Battlegroup Rule Book...


...Core Rules for Tabletop Wargaming World War 11


Title: Battlegroup Rule Book

Author: Warwick Kinrade

Publisher: Iron Fist Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9573132-8-6

This hardback book is available through The Plastic Soldier Company, appropriate as they are designed to be used with either 15mm or 20mm scale models, which are of course the main product lines for them.  Revised since their first version, and with one or two 'tweaks' explained at the beginning following feedback from users.  What this provides, and in a very good quality book, is a set of Core Rules for a WW2 tabletop wargame.  For those who have not used the rules before there is a section of 'How This Book Works' and this does encourage you to not try and ;earn them all but to have a read through and then try a small game with just a few units.  What you will have is a basic set of rules that allow you to have a game on a tabletop and be able to fit it in over 1 evening.  If you want to play a larger game you can, but a good idea to start small as you get used to them.  Add a section explaining what you need to get started it moves on into the Rules themselves.

These cover all the basics such as Turns and Orders.  Then Movement split into different types of unit (infantry, cavalryhorse twoed artillery, vehicles and even aircraft as well taking into account Terrain and Obstacles.  Then Firing, which goes from rifles to tanks before Suppressing Fire and Aimed Fire, all of which include useful charts you will need to refer to during the game.  Morale is the next topic and then an explanation of the Battle Rating system.  A useful copy of the Battle Rating Chart is helpfully included as one of the tear out reference sheets at the back of the book.  After this come some Special Rules, which give details for specialist units, such as additional armour (eg tracks welded on top of the basic armour), spotters, bridging, communications, engineers and many others. Additional specific sections go on to deal with Aircraft; Anti-Aircraft Fire; and Battlefield Engineering.

With all this covered the next significant step is the inclusion of a set of scenarios you can try, along with special rules appropriate for certain situations.  I won't try and list all the different ones they include but a couple of examples to give you an idea are for Night Fighting, Street Fighting and Winter Conditions along with others.  Then to add to the Core Rules, you get some scenarios specific to a particular place and time.  It features 'Canada's Crucible', a location to location campaign during the Battle of Normandy between 8th - 11th June and the fighting around Norrey-en-Bessin.  It includes the historical story of events and provides army lists for gamers to create the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division along with Germany's 12th SS Panzer Division.  This has lots of information tables on the unit equipment and scoring that relate to the rules.  Add these to some particular historical scenarios you can re-fight on the table and at the end of the book, along with those Battle Ratings, some useful quick reference cards that can also be torn out for use during the game.

As a whole this is well put together and provides an excellent starting point to get used to gaming WW2.  The book is well illustrated throughout, not only with some archive photos but with lots of shots showing some very well finished models in use on some excellent wargaming scenery.  It isn't the end of things though as there are additional sets of specific rules available covering the peculiarities of the Eastern Front, The Desert War, Far Eastern Jungles and so on, each of these adding more atmosphere to potential games.

Thanks to The Plastic Soldier Company for my example.