Trench Raiders Triple

A bit of set-dressing for our game, courtesy of Kieran's re-enacting days
Palladian Guard is firmly back in First World War mode today, as we share another of our Trench Raiders Triple battle reports.  The first was from a few weeks back and saw the Germans and Brits battle it out in the last desperate days of 1917.  This one was after Kieran had painted up his lovely French infantry, so I played with the men of 5th Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment, while Ollie commanded 5. Sturmbattalion.

This is a two-parter with Kieran - I'm going to do a brief update of the Trench Raider rules, and talk a bit about how they've developed to this point.  Then I'll relate the first battle where Ollie's stormtroopers attacked a French position, then I'll hand over to Kieran at DYHAF for him to do the final two clashes - the French and British attacks on two German positions.

The Rules

My notes from the First Battle.  Most of the changes from the game
start life as scribbled notes in the margins of my Little Brown Book.
Evidenced by my considering a limit to grenades in the bottom left...
Many of you have flattered us by expressing an interest in the TR ruleset and have received and playtested it - your help is appreciated!  Here are just a few of the changes that have taken place in the rules:
  • National Identity.  There were a few nation-specific weapons in there before, but these were so popular that I've been forced to write totally separate armouries up for each nation.  This does lend it a lot more individuality, particularly for late war games, and each nation is now a very different beast to handle!
  • Balancing Close Combat.  Melee was a little bit deadly, so with the addition of a 'to hit' roll for close combat and the requirement for LoS in order to charge, has re-balanced this issue.
  • Experience and Special Abilities.  A system for naming and scoring your characters' experience with a levelling-up system, and a D66 chart of special abilities.  This makes people a bit more precious with their raiders and perhaps a little more reluctant to send them blindly round corners!
  • Starshells.  Light and dark is now random, with starshells over the battlefield burning out or appearing at unexpected moments, lighting up No Man's Land, and adding a quite new dimension to the game.
  • General Tidying and Streamlining.  A few of the more complex charts and tables have gone, like the LoS chart for 2D games and the number of dice rolls has been reduced a little.

First Battle

Player:  Ollie
Army:  Germans
Defender:  French (Ed and Kieran)
Year:  1917
Mission:  Dugout Demolition (blow up a dugout off the enemy comms trench)
Artillery Support Available:  Regimental Bombardment (Level V)
Artillery Support Selected:  Company Bombardment (Level III)

Ollie deployed his Stormtroopers bottom left.  Having selected Company Bombardment, there would be enough
artillery to stir the hornets' nest and make everyone stood-to; the advantage being that with all the defenders
on the board at the start, there would be no re-enforcements until Turn 7.
Kieran's lovely French infantry all ready to receive the charge!  The officer
is standing to the left, and the objective is to the bottom of the picture.
The situation at the beginning of the game.
Ollie began by trying to rush the sentry on the parapet, only to be bayonetted!  Verdammt!  The long Lebel rifles, while usually very unwieldy in the trenches, occasionally come out on top in straight bayonet fights.
Vengence is soon forthcoming, Ollie threw a barrage of grenades which crippled the defence.
Notice that clever use of the reflected ceiling light, to make an explosion? 
The Fourtex - the mysterious zone in the centre of the perspex boards which always
throws up a four if you land in it - almost claims another victim!
Despite the early setback, the Germans' shock tactics clear the trench in two turns.
And now they start to move towards their objective.
Just ... won't... die!  (The rifleman died shortly after this photograph was taken)
The bayonet-man keeping the officer at bay, with grenades flying over the trenches,
while the officer and his grenadier blow the dugout.
Kieran suggested more aggression would be more realistic, so I got a bayonet charge in.  Flustered, the German tried to get a shot off but missed, and the Rosalie bayonets claimed another victim for France!
Proof that Kieran's odd superstitions did work (that's a six). 
We tried to carry on our bayonet success, but the Leutnant put a stop to it with a snap shot from his Mauser.
Too far away to chase, the Germans time it beautifully and just as the re-enforcements start pouring in, they hop off into No Man's Land.  We line our riflemen up on the parapet and manage to pick one off at long range, but the majority get away. 
German Victory Points
Dugout Blown: 10 points
French Casualties:  7 points
French Officer Killed:  2 points
German Casualties:  -9 points
Casualties Recovered:  2 points

Total:  12 points - Heroic Victory!

Well done Ollie!  It was a smashing game, very well-played.  Deliberately selecting company bombardment is a controversial tactic since it gives the defenders maximum starting sentries, but he played it beautifully and managed to blast his way in and get to the objective by the time the initiative started to swing back in favour of the French.

To continue the story, go to Do You Have a Flag and let Kieran relate the stories of the Second and Third games!



  1. This all looks so very clever and original... well done, chaps!

  2. Looking very nice, original and very nice!

  3. Smashing write up mate.

    Have you thought about a solo-play version of these rules for those of us who are more likely to be regular-opponent challenged?

    1. Hi Dai - interesting you should mention that.

      Originally it was conceived as a 1-player game, with the defenders being NPC characters. Certainly most of the fun comes from playing attackers, hence why we rotate. However when we went through it there was also a certain challenge to playing defenders, so in (about) version 1.2 we dropped the NPC rules. However, if you're interested in giving them a try I could send them to you.

    2. Yes please Ed. Something as quick and easy to set up like this would make for an easier time of it in my house and with my time restraints.

    3. Ooh, could I please jump on this bandwagon?

      The prospect of solitare wargaming is too tempting; not least because whenever I play against myself I always manage to lose...!

    4. It's in your inboxes, chaps. Hope you enjoy it!


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