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"Recommend me WW2 skirmish rules with battle friction" Topic

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World War Two on the Land

930 hits since 12 Aug 2019
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Juhan Voolaid12 Aug 2019 7:03 a.m. PST

The fog of war -- uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations.

So what skirmish level WW2 rules would you recommend that emphasize the battle friction the most?

A tactical WW2 board game that implemented this aspect the fullest is called "Combat Commander: Europe". Anyone played this? It's a card driven system, where you have hand of action cards (assault, shoot, move, etc) and to activate a squad with given order, you must play that card. So in the game you end up with not-perfect hand of cards and you are forced to do silly things which are not perfect to the situation that is visible from the God's view perspective. That game also triggered lot of random effects (stuff that was happening around you by other troops not in your command) like sniper shots, smoke/wind, fires, random heroes/reinforcements, etc. It is a lot of fun. I would really like to have a miniatures rules that give such a wild and chaotic experience.

Personal logo Private Matter Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 7:41 a.m. PST

I would recommend that you look at "Chain of Command" or "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum" rules by Too Fat Lardies. Bother rules work in 'friction' quite well and will give a good game.

This video is an "introduction" to Chain of Command: YouTube link

And this video shows how Chain of Command is played: YouTube link

Tommy2012 Aug 2019 8:03 a.m. PST

Have a look at Sergeants Miniatures Game link . It's also a card-driven system, and your comments on Combat Commander read like they were written for SMG.

DeRuyter12 Aug 2019 8:05 a.m. PST

+1 on the Chain of Command recommendation.

macconermaoile12 Aug 2019 8:46 a.m. PST

+2 on the Chain of Command recommendation.

advocate12 Aug 2019 8:56 a.m. PST

Chain of Command for platoon-sized actions, iabsm for companies.

redmist112212 Aug 2019 9:15 a.m. PST

+4 for Chain of Command.


Microbiggie12 Aug 2019 11:00 a.m. PST

Again, Chain of Command and IABSM. The reason that some of my wargaming friends do not play these rules is that they treat 'friction' as a major component of tactical combat.

jdginaz12 Aug 2019 12:04 p.m. PST

Yet another Chain of Command recommendation.

Juhan Voolaid12 Aug 2019 12:34 p.m. PST

Yeah, I know both IABSM and Chain about their battle friction quality. But I have not actually played or read them.

For example, what is in Chain of Command rules, that give the unpredictable fog of war effect?

The Sergeants Miniatures Game looks also promising. It looks too much board-gamey to me though.

BillyNM12 Aug 2019 1:17 p.m. PST

Chain of Command for me as well!

Northern Monkey12 Aug 2019 4:56 p.m. PST

Chain of Command sounds like what you want.

Wooly Bugger12 Aug 2019 7:09 p.m. PST

I'll through a different name into the mix and say I really like Fireball Forward. It has a card activation system and initiative chit system that allows some variability in how units activate.

Tony S12 Aug 2019 7:09 p.m. PST

I've played Combat Commander – it is indeed a great game.

If have to agree with the majority, and recommend Chain of Command too.

In CoC, you roll a number of dice at the beginning of your phase. The varying pip scores let you know what options are available to you. You can activate certain formations, or leaders, gain "CoC" dice that allow you to do special things, or even – if you're lucky enough – allow you an extra phase.

The pre game patrol phase is quite unique, and really adds to the game.

Having played both games, I honestly think CoC is closest to CC. It's not an exact translation, but I think the same rules philosophy is common to both.

Juhan Voolaid12 Aug 2019 11:14 p.m. PST

But does CoC have any random events of any kind? The limited tactical options is fun, I agree.

Basha Felika12 Aug 2019 11:52 p.m. PST

CoC has a few random events built in but you can be sure there will be plenty of ‘friction' nonetheless – my ‘go to' rules for platoon-level WW2

Crabbman13 Aug 2019 11:37 a.m. PST

My rules Fireteam:WWII provide plenty of friction. Random card draws determine which side activates then units roll to see how many actions they get (te number of dice based on troop quality and any suppression). Joker cards also signal random events when drawn.


Juhan Voolaid13 Aug 2019 11:58 p.m. PST

Fireteam:WWII looks interesting. Does it use regular playing cards or does it require of printing some special cards?

I hope there would be a print version (print on demand) available. And based on the preview pdf, I would like to see a layout without the camouflage border. More white space, cleaner and more professional look.

Crabbman14 Aug 2019 1:26 a.m. PST

The cards used Fireteam:WWII are just standard playing cards. Im currently sorting out a print on demand version of the rules on Lulu.

Whirlwind14 Aug 2019 9:35 a.m. PST

For emphasizing battle friction the most…perhaps Nuts! link . It has chancy activation, quite variable morale effects, random reinforcements, the oddd civilian and random snipers, mines & mortars and so on.

Although you can play it head-to-head, I think it assumes that you get a more convincing experience playing co-operatively (or solo) and I generally agree with them.

Lee49414 Aug 2019 1:38 p.m. PST

The problem I have with "friction" in most rules is that it`s way overdone. Like trying to heard cats! Most armies were not rabble and while Stuff Happens too many rules have too much random going on. Especially at the Skirmish Level. With a Platoon on the table you ARE the platoon commander and hopefully understand the capabilities of your squad leaders and can communicate with them. If you don't/can't you should be relieved. Friction should come in at the command level, which is what I build into my rules by confronting you as the CO with an ongoing series of difficult decisions. You become the Friction. Your men know how to fight and take orders. Your challenge is to give them the right orders. Makes for an interesting game as I've watched experienced gamers Melt Down trying to make the right decision at the right time. Cheers!

David Brown15 Aug 2019 1:20 a.m. PST


Interesting points:

To highlight friction with regard to your comment:

Hopefully understand the capabilities of your squad leaders and can communicate with them.

It's communication that is often the issue. Even with modern radios I've been unable to communicate with sergeants in an adjacent building, leading to a "what the hell is going on moment" and having to send a runner or go myself to find out.

Also subordinates don't always carry out instructions as per their briefing or your last comms message…they sometimes "interpret" what you mean and act differently from the commanders intentions, especially in stressful situations.

So I suppose it comes down to when in a game we apply that "extra friction" and in what situations the extra friction is most likely to arise?


surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Aug 2019 2:33 a.m. PST

See link for information, how-to videos, and free downloads for Combat Patrol.


GGouveia17 Aug 2019 3:20 p.m. PST

Chain of Command.

TacticalPainter0120 Aug 2019 2:20 p.m. PST

To get a better feel for Chain of Command there are AARs here that give a good feel for how the rules play out, particularly the fog of war and friction. These are all games in the small campaigns that are where CoC really shines
Chain of Command AARs

TacticalPainter0120 Aug 2019 8:52 p.m. PST

So I suppose it comes down to when in a game we apply that "extra friction" and in what situations the extra friction is most likely to arise?

To some degree it has to be random because you never really know when it will arise and if you allow gamers to predict when it might happen they will respond in predictably gamey wargamer ways. Not only that but it's impact can vary from a very minor delay in carrying out a task through to a complete failure to respond at all and you won't know that until it happens.

Munin Ilor21 Aug 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

Another recommendation for Chain of Command.

Juhan Voolaid wrote:

For example, what is in Chain of Command rules, that give the unpredictable fog of war effect?

Others have mentioned the effect of the random hand of Command Dice, but for me the biggest "fog of war" effect is the fact that you start the game with nothing deployed on the table. You have some idea of where your enemy can deploy (the Patrol Phase has established the locations of both sides' Jump-Off Points), but not necessarily where they will deploy. Often, your first inkling that an enemy unit is present is when they open fire on you. This simulates fog of war and the "empty battlefield" extremely well.

But does CoC have any random events of any kind? The limited tactical options is fun, I agree.

There are random events in CoC, and they come in several different types. There are turn-based random events (things like unidentified planes flying overhead such that everyone hits the deck and no one moves that phase, or a sudden torrential downpour that severely limits visibility), but these are fairly rare. More commonly, the variable turn structure also makes the duration of effects like smoke, overwatch, or covering fire pretty unpredictable as well. Finally, there are some unit-based random events, things which are baked into the mechanics of how a unit or weapon operates. The most common of these is the case of running out of ammunition for mortars and the like (or as happened to me in one of my first games, failing to post a grenade through a window and having it land at my poor troopers' feet).

TacticalPainter0121 Aug 2019 2:37 p.m. PST

The other random event in CoC worth talking about is variable movement. A normal move requires 2D6 which means you can expect on average to move 6-8" and you can expect your enemy to do likewise, however the unexpected happens, be it misunderstood orders, more difficult terrain than expected, over caution, or much better going than anticipated and rapid movement, regardless of how you want to rationalise it what it means is neither your nor your opponent's movement is entirely predictable. This creates random events of its own – the sudden arrival of an enemy squad when you didn't expect it, or the tardy movement by your flanking squad that throws out the timing of your assault.

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