Sunday 29 June 2014

1914 WWI Game

Today we played a WWI game with the chief objective of getting comfortable with the rules.

The allied forces conisted of:

1 x Infantry company (4 platoons)
1 x HMG
2 x 13 pounder field guns
1 x troop of cavalry
1 x cavalry HMG
1 battery 13 pounder guns (in support off table) 

1 x infantry company (3 platoons)
1 x HMG
1 x troop of cavalry
1 x Minerva armoured car

The German forces were:
3 x infantry companies (3 platoons each)
4 x HMG
2 x field guns
1 x platoon Jägers
1 x Jäger HMG
1 x platoon uhlans
1 x battery field guns (in support off table) 

The terrain was a simple rolling country with hedged fields. In the centre was a village of three buildings and one one flank was a walled farm.

The table from the farm end.

The Anglo-Belgian force deployed with the British on the right, deploying either side and through the village, with the cavalry covering the extreme right. The Belgians took the left, extending the line through some woods to the farm with the armoured car and the cavalry behind the line on the extreme left. Almost all of the Anglo-Belgians were hastily dug in.

The Germans deployed across the entire front with two companies facing the Belgians and the third, plus the cavalry and jägers, facing the British. On the Geman right the infantry attempted to advance against the farm, but were held in check by the Belgian HMG. When the armoured car and the cavalry moved to flank the Germans, one German platoon dispersed under fire. 

The armoured car continued to harass the Germans and eventually knocked out a German HMG, but the car bogged and could not be moved for the rest of the game.  The Belgian cavalry in the meantime continued to work around the German right, forcing the Germans to turn back the remaining two platoons of the flank company. Caught in column the Belgian troopers were cut down by Geman rifle fire and soon dispersed.

At the opposite end of the table the Germans were having an equally difficult task. The uhlans and the Jägers came under artillery fire and retired. In fact the jägers reacted so badly that they dispersed. The rest of the infantry and the MGs managed to knock out a British MG and forced one platoon to retire. But the British line stabilised and they dug in on the reverse slope of the hill to the right of the village.

The final British position in the hollow to right of the village

In the centre the Germans advanced strongly towards the British left behind the orchard. The initial attack was halted by British rifle fire, with some support by the Belgians in the wood. 

The Belgian infantry holding the edge of the wood.

But a second attack drove off the now suppressed British platoon. The Germans, however, now found themselves in an exposed position, with out support, and when a Belgian platoon counterattacked they were driven back and dispersed.

When the German infantry on the right were hit by a storm of British shells they were driven back. Although these Germans rallied, the Germans decided that they could not continue the fight and the action ended.

It was a good game and the rules held up, with just a few tweaks required to resolve around close combats. Perhaps the greatest learing is that frontal attacks are not going to work.

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