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"Divisional Level World War II Rules" Topic

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crazycaptain16 Oct 2020 12:15 p.m. PST

What are some of the things you would like to see in a game where each stand is a company and each player commands a division?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 12:46 p.m. PST

At that level to me the game is all about command and control, and not about technology. If Patton orders a brigade to attack, he doesn't ask what tanks it has. He needs to plug a hole, he sends what he has.

So I want a sensible system for orders that has the right amount of stickiness.

Eumelus Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 1:02 p.m. PST

1. Logistics.
2. Reconnaissance, including aerial and sigint. It can be treated in a stylized, simplified way but the effects need to be modeled.
3. Pre-planned large-scale firepower, including artillery barrages of various types (walking, box, interdiction, etc.), smoke operations, and airpower.
4. Weather and Night Operations.
5. Engineering, particularly minefield/barrier construction and breeching.
6. Logistics. I said it twice on purpose.

UshCha16 Oct 2020 1:25 p.m. PST

1) At that scale I would want detailed maps of the terrain, road networks airfields etc. That is a tall ask to create that. I have the odd map of sections of the Bits defence and they have a lot of detail vital in deciding how much to send in an area.


Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 1:42 p.m. PST

Everything Eumelus said, plus:
7. Proper time scaling. Division-level battles took place over multiple days (or weeks, but those are too boring for miniatures gaming).
8. Depletion, fatigue, and recovery. Units in the front line had limited endurance; in addition to logistical resupply, they also had to be pulled back, rotated out, or leapfrogged to recover sleep, eat, regroup, reorganize, replace lost manpower, etc. Casualties are only a fractional impact on a unit's effectiveness, and much of a unit's effectiveness can be refreshed in the midst of a multi-day battle by letting it sit for a day or two to regroup/recover/replenish.
9. Limited ability to react to enemy dispositions and movements. In real life, this results from limited intel, but in game terms the same net effect is often better achieved through other mechanics. Double blind play with the referee limiting the knowledge or perspective of the players is hard to do right, or in a way that's entertaining.

FWIW, I have long thought that units at these higher scales should be multiple stands, not just a single stand. This would allow a unit's effectiveness and sub-unit composition to be represented by adding/removing miniatures, to signify things like the allocation of battalion assets to individual companies, differentiation of losses and disorganization, recovery, replenishment from rear area resource pools or field repair, etc. We accept multi-stand units in the horse & musket period, there's no reason not to accept them in the modern era too.

- Ix

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 1:54 p.m. PST

I think Panzer Korps does that – you add stands to units to show assets. So an infantry unit gets an attached stand of At guns or engineers…

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2020 6:29 p.m. PST

I have to partially disagree with the logistics answer. Logistics is more important in the time leading up to the battle than the battle itself. We fight multi corps engagement across history and almost no one mentions logistics being needed in a rule set. There were half a million men at Leipzig, yet no one recreating the battle on the table top asks about the rules for horse fodder, horse shoes, boots or bread. Unless you want to be a supply officer and game logistics, it needs to be abstract if you want to play with toy soldiers.

If you want to try and create historical limitations, you say this unit can move 4 times before it is out if gas; this unit is low on ammo and can fire twice at full effect and twice at half effect, etc.

UshCha17 Oct 2020 1:09 a.m. PST

79tyh PA. Seems we have an entirely diffrent view on waht is being moddled. If a Division was in combat as the only one, it most certaily would have a lot of reserves and also key rearmament/resullp positions and nodes for supply which would be vulnerable uif overun. That is the job of a divisional commander. In a battle with lots of troops fighting over a battlefield tha Divisional commander will have nothing to do. e has set it up and just waits for the outcome while dealing with the infrastructure/logistics win or lose.

To me that is not a Divisional game its just loads of models on the battlefield, the divisional command is not usefull in such a game. A serving soldier told me above comapany levele its more about logistics than tactics.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine17 Oct 2020 2:52 a.m. PST

I'm not sure I'd want companies in a divisional level game. To my mind if the player is a division commander he should be worrying about battalions, regiments and brigades. If you model stands as companies the player gets bogged down in what individual A/t companies and a like are doing which seems unlikely to be the norm for a division commander imo.

On the other hand as we like to play with miniatures abstracting a single (or three) tanks down to a battalion isn't very satisfying. To my mind if I want to model a WW2 game at a level higher than a brigade/ regiment I'd probably rather use a board game.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2020 4:35 a.m. PST

I believe Mustafa's Rommel and McFarlane's Great Battles of WWII are designed for games at exactly the level listed by the OP.

John Leahy17 Oct 2020 5:41 a.m. PST

As previously mentioned, Panzer Korps, Rommel, Great Battles plus Field of Battle are all set for that level of combat. I use Picoarmor 3mm figs for it.



Martin Rapier17 Oct 2020 8:24 a.m. PST

What you put in the game partly depends on the time period represented. If it is only 24 hours, logistics, engineering and replacement has little influence, if you are looking at multi day battles (far more common in WW2) then it is all about replenishment and cycling of forces.

Our homegrown rules with company stands do stretch to division size engagements, but they are strictly grand tactical covering a few hours over a family limited area (typically 60to 80 Square kilometres). For larger/longer stuff I use battalion or regiment size stands and turns covering multiple hours or days.

UshCha17 Oct 2020 9:12 a.m. PST

that is perhaps a better definition. Grand tactical has little to do with Divisional Command which is dealing with much longer timescales. Grand tactical is where divisional command really takes a back seat while lower level elements sort out the battlefield which is but a small part of a divisional commands remit.

Crazy Captain, you clearly need to think about what it is you really want to model. Hopefully this thread will halp you to define what you mean.

coopman17 Oct 2020 9:21 a.m. PST

Just play an operational level boardgame.

skirmishcampaigns18 Oct 2020 5:53 a.m. PST

We have been playtesting Chadwick's new Div level game Breakthrough and really like it. Battalion stands seem the only way to reasonably do big multi div games like TOTALIZE etc.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Oct 2020 1:30 p.m. PST

Would that "Breakthrough" let you play the whole battle of the bulge? What are the scales?

Lee49419 Oct 2020 8:53 p.m. PST

My WWII divisional rules have many of the features mentioned. They are in Playtest Stage and if you would like a FREE PDF COPY to Playtest simply email me or use the Contact Page on my website (below). The only catch is that if I send you a copy to playtest I'd like to get your honest feedback. That will help make the finished product better! Thank you. Lee

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Oct 2020 5:27 a.m. PST

My rules "D-Day to Berlin" use battalions as the basice maneucer and combat unit. I also assume that most of the Divisional artillery has been directly attached to a particular formation for the present engagement. I do however show on artillery unit representing the heaiver guns of a division. This is available every game turn to be attached to a battalion or larger formation.

A game turn represents a random amount of time and a day is 4- 8 turns. Then there is a night time turn and the next day begins.

There are some smaller units defined as "Detachments' which are Company Strenght units. These are fragile and usually attached from Corps to the Divison.

These rules are still in progress but nearly done.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Oct 2020 8:35 a.m. PST

D-Day to Berlin thread for more insight.

TMP link

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2020 11:47 a.m. PST


The only reason that I didn't mention your fine game is the OP was asking about games where one stand equals a company.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Oct 2020 5:03 a.m. PST

Big Red

I understand thank you, and is isn't quite finished as well. I mentioned D-D to berlin here as they are targeting his level of play but at that level company stands is not practivle. if a US infantry Division has 9 rifle battalions and each rifle battalion has 9 rifle companies – see what i mean.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Oct 2020 5:10 a.m. PST


I just visited your website. I have some feedback for you – First off the big blue "The Cheiften about Tanks" button covers over a lot of pages. I tried to use the contact us form but it was blocked. i did download your CAC pdf quick play. I would suggest you set up an e-mail capture so you can keep track of and in touch with people that do so.

Keep up the good work.

PS you might want to have a look at Wordpress for website design :)


Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP25 Oct 2020 6:04 a.m. PST

Small point greenknight4. A US rifle Battalion has 3 not 9 rifle companies plus a heavy weapons company.

I have played PanzerKorps at divisional level. It depends on the size of your stands I suppose. At 15mm it was very playable. Though to represent the 9 battalions you have 36 stands you still maneuver as battalions so only 9 maneuver elements, very doable.

greenknight4 Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Oct 2020 7:57 a.m. PST

Geese I did say that didn't I, and I know better. Sorry all :(

Martin Rapier26 Oct 2020 10:27 a.m. PST

"Would that "Breakthrough" let you play the whole battle of the bulge? What are the scales?"

The Bulge was a multi-army engagement, you'd need regimental stands (like most of the boardgames on the subject) or maybe divisional. It was a BIG battle of lengthy duration. I certainly wouldn't tackle it with battalion sized stands.

Marcus Brutus26 Oct 2020 10:39 a.m. PST

I have been looking at adapting the board game Panzer Command for this scale. Each turn is 2 hours and the command and control rules are quite interesting. The tactical unit is company and the maneuver unit is brigade/regiment. One modification for me would to move from artillery battery to artillery battalion. I agree with 79thPA that at this scale logistics don't really enter into the equation. What attracts me to this scale is that one could fight the II SS Panzer Corp at Kursk over several days. Also, artillery and air power could be properly represented (something that most games fail to do.)

UshCha27 Oct 2020 3:11 a.m. PST

Marcus Brutus I fail to onderstand why logistivcs is irrelevent. Whole units would have to stop for several hours to re-fule and re arm. Whre you decide to doi so is a creitical issue. Do you risk losing vital soft vehicles by doing so close to the front but do it quicker or do you withdraw to a safer place at a cost of more time and more mechanical breakdowns. Whre do you withdraw to Larger at night fall? These are true high level decisions.

Plus I guess no warrior can go without food or sleep for 7 days and fight effectively.

Marcus Brutus27 Oct 2020 5:33 a.m. PST

I will use Panzer Command as my example but I think what I am going to suggest applies to most wargames.

The scale in Panzer Command is one hex is 500 meters. Most AFVs can move 8 hexes (4 km) over flat ground in one turn, which is 2 hours. Infantry can advance 1 km per two hours. Now the initiative system allows commands to potentially move more than once per turn so those numbers could be occasionally doubled. The point is the movement rates are far lower than real life potentials. Why? There are likely many reasons. CinC for one. Also, the natural caution in advancing in hostile environments. The need for local commanders to do effective recon. Most units, spent most of their time idling, waiting for orders to move, even in front line combat scenarios. The net result is that units move far less than their potential. I would suggest that movement rates in most games also factor in front line logistics. They are abstracted like 79thPA suggests. There is no need to itemize this element of the game as it is already factored in.

Now of course one could approach it all differently but then that would require a whole rethinking of everything else (time and speed) and a potential nightmare of off board complexity which doesn't interest me.

UshCha27 Oct 2020 9:49 a.m. PST

So in a big game you may want to deploy say a reserve 10 miles 16km on a road and its still 4km hr same as an advance. That seems a bit implausible. A reserve would be deployed in a holding area ready to get straight on the road so the time to get on the road would be minimal.

Seems to me you have eliminated most of what the high level guys do for a living.

Marcus Brutus29 Oct 2020 6:14 a.m. PST

In a divisional scale game (the player commands a division) what reserves are you imagining? If we look at a scale of 1" equals 200 yards a 8' by 6' table is a little over 10 by 8 miles. Remember that this size is divided between two sides. Artillery is still off board for the most part and there isn't any room to bring up extra reserves in the manner that you think. Basically the table size is the engagement area. If you want to go one step higher in scale, where the player commands a Corp and each element is a battalion then the question of reserves becomes more relevant.

I should add that in most games of this scale advancing on roads move units forward much faster (but of course at risk of being more easily damaged or destroyed.) One of the great challenges for players is to decide when to disembark their mobile infantry from their trucks. Do you run up close and risk destruction or deploy farther back and then slowly work forward to the front.

UshCha30 Oct 2020 1:20 a.m. PST

a Divison game must operate over several days. That meand not all troops can be fighting all the time. In addition so you need troops to replace while the combat troops retire and refuel re arm. In adition its a poor general that deploys all his troops and fails to keep a reserve at all levels.

Marcus Brutus30 Oct 2020 2:04 p.m. PST

Obviously there are reserves within the division. So usually two regiments forward and one in reserve. But the kinds of reserves you were alluding to (10 miles back) I took to mean new formations outside of the divisional structure (ie. another division.) That seems to me beyond what divisional level can handle. 10 miles back puts you off the table.

I think of the II SS Corps at Kursk. Most of the major rearming and resupply happened at night. The tactical resupply during the day I think can be built into most games systems by the more restricted movement speeds of units. I don't see what is gained by showing specific resupply at this level.

pfmodel23 Oct 2021 4:33 p.m. PST

This lists all the rules which allow a player to command a division, basically when an element is a company.

As for what players look for, i think it varies. As long as you can complete a game in a 4-6 hour period with a clear victor i suspect you will be ok.

FYI: Most of the rules i am aware of typically only cover 1-2 days of actual combat, with 1 day being the most common. If you want a set of rules which span a greater time period you may need to upscale.

UshCha24 Oct 2021 7:36 a.m. PST

Tiger 1 from the WIKIPEDIA"

"Operational range
Road: 195 km (121 mi)[4]
Cross country: 110 km (68 mi)[4]
Maximum speed 45.4 km/h (28.2 mph) on roads[9][c]
2025 km/h (1216 mph) cross country[4]"

Why this data? Well a Tiger at 20kmph can only do 5.5 hrs. Now its got to get from its re-fueling point to the jump off point and back (assuming it survives) which will probably take about an hour all in all.

Only utter fools run the tank dry so 5.5 hrs is VERY optimistic. Now I here you say in the real world yes it won't be moving flat out all the time but it will be dodging about and you know from your car urban stop start uses lots of fuel. Therefore in a reasonable divisional battle lasting a day (24 hrs) some hard decisions have to be made as to where and when to refuel within the 24 hrs period. Loss of fuel trucks would be a serious issue as the Germans were always short of trucks so exposing them at the front would be a big issue. Ergo even for a Day logistics is key. In our own "unique" campaign(sort of) games lasting only about 24 hrs, refueling and rearming is a big issue.
Artillery most certainly will need to re-arm if heavily used, few vehicles carry that much ammunition, and if the attack goes well they will need to move to keep up so sitting by an ammo dump may not be an option.

pfmodel24 Oct 2021 1:35 p.m. PST

While not a divisional scale set of rules, the old Corps Commander and Korps Commander, which was company scale, used supply. Initially I hated it, but when one of my opponents forced me to use it i realised why it was so important. You need to keep your forces supplies with ammo and fuel, and ammo is a bigger issue than fuel as a company can exhaust all of its organic ammo within 1-2 hours, if it wished. Normally when ammo becomes scares, fire reduces, which could have an effect on a game.

To supply your forces you need roads, so I discovered there was a point taking the town on the road, because I need to keep my forces in supply. Also, if I cut off my enemies supply their elements would start to become out of supply, etc. It was a long and drawn out affair as game-turn length was 60 minutes, but it did have an effect. Going up scale and using a ground scale of 1:10000 it should be more obvious.

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