Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Hun is at the Grate!

One of the unimportant things that has been bothering me about the Through the Mud and the Blood scenario which we have just played, is the nature of the papers that the Germans were so intent on burning that they couldn't simply get up and go. I have come to the conclusion that they were probably sets of wargames rules, whose ambiguities, inconsistencies, gaps and errors had driven them to such levels of despair that they would rather be caught by the British than leave the publications in existence. In the event they had nothing to worry about because, in a first for us, the Germans won; and that despite the handicap of me not bothering to put the token for one of their sections in the bag for at least two turns.

The game ebbed and flowed a bit - as games need to - but suffered from a long gap since either of the players had used the rules, although I, as umpire, had played them a couple of weeks before. We are, of course, still in the 'training' section of the scenario book and so would expect to be still getting to grips with both rules and tactics and I think one could say that neither part worked particularly smoothly on the night. Points of note:
  • For the first time we used the mechanism for close assault against buildings and, more specifically, it became clear how not to do it.
  • We also used the sniper rules for the first time, but not for long. Peter rolled a double on his first shot and that was that. Still, the Lewis gun never jammed.
  • Ironically, having complained about the underwritten nature of the scenario, I should have been much more specific about terrain definitions.
  • This might be stating the bleeding obvious, but the game is all about the Big Men, whereas, as a generalisation, most other games are about units. A mental adjustment is necessary if one is to make it work properly.
  • The blind mechanism increasingly seems more trouble than it's worth - at least for attackers. I'm still keen to try it for defenders in a situation where they could be anywhere in the scenery. The process apparently adopted in Chain of Command has been recommended as an alternative and I shall give it a butchers.
  • One suggestion that came out in discussion which we shall try is that the British bomber section should be represented on the table by a rifle section until they start actually bombing.
The British prepare for a futile gesture

We might skip scenario 4 for now. We have a work around for the tanks required (I don't currently have any), but am rather put off by the need for seventeen British big men compared to the very small German force involved. I rather think it would all take a long time for not much game. Scenario 5 is a small German stormtrooper attack on a bunker. I can almost do it - with British defenders replacing the French in the book - and just need the addition of a couple more figures (German light machine guns) and a bunker.

In the meantime I continue to very slowly paint up more Great War figures with the eventual aim of playing some Square Bashing.

No comments:

Post a Comment