Pros and Cons--WWII Platoon/Company-Based Wargames
p55carroll
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Since the Geeklist on squad-level games has gone over so well, I thought I'd create one for games in this more "zoomed-out" tactical scale.

They're also immensely popular, but as far as I know, there are fewer of them to compare and contrast. Fewer series, that is; plenty of games and scenarios. Since all have about the same level of complexity, fans will have to tell us the pros and cons of each series.

Maybe you know of a series I haven't heard of. Please add it--and any info, opinions, or comments you may have. Contribute something to a newcomer who may be in the market for a game of this type.

Comments are also welcome on why one might want to get into this scale instead of the squad-level or man-to-man scale. Scroll down or click link for my initial thoughts on that.
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1. Board Game: PanzerBlitz [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2017]
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This one pretty much set the mold, way back in 1970 or so. It's long been out of print, but recently it's been revised and revived (see below).

It has 6 fans on BGG, and its weight rating is 3.2.
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2. Board Game: Panzer Leader [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1921]
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Sequel to PanzerBlitz. This one introduces the concept of opportunity fire, which soon became de rigeur for tactical wargames, as it solved what was once known as the "PanzerBush syndrome" (I'll let the grognards explain that).

6 fans, and its weight rating is 3.1.
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3. Board Game: Panzerblitz: Hill of Death [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:5028]
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Here's the return of the old favorite. Anybody tried it yet?

It has 10 fans, and its weight rating is 2.7. (Simpler than the original game?)

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4. Board Game: Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:3100]
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Shown here is just a sample game from a huge series. If you really love this scale and want lots of variety, PG may be the way to go.

You can read about the game, download the rules, and print out and play a free demo by clicking here: here

This particular game in the series has 5 fans, and its weight rating is 2.9.

Here's a pretty good review of the PG game system.
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5. Board Game: Black Wednesday: The Battle of Krasni Bor, 10-11 Feb 1943, [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:4317]
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This game stands in for The Gamers/MMP's Tactical Combat Series (TCS). I don't know much of anything about it, so I'll back off and let others speak.

This particular game in the series has 2 fans and a weight rating of 2.7.

Here is a Geeklist of all games in the TCS series, with links to other TCS Geeklists.

And anyone interested in the TCS series should read this review.
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6. Board Game: Eastern Front Tank Leader [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:4092]
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A game I just stumbled upon. Evidently there are a couple others in the series.

1 fan; weight rating of 3.0.
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7. Board Game: The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:1631]
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Since someone commented on this, I thought I'd add it to the list. Apparently part of a new company-level series based on an older game, Panzer Command.

13 fans; weight = 3.9.
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8. Board Game: The Arab-Israeli Wars [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:3275]
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The third installment in Avalon Hill's PanzerBlitz trilogy. Takes it up beyond WWII. I'd forgotten about this one.

4 fans; weight = 4.
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9. Board Game: Highway to the Reich (first and second editions) [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:4251]
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A huge company-level game.

0 fans; weight = 4.3.
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10. Board Game: Wacht am Rhein [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:4700]
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Followed up by Wacht Am Rhein. Another company-level monster game.

1 fan; weight = 3.4.

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11. Board Game: World at War: Eisenbach Gap [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:1574]
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I just noticed that this is a platoon-level game.
Edit: But not WW2 (see below).

I've heard so many good things about it that I want to recommend it sight unseen. But I'll let those who've played it talk about it.
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12. Board Game: Nations at War: White Star Rising [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:3077]
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OK, here's the upcoming WWII version of World at War.

Update: Now available and expanded and pretty popular.
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13. Board Game: Panzer Command [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:4188]
Kent Reuber
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Might as well add this company level game for completeness.
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14. Board Game: Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Motorized Infantry Division [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:1175]
Kevin Deitrick
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I think this game (series) is going to inject life into the Platoon/Company level games. It's due to be released any day now. Final rules are available on GMT website.
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15. Board Game: Thunder at Cassino [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:2684]
Sean McCormick
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The Storm Over Arnhem system moves up to platoon level and goes to Italy.

Pros:

I love the way area maps handle tactical battles, particularly urban ones, as they bring out the block-to-block quality of the fighting and remove a lot of rules overhead (Line of Sight, most notably).

Cons:

The move to 1/2" counters is not appreciated.

Suffers from unreasonably long length, as the game system did not yet have a sudden death timer built in, so turns only ended when both players chose to pass.
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Sean McCormick
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The first of two new GMT company-level games focusing on specific battles. This one covers an engagement that took place during the Russo-Finnish war. The components look great and the designer has done a lot of groundwork in terms of explaining his design and research processes. I'm not totally sold yet, but I'm definitely interested.
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Sean McCormick
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The second game in GMT's new series. I'm more interested in this one based on the battle being simulated and due to the increased level of armor on the board. Haven't been quite able to pull the trigger, however, as I'm not totally sold on the company scale for gaming. I haven't played a ton of company level games, but in my experience they are kind of in a gulf between the truly tactical considerations of lower level (using terrain/LOS considerations to maneuver and mass firepower) and operational, where supply and c3i starts dictating maneuver. I'm worried that company-level games will inevitably degenerate into units closing to firing range and just chucking lead back and forth for a while.
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18. Board Game: Death Ride Kursk: Gross Deutschland – Updated 2016 [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
p55carroll
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And the whole Death Ride series, I guess.
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Kent Reuber
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Uses company sized units. Hexes are about 600 yards across, and turns represent 90 minutes of time
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Kent Reuber
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Uses company level units.
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21. Board Game: Circle of Fire: The Siege of Cholm, 1942 [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:7109]
Sean McCormick
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Slimmed down take on the Storm over Arnhem system. Uses companies as the base maneuver unit.
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22. Board Game: Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:9318]
Sean McCormick
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Another tactical area-impulse game with platoons. Has some interesting twists on the standard gameplay to handle the scale, including special rules for patrols, entrenching, Banzai charges and defensive MG use. Haven't had a chance to get it on the table yet due to the lack of a Vassal module.
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