Monday 8 October 2012

Early WWI Battle in 10mm

Posties Rejects gathered on Sunday to play a home grown set of rules for early WWI battles. The game was run by John who did the Boar War game we played a few months ago and once again we were using his  collection of 10mm figures and scenery. The rules make extensive use of the d20 instead of the d6 we are more used to in wargaming. 

Initial Deployment

For this game we played down the length of the table (6'x10') with a broad river bisecting the board about half way down. The river was crossed by a wide bridge on one side and a road bridge and rail bridge on the other side. The British also had use of an aeroplane for artillery spotting but in practise this had no effect on the game whatsoever, partly because we had field artillery rather than longer range Howitzers which would have benefited from the bonus to hit that spotting would have provided. 

Artillery spotting using aerial reconnaissance

The British Expeditionary Force under myself and Fran approached this river down two roads on either side of the table and our objective was to get across and establish a bridgehead on the other side. Likewise the Germans also needed to get to the river crossings to deny us that bridgehead. The difference was that the Germans had a much larger army - reinforcements arrived twice during the game - and twice the artillery of the B.E.F..

The first clash was between the lead cavalry elements of both sides

The Kings Own Hussars did incredibly well, winning three Melee in a row. But eventually they were outnumbered and distinguished themselves to the last man!
Now the infantry fought for control of the river crossings.
Both sides took heavy casualties on the bridges although the British faired better. However in the end neither side was able to capture the crossings.
Meanwhile the British 2nd Division was having a tough time holding back the Germans who did make it across the river but were steadily loosing ground when the game ended. 
The German Artillery was a constant thorn in the side of the British. 
Having fought each other to a stand still both sides decided they could not hold the bridges.
This was very much a game of two battles centred around the two crossing points. In both cases the BEF could probably have taken the crossings eventually but holding them was another matter. The German army was larger and stronger (although a lot was lost to attrition)  but ultimately their artillery blunted any advances the British could have made. As in history, the BEF would probably have been forced to retreat without further support (we never did get any reserves during the game) while the Germans would be able to bring in more troops and would only grow stronger.

This was an enjoyable game with swift turn progression enabling plenty of positional movement prior to the commencement of the battle proper. Having said that I don't think I handled my movement as well as I could have. I stuck to the roads to gain extra speed but afterwards I realised that any additional progress was eaten up by the indirect dog-leg in the road and I would have been better going cross-country for those extra few inches of movement. If I had done this I may have reached the bridges a turn earlier which might have helped me establish a foothold on the other side. Having said that I think then I would have been left in the open without cover and felt the full power of the German artillery.

The game was declared a draw but in retrospect I think this was a German victory. The odds were stacked against the BEF - although I'm sure my German opponent didn't think that at times as my dice rolling was phenomenal! - and the British objective of getting across the river was never really achieved. Even if we had made it across I don't think we could have held the ground for long. At best the BEF gave the Germans a bloody nose but ultimately their objective in this game was always going to be a tough one. 


  1. Nice report Lee. We're looking at WW1 as a period to play (using Spearhead rules) in 6mm. A couple of playtests have shown that artillery and poison gas are pretty effective but the machine gun is the weapon of choice for clearing No Mans Land of enemy troops.

  2. Great AAR Lee. Will you guys be making a trip to SELWG next weekend? If so, I'll see you there.

    1. Yes that's the plan. Barring illness (or the Zombie Apocalypse) Myself, Fran, Postie and Ray will be at SELWG bright and early next Sunday.

  3. Nice one Lee. One of my club members was looking at 10mm WW1. (Probably Middle east) so is nice to see some painted in action. I appreciate that.

    All the best Clint

  4. What a delightful looking game!

  5. Great looking game Lee, shame I couldn't make it!

    1. You were there in spirit mate (by which I mean we were mercilessly taking the p*** out of you throughout the

      It was a good game, albeit a bit frustrating because I don't think either side had the forces available to make a real breakthrough.

    2. Its only to be expected, they just missed me that's all!

    3. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better.

  6. Every time I see that shed, I marvel...great looking game too ;)

  7. Nice AAR, looks like it was a good game


  8. That recon plane kicks ass - love it!


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