Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where did they come from? Sept. 1, 1914

This past Saturday my group and I ran a combined game of Through the Mud & Blood and Platoon Forward.  Both rule sets are published by the Two Fat Lardies.  Platoon Forward is a supplement that allows you to create scenarios, either linked or one off battles, and create leaders that one can follow through the series of battles.  It is wonderful for solo play or with a group.  The set was designed with World War II in mind but with a few simple changes I was able to amend some of the charts for World War I.  I purchased the set to help with scenario generation but after reading through the set I decided to try a short campaign with the group and drew up two opposing sides.  The first battle ended up being a Flank Attack with the Germans attacking some dug in Russians.

The scenario is set up with the defender dug in and expecting an attack from the south.  The attacker rolled a d6 to pick their starting point.  They rolled a 2 so they entered the board on the left of the Russians coming in the middle of the board.  The attacker also received a HMG firing from the south (off board) to help pin/harass the Russians.  The Germans were also given as a pre-game event and aggressive streak for the game and the Russians picked an extra move card.

The board was set up with the Russians holding a key cross road in the middle of the board.

 The battle started off the receiving some off board HMG fire that turned out to be in-effective.  The next card turned over was the pre-planned artillery card for the Germans.  With some great die rolling the German player landed the artillery exactly where he wanted.  The Russian player rolled in secret any and all shocks and kills.  The next card allowed the Germans to enter.
Soon the Russians were on the move to counter the attack.
The Germans took a bold move and rushed the dug in russians in the field and took a beating.  This failure seemed to derail the German attack.  They became less aggressive in trying to press home their flanking move.

The Germans were able to out flank the Russians in the field  and forced them to retreat after losing their bottle.  This would be the farthest the Germans would advance.
Stalled on the small hill the Germans took a beating from the Russian HMG and the forming line of infantry.

Around the 6th turn the German player called in and said he could not push forward and retreated off the board leaving the Russians with a victory.

Some mistakes I made with this scenario was the ability of the Russian commander to react so quickly to the advancing Germans.  I should have limited the Russians in some way, either requiring one of the squads to send a runner back to warn of the attack or doing something where the Russians could activate certain blinds depending on how close the Germans got to certain terrain pieces.  Without the limitation the Russians were able to throw everything they had at the Germans within a turn or two and the surprise was lost completely.  Another mistake I made was limiting the off board HMG to only fire when its card came up, instead of giving it a chance to fire once every turn.

I will be running another scenario using Platoon Forward next month with the same leaders/squads.


  1. Good batrep but Ray is lying as I am currently watching him at work.

  2. Sounds a good game despite the outcome. A few remarks:
    1/ Can you share the changes introduced to PF to play with M&B? Also de OOBs, that are useful to replicate these games

    2/ Did you use PF with 2 players facing each other (one German, one Russian) or you let one of the sides to be controlled by the PF mechanisms?

    3/ In relation to the Russians, there are several ways to limit their reaction capcity: lower the BM rating, introduce a friction card, use a sentry card and put some limitations to the moment they can raise the alarm (I recommend you the article on trench raids of the Christmas Special written by Sidney to get some inspiration on this).

    In any case nice game

  3. Vic, you need to use Barrage next time. :-)

  4. Anibal- I will post that information later today/tonight.

    Eric- Barrage would have worked if I scaled it up to a battalion sized fight. :-)