Monday 11 January 2016

The Battle of Framerville 1918

On Sunday several members of Posties Rejects gathered for our first game of the new year. We played a WWI game set in August 1918 with the Germans defending desperately against an Allied offensive that never seems to run out of steam. A mass of British Mk V and Whippet tanks, backed up by infantry, advance towards an apparently weak and demoralised German line. It should be a simple matter to sweep aside the defenders and continue the advance...shouldn't it?

The British objective is to get one of their tanks to the German base line. This would result in the weary German troops breaking and pulling back. The German objective is simple, stop the Allied advance at all costs. 

Order of Battle
British 3rd Corps
 18th Division - Maj General R P Lee
   53rd Brigade
     10th Essex (12 Bases + 1 LMG)
     8th Royal West Kent (12 Bases + 1 LMG)
     7th Royal Bershire (12 Bases + 1 LMG + 1 HMG)
     10th Tank Battalion - 13 Mk V Tanks (7 Male & 6 Female)
     3rd Tank Battalion - 5 Whippet Tanks
       1 Lorry with Mortar
       1 Lorry
     1 Sopwith Camel (British)
     1 Sopwith Camel (Belgian)
     Heavy Artillery Batteries (off table) 

German 2nd Army
 51st Corps - Gen Lt Von Hofacker
   14th Bavarian Division
      25th Bavarian Infantry Regiment (36 Bases + 3 LMG)
      2 HMG (K Rounds Available)
      1 Fokker Triplane
      1 A7V Tank
      2 Captured Mk V Tanks (one Male one Female)
      1 Motor Car
      2 Batteries of Artillery
      1 AA Lorry
      1 Trench Mortar
      2 Flamethrowers
      1 Sniper
      1 Lorry
      4 Redoubts
      Heavy Artillery Batteries (off Table)

The Action
Framerville sits astride the German trenches. The Commander has evacuated/evicted the civilian population and sent them out towards the Allies but knows that the main road through the town is an open invitation to the allied tanks.

Two captured Mk V's have been pressed into German service. The Male tank more than proves its worth against its former owners.

Meanwhile a German A7V guards the main road into the town.

This view shows the initial deployment before the British rolled for their starting positions. Some would start a full 24" onto the table but most wouldn't. 

Frammerville is a rabbit warren of destruction and an ideal location for a sniper. Ours was in a hidden bunker by the road but the Allied players were convinced he was in the church tower.

The Allied players with their tanks in their start positions. Dave's tanks in the centre (opposite me) are in the most advanced position and look very threatening. 

The captured Mk V gets first blood. It knocks out one of Dave's tanks with one sponson mounted gun and one of Surjits tanks on the left flank with it's other gun. 

Boom! Unfortunately for the Allies this wasn't the only tank to meet a fiery end.

With the civilians moving away the road through Framerville suddenly looks very vulnerable. Meanwhile Ian positions his infantry in various buildings ready for the expected advance of the British.

Looking out across Framerville towards the Allied lines. The column of civilian refugees can be seen heading away down the road and for a while the town falls eerily silent. 

Then the buzz of an aircraft engine can be heard and a British Sopwith Camel comes into view. 

Thankfully the Germans have an Anti-Aircraft HMG truck....although it eventually proved to be useless as a weapon and better as a roadblock.

The Sopwith drops two sticks of 25lb bombs on the German lines - aiming for the tanks - but fails to hit any of its targets. 

Then the 'Brown Baron' appears, and so begins an aerial battle to rival the conflict down below.  

Meanwhile the captured Mk V continues to deal out lethal damage. By the end of the game it had destroyed five British tanks.

Dave's tank command in the center is in poor shape. Two vehicles are burning and a third has broken down. 

The Artillery template was used for Off-Table artillery fire, mortars and the bombs dropped by aircraft. In this instance all the bombs landed in empty sectors of the grid. 

The Sopwith is now out of bombs, but it still has teeth. From now on it will strafe ground troops with its HMG's.

Richards advance towards Frammerville is starting to stall. His fast moving Whippet tanks are being targeted but one vehicle still trundles forwards. If can get past the fire arc of the German guns it will have a straight run to the road through the town. 

The British Sopwith adds a little support, although its strafing runs are not proving very effective.  

Disaster for the Germans as their prized A7V goes up in flames. There is now almost nothing to stop the British Whippet from racing through the town. 

 Birds eye view of Framerville. The British tanks in the center have been decimated and most of the vehicles on the right have also been destroyed. But other than a few infantry and an LMG there is very little to stop the remaining Whippet tank from driving through the town and reaching the objective. The German players have one last chance in the form of a Flamethrower team which can be seen in the trench in the bottom of this picture. If I can get this unit into the buildings alongside the road I may be able to ambush the Whippet as it passes. 

The German Triplane circles overhead as the British continue to advance. Most of the German infantry in the trenches are wisely keeping their heads down and cannot be targeted by the British  whose tanks bristle with HMG's. The British infantry have consequently made it through most of the battle unscathed up to this point.  

With the refugees safely evacuated both sides find their arcs of fire are now clearer. The German bunkers begin to take damage from several sides and some gun crew are killed. The Sopwith's strafing runs have also taken a toll. 

The Triplane gets the Sopwith in its sights and rakes its side with bullets. Thankfully for the British pilot nothing serious is damaged and he lives to fly another day. 

In the center the British tanks burn (and in one case, broken down). Now only two tanks remain along with all the infantry doing their best to stay behind the armored behemoths. 

A very well placed barrage by the German off-table artillery lands right over the advancing tank and infantry. As this was in my sector it fell to me to roll the dice for casualties...and for once the dice gods did not desert me. The Mk V and several bases of infantry are killed. 

Meanwhile the British Whippet continues its advance unimpeded into the town. Two more turns of movement could end this game with a British win.  

The Triplane pulls a tight 180° turn and strafes the whippet but despite killing a crewman the tank rumbles onward. 

In a desperate act the Germans drive their AA truck into the path of the tank. The Whippet crew open up with all their HMG's and soon the truck is a burning wreak. Literally nothing stands between the British and victory other than one last desperate move by the Germans.

The Flamethrower team that moved into the buildings earlier judges itself to be in range of the tank and unleashes a burning spout of flame towards the tank. In seconds the Whippet is alight and destroyed... and the last hope of the British offensive is snuffed out. 

Despite the heavy casualty rate of the British, and the loss of most of their tanks, they came very close to wining this game. 

This was a tough fight for the British and I did feel rather sorry for them by the end of the game. They had taken a lot of casualties and most of their forces hadn't even crossed the center line of the table. But they were very unlucky with their dice rolls (fists full of hit dice rolled without a single kill) while for the German players sometimes it felt like they were hitting with every shot. Of course this wasn't the case, but the dice gods definitely favored the Germans in this game.

I had a particularly good game with seven tanks kills to my name by the end of the battle, most caused by the captured MkV in the center of our line. If the dice had favored the British a little more this would have been a much closer affair. As it was they still came to within an ace of snatching victory with their Whippet tank in the town. It took an impromptu roadblock, a quickly re-positioned flamethrower team and a lot of luck to deny the Brits victory. 


  1. What a fantastic looking game! Beautiful terrain and figures, great report, and this Sopwith, even out of bomb, is very impressive...

    1. I'm with Phil - that looks a cracker... what rules did you use? Posties own?

    2. Posties own rules Barbed Wire, Bullets and Guts. These were the rules we used when we did our Demo game at Broadside in 2012.

  2. Replies
    1. I took these using my new phone. The picture quality isn't as good as with a proper camera but still infinitely better than my old phone.

  3. Was a great looking game! Like you said, very difficult for the Brits!

    1. They didn't look impressed....payback for some of the dismal games I had last year!!

  4. Exciting BatRep, Lee! Terrific game layout and the outcome was in the balance until the end.

    Great job, guys!

  5. Great write up Lee, looks like a good time was had by all.


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