With the release of Trench Storm, here's some common questions answered before you even had a chance to ask them!
What is the basing like?
Each base/stand is one squad (or equivalent), organized into detachments of typically 4 stands.
Vehicles and heavy weapons are based individually.
Each detachment needs an additional Command stand as well, so 5 stands per platoon.
How big an army can I command?
Anywhere from a company to about a battalion if you are ambitious. Start a bit smaller, until you really get the hang of it.
Is this IGOUGO?
Yes, with a twist. For a world war one game, I felt that a more traditional turn sequence actually works pretty well.
Basically the attacker acts first with any "shock" designated units, then the defender acts with all of their units and finally the attacker acts with any remaining units.
What scale of miniatures?
Above 15-20mm, the ranges might start to look a bit cramped. Below that and you'll be fine.
Standard infantry move is 4" and infantry firing range is 18".
What is the basic firing mechanic?
Very straight forward. Each type of stand gets a particular number of firing dice out to a certain range. Add up dice, roll and make saving throws based on terrain.
Inflict enough hits and the target is Disrupted (even if they made their saves). Inflict a large amount of hits and they become Demoralized.
Do the rules reflect changes in tactics over the years?
Yes, they do. Closed Order formations are covered (effective in melee but tend to get shot to pieces) and as the war progresses, troops can utilize "Advance" orders, allowing them to move and fire in the same turn, whereas early war troops must be given distinct orders focusing on one thing.
Pretty abstracted as a general support option but yes, you can have a Sopwith come in and strafe the battle field.
There's no air-to-air combat though.
You get tables to figure out what happened to your company or battalion after a fight, but there's no scenario generation included.
How complicated is artillery?
Not very. Each player gets a number of barrages available to them, rated by weight and quality (3 options for each).
Each barrage is preplotted at a specific point or terrain feature, but not a specific time.
Whenever you want to call the barrage, you announce this and roll to see if it's on target, delayed or ineffective.
Pretty simple and strikes a decent compromise between being easy enough to play and also limiting the player some.
Where does this game fall on the simulation vs beer scale?
It intentionally aims more towards the beer scale but without being silly.
The best example of this is that I tended to focus on flavour where possible. So you get rules for gas, artillery, on board weapons and a lot of other things that might not be realistic on a company-to-battalion level tabletop but they make the game feel more colourful by being there.
So we scale them down to fit.
Of course, people who prefer strict simulation can omit those and the game plays just fine too.