Grey Storm, Red Steel

rulebook cover

Brief Description

Skirmish-level WWII miniatures rules, with an emphasis on showing the differences between the German and Soviet armies. The rules are similar to a Normandy ruleset (Overlord) by the same publisher, but the combat systems have been extensively revised. The rules are heavily sprinkled with designer comments and historical observations.

Infantry squads and tank platoons take Actions in order to move and fight on the tabletop. An initiative system allows outstanding tank and gun crews to take multiple Actions. Command rules restrict the ability of players to give orders to units, with the Soviets operating under rigid restrictions. Rules cover close combat, street fighting, artillery, air support, morale, engineering, etc. A scenario design system creates realistic unbalanced engagements representing typical war situations, with players able to buy forces using a points system.

The rulebook includes 5 pages summarizing Soviet and German army organization. There is also a 5-page bibliography and videography. No pre-designed scenarios are included.

PeriodWWII -- Russian Front
ScaleEach vehicle or figure represents an actual vehicle or figure. Ground scale is 1" = 10 meters. One turn represents 2 1/2 minutes. Designed primarily for 15mm or 20mm scale figures.
BasingIndividual for vehicles. Infantry are placed 1-4 figures per stand, depending upon their function -- for instance, a rifle stand consists of 3-4 figures on a 1.5" x 1" base (15mm scale).
Contents140-page rulebook
DesignerBarrie Lovell
PublisherFirst edition published 1995 by Firebase Games.

A detailed description of this game is also available.

What You Think

David St. Clair (saint@clear.net.nz)

GSRS is 130 pages, but most of it covers rules interpretations and historical fact - a shining example for the people at WRG I would have thought! The author has clearly had relevant military experience, probably in the BAOR. (The remark about forward listening posts is a dead giveaway.)

Anyway, there are problems with the tank anti-tank gunnery system, and I recommend you get onto Panzer's web site [see below] for modifications and updates. I have just finished a major re-write of the tank/anti-tank gunnery system, which I have submitted for inclusion in the re-print now in progress [1998]. The new system is simpler than the current rules, and more technically accurate. I hope the publisher likes it!

By far the best aspect of the rules is the detailed game set-up and target acquistion systems. The author has included a number of playing tips, which should be followed. I have played them from scatch and although they look complex at first, I've found them to flow without a problem.

I will be surprised if you don't like these rules. However, they are based on a very realistic appraisal of what war on the Eastern Front was like. This means you must accept the limitations both sides experienced.

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Online Resources

Rules Clarifications
Designer Barrie Lovell answers our questions.
Panzer's GSRS Page
Brief review, plus notes concerning accuracy of the gunnery system.
If you know of other resources for this game, or if you have material you would like to make available to the Net, please let us know.

Last Updates
4 May 1998David St. Clair's comments added
23 April 1998detailed description added
4 April 1998first published
Comments or corrections?