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"WRG WW2 Rules" Topic

Wargames Rules for All-Arms Land Warfare from Platoon to Batallion Level 1925-1950 and 1950-2000

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Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2013 5:38 a.m. PST

WRG's WW2 rules: PDF link

Looking back, what do you think of them?


Lest We Forget11 May 2013 7:59 a.m. PST

Wow, blast from the past. I have an original copy. I bought them and read through them (at the time), but then I found "Brew Up" by Leon Tucker (one of Tractics authors). We thought Brew Up was "Tractics Light" and went with them instead. Guess I'm commenting because it brought back some memories, but I can't remember what I thought after studying them (long long time ago . . .).

See link

for a pic of long-forgotten "Brew Up" rules

normsmith11 May 2013 10:10 a.m. PST

I liked them very much, though I may be looking back through rose tinted glasses. I played a lot of armour heavy scenarios and thought that armour and the anti-tank process was handled quite well and that for a relative small overhead in rules, the gun / armour relationships seemed quite realistic.

ScoutJock11 May 2013 1:44 p.m. PST

I still use them with a couple of house mods.

Sparker11 May 2013 3:05 p.m. PST

Yes I have a couple of copies and used them quite extensively back in the day. I think they can be pigeon holed in the 'complex authoritative' slot. The modes thing can take a while to get used to, but I think the basic assumption about the abilities of men under fire were realistic, and they struck the right balance between rivet counting and reflecting real caps and lims of different models of AFV. I was first rather startled by how incredibly difficult it was with these rules to kill trained infantry with direct fire, but supsequent research convinced me Phil Barker et al had it right, which has given me a jaundiced eye for more modern rulesets, with the exception of FOW, which models the difficulty of killing trained troops with anything but mortars elegantly.

My personal journey was from these to 'Vapid Fire', and in retrospect that was a step backwards, with trained infantry going down like bowling pins WW1 style. Now I use a plethora of rules depending on what command level I fancy, Bolt Action, FOW, or BKC depending on my level of megalomania. Still not made my mind up about the 'Battle Group' stable….

In hindsight, a good, realistic basic set of rules if you've got the time to master them and play a complex game, and have access to an equally dedicated opponent….(No good for me on the latter 2 points!)

Mobius11 May 2013 3:24 p.m. PST

I liked them (Modern) very much as I played them for nearly a decade. But, I realized they were locked into a time-frame and couldn't improve. The kill and to-hit were D6 based and the best weapons needed a "2" or better to hit and "2" or better to kill. When new generations of the modern weapons system came out they became a "2" or better to kill and hit. The old generation which you thought was "2" or better became "3" or better. Your old games all became shams. This happened for new generation after new generation of weapons TOW, to TOW imp. to TOW2 etc., so you had doubts on the to what you were playing.

Plus almost nobody could play using the morale rules.

John D Salt12 May 2013 8:37 a.m. PST

Sparker wrote:

The modes thing can take a while to get used to

I think you're thinking of the next edition. No tactical modes in 1973.

All the best,


ubercommando12 May 2013 1:21 p.m. PST

Did not like them at all.

My main beef applies to both the 1973 and the Phil Barker rewrite: Infantry were less than useless in a combat role. I think it was worse with the 2nd edition, with rifle ranges coming right down and machineguns hitting only on a 6. Meanwhile, armour could hit right across the board. I never had any success in finding players who liked those rules.

Another minor point was a quote in one of the appendices. The designer wrote "the platoon fighting drills, which every wargamer will know about…" well, as a newcomer I had no idea of those drills. In a pre-internet age, finding WW2 tactical manuals was very difficult for a 16 year old trying to get started in wargaming with those rules so it felt like established gamer snobbery to me.

I never tried them as a 1/300 micro-armour game, which is what I think they were really designed for. For 20mm combined arms, they were horrible.

Sparker12 May 2013 2:15 p.m. PST

I think you're thinking of the next edition. No tactical modes in 1973.

Oh Dear! I seem to have had my collar felt by the Edition Police!

Since when did WW2 wargamers get so fussy about editions? You can't comment on a set of rules in general these days without specifying the month and year of publication?

What are we Ancients players now?

Or should I have started a new thread specifically about the 1979 edition?

Sorry if I'm being dumb, I've only just caught up to FOW now having editions, I didn't realise it applied retrospectively too….

kiwimole12 May 2013 5:15 p.m. PST

We used to use WRG 1st edition exclusively for our WW2 1/300 games and they worked well. There were/are a few issues but a few mods here and there seemed to sort it out. I don't like the 2nd edition much as they seem too complicated with different modes etc – a modified 1st edition would have worked better.

Green Tiger13 May 2013 4:56 a.m. PST

Hell no ! – it is this kind of thing that put me off WW2 for so many years

John D Salt13 May 2013 11:35 a.m. PST

Sparker wrote:

Since when did WW2 wargamers get so fussy about editions? You can't comment on a set of rules in general these days without specifying the month and year of publication?

Sorry to micturate on your corflakes, but I thought I'd point out your error in order to save you the massive inconvenience of clicking on the link thoughtfully provided by the original poster to find out that the rules you were commenting on were completely different from the ones being referred to.

If you can summon the energy to follow the aforementioned link, you might see that the difference between the two sets really is not quite as tiny as you are trying to imply. One set has reaction tests, the other doesn't; one set has troop training classes, the other doesn't; one set has deterministic detection, the other has stochastic; one set permits two actions a turn per element, the other only one; one distinguishes suppression and neutralisation, the other has only neutralisation; one has rules for picking terrain and the other doesn't; and each set uses a different set of armour classes.

Both sets have a buff cover, though.

All the best,


Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2013 12:10 p.m. PST

It does claim to be the first WW2 ruleset *not* to use a logarithmic scale, I found that a bit surprising.


Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2013 12:11 p.m. PST

Oh, and if anyone else was defeated by the exact meaning of stochastic:-)


UshCha13 May 2013 11:24 p.m. PST

These were before even my time. I played the version 2 which were better than most with the use of modes.

John D Salt14 May 2013 10:17 a.m. PST

Ditto the Abdominal Snowman wrote:

John, the cover looks goldenrod to me.

Blokes' eyes cannot distinguish between buff and goldenrod. Although wargamers' eyes can distinguish between Panzergelb, Eighth Army Desert Yellow, and Sand.

All the best,


IanB340614 May 2013 11:03 a.m. PST

I have seen a post on the DBA yahoo group where WRG and Phil may be thinking of a Pip based WWII system. I wouldn't hold my breath though….

Jemima Fawr14 May 2013 12:20 p.m. PST

As John said, the two 'Editions' were totally different games (although I remember the 2nd Edition being blue).

Mobius14 May 2013 5:48 p.m. PST

I didn't even know there was a second edition of the WWII set. I played the goldenrod edition a few times and it played like the first edition of the Modern set. I don't even remember it showing up at any of the conventions here in Southern California which I always went to.

I think what happened was that the second edition was so different than the first people thought that if they had to learn new rules they might as well go all the way and try other sets. And just at the time there was a bloom of new rule sets.

John D Salt17 May 2013 11:02 a.m. PST

R Mark Davies wrote:

As John said, the two 'Editions' were totally different games (although I remember the 2nd Edition being blue).

The blue cover was for the third edition of the 1950+ rules, which had a green cover in the first two editions. The second-edition modern rules never had a WW2 equivalent as far as I was aware, and I think it would take some effort to conceal a WRG product from me.

All the best,


Archeopteryx19 May 2013 10:39 a.m. PST

The green WRG 1950-75 rules.. Ahhh. My fist ever set of rules purchased, beyond borrowing the Grant and Featherstone books from my local library. Nostalgia.

Jemima Fawr20 May 2013 6:48 a.m. PST

Thanks John,

I'm sure you're right, but I'll be digging around in the attic later, to dig out the WRG 2nd Edition to check the colour and see if I really am going senile… ;o)

I never saw WRG's 1950+ set, so it can't be those I'm thinking of.

Jemima Fawr21 May 2013 10:46 p.m. PST

Yup, senile. It's green. :o)

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