All my WW2 (and similar) for the last few years has been Crossfire in which you have a company to battalion a side. I like Crossfire but I was also interested in something pitched at a higher level. Megablitz! is a operational level set of rules by Tim Gow for World War II. A game turn represents two hours. Stands generally represent battalions (or Soviet regiments).
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.
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.
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.
The Crossfire supplement Hit the Dirt contains maps made using Campaign Cartographer 2 (CC2 Pro) (available from www.profantasy.com). Bill Rutherford, one of the authors of Hit the Dirt, kindly gave me some advice on using CC2 and the notes below are based on Bill’s advice and my own fumbling experiences.