Saturday, 24 August 2013

Trench Raiders Playthrough

The last couple of weeks have had a distinctly WWI feel, as I paint my Russian and German Infantry for a skirmish game of Trench Raiders.  Me, Ollie and Dan (you might remember us all from the Necromunda campaign) managed to get together on one of my now-exceptionally-rare days off and play two games.  I'd already thrashed out most of the rules - this was just a playtest really.

I won't go into detail on the battle reports, but hopefully the pictures give you a feel for the pace of the game and also show the setup.  When we have a fully functioning set of rules, I'll do a batrep and put the rules up for download.  Oh, and you can read about some of the difficulties and considerations when I first dreamt up the rules, here.

The first game being set up.  The trenches are laminated squares of card, downloaded from RPG Now, with perspex sheets laid over the top.  A brilliant system (although the perspex sheets were quite expensive) that allowed for limitless combinations of trenches.  You can see Ollie and Dan's German Stormtroopers in the top left, ready to bear down on the unsuspecting Russian defenders commanded by me.



One of our experimental grenade markers ... the two stormtroopers here work together, the one at the back prepares a grenade while the officer moves forward to cover him.  The 'loose' trench squares at the end represent dugouts - they aren't placed on the board, but when you attack you randomly pick one to fight in.  So you never know what's through the doorway ...

One stormtrooper, his rifle out of ammo, is mobbed by two Russians.  The long Mosin-Nagant rifles with bayonets, although clumsy in trench warfare, had a decisive edge over the shorter K98 carbines if the Russians managed to get the charge in.

One wounded Russian finds a German officer waving a pistol in his face - he closes his eyes and waits for the end, but the German bundles him off to the rear instead.  This is a capture mission, and they're worth more dead than alive.

The Russian commander's Nagant is out, so he hastily draws his sabre and charges - but the German dodges the clumsy blow and brings him down with the butt of his Mauser.

In the second mission, I took control of the raiders and managed to sneak into the trenches undetected.  The officer (bottom left), rushes deep into the trenches to try and grab the objective before the alarm is raised.  In doing so, he ends up cut off from his men and is bayoneted by an alert sentry.

One trooper is brought down (top left), but the others are an excellent team and with one man on the parapet (top right, half-cut off the photo), keeps the Russians inside the trenches.  The grenadier, top centre, is then free to stand on the lip of the frontline parapet and use his vantage point to make some Olympian throws with stick grenades.

And that was that!  The first game saw a total wipeout - Ollie and Dan had got the Prisoner Snatch objective and with the commander and three men bundled back to German lines, scored a crushing 23 VPs.  When I took on the role of the attacker, some alert Russian sentries cut off my strung-out troop and I only managed to get one man back alive.  Even with my own kills added to the tally I had a net -2 VPs.

Favourite bits:

  • The initiative system worked well - a dice pool generated actions for the men each turn, with the number of defender's dice slowly growing as the attacker's momentum wavered, encouraging the stormtroopers to use realistic rapid assaults.
  • Cover was essential, and deadly Russian bayonets precluded boring massacres as they emerged from dugouts - they gave as good as they got.
  • The challange of command was well represented, and all players agreed that a clear plan beforehand was essential but players had to react to events on the ground too.
So all in all a big success and a fun morning.  Thanks to Ma and Pa Scipio who let us use their dining table, and Ollie and Dan for being such great opponents with helpful suggestions on the rules.  I think after one more playtest this will be pretty much done.

In other news, Dai's Imperial Guard advisor models are nearly done, so watch out for a post on them in your area soon.  But until then, have fun and happy gaming everybody.

Ed

18 comments:

  1. Excellent ! looks like a lot of fun. Could it/will it link into a bigger WW1 campaign ? Where having snatched prisoners to question will bring an advantage ?

    We must be told !

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  2. Nice! Really eager to see these rules. Could they even be converted for use in a Guard-on-Rebel Guard 40K type scenario for those of us who really can't start yet another new collection of minis? :)

    (Excited to see what you've done with those advisers too!)

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  3. Nice, looking forward to seeing more raids and more rules once they get fully flushed out.

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  4. Interesting stuff! Looks good, too.

    I have to say - though I've very little appetite to paint historically accurate 28mm! - I'm a sucker for interesting rules-sets and this has caught my interest...which in the last month has also been caught by both Bolt Action and Chain of Command (moreso the former). Good luck with it, eh?

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  5. Game looks very fun, models look like a challenging but rewarding paint.

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  6. That's exactly what we're looking to do - at these scales the games are usually 30 mins to an hour, and we're thinking of using it as a prelude to a larger scale of WW1 game. This might be a more interesting way of D6-ing for first turn, although we're thinking of ways it could affect the game specifically. Kieran is working on a larger scale game and we're working towards tying them in together.

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  7. They certainly could, since there are no 'stats' as such the rules would fit well with any setting, you'd just have to come up with new weapon rules. Having said that there are some very specific historical rules that tie it to WW1 but I'm sure they could be suspended...

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  8. Thanks mate, the next step is for me to make the rules presentable and understandable, hopefully in about two weeks they should ne fit for public consumption.

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  9. Thankyou my dear Drax, high praise indeed and glad you're finding it interesting. Appreciate how daunting a new scale is, however, but perhaps like Dai suggested I might try it with 40K models one day...

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  10. Cheers, they are. Historicals are certainly my favourite to paint, so I'm always fine with putting in the hours to make them look good; 40K tends to be more of a production line approach.

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  11. Damn my comment seems to have disappeared. A dashed good write up and spiffing photos, apologies for my absence - bloody illness shall not bar me next time. It's shaping up very well indeed. Have some specific references in the Into No Man's Land notes for linked games and benefits from gathering intelligence / destroying MG posts/sapheads in TR games. Should lead to some jolly good games.

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    1. (Sorry to all the people above, my replies seem to have been separated from the original comment. But they should make sense, I replied in the order you commented.)

      Thanks H, hope you're better soon and all that - I think that's ideal, this has naturally evolved into a quick game so it will have to be in 'best of three' form, or as a prelude to INML games as you say.

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  12. Brilliant, Colonel - that looks a really great set up there. Very flexible and handsome indeed. I like the micro-scale setting of the game - I rember from the reading I did on trench raids that some could be very small, intimate affairs indeed, and ideally suited for your rules. Looking forward very much to seeing the version for public consumption, as I shall be giving these a try. Splendid stuff!

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    1. Thanks Sid - that's what I was trying to capture. It was inspired by our recent rounds of Necromunda, and is a nice road in to full-scale WW1 battles. Glad you're thinking of trying the finished rules, and nicely fitting since it was your WW1 stuff that inspired me down this road in the first place as well.

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  13. Very very cool, highly original

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  14. You forgot about Hans 'The Arm' Weiss and his seeming inexhaustible stash of grenades!

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    1. I'm going to model bigger sandbags for him next time...

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