Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
33 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Need Company level tactical WWII game system recommendations rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Gregory Smith
United States
Newark
California
flag msg tools
badge
IGNITION - bringing enlightenment where once all was dark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm looking for a Company level tactical WWII game system to obsess about and to spend too much money on (if you are a real wargamer then you know exactly what I mean. If not, then stop being a wargame wannabe lurker and go back to your girly eurogame forums .

Playing The Devil's Cauldron (and it's siblings) I found that I kind of like this particular scale. I would like to find another WWII company level system to play. I'd like to skip over platoon level tactical games, so no need to recommend those.

Maybe some background will help with recommendations. I'd prefer a system over a stand-alone game. ASL is my favorite squad level wargame although I have played and liked many others. As far as company level games go, like I said, I really like The Devil's Cauldron (and it's siblings) a lot, but something smaller and easier to get on the table would be good. I don't like the old school Panzer Blitz family of games (although I have not tried the update).

Anyone have any recommendations?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Arthur
Australia
New South Wales
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's one game only (as far as I know) and I've only done a short solo 'toe in the water' (so far) but Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 may fit your bill...multiple scenarios and very nice grapics are a feature..

I'd love to see a few more small scale battles get this system's treatment..
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Janik-Jones
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Up Front fan, Cats were once worshipped as gods and they haven't forgotten this, Combat Commander series fan, The Raven King (game publisher) ... that's me!, Fields of Fire fan
badge
Slywester Janik, awarded the Krzyż Walecznych (Polish Cross of Valour), August 1944
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Atraxrobustus wrote:
It's one game only (as far as I know) and I've only done a short solo 'toe in the water' (so far) but Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 may fit your bill...multiple scenarios and very nice grapics are a feature..

I'd love to see a few more small scale battles get this system's treatment..


Mark is working on Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 at this moment, so your wish will be granted soon.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve Arthur
Australia
New South Wales
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DaveyJJ wrote:
Atraxrobustus wrote:
It's one game only (as far as I know) and I've only done a short solo 'toe in the water' (so far) but Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 may fit your bill...multiple scenarios and very nice grapics are a feature..

I'd love to see a few more small scale battles get this system's treatment..


Mark is working on Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 at this moment, so your wish will be granted soon.


Excellent news!!!

Recent exposure to ACW games has made me LOS friendly..but not too friendly
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
There are two kinds of ships: Submarines, and Targets.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You should look into Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939. Company level hex and counter game of fighting during the Soviet-Finnish Winter war of 1939. Plays quick, nice system, elegant design.

Designer Mark Mokszycki has follow-on plans for other games using the same or similar system. Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944 is currently on the GMT P500 list.

Edit: Wow! I got ninja'd fast by several others! MUST be a good recommendation!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wait a minute--while those are terrific games, you gotta check out Grand Tactical Series--start with No Question of Surrender and then work up to the awesome duo of Where Eagles Dare and The Devil's Cauldron: The Battles for Arnhem and Nijmegen. But even if you can't lay out the bucks for the latter two, Adam Starkweather is hard at work on more games in the series. Of course, they'll be big ones. Maybe we can lean on Nick Richardson to do more one-mappers. I vote for a GTS redo of Victory Games' essential Panzer Command which was the inspiration for the system!
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G.W.
United States
Sebastopol
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you have money to burn, Avalanche (GDW) is a highly sought-after game in the out-of-print and rare market. It's company level and covers the Salerno campaign in 1943. It turns up on ebay now and then, but prices go into triple digits.

I've never played it but it sounds great, even for its age.

A redesigned reprint of it is in the pipeline at Consim Press -- although who knows how long it will be before it sees publication. Supposedly it changes the game to battalion level, has a more accurate OOB, and fixes some frequently-cited flaws.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gregory Smith
United States
Newark
California
flag msg tools
badge
IGNITION - bringing enlightenment where once all was dark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To be clear, I already own all the GTS games out right now (Devil's Cauldron, etc.).

I do own and have played Red Winter, but it isn't hitting the sweet spot for me. I should have mentioned that in the original post.

The system is OK though, so maybe Operation Dauntless will be more to my liking, but that means waiting... but I want my instant gratification instantly.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JaggedTech wrote:
I'm looking for a Company level tactical WWII game system to obsess about and to spend too much money on (if you are a real wargamer then you know exactly what I mean. If not, then stop being a wargame wannabe lurker and go back to your girly eurogame forums .

Playing The Devil's Cauldron (and it's siblings) I found that I kind of like this particular scale. I would like to find another WWII company level system to play. I'd like to skip over platoon level tactical games, so no need to recommend those.

Maybe some background will help with recommendations. I'd prefer a system over a stand-alone game. ASL is my favorite squad level wargame although I have played and liked many others. As far as company level games go, like I said, I really like The Devil's Cauldron (and it's siblings) a lot, but something smaller and easier to get on the table would be good. I don't like the old school Panzer Blitz family of games (although I have not tried the update).

Anyone have any recommendations?


As a point of order, are we not actually talking about company-based games? i.e. games in which each counter represents an infantry company?

I've always understood the term company-level to refer to squad-based games like Squad Leader, where each side would command roughly a company's worth of units, divided into squad-sized counters.

The only reason I bring it up is because I initially passed on clicking on the thread as I've read a dozen threads comparing ASL to Combat Commander et al. This discussion however, is obviously nothing like that and of far more interest to me. The link to the game about the Polar Bears is especially interesting.

Am I way off base in my understanding of the terminology?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lehr
United States
California
flag msg tools
mb
If you are happy with a VERY simple system. You could look at the Standard Combat Series.

Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege is available at the MMP website with It Never Snows coming out very soon.

Fallschirmjaeger is highly regarded but out of print.

The other games in this series have units bigger than companies.

You might want to check out the rules here first: http://www.gamersarchive.net/theGamers/archive/scs.htm
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Greensboro
NC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Michael Dorosh wrote:
[q="JaggedTech"]I'm looking for a Company level tactical WWII game system to obsess a
Am I way off base in my understanding of the terminology?


Yeah. ASL is "squad level."

Quote:
If you are happy with a VERY simple system. You could look at the Standard Combat Series.

Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege is available at the MMP website with It Never Snows coming out very soon.


Ehhhhh....I'm an ASL fanatic and have played and very much enjoyed GTS...and while I like SCS, it's not something to obsess over. Great game system, but too simple to hold interest in that way, you can't latch onto it. Beer and pretzels wargames.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rindu wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
[q="JaggedTech"]I'm looking for a Company level tactical WWII game system to obsess a
Am I way off base in my understanding of the terminology?


Yeah. ASL is "squad level."


At risk of dragging the thread off-topic:

http://www.advancedsquadleader.net/index.php?title=Main_Page

Quote:
The Avalon Hill Game Company themselves described ASL in their 1996 catalogue as:

Our crowning achievement, and the ultimate wargame. No other can match its combination of beauty, detail and excitement. ASL is a system based on the original Squad Leader game, but revised and expanded so that ultimately a player can simulate any company or battalion-level ground action in any theater of WWII. Playing pieces (counters) represent squads, half-squads and crews, plus individual leaders, heroes, vehicles and guns. Each ASL module contains eight or more carefully balanced, historically based scenarios -- but players can also design their own using the 40+ geomorphic SL/ASL mapboards, numerous terrain overlays, copious historical notes, and thousands of counters depicting virtually every vehicle, gun and troop type in action during the war by every major and minor combatant nation.


Brief discussion here with no resolution.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
badge
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Brief discussion with no resolution. Doesn't sound like the wargames forum.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't know of any company level systems except for the Grand Tactical Series and the Red Winter / Dauntless series.

The Standard Combat Series is really regiment / division level, with some games (e.g., Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege) using company sized units.

If you're really desperate for company level games, and have exhausted the existing possibilities (GTS and Red Winter), you may wish to try one step up or down.

The Death Ride system is platoon level, with games which use company sized units (e.g., the single-afternoon-small-table sized Death Ride: Halfaya Pass, in which the British infantry is company sized, or the days-long-large-table sized Death Ride Kursk: Gross Deutschland – Updated 2016 or Death Ride Salerno: 16th Panzer, in which the Russian and American infantry, respectively, are company sized).

Or.

St-Lô or Armored Knights (e.g., Armored Knights North Africa: Operation Crusader), which are battalion level with some company sized units. Unfortunately St Lo is not part of a series, although Armored Knights is.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim F
United Kingdom
Birmingham
West Midlands
flag msg tools
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
badge
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I appreciate that Red Winter: The Soviet Attack at Tolvajärvi, Finland – 8-12 December 1939 didn't hit the mark for you. I played it and enjoyed it and thought it was a very solid game but the upcoming release is a different ball game.

Having play tested Operation Dauntless: The Battles for Fontenay and Rauray, France, June 1944, I'd say it comes closer to simulating combined arms at this level than anything I've played up to this point and I'd include TDC in that - which I rate highly as a game.

The interaction between infantry/armour/artillery/air isn't just given a nod to but actually vital to success. There is some lovely chrome in it without being overwhelmed by exceptions.

After a long hiatus of pre-ordering from GMT games because of shipping and customs hassle I went out and pre-ordered this because I knew I couldn't wait for it to hit the UK unaided!

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
I'm only listing this for completeness since you obviously don't need another monster Market-Garden game, but Highway to the Reich (third edition) (either edition really) is also company level and actually has a somewhat smaller footprint. :-) The sister game to the original HttR was Descent on Crete which has a terrible reputation in terms of OOB completeness and speed of play (supposedly very plodding as it's essentially infantry-only).

There is also Blitzkrieg 1940: Hannut et Stonne, which is manageable in size, very short in the rules (but also rather loose it must be said). Still, not a bad system.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Lehr wrote:
If you are happy with a VERY simple system. You could look at the Standard Combat Series.

Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege is available at the MMP website with It Never Snows coming out very soon.

Fallschirmjaeger is highly regarded but out of print.

I liked Fallschirmjaeger a lot, but Bastogne was a disappointment. Company level is on the border between operational and tactical, and tactically Bastogne makes no sense. Tanks are best in any terrain (including towns, whether on the attack or on defense stacking infantry with tanks instead of tanks with each other only creates weaker stacks), tanks are in danger from wood splinters in artillery barrages in forests, and 88's are excellent area weapons against infantry.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bob_santafe wrote:
I don't know of any company level systems except for the Grand Tactical Series and the Red Winter / Dauntless series.

The Standard Combat Series is really regiment / division level, with some games (e.g., Bastogne: Screaming Eagles under Siege) using company sized units.

If you're really desperate for company level games, and have exhausted the existing possibilities (GTS and Red Winter), you may wish to try one step up or down.

The Death Ride system is platoon level, with games which use company sized units (e.g., the single-afternoon-small-table sized Death Ride: Halfaya Pass, in which the British infantry is company sized, or the days-long-large-table sized Death Ride Kursk: Gross Deutschland – Updated 2016 or Death Ride Salerno: 16th Panzer, in which the Russian and American infantry, respectively, are company sized).

Or.

St-Lô or Armored Knights (e.g., Armored Knights North Africa: Operation Crusader), which are battalion level with some company sized units. Unfortunately St Lo is not part of a series, although Armored Knights is.



As a follow up, you may consider these time/hex scales:

Squad level: 2 minutes, 40 yds

Platoon level

Panzer Grenadier: 15 minutes, 200 m

TCS: 20 minutes, 120 m

Company level:

Dauntless / Red Winter: 90 minutes, 425 yards

Grand Tactical Series: 2 hr, 500 m

Death Ride series: 2 hr, 330 m

Armored Knights: 3-4 hr (daylight), 1000 - 3000 m

Armored Knights falls outside the 'company level' scales, but Death Ride falls within them.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Daglish
United Kingdom
Cheadle
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Michael Dorosh wrote:
Am I way off base in my understanding of the terminology?


Level in design terms refers to the predominate size of the predominate unit, but clearly that can very between sides. The size of the parent formation they collectively represent varies according to the number of units in the game, or scenario. My main criticism of the higher-level TAHGC area movement games -- TPSand BKN -- is that their brigades/regiments/kampfgruppe actually move and fight in the manner the system was designed for, which is to say they resemble squads running around houses and streams. Which is not surprising. Getting the level of your game wrong is a classic error, and it means your bigger game can struggle in design quality against a smaller one portraying the same units and geography.

Asking for a company-level game works less well when in history the various sides didn't fight as cohesive companies, either for national or situational reasons. An argument can be advanced for saying that the Germans fought as squads, the British platoons, the Americans tended to be company-based [sort of] and in the Soviet army the base unit of manoeuvre was the battalion. ASL abandoned one-for-one direct representation given that this cannot be done well for tactical combat of this period, because the complexity defies definition. It substituted a precis or overview of the whole, which went in the opposite direction compared to other games, where as mentioned by Michael unit counters represent their parent formation, in the round. ASL's tactical squads and vehicles actually portray sub-tactical weapon inter-relationships, and it works very well.

Thunder at Cassino is perhaps best of all in terms of level, since its platoons invariably stack, fight but more importantly die as companies, except here they leave behind their functional remnants. The nature of that battlefield was close to a Great War situation, as Hitler remarked, where you had to start with a lot in order to have something left at the end. The game's racism [academic definition] is quite brilliant in its simplicity, and thus better than found in other games.

Panzer Command and the Market-Garden games of the same system remind me a bit of the tree that grew in quiet corner of a field for 30 years before jumping out in front of a lady motorist. We are back to the one-for-one thing here, and clearly Operation MG wouldn't have worked at a lower level, whereas a higher one wouldn't have afforded our beloved monster game[s].
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kent Reuber
United States
San Mateo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Have a look at the "Test of Mettle" collection from High Flying Dice Games. The games in the series are Patton's Finest, Revanche, and Tough Hombres: The Battle of Mairy. Each has about 8 pages of rules. Units are companies with turns representing 90 minutes of real time. Hexes represent about 600 yards.

Marco Arnaudo has a review if you want an overview of the system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7oNhg3tyi8&feature=youtu.be
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Aceto
United States
Fairfax
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The only system I can think of that has not already been mentioned is the tank leader series put out by West End Games in the 1980s. The three in the series are Eastern Front Tank Leader, Western Front Tank Leader and Desert Steel. You can find copies on BGG marketplace or e-Bay for $30-$50. I played the East Front one and recalled it was a lot of fun. It invovles the use of cards to issue orders to formations, so is not very good for solitaire play. You can read reviews of the system here on BGG to see if it is worth obsessing over.

I realize I'm violating a couple of your parameters here, but if you want a system to obsess over you might consider GMT's Fields of Fire. It's a solitaire game that does a great job of putting you in command of a company. I suppose in a way it is a series, as you get three wars in the box (WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War), and there are additional offerings in the works. The rulebook is pretty dense, but if you've played ASL you can handle it. It's the most immersive wargame experience I've ever had.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gregory Smith
United States
Newark
California
flag msg tools
badge
IGNITION - bringing enlightenment where once all was dark
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for all of the feedback! I've read everything posted, and I appreciate everyone's efforts.

If I distill the responses down, it looks like there really are not a lot of choices for game systems at the company level (meaning the company is the typical maneuverable unit, for you picky "point of order" people ).

Well, I guess I'll just have to pull up my manly man pants and just wait for another release in the GTS series or the Red Winter series. In the mean time there is always my beautiful and eagerly willing ASL mistress to console me while I wait.

--JaggedTech
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Karl Hiesterman
United States
Aurora
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
I wish to kill you, be at rest as to that, but to kill you quietly in a snug, remote place, where you will not be able to boast of your death to anybody
badge
Caught trouser-free in open country...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I came here to second Thunder at Cassino...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
bob_santafe wrote:

Platoon level

Panzer Grenadier: 20 minutes, 200 m

TCS: 15 minutes, 120 m

TCS is 20 minutes, actually. The longest time scale of all the platoon games before I know before the Death Ride games came along.

Tank Leader is 5 minutes, 120m. (Shorter time is good for armor games.)

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M St
Australia
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
I knew I was missing one company level system I knew but only now could think of it: Stand & Die: The Battle of Borodino, 1941. Not too hard to find - it has such a terrible reputation that it is easier to find unpunched copies than punched ones. :-) Listed here only for completeness.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.