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Subject: Battalion Level Systems rss

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Christopher Fasulo
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You may want too consider, iff looking for WWII games, Grognard Simulations Armored Knights - Operation Crusader and Operation Venezia. They are being released later this year.

http://www.grognardsims.com/v/ak_gazelle.html

The game at this link uses the same basic system. It has main combat units at battalion level with supporting arms at the company level. They will include scenarios that need only (1) 22 x 34 map equivalent and be quite innovative in their approach to Combined Arms.

Regards,
Chris Fasulo
Grognard Simulations
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Warren Bruhn
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Odinsday wrote:
Patrick Carroll wrote:


If I had the time and the friends and the space, The Longest Day would be wonderful, but none of the above really fall in as a 'system' along the lines of ASL/Tide of Iron/Memoir '44/Combat Commander, etc.


True, but The Longest Day is a big box with a massive amount of counters and maps. There are several scenarios including using one or a few of the many hard mounted maps. Units are battalions for the most part. The rules and combat system are supposed to be pretty easy to play, much easier than the mass of counters in the box would imply.

In a sense, playing the scenarios would be like playing a "system" game, but with the option, almost as an added bonus, that you and a group of die hard friends could play the whole thing as a monster game at some point. You could spend years just playing the scenarios.

On the other hand, the game is long out of print. There are many copies floating around. But it's not as if you could expect to see new games published using the same combat system. At least I haven't heard of any such projects.
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Lehr
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You could look at the Standard Combat Series. It has many games with company, battalion and regiment sized units.
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Rolf Van Ishem
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The Panzer Grenadier Series by Avalanche Press might hit the spot for the size and scope you are looking for.
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G.W.
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It's a single game and not a series, but a battalion-level classic that has a great system and is highly playable:

Saint-Lo (West End Games, 1988), a Joseph Balkoski design:


http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/6976/st-lo

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Robert Stuart
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bolter wrote:
Have you seen St-Lô?

It is a brilliant battalion level game. Innovative rules for morale and artillery and plays well solo.


I'll second that. In some ways the battalion is the most appropriate level for WWII simulation. To quote from the St. Lo manual, "The battalion was the key tactical formation in the Second World War... the battalion commander was the highest-ranking officer to see the fighting first hand... It was almost impossible for a battalion's commanding officer to know what was happening on his flank; he was far more concerned with the action directly to his front."

In St. Lo all HQ activation, all artillery support and all asset allocation (such as smaller armor commands), is at the battalion level. Units can break down into companies, but the companies are coordinated by the battalion HQ; if the battalion is activated, all companies, and only companies attached to that battalion (plus assets which may be temporarily attached), participate in an attack.

It would be fantastic if someone could take the system used in St. Lo and begin creating a series of games based on it.

Also, I'm looking forward to the release of Grognard Simulations' two WWII 'Armored Knights' games. Armored Knights is a system which, one to two levels up from the Death Ride system (platoon/company), focuses on battalion level combat.

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Chris Rudram
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rolfvi wrote:
The Panzer Grenadier Series by Avalanche Press might hit the spot for the size and scope you are looking for.


Thats platoon level. I'm looking for a game where the counters are company/battalion level, not the whole set up being a single battalion. I may not be using the right word to describe what I mean though.
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Robert Stuart
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tc237 wrote:
bob_santafe wrote:
bolter wrote:
Have you seen St-Lô?

It is a brilliant battalion level game. Innovative rules for morale and artillery and plays well solo.


I'll second that. In some ways the battalion is the most appropriate level for WWII simulation. To quote from the St. Lo manual, "The battalion was the key tactical formation in the Second World War... the battalion commander was the highest-ranking officer to see the fighting first hand... It was almost impossible for a battalion's commanding officer to know what was happening on his flank; he was far more concerned with the action directly to his front."

In St. Lo all HQ activation, all artillery support and all asset allocation (such as smaller armor commands), is at the battalion level. Units can break down into companies, but the companies are coordinated by the battalion HQ; if the battalion is activated, all companies, and only companies attached to that battalion (plus assets which may be temporarily attached), participate in an attack.

It would be fantastic if someone could take the system used in St. Lo and begin creating a series of games based on it.

Also, I'm looking forward to the release of Grognard Simulations' two WWII 'Armored Knights' games. Armored Knights is a system which, one level up from the Death Ride system, focuses on battalion level combat.


Now you guys got me excited to find the rules for this system, are the available?
Bob your description of the battalion command aspect sounds just what I'm looking for but...is the overall game more Operational than Tactical? From the images posted on BGG it looks like the player is commanding almost a Corps.
Would love to know more, thanks!


The game is tactical, but on the battalion level -- I guess you would say 'grand tactical'. Each hex is 300 yards. The map is 48x29 hexes, or roughly 8.3 x 5 miles. Turns are one day but comprise multiple actions, with each action limited to the movement & possible attack of only a single battalion. Each player commands a corps, but that's typical of tactical games -- the overall command is generally two to three levels higher than the level of the individual unit. I.e., in squad level games each player commands between a company and a battalion; in platoon level, non-monster, games, between a battalion and a regiment. Hence, in a proper battalion level game, the command would be between a division and a corps. The battalions in this game can be broken down into companies, but each company moves and fights in coordination with the other companies in the battalion.

I'm playing my first game now, on VASSAL (solitaire). As far as I know the rules aren't available, but when I can get to a scanner, I'll scan them for you (I should be buying a scanner in the next two weeks).

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Andreas Lundin
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The Battle for Normandy should fit the bill perfectly.

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Robert Wesley
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Battalion Level Systems
I made these and thought about expanding their entire system, so, what does anyone else figure, is such worthwhile? whistle

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Charles CORDIER
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I may be off but I would suggest the Folio Series by DG, reimplementing the old Quad games by SPI (IIRC)

Fire & Movement combat system

kazadvorn wrote:
I can't think of anything like this at all...

I take it you mean a system that has:
- a basic rule set...

Really basic, old school wargame, with a bit of twist (most notably the Support Counters)
Quote:

- modules that cover different stages and theatres of WWII...

Those are not modules but separate games, however each game is cheap and light with 2 pages specific rule, and can be considered a module.
Quote:

- maps that may or may not be geo-morphic...

Not geomorphic but battle specific. However, it would be hard to simulate historical battles correctly on geomorphic maps at this scale. They would suit What If situations like "take the bridge" et al.
Quote:

- each module uses a fairly generic counter set...

No.
Quote:

- more than one scenario per module using generic counters...

No.
Quote:


Nothing like this at all...not at the battalion level...

As has been said, most operational games are at the division/regiment/brigade level... when you find games that drop down to the regiment/battalion/company level, you usually have a game that's specific to a particular battle, and attempts to model that battle at more detailed level than your typical operational game... so you get the monster game.


Folio Series is clearly not the final answer, but may be close to the requisite.

What I would regret with this series is the lack of differentiation between units. There is no artillery, no on board support, and armored battalions not different from mech infantry for instance. I would prefer a rule that allows to combine different units to best suit the situation (terrain, defender ...) I suppose this would need stacking or unit breakdown, at least for tank companies.
 
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G.W.
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Also, a battalion-scale WWII game that came out about a year ago and is highly regarded:

Bradley's D-Day
 
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Enrico Viglino
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markluta wrote:
FYI, Grand Tactical was a term coined for the Napoleonic wargames, which probably fits with any linear warfare era game. It denotes the scale between a battle and a campaign, where units still had to march and deploy for a battle, which seems best suited to the linear warfare era. By the 20th century, ranges of weapons are such that this scale essentially is tactical.


It was co-opted from a once popular usage in the 18-19th century -
when it essentially meant operational. It's an obsolete term which
is often used incorrectly nowadays. The first wargame I remember using
it was TSS - in which it was very clearly misused. It probably fits
a lot better for things like the Blue & Gray quad.
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Jeb
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joeyoust wrote:
There is also the Wacht am Rhein II (WaR2) system which is definitely at the operational scale. Units are mostly bn level with company breakdowns available. Each turn represents about a third of a day. More games are going to be coming out using this system. I'm the designer and I am currently in the process of re-editing the original rulebook to streamline the system somewhat and improve upon the clarity of the rules for the second game in the system: Hurtgen Forest. WaR2 is a multi-map game (4) with almost 2500 playing pieces and almost 16 scenarios ranging from Dec16 1944 to the US counterattacks beginning in Jan of 1945.


I look forward to this.

Just an FYI, but it would be great to get a game or two using this system that are smaller to act as 'learning' games. I know you have some smaller scenarios but there are people that are intimidated or won't spring for the cost of the big monster game. Perhaps a unique battle/campaign like the New Guinea, Italian Pol Valley, Southern France invasion or Norway would be interesting.
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Chris Rudram
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noelberrier wrote:
I may be off but I would suggest the Folio Series by DG, reimplementing the old Quad games by SPI (IIRC)

Fire & Movement combat system



The old Quads are exactly what I was thinking of as an example of the complexity, detail and level of game I was looking for. I've heard mixed reviews of the Decision Games re-implementation of the Quad Games.
 
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M Stumptner
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nyhotep wrote:
Jason Roach wrote:
Chris,

That is a pretty good question. I think for WWII, once you get into the battilons as the basic unit, you begin reach into what is called “Grand Tactical Scale.” For some reason or another, these are often done in Monster games or mini-monsters. In other games, such as Ardennes 44, you have mostly regiments, with select battalions and it covers the entire battle (well the main part at least). You do of course have platoon level games such as Panzer Grenadier and the new Panzer Leader II, which is due out this year. I am interested in what other gamers recommend.

-Jason

I have to say, I had never heard of "Grand tactical scale" before Devils Cauldron. Which is company level, anyway. I assume "Grand tactical" refers to games in which higher level units have direct fire ranges greater than adjacent. PanzerBlitz and it's descendants fit this category.

Yes, in wargamer WW2 usage, grand tactical is pretty much reserved for games at about that level and there aren't many of those (D-Day at Omaha Beach,Blitzkrieg 1940: Hannut et Stonne, and Stand & Die: The Battle of Borodino, 1941 come to mind).

Concerning the use of "grand tactics" by the military, the phrase predates modern times quite a bit, it was essentially used in the Age of Reason and Napoleonic times to describe maneuvering on the battlefield (but often outside the actual engagement). So if you think of "grand tactics" in the 18th or 19th century as the overall battle management at a higher level, while "small tactics" is the choice of formation for the battalions (or in the ACW, regiments) that are actually sent into combat, you're about right.

As mentioned, 20th century battalion level games are usually already solidly at operational level (no ranged fire, no major command control issues).

One game that does have battalions and is sort of borderline between the two (no ranged fire except artillery, but fatigue and high ground for artillery spotting are important) has already been mentioned: St-Lô.

Many operational games have battalion maneuver units. In particular it's often the case that games that have infantry regiments then have battalion tank units, in particular in North Africa. Some of the best operational games for that theatre took that scale, e.g., Triumphant Fox and Tunisia 43.
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M Stumptner
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calandale wrote:
The first wargame I remember using
it was TSS - in which it was very clearly misused. It probably fits
a lot better for things like the Blue & Gray quad.

Agreed. A number of publishers have been using "Grand Tactical" to refer to games in the sense of "big, sweeping". (For example, one frequently finds references to the La Bataille series as "Grand Tactical".) Given that The Devil's Cauldron actually reduced the "divisional battle management" features that its progenitor, Panzer Command, had, one suspects that there, too, the "monster" aspects played a big role in the naming.
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Odinsday wrote:

I guess I'm looking for something that's 'system' based at the Large Tactical/Small Operational level. I'm guessing nothing really exists as a pure wargame or psuedo-wargame right now?


Lost Battles
 
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Charles CORDIER
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I also read mixed reviews, and although I did not play the ancient Quad Games, I can understand how the Folio Series can fell short of expectations, with no command rules, no artillery and even no historical setup. Also one can wonder why play battalion level with so few unit differentiation and so few combined arms tactics.
I find the one game I played quite pleasant but it may not be deep enough for your taste.
 
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Gerry Palmer
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RE: St. Lo;

I haven't played it in years but it is a very good game. But you have to have one of the two players that really likes to just play defense. Some gamers are turned off by playing a side that has very few opportunities to attack.
 
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noelberrier wrote:
I also read mixed reviews, and although I did not play the ancient Quad Games, I can understand how the Folio Series can fell short of expectations, with no command rules, no artillery and even no historical setup. Also one can wonder why play battalion level with so few unit differentiation and so few combined arms tactics.
I find the one game I played quite pleasant but it may not be deep enough for your taste.


That's why I liked Lost Battles. Quite a lot of combined arms and unit differentiation with a very economical rules set. And it's definitely the right scale he's looking for.
 
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G.W.
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gap10 wrote:
RE: St. Lo;

I haven't played it in years but it is a very good game. But you have to have one of the two players that really likes to just play defense. Some gamers are turned off by playing a side that has very few opportunities to attack.


The US player gets to do most of the attacking, but the German player has the better chances of winning.

I just finished a game yesterday that had been running for over a year. German decisive victory, since the US units just didn't have the HQ morale and potential tactical action points left to even reach Saint-Lo. The closest unit was still a good 8 hexes away. As Americans, you've got to have a highway corridor clear so you can use strategic movement. Otherwise, there's no way to reach the city overland in time. The 35th ID was next to useless -- failing activation rolls every time I needed them.

Saint-Lo is a great system though, and is a classic that's held up well over the decades.
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Gerry Palmer
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Very cool. Sometimes I look up at the ole' game shelf and spot a game from 20, 30, or 40 years ago and wonder;

'Is anybody in the whole wide world sitting down tonight and playing this? Or is it just emoting good memories out from hundreds of other game shelves but unopened and examined for ages?'

It's good to know that at least occasionally, the answer is 'Yes'.
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