As I mentioned in an earlier post I decided to get into a game after enjoying the rules and scenario put on by a game master earlier in the day. I got lucky right after finishing the game and talking with the game master I went to the game desk and found one ticket left for the game so got it for that evening.
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So I moved from the East Front to the West Front World War I. This time we faced off against South African troops vs German troops in the Delville Wood during the Battle of the Somme . The German goal is to pinch of the bulge in the lines along the Somme front. Once again, I have to complement the game master Troy Turner on the terrain and figures. My command was the German corner of the table with the contested town and the trench line next to it. Added to a game somethings I have never used in a game were German World War I storm troops with flamethrowers. I alas had no troops with flamethrowers.
Games started with an intense artillery barrage on the South Africans were every unit had to roll for damage to reflect the pre-attack barrage that historically happened. As most dice rolling related things some units survived unscathed, others were hit but none seriously enough to force them out of the defenses. The contested town gave both my units and the South Africans good cover better than the rest of the South African forces as it was considered heavy fortifications. This would be important and led to a grinding fight for in the town.
No, I was not very satisfied with the pre-game artillery bombardment it was the luck of the dice. I tried to just slug it out with fire infantry and artillery but was very ineffective just occasionally scoring hits. Meanwhile the other flank saw the German player come over no man’s land during the 2nd turn. Tough fight for me so I thought the other flank would be thrown back. My snipers were missing so no luck with this then my forward unit in the town got hit by artillery with a good roll. Lost the sniper and machine gunner in that unit.
In the center, the German players prepared the way with fire over several turns hitting the trench with various types of fire. The casualties for both sides were mounting up. Then the center charged and hit the South African trench line. There elite storm troops with flamethrowers really causing damage. The other side across from me on the old side of the table also saw the Germans trying to throw the South Africans out of the forward trench line. The elite troops of the Germans really proved to be deadly, the South Africans have only light trenches which did not help either.
Therefore, we were seeing brutal fighting for the town both sides staying put, the South Africans falling back in the center and on the other flank. Then came yet another couple of surprises one for me and one for the South Africans. For me the South Africans in the town decided to charge and get really close with my troops who had been reduced by artillery fire. Did not see this coming as the South Africans really looked like they needed to fall back in the center and other flank. Then the Germans launched a mustard gas attack, the gas floating towards the South African trench line. I admit I did not expect this and it looked cool.
The charge worried me but the South Africans stopped short of my troops and were shot up at short-range. I moved fresh troops over from the trench line to attack into the side of the town and the South African troops. I was able to do this as the South Africans falling back in the center and flanks had moved back from the forward trenches as the gas moved towards them. Surprised by the aggressive moves I was but I was able to hold on and push back the South Africans.
Ultimately, the game was a German victory with the South Africans being beat up in the middle and falling back. Nice terrain again I felt it was really well done. The figures also were nice figures and again make me want to gravitate to the First World War. The rules are easy and ones I like to play for this period at least. The gas attack was a neat effect and the Stormtroopers with flamethrowers was neat and deadly.
I am most likely a little too conservative when playing this period I think. I want to cause as many casualties with artillery fire before charging in and many of the players around me just charged taking what ever happened on the way in without worry. This though sounds realistic tactics from the period though so I would say it was the way to go. Good game and I enjoyed myself.