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Combat Leader SET: Sourcebook & Core Rules
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Combat Leader SET: Sourcebook & Core Rules

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COMBAT LEADER SET: SOURCEBOOK & CORE RULES is a tactical, man-to-man game system covering small unit infantry combat during World War II.  This set comes with both the Core Rules book and the scenario/component Sourcebook, that allows you to play the Combat Leader game system between German and Soviet forces during Operation Barbarossa.  When combined with Combat Leader: Core Rules (see below), you'll have everything you need to play.  The book's format is 8.5" x 11", in full color.  (Component specifics:  Maps 1 through 5, counter sheets A through D, game marker sheet, Reference Card, scenarios CL-1 through CL-6 and VKS-1 through VKS-2.)

COMBAT LEADER: SOURCEBOOK A is a 46-page book that combines the three original Combat Leader modules (East Front '41, Expansion Module, & Volkssturm) into one.  That means all combat units, game markers, maps, scenarios, and Reference Cards included in those modules will be found here.

COMBAT LEADER: CORE RULES is a 52-page book that contains the rules covering the tactical WW2 Combat Leader game system.  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 is a game meant to be played and experienced.    

Combat Leader: Core Rules includes all standard, advanced, and optional rules to play any game/module in the series. It assumes you have access to at least one Combat Leader game/module. But the book also contains portions of game maps and enough soldier counters within its pages to allow you to play two sample scenarios, in case you are brand new to the system. 

The Core Rules book provides national/weapon characteristics of the German and Russian soldiers and squads used in the series. For other nationalities (such as the Finns, Poles, Volkssturm, etc.), you will need to have access to the modules that present them.

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 GewehrK98K Mauser, a MP38 machine pistol, and a DP 1928 LMG in terms of range, reliability, and lethality).

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.  Game results are generated from a standard deck of playing cards, and a single six-sided die.

Combat Leader 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; your soldiers will not play second fiddle to vehicles or tanks, which are not included in the system. 

Combat Leader has been designed as an introductory World War II tactical firefight game 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: Sourcebook & Core Rules is now available in PDF format.  Designed by Gary Graber.  Published by Minden Games.

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File Last Updated:
January 11, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on January 11, 2022.