table size.

How big are the forces involved? (Number of models)

Depends on the size of the game. The minimum number would be about 30 infantry and a few vehicles.

Point based?


Are the rules available in the US?

Yes. Try On Military Matters and maybe the Warstore.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

Also travel over to the Guild ( Battlegroup Forum is friendly and can answer a lot of questions.

The first rulebook, Battlegroup Kursk, is OOP. But they re-issued the basic rulebook, minus all the Kursk-specific and hobby-related stuff, recently.

I very much like the rules. A bit more complicated than BA, but to me it gives more feel for WW2. The points system has restrictions that helps reduce the uber army syndrome.

M1Fanboy25 Jan 2018 8:30 a.m. PST

I echo pzivh43's comments. I also like the design ethos of "period accuracy, with simple rules". The army lists are very much the antithesis of the "power gamer" friendly ones you see in some more popular sets, and the BR system is to me, one of the cooler mechanics I have seen in a set of rules in a long time.

Are the rules a bit pricy in dead tree? Yes. But they're worth the price. The books have some of the highest production values I have seen in a long time, and the rules to me, while they stumble at times..(name a set of rules that doesn't..), they play very well and you get a solid game out of it (and I routinely play and run company sized games of Fall of the Reich). My main love of BG? It is what you make it. You can run it as a small skirmish game, or as something with a "Cecil B. DeMill-school of wargaming" and it does both very elegantly.

The Guild is a great information source, also, if you're on Facebook, try the Ironfist Publishing and Battlegroup pages as well. Good solid folks there, many of them cross-pollinated from The Guild.

Other than that, if you haven't taken the plunge, I encourage you to do so..and if you have, welcome!

nickinsomerset25 Jan 2018 8:34 a.m. PST

It is points based, however there is nothing to stop you using historical orbats,

Tally Ho!

PiersBrand25 Jan 2018 9:31 a.m. PST

…and all the books contain lots of historical scenarios.

Plus the points based games in Battlegroup ain't what people normally expect from 'balanced' games. Ours ain't… so even the points based scenarios play and feel like a historical game.

Figure and table size are up to you… scale your game to what you have to play on.

Alcibiades25 Jan 2018 11:41 a.m. PST

After tiring of FOW our group turned to the BG set of rule books, Kursk, Overlord and Fall of the Reich, for our WWII gaming. Overall, we enjoyed the games and were able to accept most of the abstractions employed to portray a WWII battlefield at the platoon/company level but we felt the "unit" activation system punished the Germans for their tactical flexibility rather than rewarding it and once armour/motorized vehicles are introduced the rules become down right clunky (keeping track of how many and what type of shell your vehicle is firing, for example plus the completely non-intuitive armour ratings). We have since abandoned these rules for our platoon/company level games and have moved on to Two Fat Lardies' excellent Chain of Command rules and their numerous pint sized campaign supplements.

If you are still interested in these rules, I have the three above mentioned books together with appropriate laser cut chits for Kursk and FOTR bundled for sale for $100.00 USD US plus postage from Canada. Both Overlord and Fall of the Reich are in very good condition while Kursk has some wear and damage to the cover. I'll also throw in the mini rulebook as a bonus.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jan 2018 12:44 p.m. PST

Our club, like Alcbiades', quickly tired of these rules. We like tanks and they *really* slowed things down. We had numerous other quibbles with this and that, quibbles we might have house ruled. But in the end we felt we were just re-writing the whole she-bang. Plus the system is crazy expensive having to buy all the theater books. So we stick with my "Flames of Awesomesauce" or Fistful of TOWs 3 for bigger games, and various rule sets for skirmish games.

We really liked the "morale" rules whereby you drew chits, with the value of the chit counting against your battle rating. Very clever idea, and we have stolen for other games.

PiersBrand25 Jan 2018 1:24 p.m. PST

Funny… I play tank only games when I want a quick game.

Tanks speed things up. Cant think how they slow things down… My little desert force happily trundles 14 tanks along for a game.

As for Germans being penalised… no… quite the opposite. They do take a few games to get used to, with the correct application of suppressing fire from the platoon MGs, and the aimed fire,or assault of the rifle teams.

VolleyFire Andy25 Jan 2018 1:38 p.m. PST

I've been playing Battlegroup for about 2 years now, and the more I play it, the more the subtleties of the system really present themselves, and it's now one of my favourite systems by a long way.

Price wise, for me, it's pretty reasonable, as rule book, plus chosen theatre book tend to run to about £45.00 GBP, but considering that's it, and they are beautiful books and it averages out to a few pence an hour of entertainment, I'm happy with that, but to each their own.

Here's a link to my overview of the game, when I was first discovering it.


Lion in the Stars25 Jan 2018 2:30 p.m. PST

1:1 model:trooper/vehicle.

I've seen people playing anywhere from 6mm to 28mm using the rules. Had these been out in 2006 I probably would have jumped into WW2 at 20mm instead of 15mm. In terms of popularity, probably 20mm, closely followed by 15mm from the FoW converts.

If by 'like bolt action' you mean having to draw activation chits, NO. You get a semi-random number of activations depending on the raw game scale and number of officers you have. Each activation lets you do something with a squad or vehicle.

No specific table size, but IMO bigger is always better (up to the standard max of 6 feet wide because you can't reach the middle of the table for anything wider!). 4x6 tables will be fine for most games.

Minimum of about 30 infantry per side (platoon per side), max of about 600 (battalion per side). Yes, really.

There are points, and there is also Battle Rating (which is your morale, use up all your BR due to casualties and it's game over, man!). You will play a ~1000pt game, and the two sides will have very different Battle Ratings. Taking infantry and tanks gives lots of BR, taking lots of fortifications and arty gives little BR. A Fallschirmjager platoon in Normandy (platoon command squad, 3x 5-man squads and 3x 3-man MG34 teams, carried in trucks) is 115 points and 14BR. Plus, you can raise the platoon to Elite morale (instead of Veteran) and add up to 5 Platoon Support options (Combat medic, sMG34 team, 50mm mortar team, Schreck team, 80mm mortar team, AT gun team, and/or 7.5cm infantry gun team, but only one of each per platoon).

What I really like about the army building rules is that your support options are controlled by what combat squads you take. HQ choices let you take Logistics or Additional Fire Support options. Infantry choices let you take Reconnaissance, Engineers, or Specialist options. Tank choices let your take Reconnaissance, Engineers, Logistics, or Specialist options. Artillery choices only let you take Additional Fire Support options. And you can only take one option per squad (usually 3 options per platoon).

So, if I'm building a FJ company in Battlegroup terms, I can take one Forward HQ (24pts, 3BR) and one Forward Signals Unit (18pts, 1BR) because they're Unique, and any number of Wire Teams, Comms Relay Teams, and Dispatch Riders (I usually take one of each, so 34pts, 0BR). I take two platoons of FJ infantry (230pts and 28BR not counting support choices), which lets me take two FJ Foot Patrols 36pts and 3BR each), a Recon Command (37pts and 1BR), a sniper with spotter (16pts, 1BR), and two Motorized Recon Patrols (32pts and 1BR each), which uses up all my support choices from the infantry. Next, I take a StuG battery of 3 StuG 3Gs (120pts, 9BR) and two 'loose' StuG 3Gs (43pts and 3BR each), which brings me up to 701 points and 57BR (not counting the platoon support choices aka weapons platoon).

There's even an online army builder webapp to keep track of this stuff for you.

Shakespear25 Jan 2018 6:50 p.m. PST

Alcibiades Email me

Achancesw at gmail dot com

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 1:43 a.m. PST

I am certainly not a fanboy but I really like these rules. IMO they are some of the most realistic rules out there. They are a tad complicated in parts but that is to be expected of WW2 taking into consideration the diverse types of weapons and AFVs used. They normally produce around 2 books per year of high quality which is pretty impressive for such a small outfit.
As another poster has mentioned the Guild has a full section dedicated to Battlegroup with question sections on each book as well as a general rule query section. These are generally answered by the author a,co author and experienced Battlegroup gamers. Piers of course( co author) is a regular visit to TMP as well.

PiersBrand26 Jan 2018 2:31 a.m. PST

Thanks Mysteron.

We try and keep the quality up per publication as we do the books cos we want to play them!

All the work is done by Warwick, I just do some writing and a bit of painting… David Pentland supplies us with glorious art work.

So it's is very much almost a one man band ad far as the book writing and design goes, Warwick does the lions share and I just pitch in when I can, sometimes more depending on the book I did the lead on Blitzkrieg for example as it was a topic close to my heart and will be doing the same on the Burma book. Woz has a deep seated interest in Italy so I doubt I will be allowed to touch that one! ;)

So yes… very small outfit at Ironfist Publishing. Just one and a half really! Thankfully we have PSC to handle distribution and holding stock, otherwise we could never cope.

Each book we make funds the next so it's great to hear positive comments from happy gamers.

We do try and answer queries as soon as we can, either on The Guild or on our Facebook pages. We strive to give our players the help they deserve and to foster a quiet community spirit. Battlegroup is very much a work of love for us both, as the books as we want to play them.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 3:35 a.m. PST

Your very welcome Piers

I would imagine because your books are of such high quality and I mean top top quality here this gives the impression that you are a large multinational company in wargames terms like Warlord for example and not as you say it a one man band .
As such, I think people have perhaps, too higher expectations on the production and writing of books . Like I said 2 books a year is very impressive but some are never satisfied because I think they do think you are a large outfit.

Probably like yourself I can remember a time when a one man band rules set was a roughly typed black and white booklet. Your lucky if you got some scribbled drawings inside and on the cover let alone the wonderful full colour pictures you have in yours as well as some B & W archive pictures.

I think what you produce is quite remarkable really .

PiersBrand26 Jan 2018 4:44 a.m. PST


Woz might argue we are less than one man given the spanners I throw in projects…


Yes… I think people do have the perception we are larger. I remember an email asking to speak to our art department, and I was wondering if it was me or Woz who should reply…

But I think it's a strength. We do what we do cos we want to. It's not a corporate enterprise (the fact I work full time and Woz has another job testifies to that!) but very much done for the selfish reason that we want to play the game. For players it's good as it means we try and make stuff we want to play, and we are lucky to have a group of gamers that also enjoy it and their support let's us do more.

We'd dearly love to do more… and ideas firmly outstrip resources! Woz has a wonderful 'historical' 1946 war planned out andb he has been writing the 'history' of the war as he plays the campaign out. I have about four scenario books I've been working on. But it's all about time… once you have the day job, spending time with those people who live in your house and a bit of hobby time, it don't leave much.

But it's fun… so we will keep going as long as people buy the books to let us make more. :)

Syr Hobbs Wargames Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Jan 2018 4:02 p.m. PST

Besides the Guild (excellent by the way) the Battlegroup folks have an active FaceBook page which I frequent.


4th Cuirassier30 Jan 2018 5:21 a.m. PST

@ Alcibiades

completely non-intuitive armour ratings

Can you expand on that a bit?

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 5:59 a.m. PST

A tip for keeping note of ammo expenditure in large games is to allocate the ammo expenditure to the platoon or even company in very large games. When the amount of expenditure exceeds a single tanks allocation of ammo then we allow the owning player to designate which of his tanks is out of ammo . It just helps to keep the game flowing. At this level we don't differentiate between the different ammo types as it is assumed the mix will cover this particular engagement. That way your arn't tied down with book keeping details. For smaller engagements its fine as it is as long as you can identify which tank is which. If you have 15th panzer division like me that is easier said than done! That's because only the company number was painted on the tank.

These are a fine set of rules written by authors that have been into WW2 gaming for years and know what is needed and works. I wouldn't have any hesitation in recommending them.

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2018 4:55 a.m. PST

Slightly off topic but quite pertinent for Battlegroup.

Does anyone know what has happened to the forum? I havnt been able to get in now for a few days. All I get is its updating ?

PiersBrand01 Feb 2018 8:02 a.m. PST

No idea… not been able to get on either.


The Young Guard20 Feb 2018 3:26 p.m. PST

Out of interest, how long would a company level game to take to play?

Haven't played for ages due to a break in gaming and we only played at platoon level before.

Marc the plastics fan26 Mar 2018 11:18 a.m. PST

As beginners, we manay600 points in a day. This Easter Saturday we are trying 800. The KV2 is getting an airing

Fun rules. Close games. Great on-line army builder makes designing forces almost as much fun as playing

Lion in the Stars26 Mar 2018 3:50 p.m. PST

@ Alcibiades

completely non-intuitive armour ratings

Can you expand on that a bit?

Armor ratings are alphabetical, not numerical.

A Tiger II is Front:C, Side:H, Rear:J
A Panther A or G is Front:H, Side:K, Rear:L
A PanzerIVG is Front:L, Side N(M), Rear:N

A Sherman is Front:K, Side:L, Rear:N

Guns have a "class" that you compare to a table that gives you the 2d6 rolls to beat the armor.

It's one of the things that I think Flames of War does better than BF.

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