Trench Raider Rules
|1/8th (Irish) King's Liverpool Regiment. |
After a trench raid 17th-18th April 1916 at Wailly, France.
(Photograph copyright IWM)
- 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 email@example.com, 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.
(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Second Lieutenant Baxter, while assisting in the wire cutting, held a bomb in his hand with the pin withdrawn ready to throw.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.)