The Amiens game (finally) went down on Sunday with, it appears, great success. Everyone had a good time, the rules held up (there were notes, but when wouldn’t there be), and things went smoothly (the game took ~4 hours, with 6 players and 43 Order Dice, so I think that counts as “speedy”).
I’ll post up the rules in a separate post, but I think they held up well; the smaller scale worked great and most of the period specific rules also accomplished what they needed to.
Casey, John, and Rhett were the Germans, desperately trying to hold off the British as long as they could; Gavin, Keith, and Steve were British trying to break through the German lines.
The Germans deployed: a lot more thought went into the placement of Barbed Wire than I’d anticipated. Many of the German units deployed into Ambush, forgetting that the push would be preceded by a Rolling Bombardment. (Note: because there were 43 Order dice, we used regular dice and used the chart. Black was German, White was British, Red was the Bombardment,)
Between the bombardment and nearly every German unit starting the game with an Order, Turn 1 was pretty much a British show. The Brits decided to lead with all of their tanks, holding the infantry back for subsequent turns.
While the bombardment was effective in suppressing the defenders, it slowed the attackers down: advancing too far too fast killed a Mark V.
The defenders fired Minenwerfers relentlessly at Tanks but weren’t able to hit a single. one. all game long. Machine Guns, with the K Bullet, were more effective (I’m pretty sure that one died to a Machine Gun).
The attackers had a tough time making progress on their left, but the Australians along the right made more headway. (Yes, the Australians were on the other side of the Somme from the British; I wanted Australian troops, so I gave them Australian troops.)
The “infinite reserves” rule I used kept things from being hopeless and boring for the Germans, but it made consequences too slight: it’ll be the first thing that gets tweaked.
The German presence along their right was solid….
Which meant their left was where the decisive action would take place.
The Brits were able to push into the second trench line, in the end.
At Turn 6, the Brits had established a foothold in the second trench line, and the game ended.
Per scoring (which also needs some tweaking), it was a blowout for the Germans: although the British made headway, their progress was too slow.
I did most of this, but got some significant help from Steve & Rhett. This is a concession: this isn’t what the German lines looked like in the Summer of 1918, but it certainly feels a lot more WWI-trenchy, and will, hopefully, see quite a bit of use in other battles. They’re two 4’x2′ boards; we got clever while laying them out: the two red Xs above line up: in the future, we’ll be able to line them up side-by-side with two more boards across the front for a wider battle, and we’ll be able to spin the front line around and place a third board across the middle for a more standard 6’x4′ table. All the trenches are duckboarded; the second line is built along the edge of a road, with hairpins, and two bunkers back by the orange !s.
I made a billion barbed wire stands: plasticard crosses supporting 28 gauge wire spun into circles. I’ll probably redo the wire: I had a marker to wrap them around, which meant they’re uneven. I also, before game, painted up the crashed Sopwith. Why is there a crashed Sopwith? Because I wanted a crashed Sopwith.
I’m hypercritical of myself, so all I can see are where things fell short of where I’d wanted them, but I really did hit a point where I just said, “Screw it; close enough.” Maybe I’ll circle back around and punch up some things, but there’s definitely going to be some things I just live with.
I’m going to revise the rules a smidge; I’ll run it again at Madicon in March and then Historicon (Cold Wars isn’t in the cards for me this year).
I’m pretty glad to be done with the game, though: I’ve been working on this thing since September: it’s dominated my hobby time and I’m ready as hell to be working on something in 28mm again… as well as to be working on something that isn’t Amiens.
Here’s a photodump of some pictures some other folks took (Casey, Steve, Keith):