What Wargaming Rules to use for the Operational Level of War?

What Wargaming Rules are really for the Operational Level of Warfare

I’ve tried Megablitz a few times but I wondered what other wargaming rules there are to use for Operational Warfare in WW2. I quickly found there are a lot of game systems that claim to be large scale rules. But you have to careful in this space as many rules that claim to be Operational are actually Tactical. Others are Operational-Tactical and a fourth group are what I call Operational-Map-And-Tactical. These groupings are from my categorisation scheme using my criteria for what makes a set of wargaming rules operational level – both found later in this post.

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Wargaming Rules for WW2

There are lots of wargaming rules for World War 2. These are the ones I play: Crossfire, Megablitz, Rapier Offensive and Engle Matrix Games. One day I might write up my thoughts on the competitors, of which there are many.

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What I like in a campaign / multi-player game

My first ventures in campaigns were two large, 12-14 player, Ancient/Medieval DBM Campaigns. One was called Europe 1100 AD and the other Europe 1455 AD. The mechanics were fairly simple being based on DBA campaigns but I quickly found problems and the campaigns petered out when people lost interest. I now favour even snappier campaign rules and less people.

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Battle of the Ebro – A Rapier Offensive Scenario

I keep getting inspired by Martin Rapier and in particular his ideas on operational level games. Most recently what captured me was his article “The Battle of the Ebro, July 1938: A Spanish Civil War Megablitz Scenario” (Rapier, 2007). I’m not too interested in Megablitz but I am into the Spanish Civil War and this seemed like a good opportunity to try out Martin’s own rules which I’ve summarised previously on my Rapier Offensive page.

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Rapier Offensive – A Multiplayer Operational Game

Martin Rapier has created a simple set of rules to allow a group of players to play operational level games. His rules are embedded within the context of Operation Uranus (19 Nov 1942). I’ve abstracted his rules so I can then apply them to different settings (and tweaked them a bit as I did so).

These rules are ideal for a typical offensive where the attackers have three to one odds against the defenders – something that is not possible in most rule systems. One of the beauties of this system is that it is a cooperative effort more than competitive; the players are the attacking team, and fight against the umpire who runs the defenders. Given the odds the attacking Division is going to beat the defending Division. The question is, will they beat them fast enough and well enough.

This isn’t a long game to play, taking a couple of hours at most. You’ll also need stands of miniatures (~65), counters (~16), a small table, some way of marking off a grid on the table, a map, and 5-6 people. An intercom and telescope are optional.

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