My Go-To Rules
Updated: July 25, 2016
Flames of War (FoW)/Team Yankee
FoW is an old time favorite of mine - and is one reason I am back in the hobby after a decade of being away! This is mainly to the fact the rules are very fun! and give good results from an historical stand-point - at least in my opinion. Because they are also very complete and clear, as well as allowing for both historical and tourney play - i.e., they are tight - I tend to always fall back on these rules for regular play. However, due to their mild complexity, you need to play on a somewhat regular basis to keep up on the rules, at least for me. Most of the mechanics are straight forward and easy to remember. However there are many special rules for units that if you don't play often it is easy to forget. All an all a great rules system. Easy to just throw-down some models and have a go. Lots of scenarios and an extensive point system for pick-up games. Battlefront also supports these rules very well - campaigns, battle-reports, new lists and rules, etc. Another reason I am so fond of these rules.
Team Yankee is FoW for the cold war era (mid-1980's). This is a separate game system based heavily on the FoW system. in other words it plays very similar. I am relatively new to this era, but it is awesome!
Other Rules I have PlayedThese are rules I have played at one point or another. However, none have captured my attention like FoW has. This does not mean do not play them now and again.
Panzer Grenadier Deluxe
Outside of FoW, PG Deluxe is my top choice in alternate WW II rules. This set of rules is very easy to play. Full of historical feel with a focus on command & control - which is a big reason they are my #1 choice in rules outside of FoW. I love being able to tailor my units, scenarios, and house-rule things - this set of rules is perfect for that. Although it has a point system, I don't always use it, favoring scenario play instead. I favor these rules over all others I have tried outside of FoW - because I can set up and play quickly, and enjoy the historical play and challenge they offer. They also play quite well SOLO :).
Great looking product from the General de Brigade designer. Full point system as well as really well done TOE - and some basic army lists as well. No generic scenarios per se. However, there are some rules for pick-up games - which is a bonus in my book! Can be played on two different scales: 1:1 scale or 1:3-4 scale, so a single inf. squad can be say 4 stands or a single stand. You can play these rules with FoW mounted figures - another reason I play them.
This set of rules is wonderful. Very fast moving and gives a good feel for infantry combat at the platoon and company level (battalion sized actions are possible). No tape measures, and no buckets of dice. Has a DBx feel to it as well. The fact it has a point system and army lists/OOB is a huge plus. Pick-up games are a breeze. When you play these rules you really feel you are making real-world decisions regarding your men. Definitely a set of rules every gamer should experience. That said, it is also lacking in a lot of detailed depth, which is not really my cup of tea for anything other than the occasional game. If you like 'substance' in your battles with lots of little details, these rules may not be for you. The is especially the case regarding vehicles and tanks. However, if the casual pick-up game is your thing, these rules may well give you your WW II fix.
These rules are excellent for pick-up games. The rules are quick to learn and fast to play. In addition, they have a very historical feel to them. The lists allow you to play battles ranging from small squad level skirmishes to all out battalion level engagements. Great set of rules. At one point I played these rules a lot. However, compared to FoW it just didn't tickle me enough to become my go-to rules. Highly recommended regardless.
I Ain't Been Shot Mum! (IABSM) III
These rules I played a lot when they first released. They have an excellent historical feel to them and the friction of real battle is definitely present in these games. However, they can be somewhat ambiguous. In addition, the have no point system and are scenario based. Not a huge issue, if you have the time. At the moment I don't have. Great game system!
Blitzkrieg Commander II (BKC II)
Another great set of rules I also played a few times. No army lists although it does have an extensive point system. I can use my FoW mounted figures with ease when playing these rules (although I tend to play at the "platoon" level where each model/stand represents a platoon (fewer miniatures needed - which is good in 15mm). Lots of generic scenarios as well, so it does have an advantage over say IABSM. Has a decent historical feel, and is not heavy on the brain. These rules are currently being re-designed for a new edition, so we shall see what the future holds with these rules.
Rules I Want to Try!
Chain of Command
Many who know me know I am not a big fan od "skirmish" games - like SAGA, Operation Squad, etc.. However, these rules look great. It is called a "platoon plus" type of game; in other words you command a platoon of infantry with all kinds of support - like a Pak 40 gun, tank, maybe a sniper or MG team, etc.). However, although no points system is used, there is a forces generator which looks very interesting. In addition, the rules look pretty fun and realistic. So I am planning a go with these some time soon. I plan on using 20mm for this scale of game, although my 15mm will work fine with individually based models. If these rules turn out well for me I may just adapt these as my go-to rules for skirmish WW II.