I’ve mentioned Field of Battle WWII before as I was introduced to these excellent rules by Sgt Steiner.
They are based on Piquet (wait…don't switch off?!?!?), which tends to get a bad name in some corners of the wargaming world, but I have to say that these are the most interesting rules I’ve seen in years, and I really do need to graduate to full Piquet.
The scale is the same as ‘Great Battles of WWII’ so we are looking at a 3x1.5” base representing a full company (and I get to use all those lovely scenarios).
This means that heavy weapons and machine guns are subsumed into the company stand; opportunity fire from infantry represents AT guns etc. and that you are looking at a much bigger representation of the battlefield and thus the simulated battle.
The card driven mechanic, with deck designed around the force competencies (or otherwise), therefore represents the degree to which the side can ‘hang on’ to the initiative, and the nature of the card play means that better command structures will get more opportunities to carry out flanking moves, heavy firepower cycles and out-manoeuvre the opponent.
It’s a great system.
The scenario was taken from an old ‘Clash of Armor’ scenario book – Thanksgiving in Tunisia from Rommel’s Battles. A nice scenario with 8th Army/US Armour vs Afrika Korps – what’s not to like? (Clash of Armor uses the same scale as Spearhead/Rapid Fire/Command Decision, but we were able to adjust the scale quite easily).
The Yanks have raced to Tunisia to join offensive operations, There have already been some indecisive battles, and this encounter represents the first in a series of armoured clashes between the Allies and Rommel's expanded North African forces.
These rules are pitched just at the right level for large games and extended campaigns.
Here's the real advantage though. Market Garden could be completed with three sequential games, with the time that XXX Corps leave the table being recorded, and thus the time that they appear on the Arnhem table being predicted. In the final game therefore, we could stipulate just how long the British Airborne have to hang on for - a perfect scale for WWII. Now that's WWII wargaming !
(Addendum - pdf of Order of Battle below)