Monday, 2 September 2013

Trench Raider Rules

1/8th (Irish) King's Liverpool Regiment.
After a trench raid 17th-18th April 1916 at Wailly, France.
(Photograph copyright IWM)
Hi all, and welcome to the culmination of a project I've been working on for a few weeks now - a skirmish ruleset for Trench Raids in the First World War.  It's designed to be played with 28mm models, and have a bit of the feel of old 40K Kill Team rules.  Sneaking round defences, outwitting sentries and then, of course, the brutal close-range firefight.  This is a snippet from the introductory post:
  • It's a skirmish game, with the attacker controlling about eight trench raiders, and the defender (GM or NPC) in command of the sentries in the trench under attack.
  • There is a whole system for stealth with randomised sentry behaviour.
  • The game is heavily focused on realism, with devastating grenades, very easy wound rolls, and centred around the effective use of cover.
  • Everything revolves around actions and 'activation' - your team only gets D3 activations per turn, with each turn representing only a few seconds.
  • This makes the whole game about one or two minutes of real-time combat, leading to ruthless, synchronised, fast-paced and cinematic battles.

It's been a project in the works for a while.  I've always wanted to create a skirmish game based on realism and historical accuracy, and after recently acquiring a force of Germans and Russians, now I can.  It's been pretty robustly playtested, but I thought I'd make it available for you, the viewing public, as a freebie.  Drop me an email at colonelscipio@yahoo.co.uk, if you'd like to get involved, and I'll send it along.  If you can help by sending any feedback to me, then I'll incorporate it and give you a writing credit.  Maybe we can come up with a community-based project where we all chip in and come up with a great historical ruleset ... who knows?

Expect more battle reports, write-ups and WWI miniatures in the next few weeks.  Thanks for all your interest and comments on this topic as I've been working on it.

Ed

(As a rather poignant aside, this extract from the London Gazette goes a little way to the sorts of feats we're talking about with Trench Raids. 2Lt Baxter was the only casualty of a raid on 18 April 1918 - see the photo above.

Second Lieutenant Baxter, while assisting in the wire cutting, held a bomb in his hand with the pin withdrawn ready to throw. On one occasion the bomb slipped and fell to the ground, but he instantly picked it up, unscrewed the base plug, and took out the detonator, which he smothered in the ground, thereby preventing the alarm being given, and undoubtedly saving many casualties.

Later, he led the left storming party with the greatest gallantry, and was the first man into the trench, shooting the sentry with his revolver. He then assisted to bomb dugouts, and finally climbed out of the trench and assisted the last man over the parapet.

After this he was not seen again, though search parties went out at once to look for him. There seems no doubt that he lost his life in his great devotion to duty.


2Lt Baxter was awarded the Victoria Cross.)

14 comments:

  1. Sweet! Home brewed rules sets are the best :)

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    1. They really are - as I said in the first post I'm wary of spending ages making a game that's already out there somewhere. But this is a little bit niche, and everybody's got one good game in them.

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  2. Sounds good. Impressed by London Gazette excerpt.

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    1. Thanks - yes, I've found no end of really interesting excerpts. Apart from the London Gazette ones for bravery decorations, there are also the more mundanely-written - but equally heroic - AARs typed up by staff officers in obscure staff language. "Lt X then proceeded to DENY the enemy dugout by means of six hand grenades, and then to NEUTRALISE three sentries with his trench-club"

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    2. Humm. Food for thought.

      btw, have dispatched the Russians and other bits and pieces.

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  3. I’m very, very excited by this, Colonel! I think this will be fantastic. Bravo! I can't wait to get cracking and set up a game.

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    1. Glad you're as hyped about it as me! Your copy is in the post.

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  4. Having seen it from the embryonic stages and chipped in a few minor bits have to say i bloody love these rules and they have a lot of potential indeed! Excellent stuff as ever.

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    1. Thanks - hopefully tomorrow night in The Bunker you can have a proper go at the rules.

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  5. Like I said, I'm excited to try this out, 40K style and I have just the Guard on traitors figs to use. Sling me the link sir, I'll see if I can't get my boy to help me out.

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    1. Sorry for taking so long to get back to you - should have an email now sir.

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