Monday, 12 November 2018

A Remembrance Sunday Wargame


When Postie suggested putting on a WWI game on Remembrance Sunday, both Lee and myself were a little concerned. We didn't want the game to make light of the special Centenary commemoration, thinking some people would think it was in bad taste?
We arrived at the Shed O War and Postie handed out the info above and below about his Great Grandfather. The little booklet was sent to his Great Grandmother, informing her of her husbands death.
Private James Till 6th Battalion Queens Own ( Royal West Kent regt) was killed somewhere if France on Tuesday 17th July 1917.

It was quite a poignant start to the day, bringing home that personal side to the war that you don't usually tend to think about. I for one and none of the other Rejects had never seen a WWI death notice, I don't know what I expected perhaps a telegram or letter of some kind?



Postie also had a large collection of these postcards that James had sent to his family from the trenches. I took a photo of just four of them, the bottom one, Kisses for my Darling, was sent to his daughter Winnie (Posties Nan) who was a baby in arms at the time. It was also very humbling reading James' messages to his Mum, wishing her a Happy Birthday from all those years ago.
At 11 o'clock like lots of others from the UK, Europe and the Commonwealth we listened to The Last Post and held a 2 minutes silence.


On a personal note, my Dad's cousin Roger, took this photo yesterday at the War Memorial in Gravesend, where I live, showing the names of two of my Great Great Uncles who were killed during WWI. William J. Dadson, my Great Grandmothers brother, who was killed on the Western Front and Arthur Dryden, my Great Grandfather's brother, who was on board the Merchant ship the Minnihaha, which was torpedoed in 1917 in the Irish Sea.

The Ode of Remembrance by Laurence Binyon
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

The Battle of Poppy Field 1917 a Fictional batrep


Myself and Lee picked out the British with Lee being our Commander while Smiffy and Surj picked out the German forces with Surj in charge.
We were given the above map of the battlefield, Postie told us had 4 objectives marked as crosses.

  1. Gain air superiority.
  2. Get any unit or part of in any German trench.
  3. Get any tank off the German baseline.
  4. Get any unit off the baseline by the town.
If we got 1 objective only the game would be a win for the Germans, 2 objectives would be a draw, 3 would be a British victory, while 4 would be an emphatic victory.


So our plan was to attack the 2 flanks and hope for the best.....

OOB

British

13 Male/Female Tanks
5 Whippets
1 Field Gun
 2 Battalions of infantry
1 unit of Stormtroopers
1 HMG
1 LMG
1 Staff Car & Brigade Commander
1 Flamthrower
1 Rolls Royce Armord Car

1 Sopwith Camel

Germans

1 A7V
2 Captured British Male/Female Tanks
2 Trench Morters
2 Field Guns
2 HMG's
2 LMG's
2 Battalions of infantry
1 Unit of Stormtroopers
1 Brigade Commander
2 Flamethrowers

1 Fokker DR1



For the first time in quite a while Postie rolled down the Fog of War curtain, saying the battlefield 
was covered in fog. This also meant that our map may not be truly accurate???



We decided to bring on our Camel on turn 2, in the centre of the field


With only a 4 inch move for the tanks, we thought we'd be playing until well past midnight, 
until Postie informed us we'd have a free move with every tank. We threw a dice and could advance either 20, 24, 28 or 36 inches forward. Phew!


Surj takes a peek through the curtain and is very shocked what he saw.


as were we!
We didn't realise we'd end up so close to the trenches and luckily for me, the trenches actually 
extended further over to my left of the field. So to gain Objective No 2 may well be a tad easier??


The town was around 4 times the size than the one on our map. Lee was definitely
going to have a bit of trouble going through there and trying to gain Objective No 4 with 
so little forces.



Turn 1
The German's get first turn and immediately blow up Lee's only Male Tank
in front of the town!


Then Smiffy does the same to one of my tanks and we haven't even fired yet either.


The woes continued
Another of my Male tanks breaks down without even moving for the rest of the game.
But it can continue to fire.


Arggh!
My Whippet has a Partial Breakdown until Turn 4
My Infantry abandon the tank and move forward without any cover.


And another breakdown....... this was even worse though. A breakdown until turn 6 
and it was a tank with fascines!


Lee gets our one and only fieldgun, which is luck as he lost his tank last turn.


So our plan hadn't changed too much, with what we could we moved forward.
My tanks on the left.


And Lee's on the right


Turn 2, on came our plane. I wonder if we can spot anything in the trenches?


I pushed my 2 faster 8 inch movement Whippets forward to the right, to allow my tank to fire at Smiffy's bunker, but also as a ruse, I planned for one of these tanks to German baseline and win an objective. 


As there was no trench (at the bottom of the pic) this was the ideal place to try and
push for the basline.


Its really not going well for Lee, on our right, Surj's Captured tank blows up 2 of Lee's Whippets.
While our plane is making a bee line for the trenches.


Posties really making this difficult for us!!
Surj reveals his AA gun!! With a massive range. All he has to throw is a 8+ on a D10!!


Lee's infantry is dropping like flies, There's also a German sniper, picking away at his infantry.
to hit he needs to throw a 2,3,4,5 on a D6


Ay last our first bit of luck, Lee throws well (for once!)
And destroys Surj's one and only tank. But can Lee get to the town unhindered now or not?


Last turn I finally managed to hit the bunker! But did no damage what so ever!!
So I whipped my Whippets over to the barbed wire and started to cross.


Across the field, things were going ok for me, but Lee was still suffering big time, we decided to push his remaining tank over to the town to help him try and take it.
But he lost another tank in doing so.
But Smiffy then lost his A7V, it can just be seen in the distance, where Surj is standing. 


And of course here!


I reached the trenches and dived down to a lower and more dangerous altitude
and shot down the trench line, killing a few troopers. 


Uh oh!
One Whippet bites the dust, but the other clears the wire and makes off for the baseline.
During the game every odd game turn if a tank wishes to move, you have to throw 
for breakdowns. 2 x D6, anything above a 10 and your buggered!


The British Stormtroopers head for the unguarded trench, all they have to do is drop down into the trench to gain the points.


It was at this point that Surj started to fire his hidden infantry from the 
beige building in the centre, shooting Lee's infantry.


The Fokker DR1 makes an appearance. 


Now both planes were on the table, 
We had to throw for our grade, I threw a Novice, great!
Surj threw an Ace! Here we go again!!!


Hmm? There not a lot to challenge me here?


Lee loses another tank!!!


As my tank gets closer to the wire and the Whippet gets closer to the table edge.
Smiffy fires at the Whippet but misses.
Phew!


Nearly there!!



Oh crap!
Another tank goes up in smoke, and now I've blocked the safe route
 through the barbed wire too!


Excellent!
I'm through the barbed wire, My tank crew fire machine guns down either side of the trench clearing the way, but I fail the movement test and ditch in the trench.
 My Tank crew disembark and set up a machine gun in the trench, while my infantry follow up drop down into the trench on the other side.
Well that's Objective no2 done now as well!
So we need either to gain air superiority or Lee needs the town to win the game.
Its not looking very likely? 


The German's move another captured tank out of the town and more of Lee's infantry are shot 
while cutting the barbed wire.


Lee crosses the barbed wire, with his Command vehicle hiding behind.


We've already got the objective but I charge the enemy anyway.
And lose!!!
Surj makes a fatal error, he shoots his last burst from his Fokker, trying to get rid of Lee's artillery.
He's now out of ammo and has to leave the battle to resupply, giving us air superiority.

Postie stops the game, we've won!

Analysis 

What a great game that turned into, both myself and Lee were very worried at the start of the game, we've played the rules before and experienced the way thanks break down. Surj and Smiffy dice throwing was great at the start blowing up 2 tanks the first turn, Surj carried on battering Lee, but for once Smiffy's dice deserted him. Which helped me to gain the first 2 objectives.
It was another very close and very enjoyable game.
Well done Postie!







46 comments:

  1. Nice writ up Ray. Mine will be posted tomorrow. It was a close game but a win is a win so I'm not knocking it.

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    1. Exactly, I'm still in shock that we actually won!!!

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  2. A somber occasion for a splendid game!

    Postie's table id marvelous. Love the town setup. Is there a period in Postie cannot fiend an army?

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    1. Cheers Jonathon and the simple answer is, No!

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  3. Great looking game and quite a bit of personal history from Postie. Amazing history!

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  4. Great game Ray, nice one Postie.

    Ray, very interested to read that Posties Great Grandfather served in the 6th Battalion the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment as my Grandfathers two elder brothers also served in the same regiment and same battalion! Both were wounded in 1916 but later returned to action, sadly the elder brother Henry Gramson was listed as Killed in Action, July 1918. The battalion certainly saw action on the Somme and during the attack on 'Rainbow Trench' 1916 The 6th Battalion (Queens Own), alongside the 6th battalion 3rd East Kent regiment 'The Buffs' (my grandfathers unit) were the two lead units in the assault and suffered heavy casualties, ending the day with the trench back in German hands. You might like to share this with Postie if he does not already know the unit history? I can probably pinpoint the location of the Queens Own around the time Posties Great Grandfather was killed using my war records subscriptions? Brave men one and all, glad we are lucky enough to play at war Ray :)

    Brief overview of 6th Battalion, (Queens Own) Royal West Kent Regiment's service history - Please feel free to delete all this if you wish Ray :)

    Regards, Lee.

    6th (Service) Battalion
    14.08.1914 Formed at Maidstone as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Colchester to join the 37th Brigade of the 12th Division and then moved to Purfleet.
    Feb 1915 Moved to Aldershot.
    01.06.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
    During 1915
    The Battle of Loos.
    During 1916
    The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Le Transloy.
    During 1917
    The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Cambrai operations.
    During 1918
    The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin canal, The Final Advance in Artois.
    11.11.1918 Ended the war in France, Lecelles N.W. of St. Amand.

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    1. Oh wow! Thank you for the info Lee, I'll pass all this onto Postie, he'll love it.

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    2. Postie just seen the info and says thank you very much. He didn't know any of the details you wrote.

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  5. This terrain is awesome...and your collection of vehicles is super...A great looking game!

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  6. Very fitting game, given the circumsatnces amd imo a good way to remember.

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    1. That's what we thought in the end, we were a little worried that it might offend people.

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  7. Lest we forget! Well done guys!

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  8. Wonderful stuff Ray and another Postie marvel

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  9. Great looking game and apt post, postie's WW1 memorabilia is great too!
    Best Iain

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  10. Superb looking game and some poignant mementos

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  11. Great post and a lot of Memory !

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  12. Fabulous game and a great way to act as a memorial to all those who fought. We are so fortunate to just play at war.

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  13. Great article..I am looking so forward to your blogcomment and
    I love your page on your post.. That is so pretty..
    gclub

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