Monday, 5 September 2016

Saturday's WW1 Operational Game

Image result for trench attacks ww1

Great game on Saturday.  Operational WW1 works.  Mark took some pictures which I hope we will see blogged before long.

Russ went with a straight forward full Corp attack with a division advancing down each table.  He had rolled four days prebombardment, and as it was the Somme I did not allow him to reduce the amount of days.  As Mark would get an extra regiment for the bombardment lasting more than three days, Russ opted to take an extra two days as per the rules.

The bombardment was reasonably effective, destroying some of the front kine wire and most of the pill boxes and bunkers but as Mark kept most of his troops on the back table, the Germans suffered few casualties.

However, he had placed one regiment in the BUA on 1C.  This suffered some losses before the attack commenced but as the British charged across no-mans land few casualties were inflicted by the defenders and Mark elected to retire from the town and augment his second line.  Once more this tactic failed and the British were able to maintain their timetable whilst this regiment was caught and routed in the open.  1D was undefended and the Germans were reliant on their second line.

Russ had kept no reserves off table as he reasoned that the shelled ground would hold up any reinforcements and so both tables were assaulted by a ratio of 3:1.  More importantly the lack of hold ups on the first line of tables meant that both divisions attacked the second line on time and in synch with their preplanned artillery.  Gas attacks seriously weakened the centres of both tables and the German fire was being spread across a full corp.  By attaching engineers Russ was able to wire in both divisions enabling better communication for a follow up attack on table 3.  The British were making good time against the trench line when Mark counter attacked with his carefully husbanded reserve onto 2C.  On this table the British began to waver but as the day waned the single defending regiment on 2D routed.  Russ (after many attempts) was able to send a flank attack from this table against the counter attacking Germans on 1C which stabilised this table.  In the final turn, Russ was able to assault table three from 1C and had overwhelming numbers ready and prepared on 2D.  The Germans had only a battery of 105mms on table three and so by 5.00pm it was declared a British victory!

We managed 20 turns and plenty of talking on Saturday.  We got a result with two players and an umpire on half the usual tables, so I would declare this a success.

I definitely think we could do a 2 x Corp attack against a 1 x Corp defence - this would give the defender more assets including army level reinforcements for a more interesting game.  We can use Aircraft and Observation balloons.  The balloon would give a plus one for support fire and be able to call in artillery on its own against spotted targets across all the tables.  Aircraft will scout and reveal HQs or swoop down for more detailed recon and suffer possible AA.

Well done Russ and Mark for an excellently played game!

1 comment:

  1. This was a another top game, thanks for umpiring Ian and thanks for being a good sport Mark.

    It felt somewhat more challenging than a WW2 game from my side of the table. Planning an attack with a such a large force was not easy but satisfying to see a positive outcome.

    My pre planned artillery was crucial and I would 9 times out of 10 go this way again. Calling in off table Corps artillery in general support on a 6..... hmmm.

    Looking at it from the German side it is obviously very hard to stop an attack of such scale but Mark did well on tables 2C and 2D. Losing his extra regiment was very costly though and I was pleasantly surprised to be able to move across 1C relatively unscathed by Mark's defending regiment. I think if Mark had not garrisoned the town and lined the trenches I would of got more of a kicking but as it turned out the concentration of the Germans in the town proved to be ineffective.

    Some of Mark's shooting dice rolls were "poor" and he was very unlucky not to of caused me more casualties as I assaulted the trench lines on 2C and D. My shooting was not that great either. Mark was on a DEF of 7 with all his entrenched infantry so I was looking for 6's to suppress and 11 and 12 on my indirect.

    I think that numbers won the day for the British in the end. Once I had broken into the trench lines, after some resistance in the form of a lot of failed close assaults there were just too many British on the the table to deal with. If I had lost a regiment on table 2C things may of swung around but I managed to get the job done without taking a morale test (just!)

    Looking forward to taking the defending side next time. It's always a lot easier to defend. The pressure is on the attacker for sure.