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"Published my WW2 rules on my blog" Topic

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Anton Ryzbak20 Jan 2019 8:18 p.m. PST

I published the Alpha/Beta version of my WW2 rules on my blog
I invite close examination and constructive criticism from any interested parties. link

Durban Gamer21 Jan 2019 5:02 a.m. PST

Some nice ideas with the cards. The actual combat – looks like it needs a big table and forces not too large.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2019 6:27 a.m. PST

Thanks for sharing – will for sure try them out!

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2019 7:32 a.m. PST

I like this unit card method of activation! A set of rules called Fields Of Honor had something similar, and I've been wanting to try that old set of rules out some day.

A quick look at your activation card deck revealed "Turn Over" cards, which immediately turned me off but then I read about your Free Action intervention cards which is a Brilliant offset to (and impetus to use) before a turn ending moment comes up (tension!). You've also discussed that the cards can be tailored to the capabilities of the units, and/or their doctrine at certain times of the war this is a great way to allow for scenarios to be tweaked without a lot of additional rules overload (the "advance rules" are just right there in the cards added to the scenario).

Will you develop the cards into a final deck version(s) that would seem to be where the real nuanced gameplay is obtained?

Anton Ryzbak21 Jan 2019 8:30 a.m. PST

Durban Gamer,
I have the advantage of playing on a table that can be as large as 6x9 feet. However, with terrain and the minuses for range and movement there really aren't too many effective long range shots so things aren't as huge as it first seems. I play mostly in 20mm, you could shorten ranges by using a smaller scale and switching to centimeters.

I am working on two more sets; a Western Desert set and a late war (Jun'44 and on) set. Eventually I would like to build a master set that could be drawn upon to build scenario-specific decks. Another way to use this system would be to have some cards set aside from the deck to represent one side being taken by surprise (a Commando Raid, paratrooper drop….that sort of thing) as each Turn ends more of the disadvantaged sides cards are added to the deck to represent them becoming aware of what is going on and responding. This would force the attacker to move quickly and take risks to achieve the objective before the defender can bring his forces to bear.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2019 12:45 p.m. PST

Anton most Excellent!

I like that support assets are "on a card" and expended/consumed like having allotments of ammunition available for these strikes, if that's correct (and therefore loaded into each scenario by design).

If I'm understanding, these come up by card pull as support opportunities? I bet you've considered having them "slaved" to an on-board HQ or FO element's activation also. Wondering how you arrived at selecting these supports as more randomly activated, instead of being part of a deliberate "called in" fire function available when activating a specific HQ or FO unit (and this perhaps because there's no separate HQ or FO sub-unit cards)?

Anton Ryzbak21 Jan 2019 2:31 p.m. PST


The card deck was built for the scenario that I was presenting at Spartaconcon; the Germans were attempting to reach a bridge to seize it before it was destroyed and the Russians were moving to counterattack the flank of the German movement and get into the rear areas and create havoc.

The Germans had to clear a road and have a truck convoy travel to the opposite corner of the table while the Soviets were supposed to get as many functional units across the table and off the board to shoot up soft stuff in the Nazi rear.

Neither side knew of the others objective; being wargamers they instantly attacked the opposing force and forgot about objectives……it was jolly fun!

Regarding supports;
Supports become available on a card on the theory that everybody wants to advance behind a barrage but there is only so much ammo and so many guns, so the Artillery Commander has to decide who he is going to support and at what level of ammo expenditure. If this were a Great War game there would be piles of "Preplotted Barrage" cards and a few regular ones. I had to work through a couple of playtests before I found the right balance of support and the right way to activate it. F.O.s and unit C.O.s are a way of calling in artillery support. Until I get around to the Allies in Normandy I won't have to sort through CAB-Rank air support so, for now, it shows up when it does and from a random direction.

The Russians were having a hard time of it in the summer of 1942 in the southern Ukraine so supports were very limited and had to be called in by a Company Commander. German supports were more widely available but nothing was preplotted as they were on the move. Having much better communications the Germans could use platoon Commanders for spotting.

I am putting a Bagration game together for Flintcon. By 1944 the Russians were in a much better situation and had the Germans on a back foot. The Soviets will have access to "Preplotted Barrage" cards for use on designated points which will always be High Intensity, as well as normal support options (including MUCH more frequent air support) and will have dedicated FO's for artillery.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2019 5:46 p.m. PST

Anton, that's a super-immersive synopsis, and I'm getting the picture now for the system's deck-building flexibility.

I should have asked this from the beginning of the discussion, but wondering what your model scale is for vehicles, weapons, and infantry?

The unit cards shown [so far] are for company formations could a game's unit level be scalable, say for platoon unit activations?

Also, could mixed-arms units, say as multiple platoons, be teamed to activated together? As an example, have a Soviet tank rider SMG platoon activating simultaneously with it's transporting tank platoon? Or say, have a German Infantry platoon escorting a StuG battery on foot, simultaneously perform its action [advancing], while the StuGs performed another action [providing supporting fire]?

Anton Ryzbak21 Jan 2019 10:14 p.m. PST


You are very perceptive, to tell the truth the whole "card deck of actions" idea comes from a game that I was trying to design that modeled a Special Forces team of about eight guys taking on a horde of Taliban. Each SOCFOR figure got between six and nine cards while the entire Taliban force got six cards to start with, but gained 1d6 worth of random cards each turn. The SOCFOR guys owned everything at first but the gradual accumulation of Taliban troops and cards could overwhelm them in the end. That project was stillborn but I intend to return to it soon.

The only limiting factor of using platoons is that the deck can become unwieldy and leave some unlucky players going several turns without any significant action. That said, you could easily replace the company cards with platoon cards on both sides and I'm pretty sure it would work fine. Also if one side had a significant advantage in strength you might give one side platoon actions and the other company actions.

Constructing a playable deck is more of an art than a science, I did hundreds of "flip-throughs" of the existing deck to be sure that it wasn't too advantageous to one side or the other. The idea of the Commanders Free Action interrupt card came from several long strings of cards where only one side got to act. It is fun as the GM to watch the guys who are in charge agonizing over when to play the card; is the next flip going to favor them? is it a Turn Over card? should they use it now and end up needing it later? It really gets everybody involved in the decision-making, and gives the players a little better feeling of being in some sort of control over proceedings.

Escort Infantry could be set to act in conjunction with the AFV that they are tied to, perhaps becoming a separate entity if they dismount and the AFV moves away…..still hammering that one out.

I game in 20mm and 15mm (the latter from a foray into Flames of War, but the models are beautiful and far easier to store). Realistically I should be using models in the 1/144 to 1/300 scale range, and leaving the ground scale as it stands now. This would give a far better visual of what a real battlefield looks like, but I can't see those ant-sized figures anymore so I'm sticking with my current toys.

As it stands now the rules are intended for 20mm, some of the playtesting was done with 15mm and it worked just fine without any changes to the distances. Representational scale is 1:1, infantry are just tiny, hard to spot, and poorly armed tanks from the rules standpoint, they will function in platoons. You will see them in the Bagration game as German defenders of strongpoints and as tank riders and engineers on the Soviet side

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2019 7:38 a.m. PST

Anton, looking forward to seeing those pics from your Bagration game!

My favorite scale for WW2 battle-size games is 1/144th scale, and as long as the infantry are grouped as squads or as weapons teams everything should be see-able (here's that infantry and those StuGs I mentioned)

Interesting discussion on your deck balancing tests. Although I guess done by scenario, and of course the units involved, I wonder if it could be built up directly by the individual unit [component] types involved. Say, here's a PzGren "set", so add those cards to a scenario's German deck, and here's a m.PzKp. of Pz. IVs "set", so add those cards to the deck….

This would be a way to market the game, if you have ideas to do so you could make the rules a free [or nominal $] download, but sell the unit cards. (?)

Anton Ryzbak22 Jan 2019 10:49 a.m. PST

I am retired and pretty well set so I am only interested in the rules development as a service to the hobby. I would rather build this system as an open "user-driven" set of rules.

The idea of having discrete decks for certain units is intriguing. Anybody could develop a set of cards for a unit/scenario/theater/period and post them for others to use or modify to their own ends. I will be exploring the skirmish-level possibilities again soon.

Those 12mm figures would be perfect with the rules as they stand (giving a far more realistic idea of a real battles appearance) or dropping to centimeters if space is an issue.
As for me (with several thousand models in two different scales) I will have to stick with what I have now.

Anton Ryzbak04 Feb 2019 4:58 p.m. PST

I have completed the Estern Front June 1944 – Jan 1945 Command Deck for my rules, you can find them here; link

And the Command Card Deck for the Early North African Campaign which can be found here; link

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