Tuesday March 14 saw the 3rd game in the now highly succesful (ahem, shameless self-promotion) series of “Games in Phil’s Attic”.
The theme this time was the Western front during WW1. The Germans had to attack a British trench system. Due to the fact that I have far less British than German figures, the Germans always end up being the attacker.
The map was laid out such that would be a ‘defence in depth’ scenario. The main attack direction was along the length of the table to allow for this. To simulate this defence in depth idea, the British deployment was such that a minimum number of units had to be in the frontal zone, but the bulk was in the rear zone, where the main trenches were located. Unknown to the Germans, the British also had the availability of barbed wire sections and minefields which they could deploy anywhere.
The Germans had to divide their force in 3 Stosstruppen, and each Stosstrupp was assigned a particular attacking axis. Units could not leave their sector, thereby simulating the idea of 3 formations attacking in parallell, but each in their own sector of the battlefield. We called this the ‘German Doctrine’.
The game was spiced up by random events, ranging from infantry reinforcements, morale boosts, airplanes, an A7V tank, off-board artillery, etc.
Frank en Koen took the German side, Eddy and Bart played the British. Initially, the German advance went well. The frontal sentry units of the Tommies were wiped out fast. When reaching the 2nd line (this was the first trench), the advance halted for a moment, but in the end, the British vacated this position as well (British mortars seem to have problems hitting anything) to fall back to their third line. This third line (and full trnech system) was reinforced by troops coming from the back (and due to lucky random events).
The losses on the German side started to pile up, but the impetus of the attack was still strong. In the mean time, an A7V tank had entered the battlefield, and despite rumours of tanks not working, it kept pushing forward, refusing to malfunction. Also, an Albatros bomber had also appeared to help the infantry assaults underneath.
The German infantry managed to infiltrate the final trenches, but resistance was very stiff. However, by that time, it was after midnight, and we decided to stop the game. Some discussion followed about who would have won, but fairest thing to say is that it still could have gone either way. By looking at the random events still left, the British would still receive quite a few new reinforcements, but the Germans still had their field guns intact, with which they could keep hammering the British Infantry from a distance.
So, in the end, it went just as in WW1: lots of casualties on both sides, , and no-one really was sure who had won in the end. But gamewise, it was a lot of fun!
Here’s a not so sharp picture. I just bought a new GSM, and apparantly, I don’t know how to work the camera properly yet …