Tuesday, 6 October 2015

WW1 Battle Report with One-Hour Wargame rules

In my second go with the modified machine age WW1 rules (Neil Thomas - One Hour Wargaming) for 6'x 4' table and approximately 15 units per side. The game scenario is of a German counter offensive 1918. The British had captured the town of Ville Bois and nearby hill, before their offensive had stalled. The German objective was to occupy either the town or hill.
Town and nearby hill objectives on the right edge of the board
British forces could set up anywhere within 24" of Ville Bois. All their units are to be treated as out of supply at the start of the game to represent them moving ahead of their supply lines.

On the hill and town the British had heavy infantry, howitzer, infantry and supporting cavalry units. Occupying the centre woods, just in front of the town (Ville Bois) two infantry units had taken position supported by a medium tank (Whippet) unit and cavalry both positioned on the road leading to the bridge. On their left flank two infantry units supported by a howitzer unit were occupying the ridge opposite the ford.

In reserves were two heavy infantry, infantry and howitzer units. One unit per turn could arrive in the town of Ville Bois on a dice roll of 4+. They were placed in order of arrival off table.

The Germans started off table. On their right flank arriving on the bridge road were: two cavalry, one heavy infantry, three infantry, howitzer and failed artillery units. On their left flank were one heavy infantry, two infantry, one cavalry, heavy tank (AV7), armoured car, field artillery and Sturmtruppen units.

In reserves, wave two of the counter offensive, were three heavy infantry and a howitzer units. They would arrive on turn 4 on the preferred road leading to the village on a 4+ dice roll. Else, they would  arrive on the bridge road.

The Germans were to start with "control of the skies" rule, which meant they would be able to do three strafing attempts over the first three turns.
German forces arriving
Turns 1 and 2
The Germans advanced along both roads and some cavalry headed for the ford. There where some  long range artillery shooting after most British units were resupplied successfully, and the Whippet tank unit moved up towards the bridge.

Turns 3 and 4
Saw the last of the German aircraft which had had quite a successful sortie scoring a couple of 6's (aircraft hits are the same as howitzers D6-2 with no cover saves).

The second wave of German troops arrived in their preferred area on their left flank.
German 2nd wave arrives while other units attack along the road.

The Germans advanced quickly on their left flank using the roads. While on the right flank two units had forced their way across the bridge under fire from the British in the woods and Whippet tank unit. Attempts to cross the ford were less successful and had stalled with casualties from British infantry and howitzer units on the ridge.
Germans crossing bridge and ford

The British, other than shooting at advancing German units, had secured the woods on their far right flank next to the hill. No British reserves had arrived due to a series of poor dice rolls.

Turns 5 and 6
No sight of British reserves and the German left flank continued to advance. During these turns both sides were starting to have a few units eliminated and accumulating hits. Included in the eliminated units was the German armoured car. The British right flank was looking pretty solid.

Turns 7 and 8
The assault on centre woods and hill started in earnest with British cavalry being moved up to bolster forces on the on both roads either side of the centre wood. A couple of supply issues delayed some effective shooting for the Germans.
End of turn 8 with hits taking their toll on both sides
Turns 9 and 10
Both sides continued to exchanged shots which were now focussing on the tank units, both of which were destroyed by the end of turn 10. The second wave of the German assault was slow in moving up and the British were just beginning to get a steady flow of reserves arriving.
A view from the British field artillery after eliminating a German tank unit

Turns 11 and 12
The German second wave finally started to assault the hill and centre wood and on their right flank a cavalry unit crossed the bridge drawing the attention of British units away from the German main assault. Both sides were losing a couple of unit each turn as hits mounted.

British howitzer unit arrived to support their right flank against the main German assault.

Germans briefly occupy the hill before being seen off in the final turn.
Turn 13, 14 and 15
German units finally occupy part of the hill before being seen off with the remaining artillery and heavy infantry reserves being rushed into position in the final turn.

The lack of pictures shows how much I enjoyed the game. The rules are still working well for me and give a balanced game, so no rule tweaking required. Although I will be adding weather and pioneers as optional house rules.

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