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Subject: WWI Variant rss

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R Snyder
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So it occurred to me that the Squad Leader rules could be adapted pretty easily to cover World War I. The Germans and British, at least, even used the same rifles, so the counters for those two nationalities could probably be reused. There are already rules for trenches, barbed wire, artillery, and so forth.

Gas could probably be added fairly easily to the wind rules, and the COI armor rules could reflect the bumbling monstrosities that were the early tanks. Give heavy machine guns, mortars, and entrenchment a a heavier prevalence, and it looks like you'd be set to hit the trenches of France.

My question is whether this has been done already. I could give it a shot, but if someone more familiar with both Squad Leader and WWI than myself has already done it, there's no point in reinventing the wheel.
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craig grinnell
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Interesting idea. I dont think it's been done.

I don't know how well it would play, though. WWI isn't really known for its small unit tactics or missions, which may be why it hasn't been done.

If you wanted to try it using generic rules, i would grab as many basic (4-6-7) german and their equivalent British, about half a dozen MGs per side with at least one being a HMG, and using board 4 (or river board 7, changing the water to clear terrain) and place a row of trenches along the long side and give it a shot.

wire, mines, and entrenchments (shell holes) here and there will add to the realism and carnage.

my guess it that it'll be a slaughter.
but try that, i want to see how it turns out...
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CoD already has stats for late WWI British and French tanks (FT17 at least). Most of the work would be changing the artillery rules to make them closer to WWI. No forward observer with a radio in the trenches (at least as far as I know).

Late-war Brits, Germans and French developed small unit tactics at the platoon level which you can emulate by using stacks of three squads as your basic maneuver unit.

I agree a basic trench assault scenario wouldn't be very interesting, but if you look close enough you can find plenty of company- or battalion-level actions to base scenarios on, especially if you start looking at other theaters.
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How about playing Landships! Tactical Weapons Innovations 1914-1918? It's sometimes described as SL for WWI.

If not, I'd suggest playing early war scenarios before the trenches spread across Europe.
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Michael Dorosh
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rs2excelsior wrote:
So it occurred to me that the Squad Leader rules could be adapted pretty easily to cover World War I. The Germans and British, at least, even used the same rifles, so the counters for those two nationalities could probably be reused.


Squad Leader isn't about ballistics, it is about tactics and organization. The basic unit of maneuver in 1914 was the infantry company, so you would have a hard time using Squad Leader to portray that, without use of complex "human wave" rules.

By 1917, armies were using smaller groups of men, down to about squad size.

The actual weapons they used were somewhat irrelevant. There is practically no correlation between weapon type and firepower rating on the squad counters. John Hill pulled the numbers out of thin air.
 
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Brent Pollock
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
[q="rs2excelsior"][snip]The actual weapons they used were somewhat irrelevant. There is practically no correlation between weapon type and firepower rating on the squad counters. John Hill pulled the numbers out of thin air.


Well, SL is kind of based on WWI because the shwack of 4-4-7 counters he had kicking around were leftover from a WWI game he'd just finished designing. So, not thin air, but air with just a hint of poison gas.

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Frank Clarke
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Erwin Rommel's book "Infantry Attacks" (easily found on the Internets) would be good for scenarios, such as raiding the enemy trenches at dinnertime because you were starving. A lot of it isn't conventional, and there are maps.
SL wouln't be good for the Battle of the Somme, but it would be good for Sturmtruppen scenarios.

Edit:
For example,
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/german-lieutenant...

On January 29, 1915, in the Argonne region of France, German lieutenant Erwin Rommel leads his company in the daring capture of four French block-houses, the structures used on the front to house artillery positions.

Rommel crept through the French wire first and then called for the rest of his company to follow him. When they hung back after he had repeatedly shouted his orders, Rommel crawled back, threatening to shoot the commander of his lead platoon if the other men did not follow him. The company finally advanced, capturing the block-houses and successfully combating an initial French counter-attack before they were surrounded, subjected to heavy fire and forced to withdraw.


Very Squad Leader, if you ask me.
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R Snyder
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Yeah, that's more what I was thinking. Night attacks, small-scale raids, skirmishes along picket lines, maybe individual battalions holding a perimeter behind enemy lines (the US "Lost Battalion" in 1917).

I'll look into Rommel's book. That's a good idea, thanks.
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