Friday, September 10, 2010

Flames of War in 28mm

I have been thinking about using the FoW rules for 28mm battles for some time. This is not an original idea as I have seen other blogging about the same thing. What is very hard to find is an actual conversion of the rules for playing at the larger scale.

On the surface it would seem that FoW would not lend itself to being played with 28mm figures and vehicles and this is true if you are looking to play the same size game in 28mm as you would in 15mm. Flames of War is a company level game and fielding a company in 28mm is huge task. If you drop the game size down one level so that the platoon is the main force then things are much more manageable. For my games I will be doing a platoon plus support teams as the standard battle size.

Before I go to far into this let me point out that I have not tested any of this yet. But I do plan to try it out because I have a huge collection of 28mm World War II that I need to get back on the table.

The Basics

First of all you will need a copy of the Flames of War rules (duh) as nearly everything in the rules will be needed. The idea here it to play FoW and not a new game based on the rules. All of the basic mechanics remain unchanged as do all of the movement rules.


One area where adjustments are needed is how teams are defined. In the basic FoW rules a team is one stand that represents a number of soldiers - generally 3-5. In game terms this stand, regardless of how many soldiers it represents, is a single wound. In 28mm these base sizes would need to scale up abut 4 times as large, so the basic stand would be 2"x4". This is doable but you would need to scale everything else as well and increase the table size. My plan is to treat each 28mm soldier as its own team. Since I am playing a platoon as the top level the squad becomes the unit of maneuver on the table. All of the rules that would normally apply to a platoon in the rules now apply to a squad.

Flames of War treats all the stands in a platoon as the same type with the possible exception of the command teams for the platoon. This means that a German infantry platoon would be composed of 7 stands all rated as rifle/MG. When playing in 28mm the squad will be composed of 10 men. The majority will be rated as rifle teams and the squad MG gunner will be an MG team. The squad leader will either be a rifle or SMG team depending on how the model is equipped. Generally speaking, the rifle/MG rating will not be used for 28mm games.

Weapons teams are a little trickier. In 28mm you will have a single HMG or mortar rather than an entire platoon. This will make them much more fragile if they only represent a single wound. It would be possible to break the team down into individual crew but then new rules would need to be created for weapons teams with missing crew. I am leaning in the direction of continuing to treat the weapons teams as a single stand with one wound but when they take that wound doing a skill test (or maybe motivation test) as a 'save.' This represents another member of the crew taking over or wounded teams sticking it out and continuing to fight. This will need some testing.

Ranges and Distances

The standard movement rates in the FoW rules should work fine for games in 28mm so I do not plan to make any changes here. The at the double moves should also be OK. The Command Distances also appear to be OK.

Weapon ranges are a different matter. The ranges fir 15mm are too short, in my view, for a 28mm game. I have increased the weapon ranges by 50%. See the conversion table below for the new 28mm ranges:

15mm Range 28mm Range

As you can see the longer ranges quickly exceed the typical table size. This is not a major issue, you just need lots of terrain. The FoW rules apply a -1 to hit modifier for any shot over 16". I may keep this range for the modifier even though the base infantry weapon range has moved up to 24". If this becomes an issue just apply the modifier at 24" rather than 16 inches.

For the artillery template I am thinking of either increasing it from 6" to 9" or using the 9" template for the larger guns. Most of the larger artillery will be off-board in 28mm due to the enormous ranges involved. If they are used on-table then they will be part of a special scenario and used only in a direct fire mode. In this case the range will be the table size.

This is all I have thought through for now. I don't think there are any more obvious issues but I am sure that once I play it I will find a few other minor tweaks. If you try these ideas let me know how it works out.


Jerry said...

Sounds like something worth trying out. So how would you imagine composing an entire force for a game like this? If I wanted to play a US tank company, for example, I'd be taking anywhere from 2 - 5 tanks for the game. I'm interested to see how it works. If you need someone to push models around in order to test, let me know. I'd love to start WW2 in 28mm, but am skeptical about buying models due to lack of any "popular" rules. Too bad Battlefront doesn't come out with a platoon level version of their game like you described. There'd be a market for that.

Krosh said...

In fact is good idea, and i already start to realise it, by bying 3 boxes of Geramn Infantry for Warlord and one 1/48 Hanomag from Tamia. Its start of my 1000 poins force of German Panzergrenaders for Middle War. I thienk we - 28mm fans of Flame of War must create something like our own society, do advance this idea in masses.