Just a little something we've been experimenting with at our local club....
Tonight, the club saw the first engagement of BP1914, with the huns(fiendish imperialist swine!), commanded by the lesser spotted Blue Team Dave, (making a rare appearance at the club!) and the Brits (Plucky chaps, salt of the earth!) commanded by myself.
We decided just to use the BP rules as written for this game, without adding any of the things that have been suggested over the course of the last few weeks on the forum like Digging In and any other special rules. We also ignored the Brigade Moral Rule (or rather we forgot about it...again.) and used the normal modified command roll system we use for Naps etc. The only mod we made was to reduce moves to 6" in light of the small table used.
All Officers were set to a command rating of 8.
The German force comprised: 2 companies of the 84th (3 platoons in each) and 3 machinegun sections. A 3rd company came on from reserve. The British force comprised: 2 companies of 4/Royal Fusiliers and 3 machinegun sections ( a bit much I know but these were the models we had).
The Objective: to capture the Chateau (top of pic) for use by the divisional headquarters, and to capture the pub (bottom right) to provide the headquarters with refreshments! Each force came on from the first turn in opposite corners of the field.
Huzzah! With a cheer two companies of the Fusiliers march on to the field, eager to sort out Jerry! A company is heading for the Chateau, while B company heads for the pub!
The huns arrive in the dead ground and head for the Chateau, obviously more in need of comfortable beds than a drink.
The Fusiliers Vickers on the hillside opens up on the advancing jerries with a long range shots and persuades them to keep their heads down, while the infantry advance through the tree line.
The Second company of the 84th arrives, but the German attack is already slowing in the face of long range british rifle fire!
Its slow progress for the Fusiliers too, as they trudge through ditches and over hedges to reach the road before the Chateau.
Come on Fritz! British riflefire takes its toll as the germans advance, and eventually two platoons are forced to quit the field.
The Fusiliers swarm across the road, but the huns are already in the farm house!
The defenders of the Chateau put up a fusillade against the Brits, who advance undeterred!
Two platoons of A company are now on the road with the 3rd and a Vickers covering them. Germans at the end of the road! "Platoon! Huns on the left, 5 Rounds Rapid!"
1st platoon closes on the Chateau, braving the supporting german machineguns to pour fire against the defenders.
The 2nd company of the 84th up the road begun to push into the firefight, trying to match the Fusiliers volley for volley...
...while German Mahineguns take to the heights to cover the defenders in the Chateau...
...and a platoon of B company hooks left to support A company against the Chateau.
The Jerries advance begins to look a little futile as the concentrated volleys of the Fusiliers force a platoon to retire for good. At this point (not wanting the game to be over that fast!) I suggested Blue Team recycle the three platoons he'd lost...
...so he did! "Gott mit uns!"
On the other side of the field B company have managed to secure the pub, but are being a bit slow about reinforcing it. "Hurry up chaps!, Last one to the bar gets 'em in!"
They get there eventually, and the British now form a pretty solid line across the battlefield, pouring fire at any target that presents itself.
As a result, the German company by the hill is beginning to feel the strain! Meanwhile, back at the Chateau....
...the assault goes in! 1st platoon, of A company goes in with bayonets fixed to clear the Huns out of the farm...
...however, despite their determination to press home the assault, the jerries are well situated and confident, and the Fusiliers take heavy casualties...
...They fall back, and come into the field of fire of a jerry machine gun! Sneaky chaps had been working round the flank to cover the front of the Chateau from the tree line.
Further up the road, the Germans on their way to the pub , hoping to arrive before last orders...
...however they have the worst of the firefight, and after suffering heavy casualties they fall back behind the hills to regroup.
They rally again, and with Teutonic resolve, attack again heading directly to the pub, using the roadside hedge to cover them.
The Fusiliers closest to the Chateau are tired now, exhausted by continued firefights and a long advance, but they stubbornly match the 84th, shot for shot!
Back at the Chateau things arent going well for Major Myner and two platoons of A company: These two have borne the brunt of the fighting so far, but despite the attentions of the bulk of the German machine guns and the well dug in troops in the chateau they refuse to break, but give ground, inch by grudging inch.
Up the road and by the pub things go less well for the Huns, as the relatively fresh tommies of B company put several platoons to flight...
...they press home their attack at bayonet point against the confused and battered 84th, and drive off the remaining Germans in the area.
The chateau is now to heavily defended for the Fusiliers to take it just yet: with 2 machine guns covering it and a dug in infantry platoon it will be a tough nut to crack! Best wait for the artillery to come up, thinks the Major...
...but the rest of the field, and more importantly the pub, is in British hands. Huzzah!
Objectives: 1 each. German Losses : 8 platoons, 1 machinegun section. British Losses: 1 platoon, 1 machinegun section.
I suppose that would be a minor British win then 'eh chaps? The slightly one sided massacre is probably partly due to BlueTeams inexperience at BP (his first game) compared to myself, and partly due to some absolutely horrible dice at the start of the game which saw three platoons of jerries dead for no loss! Hence the permitted reinforcements.
A cracking game, and one that showed BP works well even out of its supposed comfort zone. Id suggest in future a slight reduction in rifle ranges to make sure it doesnt get bogged down into a long range firefight. Machinguns were about right: often they only got a shot or two off, though it was enough to have people ducking for cover: they have the potential to be a lot more lethal, and were on several occasions, though they never managed to destroy a platoon by themselves.
I think next time we'll add in the suggested rules for grenades, (-1 to moral saves in h2h and within 6"), machineguns (cant fire if moved more than one move) and Going to Ground (on successful order, or as part of a successful order unit gets +1 to save, even in open. Costs equivalent of one move).
We can probably add in national rules too: Id suggest keeping these simple: Probably would make Germans Reliable, and the British Stubborn. Or something like that. Makes the huns more likely to attack (and represents them being better organised, which compared to the Brits most people are!) and the Brits more likely to take root wherever theyre stood regardless of the odds. Which is about right.
Well gentlemen, opinions, heckles, cries of "WTF? I thought you were playing Naps this week?", suggestions, and accusations of cheating and weighted dice are now welcome.
All miniatures are by Renegade. 'Cos they're very nice and characterful...and cheap!
Interestingly, three of us all decided to collect ww1 forces together: ordered our stuff from the same place at the same time etc. A week later all my brits are painted...the two jerry players have only managed 8 models between them in the course of a month, hence the amount of bare metal on view.
They both claim its something to do with being married. Now Im engaged and this hasnt happened to me so Im not sure what they could be on about....
...maybe on your wedding day they confiscate your paint brushes or something....
Interesting. I've just been reading a little of "Tip & Run" about WW1 in Africa and thought it had great BP potential. How did you find the rules worked with 2 armies armed with magazine rifles and MGs? I've been doing some solo play-testing on Boer War actions and basically found that using the rules pretty much as written that the British could overrun entrenched Boers with little difficulty - I've got a few ideas on how to rectify this but would be interested in your input based on 1914 actions.
Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?
well for this first game we basically just used BP with mo mods except to reduce moves to 6", and all units had the basic profile.
We used the following scale: 8 men = 1 platoon = standard unit with Bolt action rifles(3 = 1 company). All units skirmished. We felt the 36" range of the bolt action rifles to be a bit long. Might reduce them. We didnt use any special rules for having magazines..we felt that jumping from 3 shots per 500-1000 RL men in Naps to 3 shots per 30 RL men in WW1 was enough!
Machine guns were unpredictable, they usually only got a couple of shots off, which was usually enough to pin a platoon, but every now and then theyd get enough hits to inflict some serious hurt!
Im not sure how your overrunning entrenched anybody with ease...weve never managed to get anyone out of a defensive position in BP...weve given up trying now.
Some special rules though that weve decided to add in for next time(some of these are adapted from LAOK!)
Germans: Reliable and Grenades (-1 to morale save in h2h and within 6"),Numerical superiority (may recycle first destroyed company). British: Stubborn and Sharpshooters.
HMG cant fire if they move more than one move. (like arty in LAOK).
Gone to ground: Issued as part of order, replaces one move; unit gets +1 save. Lost if makes a subsequent move.
If I were to do this for the Boer war Id switch some things: Boers would obviously get sharpshooters, brits would get drilled or reliable. Thing is if the Brits got close in they did tend to win...the long range firefights went to the boers. I wonder if its a tactical problem: rather than concentrating fire to destroy the british attack they should spread it to pin or disrupt (disorder) as many british units as possible. They would probably struggle to destroy attacking units but could certainly slow an assault for a very long time. Dunno if that helps?
I think they key difference is perhaps that you used only a 6" movement, that in effect doubles the range of all weapons and means that advancing troops will be exposed to fire for longer.
Basic set up for my game was that I used the mounted infantry stats for Boers, made them sharpshooters and skirmishing warband. For some games I used 2 dice for shooting then increased it to 3. [Incidentally as a lot of our games involve some troops with magazine rifles we allow them an extra die in closing fire]. I did allow Boers to deliver closing fire (skirmishers can't usually do this). Because I was playing solo I couldn't really do hidden deployment, but I did impose a house rule on myself that the Brits couldn't fire on a Boer unit until AFTER they'd received fire from that unit.
For the Brits I basically treated each battalion as 2 units - a skirmish line and supports. In general the British skirmish screen took the hits but the formed line was able to get close enought to charge home - in which case the Boers were nearly always evicted or at best drew and then lost badly on the next round. I'm toying with some ideas about hidden deployment (not weather to do it, but how to do it) for the Boers and special rules for "Veldcraft". Also, perhaps dropping the British staff rating would help.
Perhaps we could set up a separate discussion about using BP with "modern" weapons? - I'm convinced it will work, just needs tweeking.
Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?