Move Out

Move Out was a man-to-man level game based on SPI's Patrol rules, originally published in issue 7 of Strategy & Tactics. Information related to the publisher, American Designer's Association, doesn't seem to be well documented.1 An obscure reference in Moves issue 7 finally obtained this for the webmaster, in an article on "War Game Publishers and Abbreviations":

ADA American Designer's Association, 17 Turner Street, Greene, New York 13778, is a group of amateur designers who publish a newsletter, Grundsteit...and several games. The games are manufactured by hand, with a little help from several kinds of duplicating devices. The mapboards on the more expensive games are hand drawn on SPI blank hex sheets. Others have dittoed maps. The counters are legible but sometimes inadequate because they are so lightly colored that the two sides can't be distinguished. Most of the counters have to be hand cut but they come mounted.In general, the buyer has to expect to do a little work to get the components into a playable state, but not as much work as with most amateur games.2

The earliest tactical board games were naturally influenced by miniatures rules, and Move Out appears to occupy pride of place as being the first known commercial board wargame covering man-to-man combat in hex and counter format. The Patrol rules published in S&T were a very brief two page summary of miniatures rules by Terry Griner (made shorter still by artwork and a short historical article on Jutland in one column).  The rules covered a variety of mechanics from squad organization (generic) to movement (simplistic), firing, mortars, cover, melee, visibility, order of movement (sequential) and even one for "personalization" (chrome).

Move Out was a development of these rules in hex and counter board game form. Moves later described the game as follows:

Move Out (1971, ADA, $1.50), by Tom Kaeter, simulates man-to-man combat in Western Europe in 1944. It pits all or part of an American infantry platoon (31 men, 31 counters) against a German platoon (32 men, 32 counters). Each side has one of five possible missions as they enter the board from opposite sides. Upside down placement and blank counters are used to add the fog of war. The terrain includes brush, hills, woods, a creek, a pond and two small buildings, one with several rooms. The men have their separate weapons and also a number of individual differences. Some can see better, some run faster, some are sharp-shooters, and others experts at hand to hand combat. Unfortunately, it is a very unfinished game. The rules are hard to figure out and some are almost impossible to carry out. Things are particularly difficult when fighting develops around the buildings. The game is an offshoot of Terry Griner's Patrol, published as a set of rules in Strategy & Tactics Nr. 7, and reading the rules in that source does help to figure out Move Out. Furthermore, the reproduction of the rules and map is quite poor. There are no counters, only pictures of counters and the pictures are hard to decipher. In spite of its faults however, Move Out offers something unusual and worthwhile for anyone who wants to investigate small unit tactics through a game.3

Physical Quality

The game was sold in a bag measuring, 28.1 cm long, 21.5 cm wide, and .1 cm thick. The place of publication is listed as Waite Park, Minnesota, United States. Images of the game are available at the Treasure Tome website. An inventory of the contents of the copy in the webmaster's possession are as follows:

  • 13 pages in total

    • Hand-drawn counter-sheet, 266 counters, divided as follows:

      • 32 German soldiers

      • 31 American soldiers

      • 16 Hit markers

      • 5 Dug In counters

      • 13 origin markers

      • 172 blanks/spoiled

    • 4 pages of rules (including scenario descriptions)

    • 1 fire order tracking sheet

    • 1 counter explanation diagram

    • 6 mapsheets (labelled A1, A2, B, B2, C1, C2)


ADA is referenced at Mark Boone's page as producing an (unrelated) tactical level game entitled Panzerdivision designed by a G. Hail in 1972. This was in fact a company-level title, so outside the scope of this website. For interest's sake, Moves describes it as:

(an attempt) to reproduce a battle with company level units between a German panzer division and infantry division on the one side and an American infantry regiment on the other. The scene is a small section of the Ardennes battlefield of 1944 during the first few days of the battle. The Americans are expected to lose of course, but most lose slowly to win the game. It is a fair idea but the game is extremely underdeveloped. With two typewritten pages of rules, a lot is left to the imaginations and ingenuity of the players. Then there are difficulties in the rules that are presented. The forests apparently have no effect on movement. No kind of terrain offers any cover at all. The game has a few good ideas but needs much work.4



Nr. 7 Feb-Mar 1973 ►"A Guide to Conflict Simulation Games and Periodicals" by George Phillies and Martin Campion (Review)


  1. Reference to the game Move Out was made in a list of early wargames and appeared on this site for months, but no reference could be found to what ADA meant - it was also commonly used to abbreviate "Ad Astra Games" by companies like Noble Knight.

  2. Moves, Issue 7

  3. Ibid

  4. Ibid


Move Out

Developer: Tom Kaeter
Publisher: American Designer's Association
Date of Release: 1971
Scale: Man to Man
Players: 2
Campaign Type: None
Components: ► three unmounted map sections
► looseleaf rules
► unmounted counters
(13 sheets in all)
Add-ons: none

S&T's "Patrol" rules were the inspiration for Move Out. 2008-present    email: The Tactical Wargamer