I added the All Applications rule to allow all traffic on the LAN as I don't want/need to create individual rules for LAN traffic, only for programs that access the Internet. I don't understand what you're saying about the All Applications rule, as you seem to be saying when this exists, there's no point having any other rules but this obviously isn't true as I still need rules to allow programs Internet access, which is not allowed by the All Applications rule.
When I said "This renders the rules for those applications useles" that was too strong. Sorry about that.
When the "All Applications" rule exists (f.e in Internet Security Configuration) then application rules being made will be placed underneath this rule. When rules are underneath the ""All Applications" they follow the rule set by the "All Applications" rule.
So, to make rules effective they then need to be moved to a place above the "All Application" rule. Often when people run into programs not working according to a rule it is because of this. That is why I am mentioning it.
I'm still not sure why I seem to need a UDP out to IP 255.255.255.255 rule for most programs/games to work on the LAN. If this is correct, shall I just add a rule to allow it to my All Applications group?
You can do that. Traffic to 255.255.255.255 UDP is a socalled broadcast; an application or the OS lets other computers on the LAN know it's there.
Win 7 x32 seems to be a lot simpler in terms of firewall rules, as it's only got the System, Windows Updater Applications and Windows System Applications sets, whereas Win 7 x64 has these two plus Windows Operating System and I seem to have had to add a rule for svchost.exe as well but I'll try tidying up the rules along the lines of the Win7 x86 screenshot and delete the svchost rule and see if it's OK.
The differences are not there because of inherent differences between the Win 7 x86 and x64 platforms. They are the result of different configuration strategies (which may be born because of different programs on the two platforms and because of different standard configurations being used (Internet Security for the one and Proactive Security for the other)).
Talking about two configurations on two different Operating System will be very confusing when they get compared. I would like to suggest to focus on one platform in this topic and start another topic for the other platform.
Can someone confirm that my Allow LAN (All Applications) rule at the top of the list is the appropriate way to achieve what I want, which is to allow all traffic on the LAN so that I only get alerts and need to create rules for those programs that try to also access the Internet?
Can you write down the rule in detail?
Also could someone confirm whether I should need the "Allow UDP out to IP 255.255.255.255" rule for my LAN games to work, as I seem to?
I would think that the broadcast may be needed for the games to find each other on the LAN.