Great Battles Of World War II

Canadians in Europe cover Dropzone cover

Brief Description Operational-level rules, designed to allow players to recreate multi-day historical engagements. The system rules are printed in each volume of the series, along with background material, scenarios, and campaign games. Units maneuver and take actions in battalion groupings, and must be activated in order to close with the enemy. Troop quality and a per-turn dieroll determine the ability of a battalion to take actions (deploy, move, change formation, fire, rally, etc.). Artillery and air-ground support are abstracted. Assets can be switched among battalions, and players can create and deploy reserves.
Period World War II (see supplements for specific theaters)
Ground Scale 1" = 150-200 yards
Time Scale Depending on time of year, a day is represented by 8-10 turns.
Figure Scale Each stand represents a company.
Miniature ScalesThe rules allow for microarmor, 15mm and 20mm figures to be used.
Unit Type Stand Size
width x depth
Infantry Company 1 1/2" x 1/2"
Armour Company 1 1/2" x 1"
Antitank Guns
Field Guns
1" x 1"
Command Stands
Heavy Weapons Stands
1/2" x 1"

Depths as listed above are for microarmor, and should be adjusted for larger scales to allow vehicles to fit. The number of figures per stand, and their layout, is not mandated by the rules.

Designer Bruce McFarlane (bmcfarln@telusplanet.net)
Publisher The Canadian Wargamers Group

A detailed description of the game system is available.

What You Think

John Leahy (JLEAHY5555@aol.com)
Great Battles is a truly awesome game! I have played 4 different battles using these rules. We have covered France 1940, Western Europe in '45, Russia in '42, and Burma in '43. They truly make you feel like an Army or Corps commander. You are not worrying about the minor tactical issues that are more appropriate to smaller scale rules. This is how WW2 was fought and won!

I have always been amazed how gamers are strangely reluctant to fight modern conflicts at a larger scale than, say, some Napoleonic rules that currently exist. Well, these rules should change that! Their handling of multiple-day battles is truly innovative! I cannot wait for the next book due out.

The only real problem that I have with these rules is what scale (figs) to concentrate on. I use 20mm and 15mm. I also would like a more thorough description of how the activation works, and how to set up for different scenarios.

You don't need to remount, so go, run quickly to your local store and buy these rules!

Phil Yates (PhilY@ghw.co.nz)

Great Battles of WWII is a great system. I'm really impressed by the concept behind it, but the editing is extremely poor.

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Online Resources

Great Battles of World War II: Volume 1, The Canadians In Europe
Publisher's webpage for Volume I in the series.
Rules Clarifications
The designer answers a few of our rules questions.
If you know of other resources for this game, please let us know by sending email to the editor. If you have material you would like to make available to the Net, also let us know.

Last Updates
3 April 1999comments by John Leahy
16 October 1998scale information added
8 January 1998comments by Phil Yates
26 December 1997added rules clarifications link
20 November 1997added Canadians in Europe
Comments or corrections?