Saturday 1 October 2016

Somme anniversary game

Tim put on this rather magnificent 54mm game at the club using Funny Little Wars. He'd previously run it outside, but the new club venue is large enough to accommodate such extravagence fairly easily. In the interests of speed, the action was scaled down to a brigade attack. Jerry took the Germans, and Tim C, Tom, John and myself the British.

The Germans (Jerry) contemplate the defences. Between us we had about 48 feet of trenches and fortifications. The defences blended in well with the dazzle pattern on the floor.

The game was structured into three phases, air recce, bombardment and finally the assault. Here a couple of wicked German planes attack the plucky British observation balloon.

Whilst a British spotter aircraft is hit by Archie (party poppers being used to simulate the  fire).

It was soon time to start shelling the German positions, and a furious barrage of matchsticks took place. Unfortunately many of these fell short or went over, and of the shells which landed near the German positions, many were duds.

The wicked Germans then fired their own counter barrage, observed by this rather magnificent spotter aircraft. 

Once the gunnery was complete, it was time for our chaps to show themselves. Four battalions, each of twenty figures in two lines.

My heroic battalion, only spoiled by my crappy cardboard trenches. Each figure was individually named with someone we knew (members of Wargames Developments or Sheffield Wargames Club).

And over the top we went. It all went swimmingly well until we got in range of the German machineguns, and then battalion after battalion took heavy losses and went to ground. My chaps only got further than anyone else as the Germans concentrated their fire on the others.

And with that we called it a day, stopping only to peruse the casualty lists. It really did make it quite tragic being people we knew, and I am afraid to say that one Sergeant Rapier was amongst the losses.

This was really great fun and I think Tims idea of focussing on the fun bits or flying planes around and shooting guns instead of the boring and bloody assault was quite right. It has made me want to re-visit Drumfire and focus on streamlining the assault phases to something much, much simpler.

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