Home Forums WWII Seeking Flames of War Alternatives

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  • #2999
    Bandit
    Participant

    Hello,

    I have a small FoW investment, a couple large infantry companies and a lot of tanks…

    I don’t dislike playing FoW as I find it a plenty functional and consistent game but it doesn’t really capture historical feel for me in numerous aspects. I’m looking to stay with 15mm and do like the 1 stand = 1 squad approach.

    Having not played any other WW2 rules at a similar scale (only other WW2 gaming experience I have is Bolt Action for 25/28mm skirmish), I’m looking for ideas as to what to investigate. I’m aware of Advanced Squad Leader – I don’t know much about it, but I *think* I am looking for something lighter more in the middle of the spectrum with greater historical accuracy and reflection than FoW but not highly complicated. I’ve heard of Crossfire but know nothing of it.

    Advice?

    #3012
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    Personally I’d recommend you look at Blitzkreig Commander II. No need to rebase and gives a great game IMHO, linked below:

    http://www.blitzkrieg-commander.com/

    Friends of mine also swear by IABSM3 from Two Fat Lardies, which is a company level game with some tanks etc. Never played it but others love it.

    Hope this helps?

    #3020
    Allen Curtis
    Participant

    If you are truly looking for one stand = one section/squad, then look at Fireball Forward.

    I’m on the same hunt, but I want the 1:1 representation of FoW (where a squad/section is represented by multiple bases).  IABSM fits the bill, for now.

    Allen

    #3029
    Paul
    Participant

    Don’t know if you like card driven games, but the most enjoyable WW II game I have played is Operation Overlord. Its designed for individually based figures, but could easily be adapted for multi-based figures.
    There is (or was) a follow up called Operation World War II (that I haven’t played but seemed similar to the commercial rules) available online free of charge from the author. I think it was on the Alzo Zero games site.
    If you want it and can’t find it, let me know and I can mail you the files.
    I know some people might be a bit snobbish about using a set of rules designed for 20mm plastics, but I really enjoyed it, and the card mechanics make games quite unpredictable.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #3032

    Check out the Battlegroup series like Battlegroup: Kursk or Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich. There’s some great battle reports here:

    http://www.guildwargamers.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=311&sid=a38cacc29450248f416b381ddc78e1a8

    Ferb

     

    #3036
    piers brand
    Participant

    Battlegroup of course… 😉

    #3055
    Steve Johnson
    Participant

    As I’ve found out to my cost over the years, try the rulesets before you buy if at all possible. Fingers crossed you will end up with a ruleset that meets your needs.

    #3058
    quidveritas
    Participant

    WWII project is just that.  Designed to replace FOW and use their bases and figs (which is where all similarity ends) — albeit sans heavy artillery (which is abstracted most of the time).  Hopefully a very tactical game (which is what you get with 1 fig = 1 man.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/726603304017887/

     

    mjc

    #3084
    Bandit
    Participant

    Hello,

    Blitzkreig Commander II
    I’ve not played this game though I have played Future War Commander which I think is fine for a Sci-Fi skirmish game. In different periods I look for different things and value different things. In Sci-Fi, well, I figure once you are firing plasma rifles from 30′ tall walking tanks, I can let go of most all conceptions of realism and historical accuracy. Not sure if I’d like some of the FWC mechanics applied to WW2 but perhaps it is worth a look.

    IABSM3
    I have no experience with this at all but I do think quite well of TFLs so it might be good to check into it.

    Fireball Forward
    Never heard of this one, I’ll see if I can find some info on it.

    Operation Overlord
    I figure that all figures are just markers so no matter what someone designs a game with (plastic for instance), it doesn’t cause me to run away. Cards for WW2… not sure if that fits my feeling about the period or not. We play Muskets & Tomahawks for FIW pretty commonly and I like that well enough, we’ve also played a lot of TSATF which I am less nuts about the card mechanics in so I guess I should say my feelings about cards vary and I wouldn’t rule a game out for that. Lastly, I’ve played some Memoir ’44 which is not really a miniatures game but does use cards. It is a good game but not really what I’m searching for.

    Battlegroup
    What is Battlegroup like, what is it trying to accomplish and how? I’m unfamiliar with it.

    mjc – same question for you about your project, can you tell me more about your aim and how your mechanics support it?

    Thanks for the answers so far guys.

    #3107
    Sparker
    Participant

    Hi Bandit – I was exactly where you are now about a year ago, then I found BattleGroup Kursk/Overlord etc as mentioned above. I heartily recommend them – you can use your FOW based gear, as the rules are designed for both 20mm and 15mm. Although infantry are supposed to be based individually, with no more than one inch seperation between squad/section members, I have found no problem with based figures,s imply marking casualties with a small red die.

    I would characterise the complexity of the these rules as slightly higher that FOW, but in doing so they deliver what feels like a major breakthrough in authenticity and the ‘right feel’. This is what I wrote in my ‘Action at Authie’ thread in answer to John about my experiences with these:

    “Thanks John! Good question – I have actually been through 3 phases in my attitude to these rules. First off the ‘Oh Shiny! Oh New!’ reaction, and the belief that they offered a credible alternative to RF2 for dusting off my long dormant 20mm kit. Then in actually trying to apply them, on my own, using the large format BattleGroup Kursk book, which has the rules interspersed with information about the theatre and campaign, most of which I knew already (Bighead!), I became very frustrated….

    Then they introduced the smaller, A5 format rulebook with all the campaign guff taken out and just the core rules. And I was off! The rules make sense now, and I am just at that stage where I am beginning to see the seemingly infinite subtleties and sophistication of these rules.

    I have some peacetime experience of soldiering, for example attended the British Army’s School of Infanty’s ‘Platoon Commander’s Division’ way back when, so I know enough about infanteering to assess how authentic a ruleset is, at least to my subjective satisfaction, which is about as much as you can ask of toy soldier rules! And to my mind the emphasis laid in these rules on direct area fire, with the sole object of ‘pinning’ an enemy until you can get in close to assault with grenades and smgs, is the essence of infantry work. I also like the way that you can subdivide your section/squad to drop off the Bren team, and the ‘Reserve Fire’ rule which allows you to leave units in overwatch to interrupt enemy movement or fire.

    Now in order to achieve this level of sophistication, it has to be said the rules are comprehensive and lengthy – but they are not complicated! So if you take your time and start off small with section attacks and work your way up, I think these rules can’t be beat!”

     

     

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by Sparker.

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #3122
    NTM
    Participant

    For that level I like Battlefront WWII or Battle Group Panzer Grenadier

    #3123
    Graham Knight
    Participant

    I play a mix of IABSM 3, Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC) and Panzer Grenadier,now PanzerGrenadier Deluxe I believe.  IABSM will work with based elements and can provide for some really excellent supported company level games at 1:1 scale. It is supported by a pretty robust group of enthusiasts and many many scenarios are available. It is though a card driven game, but all the better for it. Support is on the TooFatLardies Blog etc

    BKC is an excellent game especially if you want to go beyond 1:1 company level.  I tend to play it at element is Platoon, and that allows for a game up to Brigade level plus supports, and in a reasonable time frame on a moderate table.  Because of the way the game plays it is also possible to “Bath Tub” larger operations so that one gets the strategic choices faced by the commander.  Again thee is a supporting website with many scenarios and games reports.

    In many ways though my favourite is PanzerGrenadier.  This I have played using the 1st and Second editions. There is now a third. A base is a section, and so a platoon is typically a command element and 3 sections. So easy to convert from FoW. A tank represents 2 or three vehicles,and in the earlier editions 1 infantry platoon fitted into 1 Vehicle.  The emphasis is on Command and COntrol rather than on nuts bolts and armour.  The method is very elegant and provides for a fast paced and exciting game, once one has played a couple it is easily memorable.  accounts of games, with pictures can be found on Edinburgh Wargames in the Journal if you want some well presented games reports.

    Hope that helps

    Graham

    #3136
    piers brand
    Participant
    #3192

    I’ve always found Blitzkrieg Commander to be great fun with good flavour. The command and control side of things works very well indeed, especially where one side is much better trained than the other.

    Personally, I play heavily amended Piquet and Piquet FoB house rules. Piquet is not to every ones taste but I find its unpredictability highly entertaining.

    My whoring and daubing:
    http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/

    #3251
    deephorse
    Participant

    I have recently started playing Battlegroup Panzergrenadier Deluxe, which is the third edition of the Panzergrenadier mentioned by a couple of posters above.  As stated it caters for 15 and 20mm and strongly features Command and Control.  You can find an AAR in the WWII boards on TMP, if you can bear to go back there!  I’ve only played four games so far but want to keep going, so it gets my vote for the time being.

    Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.

    #3257
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    We ran an article in MWBG 376 by Dave Brown, explaining his Panzergrenadier Deluxe rules. The magazine is available in digital format if you don’t want to fork out for paper, but is also in the shops right now. They seemed very interesting to me. http://miniaturewargames.co.uk/subscribe/

    Editor, Battlegames
    http://battlegames.co.uk
    Battlegames on Patreon
    https://www.patreon.com/battlegames
    Author, The Wargaming Compendium
    http://amzn.to/leWoNO

    #3273
    Jeff Bridoux
    Participant

    I’ve always found Blitzkrieg Commander to be great fun with good flavour. The command and control side of things works very well indeed, especially where one side is much better trained than the other. Personally, I play heavily amended Piquet and Piquet FoB house rules. Piquet is not to every ones taste but I find its unpredictability highly entertaining.

     

    hi James,

    I play FoB too and like it very much. Would it be too much asking if I could have a look at your house rules?

    I am starting WWII in 15mm and intend to play BKCII (played a lot with 6mm a while ago) but I would love to try something else.

    #3291
    Paul
    Participant

    The idea behind the cards in O.O. is in a way to simulate fog of war and c&c challenges. You as the 500foot tall general might know that the best option for squad A is to lay down covering fire for squad B to advance, but your squad commanders might not even be aware that the other squad is in a position to provide support.

    Basically there are cards to represent the most common actions a unit would want to take: off the top of my head the cards are move, fast move, ambush, suppression fire, fire, and assault. If you don’t have an appropriate card to assign an order to a unit, they cannot execute that action: rationalise it how you want (communications breakdown, squad leader missing an opportunity, etc), but it makes sense: soldiers are not robots, they will not always know the information that the commanding officer knows, and they make mistakes.

    The cards also make the sequence of actions ever-changing: each card has a number determining when that action will be executed, which makes it more difficult to meta-game. Instead of “My infantry move at 6″ per turn. Well, that open field looks to be about 18″ across, so they should be able to cross before the enemy LMG team gets into position”, you end up in a situation of not knowing what priority cards your opponent is holding, and being forced to balance your own objectives against the priority and order cards in your hand.

     

     

     

     

     

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #3296
    1 yorks
    Participant

    Another vote for panzer grenadier delux

    #3334

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>James Roach wrote:</div>
    I’ve always found Blitzkrieg Commander to be great fun with good flavour. The command and control side of things works very well indeed, especially where one side is much better trained than the other. Personally, I play heavily amended Piquet and Piquet FoB house rules. Piquet is not to every ones taste but I find its unpredictability highly entertaining.

    hi James, I play FoB too and like it very much. Would it be too much asking if I could have a look at your house rules? I am starting WWII in 15mm and intend to play BKCII (played a lot with 6mm a while ago) but I would love to try something else.

     

    At the moment we are working off a couple of quick play sheets and a deck of home made cards. The rules are in their infancy and geared only to November 1941 – June 42 Western Desert. I’ll get round to writing them up at some stage. When I do, I’ll let everyone know through my blog. Whatever happens, they will only ever cover that bit (my bit) of the war.

    http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/

    My whoring and daubing:
    http://olicanalad.blogspot.co.uk/

    #4048
    Cardinal Biggles
    Participant

    Another vote for Battlefront WW2. If Carlsberg made wargames rules……..having said that Rapid Fire is also extremely popular, excellent, and loads of fun!

     

     

     

    #4076
    Sparker
    Participant

    having said that Rapid Fire is also extremely popular, excellent, and loads of fun!

    Well its certainly popular and can be fun….In my opinion though its not ‘excellent’ – an excellent set of rules should surely make up its mind what command level the player is commanding at. I’ve certainly had great fun with them, but only by completely throwing the notional figure and vehicle scale out of the window and treating a group of 10 infantry figures as a section/squad and 3 or 4 AFV as a platoon. Then they bear some resembalance to reality, but the ease with which trained infantry in cover can be mown down still makes them the wargaming equivalent of a shoot ’em up video arcade game…Good infantry are actually extremely hard to kill with direct fire unless you get very,very close!

    Hence for me the BattleGroup series of rules, with their emphasis on suppressive fire until you get close enough to close for an assault, seem so much more authentic.

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #4110
    Thomas Nissvik
    Participant

    My go-to game is Chain of Command from TooFatLardies. I have not suggested it because it has about one platoon per side and is thus too low-level to be an alternative to FoW. Now, however, TFL has released a free 13-page PDF on how to play bigger CoC games. Suddenly, you can just play CoC with your FoW army out of the box!

    http://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=3013

    Cheers/Thomas

     

    So many toys, so little time.
    http://getitpainted.blogspot.se/

    #4121
    dave showell
    Participant

    Panzer grenadier deluxe would be at the top of my list then a close 2d would be battle group Kursk ect .Have played fireball forward at a friend’s was great fun

    #4155
    Allen Curtis
    Participant

    “Suddenly, you can just play CoC with your FoW army out of the box!”

    Not really, not if it’s a full-strength British Churchill infantry tank company with a full-strength rifle company, plus the limited supports available for that force.  It doesn’t appear to me that however big the Big CoC may be, that it would work well for even a full infantry company, much less anything more than a tank platoon.  I’ll stick with IABSM, and continue to hope.

    Allen

    #4176
    Northern Monkey
    Participant

    Whilst not really that suitable for multi figure bases, I cant recommend rules of engagement by Great Escape Games enough.  Between the morale and suppression rules it makes for a very tactical and somewhat cautious game which I think nicely reflects, small scale infantry combat, as a bonus its well supported by companies website.

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    #4364
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I still like FOW but don’t play it straight…always thought the battle scenarios and objectives as cheesy and geared for tournaments . So I  play it for fun. I’m also adapting it to The Great War.

    Hey Guys !!!

    #4458
    willz
    Participant

    I have had a look at most of the games mentioned in previous post, as with all rules some are better fun to play than others, I tend to play Rapid Fire (true it does lack advanced command and control but I have found that a good pre game brief and objective solves most problems).

    I have Bolt Action and like some of the ideas (understood the rules more when I worked out they were a skirmish game) Doo.

    Lately I have revisited Don Featherstone’s WW2 rules, there are some very good tried and tested ideas.

    Sadly like most war-gamers I tend to cherry pick the best bit I like in various rules, or if I am playing for example Rapid fire I tend to add in agreed house rules.  This can be problematic if you play outside your normal group.

    As I don’t do competition gaming and only play for enjoyment it has not been a problem for me.

    If you can’t find a set of rules you like, try writing some for yourself.  At the very least that can be a bit time consuming and may push you towards simpler rules.

    Play for enjoyment is the best set of war-game rules.

    #4530
    Thomas Nissvik
    Participant

    How I’ve missed being grumped at by Allen!

    How are you Allen, good to see you again!

    And he is of course right, as usual. IABSM is the thing if you want a straight port of FoW forces and scenarios.

     

    So many toys, so little time.
    http://getitpainted.blogspot.se/

    #4536
    Steve Burt
    Participant

    Battlefront WW2 is also a very good alternative (infantry units are squads, just like FoW); you can play with up to a battalion a side in an evening with these rules.

    I find IABSM bogs down a bit with more than a company a side, so I often play the larger IABSM scenarios using Battlefront; the game takes half the time and we can finish in an evening.

    #4553
    NTM
    Participant

    If using FoW basing for Battlefront WWII or Battlegroup Panzer Grenadier I would suggest using the 20mm ground scale or it could get a bit crowded

    #4870
    Cardinal Biggles
    Participant

    Another vote for Battlefront WW2 from Fire and Fury. If Carlsberg made wargame rules…..   Having said that, I seem to play Rapid Fire! most of all- simple, quick, fun. And you will almost always be able to find an opponent for a game.

     

     

     

     

    #5299
    Leif Eriksson
    Participant

    Here’s another vote for IABSM, you can use your FoW forces with no rebasing if you use some way of marking casualties — rings of death, causalty figures, microdice etc. It’s on the same “level” as FoW, i.e. Infantry Company plus support. (Yes you can play armour-centric games as well if you want to.)

    #5300
    Alex Kulic
    Participant

    You mentioned Crossfire in your OP – that’s about as alternative to FoW as you can get and usefully also uses multi-figure basing. It’s also very simple, very tactical and generally awesome. It abstracts certain things like LMGs but there are a number of houserules to be found which address this for more granular gamers.

    Some useful videos here – in which it is claimed the rules have recently been reprinted.

     

    #5460
    yorkie
    Participant

    Hi,

    I would strongly recommend that you take a look at the Battlegroup rules. I too am an ex FOW player, Battlegroup Kursk for me gives a real period flavour, it actually feels right for the Eastern front, and not only is it more detailed and “realistic”* but its a great book too.

    *Obviously no game is truly realistic but it at least makes alot of sense, Im a soldier myself and alot of what goes on in the game I can relate to….

    In a nutshell, top game and great support over on the Guild forums.

    Steve

    http://stevenkelly1.blogspot.com/

    #5463
    Dick Bryant
    Participant

    I second the suggestion of using Cross Fire rules. Having played them since 1997 I can tell you that they put the player directly into the role of tactical commander. They also use no turns and no measurement!!  My blog http://kingstonirregulars.blogspot.com/ has many Crossfire games that my club has played (there is a lot of other stuff – just search for Cross Fire or Crossfire). Another blog http://www.mgluteus.blogspot.com/ discusses among othr things, usinf Cross Fire for the Korean War.

    Dick Bryant

    Dick Bryant
    "No scenario survives first contact with a wargamer"

    #5601
    Frank Heffner
    Participant

    We switched from Kampfgruppe Commander II to Bagglegroup Kursk over a year ago and have decided to keep using the Battlegroup rules. We’ve had a couple of FOW players join our group. I have not played  Panzergrenadier Deluxe yet, but I purchased the rules to support the author/encourage development. I second the already-made comment about excellent support for the rules on the Guild wargamers site.

     

    #5615
    Sparker
    Participant

    Hi, I would strongly recommend that you take a look at the Battlegroup rules. I too am an ex FOW player, Battlegroup Kursk for me gives a real period flavour, it actually feels right for the Eastern front, and not only is it more detailed and “realistic”* but its a great book too. *Obviously no game is truly realistic but it at least makes alot of sense, Im a soldier myself and alot of what goes on in the game I can relate to…. In a nutshell, top game and great support over on the Guild forums. Steve

    Seconded. Ex TA soldier myself, including attendance at the School of Infantry’s Platoon Commander’s Division course, before I saw the light and joined the Royal Navy, where I had much involvement in Naval Gunfire Support, or Naval Fires as its now called. And for my money the BattleGroup series of rules models this very well – it may seem cumbersome the way its written in the rules, but it translates very well onto the table once you’ve got the drill off pat.

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

    #6548
    War Panda
    Participant

    Let me wade into this discussion with a brief description of some of the games that might be in contention.

    Nothing will replace actually trying out the game yourself but I’ll try to give you an idea of some games I’ve tried.

    IABSM

    I’d say there is something of a duel emphasis going on here: The role of leaders and their influence on the battlefield plays a large part in this game. Various level of troops can potentially have more actions and basically the better the leader the better chance of getting things done. Activations are random, based on various units cards been dealt. These aspects of the game I very much enjoyed…especially the use leader and random events. Although in time the card activation got a little annoying for some players  (not me). There is potential for reactive fire in the game

    I really didn’t like the fire chart: Shooting requires a certain amount of die rolled added up and applied to a chart (you decided the row to use by the conditions of the shot: poor shot, an ok shot or perhaps an excellent one. The amount of actions a unit would have in a turn would depend on the size of the squad (individual casualties remember).  I began to find I was thinking more about the battle conditions than what tactical decisions I would make. I should mention these are things that others have no problems with…but for me in time it was a deal breaker.

    Crossfire

    Probably the most unique system and is quite abstract by nature. There are no real fixed turns in the normal sense. Here we have a player who holds the initiative (actively moving and firing and choosing various actions0 and he keeps the initiative as long as he is relatively successful in certain cardinal actions  (like firing at enemy for instance). The other player waits and reacts to any movement within Line of sight of his troops and if  he is successful with his reactive fire he can actually steal the initiative.  Movement is not measured at all. And the player with the initiative can potentially move as much as he likes as long as his movement is not interfered with by reactive fire. The shooting mechanism is simplicity itself. Say a rifle team rolls 3 dice and they hit on 5’s and 6’s. 1 hit is a pin. 2 is a suppression. 3 would mean the entire squad are killed. 2 suppressions would also mean a kill.

    Crossfire for me is a work of pure genius. It feels like a game without the interference of rules and I believe it promotes authentic tactics. If you think you can deal with a system that is more abstract than all others then this is just an amazing game. A web friend of mine mentioned that everyone should try it once.  I’d agree.

    The amour rules IMHO are almost unplayable 🙂 but there are great house rules available written by veteran players. I really love this system.

    Fireball Forward

    Is compared with Crossfire a lot and this surprises me a little.  At least you shouldn’t expect two very similar games. You can certainly see evident influences but this is a very different game that uses a card type activation with a very intuitive  flowing movement system. Shooting is done very well without the need of chart referencing. A simple gaming model that achieves very very enjoyable games. I can’t really imagine anyone not enjoying this game to be honest and may very well have the most universal appeal. Highly recommend this for its simplicity and pure playability.

    Battle Group Series: Overlord/Kursk etc…

    Best supported set of rules of the group I’d venture to say. I would judge this is more structured than some of the others I mentioned and I’d guess this could make the easiest transition from
    FoW in my opinion. I mean that because it follows a series of fixed phases with  command rules that mean that not necessarily all your troops will activate all the time which imo means the need for some tough decision making. In fact the game constantly puts you in the role of decision maker from what troops to activate to what kind of fire to put down on the enemy. The firing mechanism is exciting and fast…as it should be 🙂  As I’ve mentioned I’m not a big fan of lots and lots of charts but everything required here is available on a double sided QRS.

    My biggest complaint was the original Kursk Book I bought. Okay and lets be clear about this: I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed and it has to be said that I found the book quite confusing but once you get the hang of the rules they’re worth the effort.

    Anyway obviously these are just my opinions

    All the best in your search

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by War Panda.
    • This reply was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by War Panda.

    “The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
    For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”

    #6674
    Sparker
    Participant

    My biggest complaint was the original Kursk Book I bought. Okay and lets be clear about this: I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed and it has to be said that I found the book quite confusing but once you get the hang of the rules they’re worth the effort.

    Exactly so! And the generic small rulebook really helps with this as it has all the rules concentrated together without all the campaign bumpf…

    http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com.au/
    'Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall need to be well 'ard'
    Matthew 5:9

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