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"Flavorful WWI Rules?" Topic

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Stalkey and Co16 Sep 2021 1:08 p.m. PST

What are the most flavorful and least generic WWI rules out there at the Unit = a company or so level? Perhaps a unit could be a battalion with a stand being a company.

WWI is a pretty tricky period in the sense that 1914-15 is almost a different war from 1916-1918. Sometimes I think that one set of rules is late Franco-Prussian War and the second set is early WWII!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

fredavner Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2021 1:26 p.m. PST

Barrage by Piquet
No Mans Land by Mark Hayes and Tim Goodlet

Both not for the faint of heart
Very flavorful….sometimes complicated
Barrage is card and choice driven
No Mans land a little clunky with systems and mods

Wackmole916 Sep 2021 1:51 p.m. PST

Bloody big battles
Square bashing

For same units
Great war by Warhammer Historical
Thru the Mud and Blood by Too fast lardie
Bolt action ww1 variant from Gajo

Colonel Bogey16 Sep 2021 2:36 p.m. PST

Square Bashing is a great rule set that includes additional "assets" to model the more mechanised elements of the later war.

Ferd4523116 Sep 2021 2:49 p.m. PST

Free rules "Over There" on Nick Yankosky's WW1 web site. Extensively tested and he is available to respond to questions. Really nice. H

Wargamer Blue16 Sep 2021 3:11 p.m. PST

Square Bashing is good fun. More about assaults than shooting. A stand = a company. Here's a good YouTube vid of a guy playing.

fredavner Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2021 3:14 p.m. PST

I would add Square Bashing to my list

rmaker16 Sep 2021 6:07 p.m. PST

GDW's Over the Top. Command Decision system. OOP, but you still se them around

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2021 6:53 p.m. PST

Blood and Valor – although I strongly dislike their army building rules. The game play is good for small scale games.

Price of Glory (Iron Ivan through Brigade Games) – I like these rules better than Bolt Action

Vimy Ridge16 Sep 2021 7:32 p.m. PST

Great War Spearhead II my favourite by far. I like Square Bashing but have fallen off playing. Designing my own Skirmish games as none of those on the market appeal to me.

Martin Rapier16 Sep 2021 11:44 p.m. PST

My favourite commercial set is Great War Spearhead. One stand is a company, manouvre units are regiments. It really does capture the changes through the war. Square Bashing is fun, same basing scheme as GWSH.

monk2002uk17 Sep 2021 1:45 a.m. PST

Great War Spearhead is my go-to set as well. Lots of examples across the war here:


Plus a diagram that illustrates how different troop densities were between FPW and early WW1, with the various battlefields from Napoleonic, FPW and WW1 eras covering the same number of troops approximately but vastly different spread:

There is also a quantum difference between late WW1 and early WW2, with company-size elements in WW1 covering the same frontage (approximately) as a platoon in WW2.


Durban Gamer17 Sep 2021 4:01 a.m. PST

If you like quick setup, fast games, small table and few figures check out the free set Hordes in the Trenches, or HITT.

CaptainDarling17 Sep 2021 5:49 a.m. PST

For ‘early war' games with your "battalion with a stand being a company" target in mind you could look at Great Escape Games 1914. Mind you we have used them for theatres other than the western front up to 1916 so far.

monk2002uk17 Sep 2021 10:37 a.m. PST

The Great Adventure website has lots of scenarios and after-action reports related to Great War Spearhead as well:



GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Sep 2021 10:54 a.m. PST

Square Bashing is just a dice throwing fest. Tactics are largely irrelevant as luck with the dice has far more effect on any outcome. You even throw dice at the end, after all the shooting is over, to decide who won.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2021 2:07 p.m. PST

No Mans Land by Mark Hayes and Tim Goodlet

I agree with fredavner's assesment, and one must bear in mind that the rules are roughly 30 years old. That being said, they are a good resource as are all of the stuff Mark and Tim produced. Speaking of which, their "The Last Crusade" has great material for Gallipoli, Mespot, Gaza, East Africa, etc.

khanscom17 Sep 2021 6:42 p.m. PST

Tried a couple of games of "Raging Empires"; lots of fun for early war battles.

Wargamer Blue18 Sep 2021 1:20 a.m. PST

Just purchased Great War Spearhead II as a PDF. I'm going to have a good look at it.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2021 3:47 p.m. PST

World War 1 is a big place. Here is a game I did in East Africa

Durban Gamer19 Sep 2021 5:03 a.m. PST

Very nice Bob- didn't realise Congo Rules could work for WW1 – and East Africa is my favorite front!

Stalkey and Co10 Jun 2022 7:13 p.m. PST

Thanks for the input, guys.

My Long-Term Game Group did a simplified version of Great War Spearhead the other day, and I've downloaded the eBook to bring on my latest real-life military adventure mayhem!

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