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"Battalion level rules?" Topic

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Wayniac09 Oct 2019 9:35 a.m. PST

I currently play Flames of War and enjoy it but it sometimes feels a bit too "gamey" rather than a historical game (Bolt Action has the same issue. Good game but it's basically Warhammer 1940K) which has me curious about other rules that I might be able to convince my group to try.

I do like the size and scale of FoW though where it represents what looks like a battalion (2+ companies) instead of company/reinforced company level which looks to be the size of IABSM, Chain of Command, Battlegroup, Bolt Action and others where they really want to use individually based models (while allowing for stands in most cases, of course) but it's basically a few squads of men and then a support choice like a single tank or a field gun or two. My group feels that size is too small for WW2 which is why we like FoW.

What rules are out there that have something higher than that, but lower than say operational scale where you might as well be using a map rather than figures?


Old Contemptible09 Oct 2019 9:46 a.m. PST

Command Decision and Spearhead

lkmjbc309 Oct 2019 9:50 a.m. PST


At the 1 stand equals a platoon level you have…
"Command Decision: Test of Battle"…
In its 4th edition… it is a well tested and well loved set of rules by Frank Chadwick and the late Greg Novak. It is well supported with lots of scenario books

Slightly more gamey… but giving a really great club/convention game (the best I have ever run or played) is "Rapid Fire!" It perhaps has the best scenario books. This is my favorite. It is the most simple, and great for casual players as well as giving a fun game for more serious ones.

Competing with Command Decision if "FFT3"… (Fistful of TOWS- it has WW2 included). It is more simple to play than Command Decision and is written by a great group of guys. The book has a massive array of weapons and Obs… a great value!

Blitzkrieg Commander is also great. It is more abstract with the combat, but placed its emphasis on command and troop quality.

Finally, at the edge of your parameters is "Spearhead". It really is the "Next Level Up" in scale. While you have individual platoons on the board, the real maneuver element is the battalion. In this game support and long range artillery play a huge part. Battle feel like real battles, not just quick engagements. It is possible to play a Divisional engagement with these rules.

All the above are great games… I suggest you start your search with them.

Joe Collins

Wayniac09 Oct 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

Sounds good, I'll definitely give those a look. I honestly liked how Chain of Command and Battlegroup looked (and hope I can get at least one person to consider them), but again a bit too small for the group's taste. So I'd end up looking for something that's along the same size and scale of FoW but with a bit more historical bite to it.


Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2019 10:20 a.m. PST

Blitzkrieg Commander 4 is a good compromise and many FOW players (former and current) enjoy playing it. Each vehicle or stand of infantry is a platoon, so it enables you to play fairly large engagements in 3-4 hours. Our group played Command Decision for a long time and we've looked at FFT3, but in this day and age of getting a game in under 4 hours we moved completely to BKC.

Greg G109 Oct 2019 10:38 a.m. PST

Have a look at the Battlefront rules from Fire and Fury. You can play games from company to battalion size games. If you look in the support section of the website there are some quite large scenarios.

Wayniac09 Oct 2019 10:39 a.m. PST

Blitzkrieg Commander 4 is a good compromise and many FOW players (former and current) enjoy playing it. Each vehicle or stand of infantry is a platoon, so it enables you to play fairly large engagements in 3-4 hours. Our group played Command Decision for a long time and we've looked at FFT3, but in this day and age of getting a game in under 4 hours we moved completely to BKC.

It's funny I was just doing a search for BKC, and I liked what I read before I saw your post. Of course, I'll have to read more, but so far it looked good. I think it's wise for me to focus on a game for now (that being FoW) rather than try to just push everyone else to play something else, but I definitely like how that looked.


mildbill09 Oct 2019 11:02 a.m. PST

Kiss Rommel is very simple and fun with each stand equals one bn.

Mark 109 Oct 2019 12:31 p.m. PST

The words "Battalion Level" really leave the question open to a lot of diverse interpretation.

If you mean that you want to have a battalion per side on the table, I would suggest that you look at rules that are at about the same unit scale as FoW, but that maybe have less of a "gamey" feel and more of a "historical" or "period" feel.

My own approach is to game at the level where one infantry stand = one squad, and one vehicle or gun model = one vehicle or gun.

Each player gets about 17 to 25 game pieces for his force. Usually that means something like one reinforced company per player, although for Russian armor it might mean one battalion.

Then I try to assemble two or three players per side for a battalion-level game.

My preferred ruleset is Mein Panzer from ODGW. My second favorite ruleset is JagdPanzer II. Both are at my chosen unit scale. Both are reasonably fast-play, so a player can manage ~25 pieces.

I like the game turn mechanism of Mein Panzer better, as it keeps all players involved all the time, rather than having one side move or shoot all of it's units before the other side gets to do anything. This makes a noticeable improvement on games with 2 or 3 players per side.

That same turn mechanism also means you have to think of your force in terms of it's TOE. Your company is not 25 units all off doing what you want each of them to do, but rather is 3 to 5 platoon-sized units that have to work together. This lends a strong historical feel to it, in my view.

Also, everything in the rules starts with troop quality ratings. Yes, a T-34m1941 has better armor, a more powerful gun, and better mobility than a Panzer IIIh. But every time you shoot, or try to spot, or try to get un-bogged, or your guys try to do some engineering task, or you try to call for artillery, etc. etc., your die role begins with your troop quality rating. So 1941 panzer troops may have tanks with less armor and smaller guns, but they perform better and get more done on the battlefield. Again, it gives a very strong historical feel (to me).

Just my views. Your tankage may vary.

(aka: Mk 1)

Wayniac09 Oct 2019 12:45 p.m. PST

Yes, that sounds about the right scale Mark. One stand = squad (multiple stands together = company?), one vehicle or gun = one vehicle/gun. So your "typical" force would be several stands, making up a few companies, and then several vehicles and/or guns. As opposed to say the equivalent of 3-4 stands and one tank which is what a lot of the smaller (to me anyway) games involve albeit individual models instead of stands.


Martian Root Canal09 Oct 2019 1:21 p.m. PST

Battlefront WWII from Fire and Fury is about that scale, though vehicles are 1 = 2-3 vehicles. I love the game and have played it for many years. It has a great QRF and data cards for just about anything you'd want to field.

BuckeyeBob09 Oct 2019 2:42 p.m. PST

5Core Company Command fits your criteria and you do not have to rebase.

Sgt Steiner09 Oct 2019 3:10 p.m. PST

Panzer Grenadier Deluxe is well worth considering in addition to those mentioned above. Inf Stands are Sections/Squad AFVs are 1-2 vehicles. Fast playing but far from simplistic.

Bismarck09 Oct 2019 3:10 p.m. PST

I too would recommend Rapid Fire. I have heard great things about Battlefront WWII, but have not had chance to play it.
Ratio is close. For Rapid Fire 1 fig+15 men and one tank or vehicle represents 5. Moves fast and is simple.

Crow Bait09 Oct 2019 5:30 p.m. PST

Agree with Mark1 on Mein Panzer. Rebaseing is not necessary as long as both sides are based the same. Great set of rules, with the most extensive orders of battle I have seen in a set of wargames. Order and register the game, and all updates and new editions are a free download. The same company that publishes General Quarters and Fleet Action Imminent.

rmaker09 Oct 2019 8:00 p.m. PST

Look Sarge, No Charts.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2019 8:19 p.m. PST

Great Battles of WW2 by the Canadian Wargames Group.

One company is one stand, plus stand for support weapons like Mortars, etc.

If you want to manage a BN/Task Force, this is a good set of rules.

My two shillings.


raylev309 Oct 2019 9:55 p.m. PST

Blitzkrieg Commander IV…I've played the others mentioned above, and they're good, but BCIV is easier to learn and play, IMHO.

Martin Rapier09 Oct 2019 11:25 p.m. PST

The OP wants to run a battalion. So I'd go with Battlefront or Command Decision (depending whether you want section or platoon sized stands).

Dexter Ward10 Oct 2019 1:30 a.m. PST

another vote for Battlefront:WW2. Excellent set of rules.

parrskool10 Oct 2019 1:53 a.m. PST

In what way is BKC4 better than BKC2 ? I am interested.

10mm Wargaming10 Oct 2019 5:48 a.m. PST

I would recommend Rapid Fire Rules. Hope it helps.

As always, comments are appreciated.

10mm Wargaming

My 10mm Wargaming

Take care


Teppsta Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2019 5:58 a.m. PST

As Sgt Steiner said – BattleGroup PanzerGrenadier sounds like a good fit for your requirements. Or, in the near future, O Group from Dave Brown. I have been involved in play testing and they are excellent and definitely take WW2 tactics to the next level.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2019 6:36 a.m. PST

parrskool, there is a short synopsis of the BKC IV changes on page 8 of Warning Order #52 and a battle report on page 12-13:
PDF link

Pan Marek10 Oct 2019 12:01 p.m. PST

Rapid Fire.
Battlefront WWII.

I believe the newer Iron Cross rules are the same scale.

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2019 3:09 a.m. PST

I just ran a Spearhead game at the Hurricon convention a couple of weeks ago. While I love CD TOB, Spearhead runs more quickly and we played a full 13 turns of a scenario limit of 15 turns. The rules strive to eliminate the 10,000 foot tall general syndrome and do a good job at this piece. They are fun, fast and fairly simple. Lots of subtle elements give it the feel of a real full battle.

Wayniac11 Oct 2019 4:31 a.m. PST

Thanks, Bill, may have to check that one out too!

Marcus Brutus Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2019 6:55 p.m. PST

Another vote for Battlefront WWII. This set is the next level up from FoW. It really is a great game. What I most appreciate is that the rules are fully thought out and comprehensively written. Very few things happen in the game that are not covered. It is a bit more detailed than some games but it certainly gives a good feel for the period.

Wayniac14 Oct 2019 5:41 a.m. PST

I am really looking forward to O Group, I like what I've seen from Dave Brown (wanting to get my group to try GdA for Napoleonics). I'll also check out Battlefront WWII and Spearhead as well in the future.

thomalley17 Oct 2019 11:46 a.m. PST

Kampfgruppe Cpmmander II for std = platoon is our preferred set.
Battlefront is good, and well support at the std = squad level. Have had lots of fun with Look Sarge.
Panzer Grenadier Deluxe at the std = Squad levels looks good, but I haven't actually played a game, but do own the rules.

Thomas Thomas17 Oct 2019 2:29 p.m. PST

We use (of course) Combat Command – one Stand (with how many figures you want to put on it) represents a platoon. A single tank model a platoon. So you function as a Battalion Commander generally with 3-4 companies of 3-4 stands under your command. Allows for Battlegroup level combined arms forces.

Intended for recreating specific battles at conventions (so rule can be taught at the table) but also includes a balancing mechanism for hypothetical pick up battles.

Available through WarGameVault. (Updated are therefore free.)

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame & Glory Games

UshCha20 Oct 2019 2:08 a.m. PST

A Battalion is a very big unit. Lots of tanks and infantry, artillery and even in defence a complex set of interlocking fires. If you have been playing such as FOW you really have being playing a company level game played pretending its a bigger game. If you were attacking as a Batallion level it would proably be 2 platoons up one back at most. So about 6 platoons up 3 back. Effective attack frontage is about 1.5km. WW2 German 88mm effective tank gun range as the board width. Note many Lead Pusher games have exponential rangeing which desttroys any possibility of realism.

Look at Tango01's link for the map.

link you are representing 1 1/2 squares of that map. You expressed a need for realism. Start with a sensible map. If you read the text you will see the action is on quite small scale at any one time even with a lot of kit.

Effectively with a Battalion attack it is a Boargame with figures and the terrain cannot look like a skirmish game, But there again many wargamers are not interested in realism anyway.

You need to decide what you really want realism at Battalion level is not going to look plausible with large models. May look plausible at 2 to 3mm scale.

You proably need to decide the level of fantasy you want to introduce when selecting a new set of rules.

I do play battalion level with my rules, but only ever about 2 platoons up due to the need to replace troops as they run out of ammo and fatigue, but we play multi evening games lasting hundreds of boundss.

Juhan Voolaid24 Oct 2019 4:49 a.m. PST

I am looking forward to O Group as well. Dave Brown seems to capture exactly what I look for in a war game. Though, I don't know if it is possible to top what he has done in Panzer Grenadier Deluxe.

pfmodel10 Mar 2020 4:04 p.m. PST

If you are looking for 1 element equals one platoon rules, my MMicro Armour Game System History and Theory Part 2 – Platoon (V2) video covers all the rules i have copies of. You may find something there to your liking.

Marcus Brutus Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2020 1:22 p.m. PST

Battlefront WWII is one of the best written rule sets I have ever come across. Not my favourite level of scale but if you like showing squad stands then this is the set for you. Complete, well thought out with very few situations not covered. A beautiful game.

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