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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Battle Report: British Assault on German held village, 1918

First, I want to promote my friend Ivan Sorensen's Indigogo campaign for Hammer of Democracy, a WW2 set of rules adapted from his squad hammer set.  Just for the record, even though I am the co-author of Trench Hammer, I am not benefiting from this and have thrown my hat (and cash) into the ring.  Please give it a look, I have never supported a crowdfunding campaign, but I know this one will be a good one!

Another go with Trench Hammer this weekend, this time with the wife!  She is long-suffering and the best spouse/opponent a guy could ask for.  She is usually convinced I am cheating, but was willing to dive in and give Trench Hammer a try.

We played a simple British attack on a German-held village, circa mid-1918.

The Germans had 2 grenadier section with bombs, an MG08/15 LMG section, and an MG-08 Maxim HMG.  The British had a standard platoon with a Rifle Section, Bombing Section, Lewis Gun Section, and Rifle Grenade Section.

Apologies for the poor quality pictures, but I was drinking a nice lager at the time and the lighting was poor.  I need some more lamps.  I am not going to do a blow by blow, just an overview, as I was too busy playng to document everything. Anyway, on with the show...
 Here we have the initial setup, with the German defenses arrayed and the British skipping down the road.
 The lead British element took heavy fire from the Maxim, while the Lewis section returned fire.  Meanwhile, the bombers assault the woods
 The Bombers chase the Germans out of the wood, while the Rifle section decides enough is enough and is out fo action.
 The Germans counter-attack the woods but are thrown back.  Meanwhile, the Lewis gun trades fire with the Maxim and the Rifle Grenadiers move behind the other wood to take up a firing position
 The Bombers have completely secured the wood at the top of the picture, after knocking out the German MG08/15 squad.  The Rifle Grenadiers are thrown back when the German bombers sally out of the village to assault them.
 The Bombers get in close and force the Maxim team on top of the hill to fall back.
Here is the German commander, sad at her defeat.. the Bombers manage to infiltrate the village from the flank.  This is a narrow British victory, but the butcher's bill is high.  The Britsh lost their platoon leader, rifle section, and Lewis section and are incapable of further offensive action at this time.

The Germans lost their platoon leader, a Grenade squad, and an LMG squad.  After the British infiltrated into the village and the Maxim pulled back, the remaining combat effective German squad was forced to fall back or face being cut off.

A great game we played in 45 minutes!  She likes it and we will be playing more.  I hope you enjoyed it and contribute to Ivan's new rules if you can.  Until next time, good gaming!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Battle Report: German Raid on a sap

I played out my scenario, full details of the scenario, map, briefings, and setup can be found here, now on with the show...

Here the raiding party works its way down the trench towards the target
 Lt Klink leads with the Stossgruppe against the Lewis Gun section.  They knock out the section but are disorganized (5 hits) and the rest of the platoon passes through them while they sort themselves out.  Lt. Klink is seriously wounded in the action and his senior NCO takes charge and leads the Grenadier squads through.

A British suffer from several turns of terrible activation rolls, so are only able to bring on the reinforcing bombing squad after the hun is well into their position.  The lead German squad manages to bomb the British rifle grenade section in the sap out of action.

 The reinforcements from the adjoining unit are met by one of the German Bombing squads.  The melee is intense and the Germans wind up with 4 hits and barely drive off the enemy.

 Back at the T junction of the trench, the trailing German Grenadier squad gets into a grenade fight with the British Bombing section for a couple of turns.  Once again, the combat is bloody (the Germans take 5 hits) but they manage to rout the British.

Meanwhile, the lead German Grenadier squad clears out the rest of the sap. Given that there are no combat effective British units on the table, the Germans has enough time to blow the sap and withdraw back across no man's land as planned.  So a major success with fairly moderate casualties.

Lt. Klink is carried back by his men and will spend several weeks in a field hospital in the rear having his wounds attended to.

I hope you enjoyed it.  The game took exactly 31 minutes to play, I know because I listen to a podcast while playing it, but I also played it solo, which speeds things up quit a bit.

Until next time, good gaming!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Scenario: German Raid on a sap

This scenario is inspired by “Gentlemen at Loos” from Too Fat Lardies Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers Great War scenario book.  I cannot exactly recreate it given my terrain and troops, but I can get pretty close, consider this scenario “inspired by actual events.”
When playing scenarios involving trenches, the gamer will find one of their biggest limiting factor is how he represent trenches on their table.  I use rather large rubber trenches, really designed for 15mm FOW bases.  As a result the trenches don’t have what I consider enough bends and kinks as an actual trench would to prevent enfilading fire and protect from shell blasts, so some abstraction is in order.
Here is how I am tweaking the rules to handle my trenches and handle fighting along a trench (no changes from the main rules if one unit is outside a trench:

Special Rules for Fighting along a trench
·        Visibility along a trench is limited to 3”
·        All fire between two units fighting along a trench is limited to ASSAULT combat
o   With the exception of Bombers and Assault Troops, all fire is limited to 3”
o   Bombers and assault Troops may ASSAULT out to 6”
§  They may ASSAULT enemies they cannot see
§  They may ASSAULT enemies if there are intervening friendly troops
§  (It is assumed that bombers are trained to attack into adjacent traverses, etc. as was the practice, and will stop if intervening troops get into bayonet range.)
Your mileage may vary, these rules are for my peculiar circumstances.

Raid on a Gas Sap

German Briefing:

The perfidious British are digging a sap from their trench lines into no man’s land that intercepted phone traffic tells you will be used for gas cylinders to attack your regiment. The Colonel has ordered you to take a picked raiding party, infiltrate the British Trenches, and destroy the sap while it is under construction.  Your raiding party consists of:

  •   1 Officer Leader (yourself) and 1 other Leader (a senior NCO)
  •      3 Bombing Squads
  •      1 Assault (Regimental Stoss troop) Squad

Bags of grenades are distributed to your men and you carefully rehearse behind the lines for several days.  Your route across no man’s land will be covered by smoke and harassing artillery fire, and carefully camouflaged routes through the enemy wire have been cut over the last few nights.  Your will rush through these gaps during daylight hours, enter the enemy trench is a poor defended spot, and work your way down the trench using grenades.  Once in the enemy sap (S on the map), destroy it using concertation charges (each bombing squad carriers one, they must spend 1 turn and 2 activation points performing no other action, then must roll a 3+ to succeed.)
As soon as you have succeeded or are driven off, fire a green flare and more artillery fire will cover your withdrawal.  You troops enter at point A on the map.

British Briefing:

Your Platoon is being used as coolies to dig a sap for the Special Brigade to conduct one of their infernal gas attacks.  It will only encourage the Hun to plaster you with shells while the Special Brigade detachment heads back to the comfort of the rear, so you are not terribly happy with this.
You have your Rifle and Rifle Grenade section in the sap (S on the map) working under the supervision of their NCO’s, while your Lewis Section is preparing to relieve one of the other sections (B on the Map)
You and your Bombing Section are located off map at point C.  Reinforcements consisting of an assault section can be had from the neighboring company, and enter the table at point D.

·        Given the surprise the Germans achieve, the British roll for initiative as if they had poor training (2d6, select lowest)

·        Every turn you may choose to save activation points each turn instead of activating a unit.  They may be saved from one turn to the next.  At the beginning of each turn you may choose to spend the points, roll a d6 and if it is <= the number of points, you and your Bombing Section arrives at point C and may activate this turn.  The next turn the assault section will arrive at point D with 1 leader.
Don’t let the Hun ruin your labor!

The Map:

Player Aids:

I hate having my squads drag dice around with them to indicate hits, so I am using unit cards to track them.  There are only 4-8 units on the table in a typical game, so this should never be too much of an issue in Trench Hammer.
(As a side note, BUY YOURSELF A LAMINATING MACHINE if you make your own player aids. Mine was $10 at Wal-Mart and I buy the sleeves from Amazon so it costs me < $0.02 a page to laminate.  Do your self a favor and get one now!)

Here is the German force, it has a Leader card with the leader rules and a card for each unit that tracks hits with a red paperclip and includes any special rules for that unit.

Here is the British Force:

The QRS I use now can be found here, it can be pretty small as I have offloaded some of the rules to the unit cards.  After I get them painted, I intend to also use casualty markers, 1 for when a unit reaches 3 hits and a second one for 5 hits, so I remember to apply the negative damage modifiers.  This should leave a fairly uncluttered table.

Let me know what you think!

Next time I will actually play the game and we will see of Lt. Klink can deliver a blow to the British.

Note this is not the same Klink as Just Jack's, but his ditant cousin,  Just in case I get him killed off, we won't have any temporal paradoxes.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Trench Hammer, Infantry Platoon in the Attack 1917

I christened my gaming space this evening with a quick game of Trench Hammer.  I played (again) the first training scenario from Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers, a British Infantry platoon attacking a German strongpoint.

In the background, you can see the Hun in his trench with 2 Rifle Sections, 1 Maxim HMG, and 1 Officer, a young Lt. Klink.  In the foreground is the British platoon forming up behind a small hill. From left to right you have: Rifle Section, the platoon commander, the Bomber section, the Lewis Gun section, and the Rifle Grenade section.

The plan was to send the Lewis gun team to the top of the hill and suppress the left rifle squad, send the rifle grenades to the shell hole to keep the Maxim gun under fire, and maneuver the Rifle section and bombers to roll up the German position.

What actually happened was the Rifle Grenadiers were put out of action by the Maxim gun,  but the Lewis Section did manage to lay down some suppressive fire.  The Rifle Section and Bombers received some fire as the maneuvered around.
The Rifle Section and Bombers made it to the Hun trench and assaulted while the Bosche swung his other rifle gruppe around to counter attack.  It was touch and go with the Germans holding out for some time, but eventually, they succumbed to Mills bombs and bayonets.  The Bombing Section was exhausted and unable to continue, though, after subduing the enemy and were out of action.  The Rifle Section meanwhile dealt with the flanking Germans.
And here is the end game, with the Rifle Section in the Hun trench about the assault the Maxim position from the flank,  Lt. Klink decides discretion is the better part of valor and pulls back to regroup the survivors of his platoon.  The British have carried the day, but at a cost, with the platoon combat ineffective as the Bombers and Rifle Bombers need to be rallied and reorganized and wounded sent back to the aid station.  They are unable to continue the attack and will be passed through by another platoon.

(Out of action does not mean the unit is necessarily destroyed but has taken enough casualties and are disordered or demoralized enough that they are just hunkering down and are combat ineffective for the rest of this fight)

And here is a better shot of mt total workspace.  The grey boxes on the top shelf hold my 28mm buildings and the spool cotton box is from my Great-Great-Grandfather's roadside store.

Thanks for reading and until next time, good gaming!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

... and we have landed!!!!

Moved into the new house and we love it! Further out in the country, bigger yard, 1 story, less than a mile from the public boat ramp, and most importantly, within walking distance of our 9-month-old granddaughter.

I have a nice gaming space in what we are calling the library.  With my recent hobby downsizing over the last few years, all of my figures fit nicely in my card catalog.  I occupy about a third of it, with my 40" x 40" table that expands to 60" x 40" with a built-in leaf.  That is more than enough table space.  My lovely, talented, and brilliant wife also found a roll top desk for me to use for painting, which is key as you shall see... (Click photos to enlarge)

Here is my painting space and bookshelves, you can see my table in the foreground.  There is also storage on a shelf above the desk.

 As you can see, the roll top desk nicely hides any work I have in progress so it does not look messy and keeps the cats out.  The room also has a door, so I can keep them off of my table and leave games set up.
The large books are actually boxes I use to tastefully store frequently used gaming paraphernalia.

We have covered the walls in the family pictures and what not.  Here next to y desk you can see on the lefthand side from the bottom to top: a page from the Necronomicon, vintage WW1 hand tinted postcards, and Sean Connery protecting and watching over us all.

 I have mostly transitioned to eBooks on my kindle for most of my reading and multiple house moves have encouraged me to whittle down my hard copy library.  But, here is what I have kept and as you can see, I have widespread interests.
 Here are my gaming bona fides: my red box D&D book and my AD&D Player's handbook as reminders of a misspent youth in the 80's.
 And my small board wargame collection, including my original Panzerblitz copy I played in high school (I have Avalon Hill's Afrika Korps and Midway on a shelf too)
General Gordon watches over the gaming table, set up for a game of Trench Hammer, I have not pushed any lead in 5 months!
A close up of the German defenses, going to ease back in with the first training scenario from Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers.

Going to play this out this weekend, stay tuned for a battle report.  Until then, may you roll high and live!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

Surveying new encampment....

Related image

Wrapping up the old house and hunting for new one.  With luck, we will not be ambushed by Gauls in between.

More updates later

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Breaking Camp, Taking a Hiatus

We are preparing our house to sell and looking for another in the local area so my gaming activities will have to be put on hold for the greater good.  But because I have an AWESOME wife, one of our requirements is gaming space.  (nothing at all to do with the fact that right now the first thing you see when you walk in the door is my workspace...)

I have packed up all my 28mm terrain, unpainted figures, broken down my painting workbench, and emptied my card catalog of figures.  All packed up in a POD storage container.

Staying with me is... My 28mm painted figures in a Battle foam box, a HECK of a lot less than I moved 5 years ago from Florida.  Shedding figures I didn't use has made my collection much more manageable, I game more, and it is much easier to transport.  Storing those in the top of the closet while we show our house.  Also keeping with me is small boxes and multi-use terrain:

  • 10mm WW1
  • 6mm AWI (and AWI Skirmish)
  • 3mm Cold War
  • 6mm Napoleonics (although this is mostly for safe keeping as I have rebased my French but not my Austrians yet)

I shall only be posting sporadically, but have no fear, I shall return as time permits and will keep following the rest of your guys in the community.

And, as soon as we get settled, I will bring back the tactical Decision Exercise as I still have magazines to get rid of, although I may randomly pick winners from the entries or have voting.

Until then, good gaming!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tactical Decision Exercise Contest Winner #1 Announced!!!

Ok, as a quick reminder here is the original post.

Please read the comments on that post for all of the entries...


As a quick reminder, here is the situation, see original post above for more background.

Feel free to debate the solutions and my decisions to your heart's content in the comments!

Current Situation:    

While out on patrol, you receive an alert on the platoon radio net that a UH-60 helicopter was hit by an RPG and has crashed at a location two blocks southwest of your current position.  Immediately, your Platoon Leader gives orders for all squads to converge on the crash site to secure the wreckage and evacuate any survivors.  You immediately begin moving your squad toward the crash site along a narrow side street.  The area is deserted, a sign that all of the local civilians are aware of the impending danger and are trying to keep out of the way.  As your lead team nears a corner, they signal a halt and indicate enemy activity to their front with a hand signal.  You rush up to the corner, peer around the corner and see this:

A small group of fighters are positioned in an open area approximately 75 meters to your front.  By their distinctive red headscarves, you recognize them as members of one of the militias that you have been fighting over the last several days.  There are 9 men on the ground:
  • Six of them are brandishing AK-47s 
  • Three others are carrying RPG-7s (like the one reported to have struck the downed UH-60).  
  • Also, there is a small pick-up truck with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle mounted in the back. 
This element is stationary and they have not detected your presence.  They all seem to be focusing their attention in the opposite direction from your squad’s location.

There is a small concrete barrier just to the front of where you are standing that offers a well-covered position where you could position your squad in a linear formation facing the enemy. Beyond this barrier, the ground is open with no cover.  With no time to spare and no way of bypassing this enemy force, you decide to attack. 

(Determined using my own probably very unsound military judgment...)

1st Place (a tie buy lucky for me one of the gents if from the UK)

Jim Hale: 

I like his thought process, but as he is in the UK, no magazines for you, just the honor and glory that goes with the prize!  Using the MG on the technical is good, and I like the way you assessed the threats from worst to least and privided rear security for your unit.

"Hi! Just for fun for me, I'm in the UK.

Okay I'd task the M240 team to take out the SPG9-Technical, then act as its boss thinks best. The two rifle teams will target the RPG guys, followed by the guys with AKs. The DM and the RMAT are watching flank and rear. 

We'll use the concrete barrier as cover and open fire once we've reached it.


a) The M240 is the best anti-vehicle weapon. The SPG-9 is the most significant threat. If nothing else it will make things hot for the crew. 

b) The RPGs are either HEAT or Frag projectiles and only need to be near to my position to cause casualties. 2 * M249 + 40mm + M4 should make short work of them.

c) The AK guys are really going to struggle to hit my guys at 75m, they would usually prefer <60m, possibly even <40m if they aren't hardcore. Some of them might blow when the Technical and RPG guys take hits in any case. 

d) The Team leaders (inc the M240 boss) know their jobs, or they wouldn't have them. I don't need to micromanage them.

e) Flank and rear security are necessary, just in case the bad guys are waiting on support."

Nick Riggs 

(Contact me with your address and I will mail out your magazines.)

I liked his rationale as well, identifying the RPG's as probably the biggest threat, the M-240 is used for rear security, which is a trade-off not being able to use it for the attack by fire, but given the unpredictable nature of urban combat, it is a reasonable decision and leaves it in reserve in case it is needed.

"MG team, take up position 30m back and face back to cover our rear. The squad will creep up behind the barrier ahead. When I open fire on the SPG-9 gunner, FT1 will fire on the RPG guys and FT2 will fire on the AK guys. Keep shooting until all targets are down."

The fighters are an identified enemy carrying weapons and with heavy weapon backup, so I assume the rules of engagement allow me to attack them without warning. There's no point in being particularly stealthy as everyone would have seen the helo go down so we don't have any time to spare. 

I want the MG to protect our rear in case we get attacked from behind. The MG should be able to deal with any attackers approaching from up the narrow street. 

I guessed the RPG gunners would be the biggest immediate threat as it would take longer to bring the SPG into action and the gunner should be down by then. The squad should have some protection from the AK gunners but any delay in dealing with them and they might spread out, take cover or some other action against us, so I wanted to simultaneously hit all parts of the enemy. Ideally a well-placed grenade from each of the fireteams would take out each of the enemy groups at the same time, so the rest of the squad should be able to mop up any remaining forces."

Honorable Mention, Whoa Mohammad:

It was tough, I really, really like this solution, as he has a plan to break contact if need be as well as rear security.  It was a tough decision, the only thing I would have done differently is put more fire on the RPG gunners, I am not sure a single SAW is enough.  But, I could be wrong, they are bunched up pretty tight and the 240- can work right easily enough after disabling the technical and SPG-9

"1st Fireteam deploys to the left on my command engages the six infantry firing from left to right.1st Team will be prepared on order to engage the technical with 775mmRR in the center. 

The M240 team will Deploy to the right of 1st team. This teams primary target is the technical with 75mmRR. It will be prepared on order to support 1st team.

2 team will deploy its SAW on the right of the M240 team it will engage the 3 man infantry team to the right of the technical. the 2nd team leader with the 2 remaining men will provide security but will be prepared to support by fire and or smoke if the platoon needs to break contact and displace."

Why all these answers are better than cadet solutions I found...

The student's solutions ignored flank and rear security 100% of the time and focused on which fire element should engage which enemy group.  This is the whole point of exercises like this in the classroom and MILES exercises in the field.  More sweat on the training field, less blood on the battlefield. 

Next Time

I will post another Tactical Decision Exercise soon and set it in another era. Until then, Nick send me your address and your magazines will be winging your way!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tactical Decision Exercise Contest #1!!!!


I am a bit heads down at the moment with real life and painting the rest of my Pendraken WW1 figures and making terrain.  I plan to do a full photo shoot when done, but in the meantime, do not have much to share.

What I do have to share is a stack of magazines I want to get rid of.  So, to make things interesting, I am going to run a few Tactical Decision Game exercises to get some conversations rolling and I hope you find them enjoyable.  Here are the rules:

  • Send me your solution by leaving a comment below before midnight EDT on 4/14, your comments will not be published until after the deadline, so no looking at other's papers!
  • I will select the top 3 and a winner using my own judgment (as good or bad as that may be)
  • I will publish all of the comments on this post so everyone can peruse them and tell me why I am wrong (us wargamers are an ornery lot!)
  • I will publish another post with the top 3, including the winner.
If you win AND you live in the continental United States, I will ship you completely FREE six random magazines from my stack for your enjoyment.  They range from 1994 - 2015 and include Miniature Wargames, Wargames Illustrated, Battlegames, and Wargames Soldiers and Strategy.  Who knows what you'll get!  I don't because I have already sealed them in the USPS flat rate shipping pouches.

If you win and live outside of CONUS, you will get glory, honor, and respect.  You can have the magazines too if you'll pay the shipping. (Sorry, international comrades)

I'll try to post about 5 of these over the next few weeks covering various periods.  We'll start simple.  Let's begin with one I pulled from a West Point class website, it set in the current age and is called...

Squad Attack By Fire

You are the Squad Leader for 1st Squad of 2/B/2-329IN.  Your rifle squad consists 2 fire teams.  Additionally, you are reinforced with a three-man M240B machine gun team.  
SQD LDR= Squad leader 
TM LDR = Team leader 
GREN = grenadier, M4 with attached M203 40mm Grenade launcher
RMAT= normally the squad Javelin ATGM gunner, but left behind for this mission so another AR
AR = Automatic rifleman with M249 squa automatic weapon
DM = Squad designated marksman armed with upgraded M-16 with bipod and good optics.

Your unit is currently deployed to the country of Somalistan as part of a U.S.-led force that is attempting to conduct humanitarian relief operations.  You are operating in the capital city which is a large urban slum of almost a million people.  There are heavily armed gangs of fighters roaming the streets under the command of the warlords who have taken control of much of the city.  2-329IN has established a Forward Operating Base (FOB) near a large soccer stadium in the northwest part of town, and the companies have been conducting patrols in the surrounding neighborhoods to assist in quelling the violence being perpetrated by the street gangs.

Current Situation:    

While out on patrol, you receive an alert on the platoon radio net that a UH-60 helicopter was hit by an RPG and has crashed at a location two blocks southwest of your current position.  Immediately, your Platoon Leader gives orders for all squads to converge on the crash site to secure the wreckage and evacuate any survivors.  You immediately begin moving your squad toward the crash site along a narrow side street.  The area is deserted, a sign that all of the local civilians are aware of the impending danger and are trying to keep out of the way.  As your lead team nears a corner, they signal a halt and indicate enemy activity to their front with a hand signal.  You rush up to the corner, peer around the corner and see this:

A small group of fighters are positioned in an open area approximately 75 meters to your front.  By their distinctive red headscarves, you recognize them as members of one of the militias that you have been fighting over the last several days.  There are 9 men on the ground:
  • Six of them are brandishing AK-47s 
  • Three others are carrying RPG-7s (like the one reported to have struck the downed UH-60).  
  • Also, there is a small pick-up truck with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle mounted in the back. 
This element is stationary and they have not detected your presence.  They all seem to be focusing their attention in the opposite direction from your squad’s location.

There is a small concrete barrier just to the front of where you are standing that offers a well-covered position where you could position your squad in a linear formation facing the enemy.  Beyond this barrier, the ground is open with no cover.  With no time to spare and no way of bypassing this enemy force, you decide to attack. 

What do you do?

Take 1 minute and think about your course of action, then type up what orders you will give to your 2 fireteam leaders and the attached M240 Machine Gun team.  Then write up why you issued teh orders you did.

Good luck!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

German Trench Raid, 1917 with Trench Hammer

Got a quick solo game of Trench Hammer in with some of my 3d Corp Trenchs, now dry brushed.  I won't give a blow by blow of the mechanics, but for this game, it is important to remember that troops protected by trenches take 1/2 damage.  Enjoy!

German Briefing

There is a Tommy Vickers Machine gun firing from a small salient sticking out of the British lines that the regimental commander wants to be silenced.  Also, pick up any prisoners that you can and bring them back for interrogation.

To accomplish this task, you will be given 2 raiding parties, one you will lead and one that will be led by your senior NCO.  Our sappers have already cut paths through the enemy wire, allowing one party to attack the enemy position from each flank.

You force consists of 2 Leaders and 2 raiding parties each consisting of:
1 x Assault Squad
1 x Bombing Squad
1 x MG08/15 Squad

We have conducted harassing artillery fire every night in this sector for the last week and will fire a box barrage to cut off the British position from reinforcements. There is a partial moon, but it looks like fog tonight, which should work to your advantage, as visibility will be limited to 12"

Good luck, and if you succeed, there may be an Iron Cross and a few day's leave in it for you!

British Briefing

You are Lt. Arthur Hastings, and your platoon is assigned to hold a salient sitting slightly forward of the main British trenches that houses a Vickers Machine Gun team.  They are well sited to give the Boche a good drubbing if he decides to come over the top and also makes life difficult for the hun along a section of his trench.   Your battalion and company commanders have made it quite clear that you are to hold this position and they are afraid that Jerry may launch a raid to take out the gun.

Your platoon is up to strength and consists of yourself as the leader, the Vickers team and:
1 x Rifle Section
1 x Bombing Section
1 x Lewis Gun Section
1 x Rifle Bomber Section

It is about 1am and foggy tonight, limiting visibility, but your plucky lads are alert and ready for anything.  But just in case, you are holding your Bombing Section in reserve in case the dastardly hun tries any funny business.

The Game

Click to enlarge
Initial dispositions, with German raiding parties approaching from the flanks

 Unsuccessful assault on the Lewis Gun section that led to the German Senior NCO becoming a casualty and eventual destruction of the Assault squad by accurate close range Lewis Gun fire.

 In this terrible picture, you can see the Ger,ans do manage to take out the Vickers Machine gun with a volley of grenades, but their assault troops are held up in the open while the British leader orders his Bombing squad up in support.
 The Huns on the left flank are content to hunker down in craters and trade fire with the defenders.
 Meanwhile, the combined fire from the British rifle section and bombers knocks the Assault squad out of action and leaves the German Lt.  out of action.
Here you see the end game, with the Germans withdrawing before their box barrage ends.

I judge this a minor British victory, as the Germans did knock out the Machine gun, but were pretty badly cut up in the process.  They failed to capture any prisoners or even gain entry into the British positions.

While Lt. Hastings' Battalion commander is not happy about losing the gun, a new one will be sent up tomorrow night and remounted and Hastings at least gave the Boche a good drubbing.

All in all a fun little game, that played out in about 30 - 45 minutes and I think gave a pretty good result.  Next time, I may fancy it up a bit and give the raiders a chance to get closer.

I hope you have enjoyed this and good gaming!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

3d Corp Flexible craters and trenches with 10mm

At Siege of Augusta, I picked up a pack of craters from one of the vendors (I cannot remember who for the life of me), with the intention of using them for my 10mm WW1 games.  You can see them in action here, and they have worked well, al; though I will get around to drybrushing them eventually.

Meanwhile, I have been on the prowl for a good set of rugged trenches for my WW1 games.  I don't have the time to make nice sculpted terrain boards and need something that won't damage and stores easily.  So, I ordered a set of 15mm trenches from 3d Corp to use with my 10mm Pendraken figures, and here are the results.


The company is in Poland and sells via an eBay store here.  Ordering was of course easy via eBay, I paid via Pay Pal, and shipping time was about 3 weeks, which I think is pretty good from Poland.
I ordered two "Wargaming Scenery XL Flex TRENCHLINE SYSTEM"  which is scaled for 15mm.  One was a section fo trench and the other was a pack with a 45 degree bend, two trench ends, and an artillery position.

PRO: Fast shipping (I think) from Poland, selling via eBay and paying with Pay Pal, I could track the package and I felt I had recourse since this was the first time I have ordered from them.  Plus they seem to have good reviews.

CON: There was a STRONG chemical smell when I recieved them, but they are made fromf lexible rubber, so I assume it was some sort of outgassing and I could not smell it much a week later.  Just FYI

They are designed for 15mm Flames of War sized bases it appears by the pictures, but I wanted to see what they would look like with 10mm...

What do they look like? (Click Pictures to enlarge)

Here is a section of trench on a 3' wide terrain cloth with a 6 inch ruler layed down to give you an idea of scale. I have layed out all of the pieces so you can see what I recieved.

PRO: These are Flexible rubber and I cannot break them!  I can also cram them into a box for storage.

 Here is a closeup with a Mchine gun sap and a British 4 section rifle platoon.  My troops are based on 40mm x 20mm bases to give you an idea of scale and the MG is on a 25mm round.

CON: for 10mm only the trenches are a bit wide and the traverses wind up being pretty long.  I have two possible solutions, one that you will see below involving trimming the pieces.  The other is to assume the Trenches are a bit of an abstration in Trench Hammer and assume there are other traverses in there we cannot see.  Then limit the line of sight alomng a trench to 6" (Assault Range) and Bob's your 4th Cousin!  So this is not a huge con for me, but it might bother some folks.  Plus teh interior of the trench is 30mm wide, so I can clear show squads that are up and manning the firing posts, and slide back the ones that are not.

 Some sneaky German Storm Troopers are raiding the trench.

Another shot with the ruler and troops to give you an idea of size. 

 Here si have rearrainged the pieces t create a "Bastion" like outpost.  To make it fit, I took one of the 8" long straigh sections and cut it in half.
 Here you can see that a bit better, that is one advantage to these, with a good set of shears, you can cut them to the shape you need.

PRO: You can also see the detail molded into the pieces, which I think will dry brush nicely with little effort for a really nice effect.

And here is the bastion again, ready to hold off the Boche.

Verdict - Thumbs up (for me)

Would I reccomend these?  Absolutely for a 15mm gamer.  For myself, gaming in 10mm I still answer yes, as they meet my primary requirement for ruggedness and storability.  For "sit on top" trenches they shoudl blend nicely once I have dry brushed them.

The only downside is for folks that do not want thier terrain a little abstracted, these will feel a bit out of scale for 10mm, assuming a scale of ~ 1:150 then theses trenches are 13 - 14 feet across in scale.

For me these are good balance between my storage requirements and scale and I have ordered a few extra pieces.  I plan on trimming some more to make the traverses a bit shorter.

I hope this has been helpful.  Now I have to finish painting tanks, my new blasted forests, and minenwerfers!  Until next time, good gaming!