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 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.|
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.
- 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.