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"First Day on the Somme" Topic


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1,134 hits since 1 Mar 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Pattus Magnus01 Mar 2012 1:06 p.m. PST

I refereed a game of Through the Mud and the Blood a couple of nights ago. It was the first time any of us had ever used any of the TFL games,and I've got to say, I'm impressed. The game mechanisms are pretty intuitive and by about turn 3 the guys were running their squads without having to ask many questions and I was able to focus on running the scenario. We all had a good time, shown in the following pics, which are in no particular order!

link

The tanks weren't actually in the scenario, Chris took some pics of them because they looked good and then he left them on the table while he deployed because he wanted the morale support!

Turns out, he needed it, by the end of the game, the Brits had sustained over 50% casualties and had lost 3 of the 5 NCOs directing the squads. The Germans lost 1 NCO and 1 rifleman. It turns out that daylight human-wave attacks really are a bad idea ;)

I should mention too, that Chris, playing the Brits, had REALLY bad luck two of the first 4 casualties he took were NCOs, and later, when he detached his sniper and tried for his first aimed sshot of the game, he rolled doubles (1s), which in TTMATB means that the sniper is removed from play.

Overall, we had a blast and I'm looking forward to another game!

BTW, the figures are all 1/72 plastics: HaT for the Brits, Revell and Casear for the Germans, and the tanks are Airfix 1/76s.

The terrain is home-made 12-inch squares I made last summer. The ruin on one of the squares is from Amera Plastic Mouldings.

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 4:59 p.m. PST

That terrain is excellent! Really nice looking game. How long did it last?

Thanks,

John

Pattus Magnus01 Mar 2012 7:32 p.m. PST

Thanks for the feedback John.

We didn't count game turns, so I'm not sure how many we played, we just kept going until the Brits gave up!

As for real-time, we started a little after 8pm and it was all done but the crying by 10:45. So, probably about 2 and a half hours of actual playing time. I think that's pretty amazing, considering none of us had previously played the game (I had read the rules through a couple of times, of course). Like I said above, the game mechanics were quite easy to grasp, and the card driven activation sequence made it crystal clear what was supposed to happen next!

dmebust Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2012 7:40 p.m. PST

Pattus I agree w itch you. We have played two game now. I being the only one experienced with Lardy rules. Same experience 3 – 4 turns and everyone was moving the game right along. We do 1/72 scale as well. Cost effective and the variety of miniatures these days is impressive.

Anton Ryzbak01 Mar 2012 8:01 p.m. PST

I was planning on using TFL's Mud&Blood, it is good to hear that they play well and fast. We use TFL rules for Cold War Africa (B'Maso)and some WW2 games (Aint been shot Mum) and we greatly enjoy them.

Thomas Nissvik02 Mar 2012 12:45 a.m. PST

Wow, very nice terrain indeed! Now go to the TFL yahoo group and help me pester Rich until he writes Chain of Command, the long-awaited WW2 version of Mud&Blood.

drummer Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 4:38 a.m. PST

Your terrain is excellent. The 'aerial' shots look almost like colorized period air photos. Changing some to black-and-white photos would look very 'period' and very cool.

If before the game you take shots from directly above the trenches, and then print in black and white, you could possibly end up with very period looking 'trench-maps' for pregame planning, especially if you examine some period trench maps and add appropriate map references. You could also draw on them during the game to record maneuvers.

Pattus Magnus02 Mar 2012 9:22 a.m. PST

Drummer,

THAT is a cool idea! I'll adopt that one for sure!

I think one of the cool things about the TLF rules is the period detail and adding some props like air photos for planning would add even more to the experience.

VicCina Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2012 11:14 p.m. PST

My group loves M&B. Your game looks wonderful and the terrain is excellent. Are the figures 28mm or 1/72 scale?
I use M&B to game the early part of the war on the Eastern Front and we have had some great battles with the rules.

Pattus Magnus03 Mar 2012 10:21 a.m. PST

Hi VicCina,

Thanks for the compliments! Your early war eastern front games sound like fun, it would be a totally different style than the trench-bashing. In my case, it would also force me to do some background reading, which is probably a good thing, I'm not very familiar with that part of the war.

The figures I use are all 1/72 plastics. They are HaT industries for the Brits and a combination of Revell and Caesar for the Germans.

They are all relatively soft plastic, which I don't enjoy much (harder to clean the flash and with the Revell figs if you don't brush on a coat of watered down white glue the primer doesn't stick to the plastic…). Despite that, they all painted up fairly well and sure look good 'en masse'.

On the positive side, the plastics are inexpensive – a box retails here for about 15$ and usually has about 50 figures. Also, the Caesar figs have amazingly crisp details – one of the players actually thought they were metal castings until he picked one up! The only problem with Caesar is they don't do any heavy weapons…

I looked at 28mm figures before starting this project and I was tempted, very tempted, but I just couldn't swing the price difference.

I've since realized that the nominal ground scale (12 inches to 40 yards) of MB is very close to 1/144. I sometimes have this unhealthy urge to buy a couple of Pendraken army packs and start the whole thing again!

VicCina Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

Pattus,

I agree with you on the 1/72 plastics. I bought them for my WWII skirmish stuff and they work out great. All of my WWI figures are in 15mm and I was extremely tempted to go with 10mm but I didn't. :-)
If you would like you can see some of our Eastern Front games here: link

Pattus Magnus04 Mar 2012 10:15 a.m. PST

VicCina,

Those look like fun games!

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