Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Trench War !

On saturday the 28th of July 2007, I led a WWI German unit towards well fortified Allied positions under heavy fire :-) . The rule set we used was Trench Wars and the Game master was Steve Robinson.There is no major strategy that you can follow while attacking such a well entrenched enemy as shown above - just get your men across the killing field as soon as possible and use your tanks well. Tanks have to pass a "break down test" every round which requires a roll of 5 or higher using a D20. My tank made no more than 3 moves and before it could recover, it was destroyed by artillery fire. A similar game was played the day before and the Germans were completely wiped out before a single soul could reach the trenches. Our fate wasn't that bad. We took around 80 % casualties getting to the trenches ( A blood bath was predicted by Steve, given the fact that the attackers had no air support or cover. ) A great amount of luck is involved when you rush towards the enemy under relentless machine gun fire and artillery bombardment. There were 10 German units in all and only two tanks found their burial ground across the trenches, the remaining 8 were busted well before they could reach anywhere close. With the tanks destroyed, the attackers had to rush towards the enemy to avoid being sitting ducks. Artillery fire aimed at the defenders needed to land inside the trench to kill the enemy (Dice are rolled to check for Scatter and hitting soldiers inside the trench wasn't as easy as killing them in the open.)

I did the best I could - Kept my troops dispersed while advancing, moved my tank as fast as possible with my Infantry under its cover (but there was no escape from the enemy artillery), with the tank gone I moved my men to the trenches as fast as possible (Retreat was not an option) . I could get my flame throwers up to the trenches, but were destroyed before they could use their weapon. Braving the enemy barrage, a couple of my soldiers entered the trenches only to die at the hands of the enemy trench fighters.

How would I play it next time?? ... Hmmmm.....Not sure how I can do it without air support. But if air support were available, I would try softening the enemy with aerial bombardment while my troops dash across the killing field.

- Sarath


Manoj Govindan said...

How would I play it next time?? ... Hmmmm....

Ravi and I had a discussion about just this topic the other day. We were inclined to believe that "regular" WWI (read trenches) games would all play just the same.

Variety would possibly be found in actions from the Eastern Front where things were a little more dynamic. Related conflicts such as the Russian Civil War should be more fun to game too.

I would try softening the enemy with aerial bombardment while my troops dash across the killing field.

I doubt if WWI planes could deliver the kind of volumes needed to suppress the enemy. IMHO you can find more action and really use tactics playing WWI aerial wargames! ;)

James said...

Namaste Sarath,

I have to agree with Manoj here especially about the volume of air support that would be needed to effectively suppress well dug in defenders. A 'scout' or fighter biplane might carry a couple of light bombs which the pilot lobbed out the side as he went over...hardly enough to make anybody keep their heads down!

Artillery, barbed wire and machine guns....trinity of evil or what!

Still sounds like you had a fun game.


James said...

Hi again,

Other ways (I have seen recently published in Wargames Illustrated)
to make a more fun game of a WW1 scenario is to introduce trench raiding teams to infiltrate enemy positions before the main assault..these were a home-made "bolt on" set (mainly for 28mm)that were loose enough to be adapted to any set. Then there are also the possibilities of a gas attack or tunnelling engineers....