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Tractics: What's New

This second edition for Tractics still includes all the Classic Rules as in the first edition. The big difference is that the graphic presentation is sharp and up to date. We incorporate Errata. Rules that have multiple options are marked as Classic, Modified, or Updated version. There are many updates but some nostalgic gamers may want just the Classic. Or one can treat the rules like buffet using some Classic sections plus other Modified or Updated sections as you prefer.

The "pull-outs" were loose-leaf pages of Game Reference Charts included with the original three booklets. We made the print larger but compacted some pages so that fewer would be needed. There are still a lot of pull-outs, but one would use just a fraction for a given game.

This edition also incorporates TSR's Little Wars magazine's Modified rules (1976).

Your choice of format

We plan to have 5 products to choose from:

  1. Softcover (all but Kindle are letter-sized, 8.5x11") with black & white inner pages. All will have a color cover. This is our thrifty option.

  2. Softcover, with inner color pages. Our medium-priced choice.

  3. Hardcover, with inner color pages. Our deluxe edition.

  4. Kindle edition. It may need to be abridged. The size might be difficult to use during a game, but it will be less than the thrifty. #1 above. Its advantages are that it is instantly downloaded and mainly for those who want to read the rules when carrying the rulebook is not convenient.

  5. The color-printed Pull-Outs only so that you can paste them on a wall or cherry-pick charts to make a three-ring binder reference.

So numbers 1-3 are identical. including all the rules and pull-outs. Number 4, being limited by the Kindle format, may not be able to include all Pull-Outs. Number 5 is just the pull-outs.

There is a lot of additional material that was not in the Classic edition. We include explanations of why some rules are included or changed. Tractics distills Michael Reese's lifetime of study. Just reading through Tractics, one can learn a lot of background about World War II.

To this day, wargamers are infamous for making house rules and variants of their favorite games. With 2-3 versions of some rule sections, gamers can pick and choose. And we expect that they will continue to embellish or delete sections too. I say delete because there is no need to use all or even most rule sections. Like modeler "kit-bashing", one can "rules-bash" a personalized system using bits of other rulesets.

Being an avid gamer, I chose to present the "pull-outs" in two formats: a small distillation of the rule section just covered plus a larger, page-size pull-out at the back of the book to be used during the game. There the pull-outs are in Turn Sequence order.

When I originally bought Tractics , we had to buy three whole rulesets to paste the rules on the wall and make a binder. That's because most of the pull-outs were printed on both sides so we had to buy two sets of rules. So to help you avoid that, we provide the booklet in the fourth bullet point above, a booklet of two sets of charts. One set of all pull-outs is printed on two sides that one can flip through readily and compactly. The other is another full set but with blank backs to paste to a wall (or cardboard) and re-arrange in a three-ring binder.

Here is a list of the new material.

  1. Turn Sequence, the Modified sequence has been elaborated so fully, that it is an Updated edition. We recommend using terrain-look markers to track the state of various elements of troops and vehicles.

  2. Movement has been updated to have greater rates of movement and adds features like Getting Stuck. A new section on Command Distance and Orders has been added.

  3. Concealment & Detection is a key section since it provides suspense and surprise. Little has been updated so it remains mostly as it was, Classic and Modified.

  4. DFM, Direct Fire Mode (tank & anti-tank fire), is essentially unchanged, but the few Updates and additions are marked clearly. Since it's the core system, we include a one-page summary of the procedure's steps.

  5. Morale has a new Updated option that includes Troop Quality and guidelines for assigning that and Morale adjustments by Nationality.

  6. Infantry updates include a simpler rule for Automatic Weapons, Grenades, and Close Assault on vehicles and fortifications. Additional Infantry Weapons are shown too.

  7. Engineering updates include incremental damage on Buildings and Bridges plus how to categorize the latter. Trajectories and terrain is explained and diagrammed.

  8. Artillery rules have been completely Updated onto one pull-out page, although it is worth noting that the Classic and Modified versions are clarified and slimmed down to two pages each from four. One had to wade thru dense text before.

  9. Special Rules have been expanded to include Night and Weather plus more Aircraft, Air Superiority, and Anti-Aircraft rules. It is important to note what is not updated: modern rules and vehicles. The original modern rules are included but not updated; the classic Modern Vehicle Data is available as a free download.

  10. Another notable part of the Special volume is an expanded Examples section to help gamers understand how the rules play out.

  11. We illustrate all with an inspiring variety of era photos, diagrams, and photos of models and games in progress.

  12. Apart from the black & white version of the rulebook, Pull-Outs are in color, which is much more striking than the original approach. A similar color scheme to the Classic is used but more pastel. Many countries like the German Vehicles had the usual tiny print on dark blue paper. Graphic improvements include larger print and alternating color bands to make it easier to cross-index the desired details quickly. Color flags make it easier to find Nationalities quickly.

  13. There is also an Updated Hit Location Procedure, additional Gun Classes (see below), plus additional listings and details for Weapons & Shells and AT, AA & Field Guns.

  14. The number of Vehicle Data listings are greatly increased and with new nations (see below). We highlight essential features more clearly labeled like turret rotation (or casemate or self-propelled), track size relating to Getting Stuck, vehicle height (Low-Silhouette and Large-Tank); weight categories related to rules like Getting Stuck, Hedgerow busting, mine damage; an expanded list of Abbreviations, and a Vehicle Index to make it easier to find individual vehicles. Many half-track variants are included and tank company organizations.

  15. We include more on setting up a game, writing per-side orders, suggested markers to aid memory, plus a detailed table of contents, page references in the text, and index.

  16. We add Explanations of why some of the rules are the way they are, including adjusted Gun Classes. Tractics is a great reference work with a lots of details in one volume.

The only question now in September 2021 is when will be available to order? We cannot say just yet but watch this website, sign up for an email list (at the bottom of the webpage) or join the Tractics Facebook group.

New vehicles and guns added in this edition

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