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WARGAMING

WORLD WAR ONE


BREAKING THE STALEMATE
By Gerard Miller

Melchett: Field Marshal Haig has formulated a brilliant new Like all caricatures, the above has elements
of truth in it. However, WW1 actually has
tactical plan to ensure nal victory in the eld. plenty to offer the wargamer on land, sea
Blackadder: Ah. Would this brilliant plan involve us climbing and air. Lets dig a little deeper.

out of our trenches and walking very slowly towards the enemy? One point to remember (and there is a
clue in the name) is that WW1 was a
Captain Darling: How could you possibly know that, World War with numerous theaters of
Blackadder? Its classied information! conict; the Western Front, the Eastern
Front, as well as fronts in Italy, Palestine,
Blackadder: Its the same plan that we used last time and the The Dardanelles, Greece, East Africa
and the Pacic. All these areas can
seventeen times before that. provide interesting scenarios and unique
From Captain Cook, Blackadder Goes Forth situations: in Palestine cavalry played
a signicant role, in East Africa an
Below: This months cover artwork, 1st Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment at Audregnies by asymmetrical campaign pitted German-
David Rowlands, seen again below in all its glory. The painting shows the heroic stand of led native troops against a range of
Lt. Col. D C Boger and his troops against the advancing German columns near the village British Imperial forces, in the Italian Alps
of Audregnies, at the close of the Battle of Mons. Read more about this action, and see more small-scale skirmish warfare ourished,
artwork, on Davids website www.davidrowlands.co.uk. alongside the big offensives.

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WWI Intro.indd 2 13/11/2012 16:52


Air warfare went from a few imsy THE WAR ON THE LAND somewhat sketchy information, these
reconnaissance planes to Zeppelins, battles were fought Napoleonic-style
The classic image of WW1 is that of the
heavy bombers and Flying Circuses by massed infantry in attack and behind
trenches on the Western Front with the
with all the attendant activities of aerial improvised defences, with direct support
bloody attritional warfare of artillery,
conict: dog-ghting, ground-attack, from eld artillery.

War I
World Wars
gas and mortar bombardments, in which
strategic and tactical bombing, long-

1914-1918
gaining 100 yards was a great victory. Its Its certainly the case that the middle
range reconnaissance etc.
true that there were large periods in the period of the War on the Western Front

1803-1815
At sea there were not only great (and War that t this description - but not all. turned into an attritional slogging match.

Napoleonic
generally indecisive) battleship actions, However, as revisionist historians have
The opening months of the War were
but also decisive squadron-sized actions shown, this was perhaps due more to
of maneuver and counter-maneuver in
(Coronel and the Falklands, for example), the indirect repower of artillery (in one
the West. The French found out that
single ship ghts, coastal forces, estimate 80% of casualties were artillery
lan in attack was not enough against
submarines and Q-ships. inicted) and that of other weapons
modern weapons and the Germans
than purely to the arrogant bunglers
All the examples above provide a lot of desperately marched to make the great
model of British or French generalship
wargaming possibilities ranging from turning movement of the Schlieffen Plan
(the Allied forces were generally on the
large-scale battles of movement, ying a reality. The battles of this period are
attack in this period). Theres certainly
circus-style dogghts and massed eet like those of the American Civil War
an argument to be made that generals like
actions to small-scale trench-raiding (though elements of that war should have
Haig did learn from mistakes and today
with a dozen gures a side, plane verses warned of the shape of things to come)
its difcult to see who could have done
plane combats and Q-ships trying to lure or the Franco-Prussian War; the generals
much better in the existing situation. Its
submarines to their doom. involved still thought in Napoleonic
also true that the previous vision of the
terms of a decisive victory. It was a
Given this plethora of choice we have Germans as supremely tactically gifted
victory that they strained to achieve in
to be selective here, so, in this article in the First, as in the Second World War,
the face of quick-ring artillery, machine
were going to concentrate on the land has come to be modied. In the case of
guns and aerial reconnaissance (not to
war aspect. However, lets salute the WW2 its become clear that the Russians
mention the deadly rie re of the British
brilliantly effective air combat system were not as backward tactically and
Expeditionary Force). All the classic
of Wings of War, with movement strategically as German commanders
types of cavalry still scouted ahead of
cards reecting aircraft performance writing their memoirs liked to pretend.
armies and occasionally charged home;
characteristics (the tight right-hand torque For WW1 its become apparent that the
a soldiers boots were vital equipment in
turn of the Sopwith Camel, for example) British Army of 1918 has more than
the long marches and counter-marches.
and an ever-growing range of single and a little claim to be seen as the most
two-seater models. Naval gamers are also In the East the Germans, Austrians and effective modern all-arms army of the
well-provided for with ship models of Russians also spent the rst months time. The middle period of the War also
all types in various scales. Some of the of ghting in a war of movement with allows possibilities of ghting between
forgotten campaigns like the river war decisive tactical (but not necessarily the Austro-Germans and the Russians on
on the Danube can also make for unusual strategic) victories like Tannenberg and the Eastern Front; the British and Turks
naval skirmishes. Lemberg. As far as can be made out from in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia; as well as
the Germans, Austrians and Bulgarians
against the Romanians (make sure you
take the Central Powers side).

11

WWI Intro.indd 3 14/11/2012 09:21


Above: We love any excuse to show more photos of our 2011 Salute/Historicon Gallipoli table. Figures by Woodbine Designs.

The last period of the War, in 1918, is of mountain assaults (a famous one led by unusual spectacles like a battalion of
real wargaming interest with, rstly, the the young Rommel) and trench raids in Gordon Highlanders being rowed into
last great German offensives and then the addition to the more normal offensives. action in the 1918 River Piave ghting by
Allied ripostes, which turned it back to It also offers the possibility for a brief conscripted Venetian gondoliers.
a war of movement again with artillery period towards the end of 1917 to have
sometimes ring over open sights and Austrian, German, British and French In the East it was still more a war of
massed armoured attacks accompanying troops on the same table - not to mention movement than in the West. In Palestine
infantry inltration tactics. Youll be the Italians! In 1918 the Austrians were the ultimately successful campaign
able to add some more varied scenery to on their own again against the Italians, against the Turks involved aircraft and
your table top and get out of the trenches, who were aided by nearly 250,000 sweeping cavalry movements as well
cross rivers and canals and capture British and French troops with artillery as infantry, armoured cars, tanks and
villages and towns. This is also the period and air support. This front also offers artillery (and Lawrence of Arabia).
when American troops appear on the
Western Front. Below: An Austro-Hungarian anti-aircraft machine gun team, somewhere in Northern Italy.
Figures by Scarab Miniatures.
While all this was going on, von
Lettow-Vorbeck was ghting a brilliantly
successful, long, drawn-out struggle
against much larger opposing forces
in Africa. This campaign offers the
opportunity to eld an interesting mix of
European and African troops, including
exotic units like the 25th Battalion,
Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen). The
25th, raised and commanded by Colonel
Driscoll, had an amazing variety of
members: the famous hunter F.C. Selous,
ex-Foreign Legionnaires, a Buckingham
Palace footman, a millionaire and some
Texas cowboys. The 1915 Gallipoli
landings were a painful failure as the
Turks provided much tougher opposition
than expected.
The war on the Italian Front (1915
onwards) turned into just as much of
a slogging match as that of the West,
though it should be noted that it also
lends itself to a variety of river crossings,

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WWI Intro.indd 4 14/11/2012 09:21


Napoleonic Wars
1803-1815
Key
Allied Powers
Neutral
Central Powers

THE GLOBAL REACH OF WORLD WAR ONE


By 1915 the First World War had ground to a stalemate; the Central and Allied Powers were too nely balanced to
force a decisive or conclusive victory. One proposed method of breaking the deadlock, which was tremendously alluring to
policy makers and military rulers on both sides, was to expand the conict, to gain more allies and increase collectively the
strength of their own side. As well as recruiting new allies, drawing on ones own colonial resources was also an option.
The scramble for empire that had taken place in the late 19th Century had added a new global dimension to any war which began
in Europe; inevitably the colonial possessions of the Allied and Central Powers would be drawn into the conict, providing both
manpower and resources.
The map above shows which countries and territories were aligned with the Allies (green) and the Central Powers (yellow) -
graphically illustrating how the war affected about 90% of the globe, with countries like Canada and New Zealand providing
manpower (20% of the male population in the latter case) and resources, to countries like Japan who sought to use the war to advance
their own geo-political aims within a military alliance.

UNIFORMS wore their famous hats with cocks The German army of the early part of
feathers in action (keeping the cocks the War still wore the pickelhube and
While its true that WW1 on the tabletop
feathers even when a steel helmet was riemen the shako. In the nal stage
is never going to look as pretty as the
Renaissance or Napoleonic periods, its substituted). Austria-Hungary also started of the war a three-colour splinter-style
not as drab as all that. French uniforms in the war with cavalrymen in blue and red camouage was even introduced for
1914 were almost as colourful as in 1870 and infantrymen in pike-grey. In Africa helmets and equipment like artillery
and the Belgian army of the same year von Lettows native askaris were a fairly pieces. Uniforms may have been eld
had an extraordinary range of uniforms: colourful lot and he was also reinforced grey, with grey-green for riemen, but
lance-armed red-trousered mounted by sailors of the sunken cruiser there were many detailed collar and cuff
guides wearing fur busbies, lancers, Konigsberg. The ANZACs sported slouch distinctions for different units and the
chasseurs cheval and infantrymen with and lemon-squeezer hats, as well as different states making up the army of
an interesting collection of headgear. sun-protective headgear at Gallipoli the German Empire. Also the various
Russian forces included Cossacks as and in the Middle East and their ranks grenade bags and knee patches that
well as more conventional troops, Polish included Maoris. festooned stormtroopers make for a bit
lancers wore the Napoleonic-style czapka Below: Musketeer Miniatures Highlanders (displaying their distinctive uniforms) take up a
until 1915 and the Italian Bersagliri position in a derelict building in Northern France.

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WWI Intro.indd 5 14/11/2012 09:22


of extra colour difference. Even boring fevered research and was commonly used slow communications; other attacks
British khaki was enlivened by Scottish by 1918. The main tabletop effect, as in that had reached their rst objectives
regiments keeping their kilts and a reality, will be to force the opposition then stuck due to lack of fresh orders or
variety of regulation and non-regulation to use gas masks and thus hamper information about what was happening in
leather and sheepskin over-jackets in the movement and ring efciency. the adjacent area. By 1918 more reliable
trenches as well as a mass of divisional wireless sets were in use to supplement
Infantry weapons evolved considerably. the other means of communication.
and other unit recognition signs.
By the end of the War the rst A good set of rules will build in an
In general, WW1 uniforms provide a submachine guns were in use and hand element of the confusion due to the usual
good opportunity for detail painters in grenades were frequently the weapon of communication gap.
28mm, for example, to show their skills. choice in trench attacks. Flamethrowers
How about an Austrian rieman from made their appearance among the French, There were also the more unusual
1915 with a cocks feather plume on the Germans, Austrians and Italians. Mortars weapons as well: an early British form of
cap and a marksmans lanyard on the of all sizes were also widely used. mortar in 1915 was the trench catapult,
breast of his pike-grey uniform, black However, apart from the artillery, the which - as its name implies - was just
collar patches, woollen stockings and king of the battleeld was the machine that. A later form of mortar red the so-
mountaineering equipment? gun. During the period their numbers called toffee apple, which again looked
increased exponentially (in 1914 a British just like its name! The Belgian Army of
EQUIPMENT 1914 had machine guns mounted in dog-
infantry battalion had two!); trench
Weapons and equipment changed warfare meant, after the rst few months, drawn carts.
considerably during the War. The most that the machine guns inuence was all- SCENARIOS
obvious of these changes was the pervasive. The number of machine guns
introduction of tanks from 1916 onwards. elded steadily increased and by 1918, As already mentioned, the War offers a
If the rst ones were slow, clumsy and with light machine guns now available as variety of potential wargaming scenarios.
difcult to operate, by 1918 faster, lighter section weapons, a British battalion was Below well take a look at some typical
and more effective models had appeared. looking like the prototype of a WW2 one. types and how they could be adapted on
However, these were not wonder- the table.
The biggest problem on the battleeld
weapons, the Germans (who never got SKIRMISHES
was frequently that of communications
much of a tank force going) rapidly got
equipment. Unless telephone lines If youve got some British cavalry you
to know the weaknesses to exploit and
were buried at least six feet down want to use you could try the ght on
tank (and crew) casualties were high in
they were liable to be cut by shelling; 22 August 1914 between a troop of
most battles.
communications were frequently reduced A Squadron, 16th Lancers and two
It was a technological war and good sets to runners, pigeons, signal lamps and companies of German Jgers (light
of rules will reect the British superiority message-carrying dogs. On several infantry riemen), which took place in a
in artillery use by 1918. Conveniently, occasions potential cavalry breakthroughs corneld with corn-stalks the Germans
a lot, or all, of your artillery can be off- (only the British kept a substantial used as protection. The lancers charged
table! Gas warfare was also a product of force in the West) were aborted by with the lance - twice - and though

Above: Austro-Hungarian troops move forward behind the cover of a German tank. Figures by Scarab Miniatures and Great War Miniatures.

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WWI Intro.indd 6 14/11/2012 09:22


ght with at most three French Moroccan
battalions with 75mm artillery support
against a smaller number of Germans
with some machine guns. Another
typical battle in the Marne ghting was

Napoleonic Wars
for control of the village of Penchard (5
September 1914) between two French
infantry divisions and a Moroccan

1803-1815
brigade and two German infantry
divisions and a further infantry brigade.
This was an encounter affair with both
sides moving forward. The Germans were
nearer the village and got there rst and
were then attacked by the French across
a battleeld dotted with other smaller
villages and woods, with easily fordable
rivulets running across a terrain covered
with corn elds.
RAIDS
In the middle period of the War the
massive artillery preparations, with
literally millions of shells being red,
Above: A Scarab Miniatures machine gun team. and then the following frontal attacks,
suffering casualities, seem to have caused tabletop battleeld, looking south/north, do not lend themselves to much tabletop
more to the Jgers. This action was part would have Le Cateau with the River fun. Trench raids, however, do. These
of the ghting between the German la Selle valley below it in the middle of night-time raids came in all shapes
advance on Mons and the BEF covering its right hand (eastern) side with a road and sizes, from very small patrols of a
screen. As supports you could give the leading west out of Le Cateau, bisected in few men to company-sized forces with
Germans an all-arms force and the the middle of the table by a road running artillery preparation.
British the Scots Greys. Your table north-east/south-west. Make the ground In the West, the British and Germans
would be farmland, country roads, undulating with dips and gullies to give were particularly active in this sphere
tracks and villages. some cover and youre set up for a game with raids designed to disrupt the other
which gives both sides knotty problems. sides work on their defences, capture
ENCOUNTER BATTLES
If you have some French you want to prisoners for intelligence purposes
However, if you want something on a or to check on any evidence of new
use, the ghting during what came to be
larger scale, how about the ghting at Le installations and equipment on the
known as the First Battle of the Marne
Cateau? On 26 August General Smith- other side. All sorts of improvised
(September 1914) could t the bill. Both
Dorrien fought a delaying action with weapons, like spiked clubs or sharpened
sides were often sparring for control
brigades against German divisions in the entrenching tools, were used, but hand
of villages and other strategic points.
undulating countryside west of the town, grenades and pistols were frequently the
You could replay the struggle for the
dotted with villages (but few hedges). In arms of choice. Trench raiding scenarios
Chateau de Mondemont, which German
one part of the battle the Germans, from a will be enhanced by the maximum of
guardsmen struggled to hold as a vital
ridge, attacked the British right ank with scenery you can gather and by making
lookout point. This was a small-scale
nine infantry battalions and ve machine
gun companies. They were supported Below: Foundry British make their way across no-mans-land.
by more artillery than the British, who
themselves had two infantry battalions
(later reinforced by one more and
elements of another), 42 eld guns and a
heavy artillery battery. The ground was
open, about 2,000 metres square, with
some dead ground, used by machine-
gunners as cover, on the German side
of the crossroads in the centre of the
British position. British accounts suggest
that the German shrapnel was relatively
ineffective as far as the infantry was
concerned and that their machine guns
caused more casualties. Later in the
ghting another German division started
working its way up the valley of the
River la Selle south of Le Cateau to
outank the British position. The British
were now facing the re of the artillery
of three German divisions and at least
12 battalions of infantry. They held on
until ordered to retire; most of the guns
and infantry got away, apart from the 2/
Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. The

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WWI Intro.indd 7 14/11/2012 09:23


your No Mans Land not too easy to defeats, but were strategically incoherent by rough scrapes and shell-holes and put
traverse - plenty of barbed wire and and eventually ran out of steam. They hedges and orchards back on the table.
craters! For the raiders, theres the offer all sorts of scenarios: stormtroop How effective tanks were in this ghting
problem of arriving at the opposing inltration tactics, ghting retreats, is open to debate; certainly the breakdown
trenches without being spotted and, of holding actions etc. A possible scenario and casualty rates were high: at the Battle
course, getting away again with their could be roughly based on the attack on of Amiens (8 August) only 145 out 415
prisoner or information. For the defenders Givenchy on 9 April. tanks were still operational the next day.
the reverse applies: spotting the raiders Tanks dont occupy the same place in this
The ghting was on the extreme left
while theyre still in No Mans Land and war as they did in World War Two.
of the German 6th Armys attack. The
foiling their nefarious designs. These
village stood on a slight knoll which An interesting scenario could be one
sorts of scenarios can be played with
offered considerable advantages in terms loosely based on action during the Allied
as few as a dozen or so gures on each
of observing this at region. Givenchy assault on the Amiens Defence Line.
side. If you want something a little more
had been in the front line for a long time There should be scattered woods and
exotic, how about some of von Lettow-
and to the east and north-east of the villages over your table with the River
Vorbecks raids on the British Uganda
village (north is the top of your table and Somme running along the top (north) of
Railway in 1915? These raids were
the village should be in the middle) was one of its longer sides and the Amiens
carried out by small groups of about ten
a kilometer-long crater eld (in places Defence Line running across the middle
Europeans and askaris with the objective
impassable); to the south of the village north/south. About a third of the distance
of sabotaging the railway line, which
ran the canal (east-west). To avoid the from the western side of the table place
was a vital supply route from the coast.
crater eld the Germans planned an a ridge occupying the top half, protected
A raid scenario like this offers plenty of
attack with four battalions north of the by the Somme looping down to ow off
opportunity for some interesting bush
village and two more attacking from the the table in the middle of its western side
scenery with British posts guarding the
south, along the canal bank (which is at (the side where the Allies come on). The
line. But where will the German forces
the bottom of your table). The idea was German artillery is situated on the ridge
strike and will they have enough time to
to roll up the British line from the rear. and the Allied objective is to out-ank
sabotage the tracks or plant explosives
The defending British should have four and then destroy it as well as pushing on
before the British intervene?
battalions to oppose them. You can add to the German main defences. The force
ASSAULTS plenty of trenches (in use and abandoned) ratios should be around 2:1 in favour of
and an outpost south of the village and the Allies before the Defence Line, with
As noted above, the Western Front
two to the west of it. the other half of the German force on or
reverted, during the course of 1918,
behind the Defence Line. The Germans
to much more open warfare. Firstly, OPEN WARFARE
have more on-table artillery than the
there were the series of offensives by
Later in 1918, of course, came the Allied Allies, who have air and armoured car
Ludendorff, starting in March, which
riposte; in the last few months of the and /or tank support and some cavalry
aimed to damage irreparably the British
War the Germans on the Western Front as well. The Allied infantry could also
Armys capacity to continue the War.
were steadily pushed back. At times be Australian, arguably (along with the
They undoubtedly inicted some heavy
this was much more open warfare than Canadians and New Zealanders) the most
WWIRULES RO before, giving table top possibilities like effective assault troops the British had in
UNDUP the last phase of the War.
capturing fortied villages and farms
By Jon Suther
land
Having hopefully THROUGH THE
delivered enthusin
we would like g articles elsewher BLOOD & IF MUD AND
to sign off our e in the magazin THE LORD PRICE OF GLORY
WWI coverage

and crossing rivers and canals as well


BARRAG E numerous rule with a gallop through e SPARES US
Piquet sets which are Iron Ivan Games
alphabetically available for the the Too Fat Lardies
and I have graded period. www.ironivangame
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by production o.uk

Australian troops were also a signicant


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I

and
World War

as encounter battles as the Germans


1914 - 1918

Small unit action


People either love Mud and Blood set of rules, ideal
or hate Piquet is Richard Clarkes for trench raiding
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me apparently) quick to pick up, figures a side or
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factor in Allenbys army in the attack on


in
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om
BEF Captain

supplement to by any of the options man units a side, or five 10 up to 10 figures.


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desperately tried to plug defensive holes.


**** are my personal
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The rules are pretty order of a turn. At the time of
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Spares Us has
familiar
cumbersome and cover various aspects there are over sixty sets listed are
If you like Dave Middle East, bring designed actions in the

the Turks in Palestine. The very varied


theres a steep
learning curve Browns of World War One. that
on Lawrence of
you will really before Napoleonic set recommend the
following: I can certainly Arabia.
get anything out General
these rules. of de Brigade; you
are Canvas Eagles
probably going - aerial, neat systems
to like

As the retreat went on, the Germans had


Over the Top -
these too. Command
land, very simple
and Schwerpunkt -
control are very land, very adaptable
SQUARE BASHIN
similar,
designed for larger The other great Peter Pig G
thing about these

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to ght from hastily prepared positions, so


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CONTEMPTIBLE are useless in particular certain weapons Another skirmish
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LITTLE ARMIES might find the concept circumstances. You level gaming. They designed for section by Chris Peers,

you can replace complex trench systems


HLBS Publishing A very simple
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www.hlbs.co.uk specific about army lists. Non- a series of boxes A little more free-form and can be used for any
scales, but ideal a little odd. the emphasis being in design, no army of the
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fifty figures a side. mechanics. Quite fun rather than
Price *** bloody firing and Has a very a step up in production ponderous
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fast play set. AERIAL AND are generally

The Problem
the rules might Some aspects of
need agreement NAVAL WARFAR
E Trenches in wargaming
on interpretation. ways:
The war saw the represented in one of two
first
many years. These aerial combat and some of into some form
Napoleonic Wars

GREAT WAR
Warhammer Historical are also reasonably the largest fleet by cutting downwards
following is a actions for
limited well served by of terrain panel, or
Jutland, to be honest selection of the best. Although sets of rules; the
www.warhammer-hi GREAT WAR
SPEARHEAD

Below: More action from Gallipoli as Woodbine Designs ANZAC troops surge
storical.com www.geocities.com/ pieces that
Ive written a book by creating special terrain
1803-1815

about the Gotha naval warfare leaves


greatwarspearhead on

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wiTh Trench
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forward from their trenches.


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A few ThoughTs on
of dice, saving that Developed using
like machinegu
n and the
combat). The rules same system as Bag The Hun will they be passing through
throws and the mortars are factored These are simple will they be
superb production company units. into the and elegant way
have a card driven (WW2 aerial
naval wargaming
and straightforw
ard standing or crouching, and
of dealing with turn sequence . Superb production and ideal for newcomers to The answers
to these
we have come the frustration altitude, also great and a simple less than a third overall,using firing steps?
for how deep your
to of lining up a shot at simulating of the 128 page the rules account
expect. The book use trenches or avoid at a target only count. questions will dictate
To away. to see them peel of whether
itself is far more trenches must be, irrespective
trenches? for anyone
WINGS OF WAR
or individual
than a set of rules;
one, NAVAL THUND Fantasy Flight you opt for terrain panels
prepare to be wargaming world war KAISERB OSH Steel Dreadnou
ER: CLASH OF
ght Games DREADNOUGHT www.fantasyflightg
Games
terrain pieces.
extremely jealous
of the eye candy. ultimately
the subject of Tabletop Games These are designed
for www.navalthunder.c S ames.com
www.tabletopgames. relatively small om TerrAin PAneLs.
trenches will be raised.
actions, a Price
com little old fashioned, ***** system,
might be worth but Price *** Production ***** If you already have a terrain
irrespective Price a try. You sells
Like most trench systems, * can also use these Production ** check if the same manufacturer
took the Production * (with Failing
of the period, WW1 trenches some work) for
Second Aerial wargaming
baffles me, but a compatible trench system.
frontline, you cant ignorethat, look for another trench system
form of a fire trench on the
World War gaming. These are available effort that has gone
as a download into this system. the time and
behind which were the support
trenches Quick and easy
to learn
from www.warga
mevault.com.
supported and
no painting either. Beautifully produced,
compatible with your existing terrain.
cover the Russo-Japa the basics, there is an expansion superbly terrain tile
characteristics the majority of
troops would a collectible card Has many of the
where supplies and reserve nese war. set to system, lots of
supplements and Fortunately
Ive looked at seem to be
to play and oddly of
types being addictive. The play aids. Itthat
be located, the two trench masterpieces and ready painted aircraftsystems is fun deep.
trenches. rule books and 2ft x 2ft, and about 40mm
are little
around
connected by communication play aids are sumptuous.
in height can be
Any slight variation
Also, trenches were not
built in straight lower tiles a bit
solved by packing the
patterns of the of scatter
lines as the zig-zag so they match, and handfuls
awkward joins.
trench systems as these aerial material can disguise any
photographs demonstrate. If you cannot find a trench
system to
you may have
To ensure that trenches were
constructed match existing tiles, then trench
in 1914, the purchasing a complete
to the approved specification, to consider
terrain. This may
War Office system and surrounding
General Staff of the British disaster,
produced the Field Service
Pocket Book, not be too much of a financial
System
a page from which is reproduced
on the because, for example, Total
x 2ft x 40mm
how fire and Scenic (TSS) produce 2ft
opposite page, showing 10 and a useful
were to be dug, trench panels starting at
communication trenches Field Service Pocket Book, tile for 8, AND
dimensions. Above: A page from the Staff of the British War Office. Shelled/No Mans land
with the recommended produced in 1914 by the General they are also
for added individuality,
to suit
willing to cut a trench network
helpful advance.
And the General Staffs Below: French infantry
instructions further advised: your specific game requirements.
mind that
In selecting sites for fire
trenches, But you need to bear in
density
the following points require
attention:- most manufacturers of high
seem to limit
polystyrene terrain tiles
(a) Good field of fire. Most
important the depth of
their trenches to about half
Range strength. So
within 400 yards of the trench. the tile to maintain the tiles
to be added. thick tile, the trench is likely
marks if possible for a 40mm
to be only about 20mm deep.
(b) Concealment and invisibility.
to form of vary, some were
Obtained by adapting trenches Obviously, trenches did
low, and by but you
the ground, keeping parapets virtually a slit in the ground,
or more
use of natural or artificial
cover. need to plan for all the types,
of the trenches. trenches
Top and Above: Aerial views importantly, depths, of the
(c) Parapet should be bullet
proof. you could
youre likely to need otherwise
of one depth
(d) Head cover, which must
be this article are included start off with trench tiles
to reproduce
be provided, Authors note: The WW1
photographs accompanying has photos of training, and then realise later that
inconspicuous, should Collection. This collection trenches you
courtesy of the Harry Holloway of France during World War One, and ground more detailed or deeper
if possible. wont match
equipment, aerial reconnaissance It is believed that the need deeper tiles, which
or collected by Harry Holloway. best photographs you
(e) Trenches should be traversed camouflage and was taken a set of the your initial purchases! Assuming
protected
or recessed. bulk of these photos are
The Cornell Collection,
To view more of this want your figures to be totally if
the USA for training purposes. beneath the rim of the trench,
then
at hand. sent back from the war to
(f) Cover for supports near
collection visit: s/index.htm
steep interior naissance_photo
(g) Trenches should have www.drbill.net/ww1_aerial_recon
allow men to
slope, be wide enough to
be provided.
pass, and drainage should

You wont be surprised to hear this


isnt the rst time we have covered
WWI in Wargames Illustrated, and
back in July 2009 as part of our WWI
- The Early War On the Western Front
theme, we featured a article which
dealt with the problems of replicating
trench warfare on the tabletop. If you
dont have a copy of WI264 (which
featured the article) you can now
download it from our website.

16

WWI Intro.indd 8 14/11/2012 09:23


- provides plenty of scenery possibilities
on the tabletop. A scenario based roughly
on the attack on Beersheba (31 October
1917) would place the town in the
middle of the table in very open ground,

Napoleonic Wars
surrounded by hills to the north, south
and east. To the west the ground was
atter and from this direction a railway

1803-1815
entered the town. The northern and
southern defences were trenches, but with
no wire. The southern and south-western
defences were on the hills with mainly a
single line of trenches and some redoubts.
You can also include some wadis in your
terrain to give the attackers some cover.
The British units included cavalry and
the Camel Corps and outnumbered the
Turkish defenders. There was also a very
successful cavalry attack from the south
East and Gallipoli, and Artizan Designs Above: Woodbine Designs
which overwhelmed the defence and ANZAC characters.
those for the Arab Revolt and Lawrence
penetrated the town.
of Arabia. Vehicles are also available
illustrated and with a lot of information,
FIGURES from some manufacturers. has been inuential in raising interest in
A wide selection of scales are available: RULES the period. Contemptible Little Armies
6, 10, 15, 20 and 25-28 mm. Obviously, (Rattrap Productions/Brigade Games) 3rd
for large-scale actions, 6 and 10 mm Research for this article turned up Edition is a very playable set. To the Last
mean that you could get big battles 13 sets of WW1 rules - and there are Man is a good set of rules by Chris Peers,
like Cambrai onto the table. However, certainly more out there! The Great not easy to pick-up but very pleasurable
rather like WW2, the big battles seem War (Warhammer Historical), superbly once you have.
better suited to board games. Strangely
enough for a war involving millions, For a more in-depth look at
WW1 games can be very satisfying the WWI rules head to our
with up to 60 or 70 gures a side - for website and download our
example, a three-company battalion of
some 60 gures plus support. You can
.net WWI Rules Roundup
which appeared in WI264
substitute tabletop companies or platoons
for actual battalions, which works well
to reght battles, as long as you keep FURTHER READING
the relative force proportions. Trench The literature on all aspects of WW1 is vast. Below are some basic resources to get you going:
raids are exciting with very few gures The First World War. John Keegan. Pimlico 1999. (A good one volume introduction.)
attacking and defending. A couple of
tanks supporting a company-sized attack August 1914. Barbara Tuchman. Papermac 1980.
(The opening phases of the War, 1914, both East and West.)
against a defence equipped with a eld
gun in the anti-tank role, either in a Osprey: a wide range of books on national armies, units, equipment, battles and campaigns. They
also cover air warfare in a lot of detail, as well as naval.
trench assault or 1918-style open eld
ght, can give you the sort of game that Battleground Europe. Leo Cooper, Pen & Sword Books.
(Useful series covering many individual battleelds in the West, Italy and Gallipoli.)
can be fought to a nish in an afternoon
or evening. In early 1914 theres scope Battle Tactics of the Western Front. The British Armys art of attack 1916-18. Paddy Grifth.
for small scale cavalry vs cavalry or YUP 1994. (Essential reading.)
cavalry vs infantry actions with a troop of 1918. A Very British Victory. Peter Hart. Phoenix 2009.
cavalry and a company of infantry - say The Eastern Front 1914-17. Norman Stone. Penguin 1998.
30 gures for the two
The German Army at Ypres 1914 and The Battle for Flanders, The German Army on the Somme
There are a wide range of gures 1914-1916, The German Army at Passchendaele, (among others). Jack Sheldon. Pen & Sword.
available in 20mm plastic. However, in (Sheldon has done superb research in regimental archives and accounts published after WW1;
occasionally the contemporary narratives are a little our gallant lads style for modern tastes, but
25/28mm metal, feasible if were talking they give a lot of interesting detail.)
relatively modest numbers on the table,
Verdun. Alistair Horne. Penguin 1993.
there are some beautifully sculpted and
detailed gures. Manufacturers like Great The White War. Mark Thompson. Faber & Faber 2009. (The Italian Front, 1915-1918.)
War Miniatures, Brigade Games, Old The Last Crusade. Anthony Bruce. John Murray 2003. (The campaign in Palestine.)
Glory and Renegade Miniatures have a
Battle for the Bundu. Charles Miller. MacMillan 1974.
wide coverage of the British, Germans (A very entertaining account of the ghting in East Africa.)
(including von Lettows forces from
Tanganikyan Guerrilla. J R Sibley. Pan/Ballantine 1971.
Brigade), French and Austrians. Ebor
Miniatures specialize in the French and Gallipoli. Peter Hart. Prole Books 2011. (There are a lot of books on Gallipoli; this is probably
Belgians of 1914. Scarab Miniatures the most objective, but see L A Carlyon too.)
have some nice Austrians and Italians. Novels and memoirs: Under Fire (Henri Barbusse, the anti-war classic);
Musketeer Miniatures have some Early Her Privates We (Frederic Manning); War (Ludwig Renn); Storm of Steel
(Ernst Jnger, certainly more pro-war than Barbusse.)
War British and Russians. Woodbine
Design and Eureka Miniatures have the Internet sites: Among many, www.landships.freeservers.com has a lot of useful information.
gures you might need for the Middle

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WWI Intro.indd 9 14/11/2012 09:24