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Publisher: Minden Games

COMBAT LEADER SET: CORE RULES BOOK & WINTER WAR is a set of two items the Finns & Russians module for the system, plus the Core Rules book containing all system rules and options, allowing you to play any game/module in the Combat Leader game series.  The game ranks high in both playability and historicity, using an intuitive, interactive sequence of play consisting of just six phases per turn.

Combat Leader: Core Rules is a 52-page book that includes all standard, advanced, and optional rules to play any game/module in the series. It provides national/weapon characteristics for German and Russian soldiers and squads used in the series, as well as a starter squad of Germans and Russians.  Along with the Core Rules, this set also provides you with two separate modules that add other nationalities to the system.  Besides standard rules, advanced rules covering gun jams, desperation rally, weather, fire penetration for automatic weapons, field promotion, etc.) are provided.  In addition, specialized squad characteristics (SS squads, green squads, assault engineers, Russian commissars) and specialized weapons (such as flamethrowers, demo charges, antique rafles, pistols) are covered.  This allows the gamer to inject the level of detail desired.

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Combat Leader: Winter War module contains: 11-page instructions booklet allowing you to use Finnish squads, and includes rules covering special characteristics and weapons for the Finns; four scenarios based upon the 1939-40 Winter War against Russian forces; Finnish counter sheet G; Russian counter sheet H; game marker sheet; Reference Card; and two game maps (#7, #8).  Components are compatible with all other games/modules within the system.

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In Combat Leader, counters represent individually named soldiers and officers, rated for morale, firing ability, melee ability, and leadership. A hexagon grid is used to regulate movement. A hex represents about 17 yards across.  Each turn represents about a minute of actual time.  National characteristics and weapon characteristics are included (you’ll see–and feel–the difference between a Russian 1891/30 rifle, a PPSh-41 MP, a Finnish M/96 rifle, a M/26 LMG (and so on) in terms of range, reliability, and lethality).  Game results are generated from a standard deck of playing cards, and a single six-sided die.

The game illustrates two principles of tactical WW2 combat: large groups of men stacked together maximize firepower, but are a magnet for incoming fire. Finding a balance between group size and function (maneuver, or fire groups) will depend on the tactical situation, and what your scenario goal is.  The use of sound historical fire and movement tactics will be rewarded on the tabletop just as they were valuable on the battlefield. The importance of leadership and morale are emphasized by the design, not just weapon characteristics.  Finally, Combat Leader is an infantry wargame; rules do not cover vehicles or tanks. 

Combat Leader has been designed as an introductory World War II tactical firefight game for two players, involving individual soldiers. It uses a “design for effect” system to reflect battlefield realities; it is playable enough for those new to wargaming, but sophisticated enough to hold the interest of veteran gamers.  Several nationalities are currently available in other modules, with more planned.

Combat Leader Set: Core Rules & Winter War is now available in PDF format.  With this set, you will have everything needed to play the Combat Leader game system.  This is an excellent set for gamers who want to jump into the series… and add other modules and nationalities later.  Designed by Gary Graber.  Published by Minden Games.

Combat Leader SET: Core Rules & Winter WarPrice: $19.95