Retro, 5th edition is a tactical, squad-level World War II combat variant rules set contained in a 56-page book. Its goal is to provide players--experienced and inexperienced alike--with simplified rules to enable them to play and enjoy tactical wargames and modules without having to master hundreds of pages of rules and a steep learning curve. You must own the necessary components (counters and mapsheets) of the "host" game to utilize Retro.
The variant was originally written as a variant for Avalon Hill's Squad Leader and its modules. This edition continues that tradition, and presumes this game to be the host system, even though gamers have used Retro with other tactical World War II games from various publishers.
Retro covers the various nationalities and theaters of the war, but using a greatly simplified sequence of play. This shortened, "I go/You go" sequence utilizing the "Hesitation" rule, and a new Infantry Fire Table which makes morale checks unnecessary are the biggest modifications to the standard game, although streamlining and simplification has also been applied to a myriad of details, including those for AFV and vehicular combat.
To quote the variant's Introduction, Retro is not for the gamer who thinks "more is better" when it comes to chrome and realism and process, but is offered to those who think that "less is acceptable" and even preferable, in the name of straightforward playability.
Retro, 5th edition consists of a 56-page illustrated rule book, containing all standard, advanced, and optional rules, eleven scenarios, detailed index, and instructions for creating design-your-own scenarios. The standard rules from the 36-page 4th edition (2012) are unchanged, apart from some verbal smoothing and explication. The 5th edition adds twenty pages, and includes more optional rules and scenarios. New rules cover FIRE (starting and spreading), MINEFIELDS, a new HESITATION OPTION, PARATROOP DROPS, NATIONAL TROOP CHARACTERISTICS, CAPTURED ENEMY SW, new designer notes, and more. It has been professionally published in soft cover book format and looks sharp. Retro fans will be pleased with what the new edition provides!
"I already own Retro 4th ed.; will I benefit from getting the new edition?"
Retro 4th ed. is not obsolete. If you are happy with it, there is no reason to upgrade. HOWEVER, if you
liked that edition, you are bound to enjoy the extras included in the new edition. Why? Physically, Retro 5th is now a professionally produced soft cover 56-page book, with new scenarios and several new optional rules added. Retro 5th ed. is sure to delight new and returning Retro owners.
Bottom line, if you've enjoyed Retro in its previous editions, we're confident
you'll be delighted with what the 5th edition contains!
Retro 5th ed. is now available via Amazon, and select resellers, in addition do direct ordering from Minden. This will be of particular interest to our overseas customers, since it is less expensive to order via Amazon, because of postage costs.
NEW! The Retro Reference Pack will be available separately sometime in 2020. This contains two identical sets of three double-sided 4" x 6" Reference Cards containing all the main Retro tables for handy reference (six cards in all), a 5.5" x 8.5" thick card sheet of 150 color game markers (uncut), and a folder containing two new Retro scenarios. The information on these cards/markers are included in the pages of Retro 5th ed.; while not necessary for play, many gamers will find these items helpful aids for play. To order, visit the ORDER PAGE.
Retro 5th ed. Contents
I. Sequence of Play
III. Movement Allowances, Portage, and Stacking
IV. Machine Guns
V. Other Support Weapons
VI. Smoke and Sewers
VII. Miscellaneous Counters
VIII. Experience Level Ratings
IX. Heroes, Commissars, Japanese Leaders, and Berserk Squads
X. Vehicular Definitions and Movement
XI. Armor Combat
XIII. Optional Rules
XIV. Scenario Generation
XV. House Rules
XVI. Additional (5th Ed.) Optional Rules
5th Edition Designer's Notes
Incremental Infantry Fire Table
Unit Values Tables
Vehicle Unit Costs
Scenarios (R-A to R-K)
Variant Game Markers
Minefield Record Table