Monday 11 June 2012

Broadside 2012 - Rejects Demo Game

As already mentioned earlier today Posties Rejects were at the Broadside Wargames show yesterday to demo our interpretation of the Battle of Amiens 1918. The day went without a hitch and our game seemed to go down well with many of the spectators at the show. We came joint 2nd Place Best in Show which really lifted our spirits and which I suspect will embolden us to do another demo game at a future show.

The day started early for most of us (I was up at the unholy time of 5am!) gathering at Posties about 6:30 to load up the van. Frankly we were a bit early as the trip to Sittingbourne from Gravesend only takes about 35-45 minutes and we were outside the venue by 7:30!! On the plus side the weather was good and unloading in glorious sunshine has its advantages.

Ray and Fran enjoying the early morning sunshine
Fortunately the hall was already open when we arrived and several traders were beginning to set up. Once we had found the tables we needed for our 6x8' table we started setting up the base boards. These were made by Ray and bolted together with a raised 'lip' round the edge to hold the foam terrain firmly in place.

Positioning the terrain boards

Next we laid out the foam boards to a pre-arranged set-up and positioned all the terrain according to Posties 'grand plan'. With ten rejects in attendance this process was completed relatively quickly and we were ready by 8:30, an hour and a half before the door were due to open! This gave us all a chance to look around the main hall as other games and traders were still unpacking.

Postie and Fran begin the Canadian deployment

"With this ring, I thee wed."... Exhibitors had wristbands so we could come and go as we pleased.

A quick picture of the Rejects (most of us, some were shopping)
L to R: Surjit, Dave, Mark, Postie, Ray, Fran and BigLee
Canadian Mk IV's launch their assault

The Battle of Amiens took place on the 8-10th August 1918 and marked the beginning of what became known as the Hundred Days Offensive. The German commander Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff later described the 8th August as the "Schwarzer Tag des deutschen Heeres" (the black day of the German Army). The Battle of Amiens was the first combined arms offensive to effectively employ tanks in large numbers and marked the return of mobile warfare to the Western Front.

Canadian infantry keep close to the tanks as they approach the German lines

Our game recreated just a small part of the larger offensive and featured Canadians and French advancing on the German lines. The aim of the game was for the allied player to get into the German trenches thereby forcing a morale check with the odds of failure in the Allies favour.

Burning tanks litter the Battlefield but those that remained continued to rumble forward

The Allies don't have it easy as they still have to cross no-mans-land under heavy bombardment from off table artillery and on table Guns and Trench Mortars. In both our practice game and this demo game the Canadians suffered horrible casualties before reaching the German barbed wire.

One of six Rolls Royce Armoured Cars

The real nemesis for the Germans was the Allied Armoured Cars. With their armoured protection and machine guns they rushed forward and kept the German infantry down in their trenches. The direct artillery fire of the Germans was aimed at these vehicles but bad luck (and poor dice rolling) meant that only two were burning by the end of the game. Once the German on-table artillery was destroyed these  vehicles had little to fear. German heavy machine guns could fire K-Rounds that would pierce the armour on these vehicles but if the Allied player fired first the six dice of the Armoured cars machine guns could be targeted at the threatening MG's making short work of them.

French Infantry rushed forward eventually reaching the trenches with few casualties

Despite heavy losses the Canadians press forward towards the German trenches

A Mark IV makes it across the wire and trenches. 

Eventually two Mk IV tanks reached the Trenches forcing the German Commander (me!) to make a Moral Check of 9 or more on two D6...I rolled a 9 (phew!) meaning the game continued until the tank exited the back of the table which would force a wholesale general retreat for the Germans

The Rejects Leader 'Postie' overseeing the game 

In both our practice game and the demo yesterday the Allies won although the strength of their victory was quite different from one game to the next. In the practice game the Allies took a mauling, loosing all their tanks to mechanical failure, ditching or being destroyed. When we played the demo more allied Mark IV's made it to the German wire and victory was much easier for them. One of the reasons for this result was that in the demo game we started about two turns into the game (we knew we had less time to play it through) which benefited the Allies. The German forces therefore lost out on two turns of off table artillery and on table direct artillery fire. That's not a criticism as we all knew this was primarily a Demo game and the result was secondary to talking to spectators and explaining the history behind the game.

Running a Demo game at a show was a great experience and I think all the Rejects had a good time. We had a chance to talk to lots of people and hopefully our group has attracted a little bit of attention from fellow gamers that might result in a few new Rejects in the ranks. Will we do it again? I'd be surprised if we didn't, especially as we got 2nd place for Best Demo game. With that sort of positive encouragement I'm sure we'll strive even harder next time.

Lastly I'd just like to say thanks to the organisers, Milton Hundreds Wargaming Club for putting on such a great show and inviting us to participate. I'd also like to say thanks to everyone that stopped by during the day to say hello and have a chat. I hope you liked what you saw and of course all feedback is very welcome. 


  1. Good pics Lee of a good but tiring day!

    1. It was tiring - I'm knackered today - but worth it.

    2. Excellent set of pics Lee!!!!!!

  2. Looks great, and congratulations on the 2nd place. With the pictures from the various rejects blogs I can see how a proper games table is set up.

  3. Awesome display. It`s a great thing to do demo games, tried it sometimes, but usually strand somewhere between what I want to do and what is within my limited talents to actually do

  4. All of these pictures are great but I LOVE the one of Ray and Lurker.

    That is great stuff.

  5. Excellent coverage, Lee. I'm delighted you guys had a great time of it and congratulations on the second-place. (I'm also happy the Canadians made a good show of it as well...)

  6. Great showing there, and congrats on 2nd place for Demos!

  7. Hi Lee,

    Great pictures and I am only sorry I couldn't get a signed copy of the handout - I am sure it would have fetched a high price on ebay with all the Rejects signatures!

    All the best,


  8. Great set of pics there, looks like it was a cracking day, and looks like a great game run by the Rejects.

  9. Congratulations on the award, great for your first public demo. Looks like you had a great time.

  10. Great post and pictures Lee; the boys almost look as if they were on best behaviour. Great result for the game, so what will it be next time?

  11. Great pictures. Really enjoy the one where Ray and Fran finally accepting they are couple.

  12. Awesome setup and you guys really look the part in your Posties shirts!

  13. Great pics of a great demo game. Looked like a lot of fun too - well done the Rejects! Special commendation to Postie for keeping the likes of Ray, Farn and Big Lee in line - was there an award for 'most entertaining banter at a game table'? I reckon there probably should have been! ;-)

  14. Looks like a great game, what make are all the figs? I have a heap of blue moon WWI stuff in the mail.

    1. All the models are old Minifig castings that Postie has had hidden away in storage for years.

  15. Great photos Lee. Looks like a fantastic day out.

  16. Great Demo report Lee, would have been great to be down to see it


  17. Congrats on a successful demo game!


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