Given that it is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1, the choice of period for our 2014 demo game was fairly predictable. There’s a really excellent scenario in the Two Fat Lardies ‘Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers’ book called Race to the Sea. In this the Germans and the British are advancing along opposite sides of a canal to the small town of Dampf
, the object being to seize the bridge crossing the canal, starting with small forces and getting additions dependant on which card is drawn in any turn. The players find they have a choice between dashing along the road to get to the town (there’s movement penalties for moving off-road in a rather soggy field system) and shooting to disrupt the opposition as they try and do the same thing. We’d played this before and found it gave a nail-biting little action with some tricky decisions – obviously using Mud and Blood rules from the Lardies.
Luckily we have most of the troops required and can field British, Belgian and French forces as alternatives to face off against the ‘orrible ‘un. I need to finish off the French and create the terrain – all in time for the Tunbridge show in February and this photo shoot should shame me into finishing in time. Or record progress to 1st Partizan
The main boards are my usual 9mm MDF with Craftfoam on top to provide the contours (I have a sneaking megalomaniac plan to join up the other terrain boards I’ve made for 1914-40 and create a sculptured terrain that runs 30x6 feet and can only be used once before I give myself a hernia):
The assumption is Dampf
is built in a low-lying border region between France and Belgium, with a canal running straight through it. So the roads and town are raised 10mm above the land, which is 10mm off the canal surface:
The town layout has been varied a little from the original town map in SH&IT, mainly because I can’t follow instructions. The principle objective has been to ensure that the buildings form obstructions to sight and cover from fire, without providing too many ‘strongpoints’ that would make an ambush easy, so there’s been much fiddling around with the buildings. The sudden decision to buy the Total Battle Terrain French Church also meant some jiggery pokery to make it all fit. The final layout looks broadly like this (the white line down the centre is the canal and not necessarily indicative of my inability to measure):
Technically I could use the Grand Manner buildings I have, but they’ve been out on the show circuit enough times to have their own car parking badge, so the buildings will be a mix of scratchbuilt, heavily modified dolls houses, Fenris Games, partly modified Oshiro Terrain and straight out of the box Total Battle Terrain. More on those in the next update.