RoE Rules Available Forces

Forces Available

What forces are availiable in Rules of Engagement?

Fourteen different platoon organisations are detailed within the Rules of Engagement rulebook, representing forces available on the Western Front from the Normandy landings to the end of the war. The Orders of Battle are divided as follows: Germany, Great Britain & Canada, United States and the Maquis. Except for the Maquis, they are subdivided as described on the following pages:


Grenadiers: Representing the bulk of infantry forces in the western theatre, these are the well-trained and motivated soldiers of the Heer (Army).  They are well served by machine guns but often find themselves outnumbered and on the defensive.  This OOB may also be used to field less effective auxiliary units and garrison troops.  Most people are familiar with the appearance of the German Grenadier and a force can be very quickly painted.

Panzergrenadiers: The motorised divisions of the German Army, often reduced to foot-slogging status on the Western Front due to the chronic lack of transport.  Panzergrenadiers are powerful platoons, bristling with machine guns and very stubborn in defence while capable of swift offensive action.  They can be upgraded to represent elite units such as Panzer Lehr.  A Panzergrenadier force looks great with armoured transport even if they rarely field it in a game.

Volksgrenadiers: Hastily raised to meet the requirements for new infantry divisions, they represent some of the poorer German troops to fight on the Western Front.  Although often ill-trained and supplied, they were well equipped and some fought as hard as any German infantry formation.  Normal German Infantry models are used for Volksgrenadiers and they are painted in exactly the same manner.

Fallschirmjäger: Some of the toughest soldiers available to the Wehrmacht, the German paratroopers were well respected by their enemies.  Utilised almost exclusively as normal infantry during this period, they are well equipped with automatic weapons and machine guns.  Painting fallschirmjäger is challenging and rewarding with the variety of camouflage smocks, Luftwaffe kit, webbing and weapons.

Waffen SS: SS formations in the west were mostly veterans of the Eastern Front and of a high calibre and tremendous morale.  While very good soldiers, their élan can lead to squads fighting to the death in preference to a tactical withdrawal.  Best equipped of all German forces, SS platoons can be tailored for offensive or defensive operations with great flexibility.  Their biggest downside is that they are often outnumbered, even on the attack.  Like fallschirmjäger, Waffen SS platoons look great with a preponderance of camouflage and a variety of weapons.

Great Britain and Canada

British Infantry:  The good, old British ‘Tommy’ is stubborn and a match for the German infantryman.  More than a match for his German counterpart when on the defensive, British Infantry on the attack can be a challenge to coordinate and maintain momentum.  Platoons may be mechanised and elite regiments, such as Guards, may be fielded with this Order of Battle.  They are very simple and quick to paint but detail can be lavished in the form of improvised camo or unit markings.

Commandos:  Although not often utilised in their specialised role from June, 1944, the Commandos are excellent light infantry troops.  They are faster than other infantry and excel at close quarters but can suffer from a lack of support weapons.  It is easy to use quick and simple techniques to paint a good looking platoon but the scope for extra detail and personalisation of models is great. 

Airborne: The British (and Polish and Canadian) Paratroopers are some of the deadliest fighting men in the world.  More lightly equipped than the standard infantry, they more than make up for this with their experience and doggedness.  Well entrenched they are very, very difficult to dislodge.  Paratroopers look fantastic with their Denison smocks which can be quite easily replicated with a little practice.

Canadian Infantry: Organised along the lines of British Infantry, the ‘Canucks’ are less experienced but more aggressive.  Canadian troops may be eager for close quarters but attacks must be well supported or the Canadian platoon commander may see casualties mounting.  Canadian troops are painted in almost the same manner as British ones though their uniforms would be slightly greener.

United States

US Infantry: US troops are numerous and the Order of Battle may be used to represent average or veteran formations.  Although the squads have limited integral machine gun support, the rate of fire of the US rifle, the semi-automatic Garand, more than makes up for this.  US troops are very quick and easy to paint and a determined painter can finish a basic platoon in a weekend.

Armored Infantry:  This represents the most heavily armed formation in the US Army, capable of a devastating amount of firepower.  Armored Infantry have more access to AFV’s than other US formations.  Model and painting-wise, they are identical to standard US Infantry. 

Parachute Infantry: The best troops available to a US commander, American paratroopers are highly motivated and extremely tough.  Sometimes hampered by attrition due to heavy casualties, they are nevertheless more than a match for any German troops.  US Airborne can be painted to represent the paratroopers in the Normandy campaign or, from around September 1944, in darker uniforms, identical in shade to normal infantrymen.  Lots of detail may be lavished on unit markings if the ambitious painter wishes.

Rangers: Famous for their exploits on Omaha Beach, Rangers are excellent in a light infantry role assaulting enemy positions.  With small platoons, they may be supplemented by regular infantry but have limited access to heavy and armoured support.  Again using the same models and paint schemes, Rangers can be identified by the unique battalion markings on their helmets.

The Maquis and Free French

Maquis: Although focussing on the French Resistance, this Order of Battle may be used to represent any irregular force, even Pétainist militias in league with the Germans.  The Maquis are poorly trained and under equipped and, toe-to-toe, will lose most of the time against regular infantry.  However, they are able to choose their ground and the circumstances in which they will fight much more often than any other force.  Maquis forces can be an attractive alternative to painting regular troops, with lots of civilian clothes and scope for representing political affiliations and special forces teams.

Free French forces: Free French forces may be represented by the appropriate Order of Battle in the US and British armies. For example, French Commandos use the British Commando platoon list and French Infantry use the US Infantry or Armored Infantry lists. Polish units may also be represented as appropriate using the various British Orders of Battle.