So we got started, Ollie taking control of the German Sturmtruppen and me as the Russian defenders (Western Front opponents coming soon!). We rolled for objectives and got the Map Trenches result. The German officer had to map the enemy defences in preparation for a larger attach by entering every quarter of the board.
We rolled a six for selecting support, which meant that Ollie could pick any level from a stealthy scout raid to a full Fuerwaltz barrage. Opting for the middle ground the Battalion-Level Bombardment was picked. This would give a nice mix: light enough so as not to kick the hornets' nest, but heavy enough to suppress the defenders.
With the Germans reinforced by some freshly-painted minis, their raiding team looked very nasty indeed. In the opening moments of the game grenades rolled into the trenches - my Russians were alert, however, and one ducked back into cover, the other leaping off the parapet at two bayonet-men who were feet away from the lip of the trench. The Russian's long Mosin rifles come into their own in bayonet charges and the first raider was dead!
The Germans were thrown off-balance by this rapid counterattack and it took a few turns for them to actually get into the trench. This gave me three vital turns of accruing initiative dice, before they entered the front line trench and stopped that. The officer, with his Mauser pistol, cleared the way and started moving along the trench to 'roll it up', but was charged by a Russian with fixed bayonet and skewered! Oh no!
|The assault begins with a grenade|
rolled in. The top defender spotted
the attackers and leapt to attack!
I'd given up on holding the front line trench now, so I had two men covering the main lateral communication trench on overwatch while re-enforcements started to pour in. But every time I tried to get someone up on the parapet a watchful German stormtrooper would send him back into cover with a rifle shot. We seemed to be at a stalemate - the Russians had defended the second-line trenches but couldn't push the defenders back either. Ollie broke off the attack, and it looked like this one was down to points:
German Victory Points:
- One trench-quarter mapped (2 VPs)
- Russian officer killed (2 VPs)
- Seven defenders killed (7 VPs)
- Dugout destroyed (2 VPs)
- Total: 13 VPs
- German officer killed (2 VPs)
- Four attackers killed (4 VPs)
- Total: 6 VPs
|Trench Raiders in a nutshell! The length of the Russian|
rifles was a disadvantage, unless they got the charge in.
Looks a bit more decisive like that! I'd forgotten that one quarter had been mapped and the dugout gone as well, that made it more of a complete victory. It was a tough game where the attackers managed to really successfully pin the Russians in the trenches with a steady flow of grenades and accurate rifle fire, meaning the pace of the assault never slacked and the Germans maintained their full pool of six initiative dice all the way through - no mean feat. The Russians' famous bayonets accounted for more than one attacker but in the end I was totally over-matched and had to give up the front line trench.
We were happy with the way the game, where the rules seemed to be settling down with only one or two minor tweaks as we went along. Despite the mission itself being abrupt and a little bit of a non-starter (probably less than a minute in real time), the game was a great back-and-forth, cut-and-thrust assault that made for a great afternoon.
|This was just as the stalemate developed - the Russian aiming his rifle at the top successfully coved the |
comms trench, and was far enough away from the 'junction' to make grenade-throwing impossible.
Thanks for reading, everyone - hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,