Battlefront WWII, softback miniatures rules
“Battlefront WWII is a tactical level wargame of World War II ground combat using miniature soldiers and vehicles. The basic organization is the “manoeuvre element” which is usually a company sized formation of units which fight as a group. Each player takes command of one or more manoeuvre elements to refight either historical or hypothetical battles.
The Second World War was by far the largest military conflict in human history. Large-scale ground combat on three continents provides the miniature wargamer with a virtually limitless number of military actions to recreate, and more weapons and tactics than any other historical gaming period. Battlefront WWII allows players to explore the depth of this unique era by incorporating innovative game mechanics and intuitive graphic aids, enabling players to concentrate on the intricacies of combined arms tactics rather than the mechanics of the rules.
World War Two was the company commander’s war, the front-line infantry or rifle company being the basic unit of tactical manoeuvre. The German and Soviet armies both discovered that the actual combat element almost invariably turned out to be 80-100 men. Anything larger and the company commander tended to lose control, anything smaller and casualties quickly made it ineffective. Grimly, the great majority of the casualties in all of the armies came from the men in these front-line infantry companies.
Battlefront WWII is designed to model this tactical level of combat. The basic organization used is the “manoeuvre element” which is usually a company sized formation of units which fight as a group. In Battlefront WWII each player takes command of one or more manoeuvre elements. A game involving several players may recreate tactical actions between opposing battalion or regimental sized forces and can be finished in a single evening.
Each miniature or stand represents a squad of men, specialized team, or 2-3 vehicles or guns.
Each game turn represents approximately 10 minutes of real time.
The rules are designed so that each player can handle one or two manoeuvre elements (a manoeuvre element is roughly a company).
Units of up to battalion size can be handled comfortably by experienced players.
Although designed for 15mm miniatures, play aids and rules allow miniatures from 5mm (1/285) to 20mm to be used comfortably.
When we started playing armour miniatures games, we often found ourselves spending more time looking things up in the rulebooks than we did fighting the battle. Many rules present the player with reams of charts and tables, attempting to model every detail of combat. The player is supposed to command a battalion or larger formation at the same time deciding what kind of ammunition Pvt. Schultz loads into his rifle.
Battlefront WWII takes a different approach. By abstracting the detailed mechanics of combat, we allow the gamer to rapidly fight the battle and take the decisions that are appropriate for an overall commander. We assume that Pvt. Schultz was trained by his army to know what kind of ammunition to use, so that decision does not properly lie with his commander (the gamer). Forward observers are trained to call fire, tankers to drive tanks and shoot, infantry to advance by rushes, etc. How well they do this is influenced by the extent of their training and also their morale. The actual mechanics of doing these activities should not be the responsibility of the gamer.
Panther Card At the same time, one of the fascinating aspects of World War II combat is the interaction between different types of units. We balance the need for abstraction with the need for interesting detail by distilling the different combat capabilities into “Unit Data Cards”. A separate unit card is provided for every type of vehicle, gun, and infantry unit used in the game (for a full list of cards included in the basic game components, click here). To the right is a sample unit card for the German Panther Tank. For an explanation of how the card works, click here. The cards not only provide a concise game aid, but can also be used as a painting guide.
Abstract does not mean inaccurate. We did NOT ignore the details of combat and vehicle management, range/penetration effects, artillery correction, rate of fire, and other details that occupy the gamer’s time in other rules. We spent a great deal of effort in getting the factors on the cards correct and there are subtle differences in the capabilities of the units that are caused by these details. For example, the US M-18 tank destroyer is slightly more effective at anti-tank fire than other U.S. vehicles that use the same gun. This difference is due to the U.S. Army’s doctrine of giving these tank destroyer units more of the effective anti-armor rounds than were given to the tanks. However, this doctrine is outside of the gamer’s control so it was incorporated into the unit card. The charts and data cards allow the players to feel the effects of the details without having to calculate them.
The result of the abstraction is that gamers must take their decisions based on the general capabilities of their units instead of perfect knowledge. Rather than basing a decision on the fact that a gun will penetrate “X mm of armour at range Y”, facts which were not known by the unit commanders at the time, the decision will be based on the knowledge that “my tanks are more effective at long range” or “I must close rapidly to be effective”. We feel that this type of decision more accurately models the decisions that are made by actual commanders. Also, these decisions can be made much more rapidly than the conventional approach taken in tactical games. You will spend your time playing the game instead of looking up values in charts.
- Softback / 84-pages / 2-color
- 70 diagrams and examples of play
- 17 pages of Tables of Organization and Equipment for the German, U.S., and Soviet forces from late 1943 to early 1945
- 2 Historical scenarios
- Terrain Effects for 40 different types of terrain
BASIC GAME COMPONENTS
- Printed on cardstock
- 108 unit cards
- Artillery templates for scales from 5mm to 20mm
- 2 sets of tables & charts
- Game markers”
The book is in VERY GOOD condition. The other components are all MINT or NEAR MINT.