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"Square Bashing in the mid-east" Topic

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818 hits since 16 Nov 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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vtsaogames16 Nov 2012 7:45 p.m. PST

The Corlears Hook Fencibles played a fast game of "Square Bashing", the Great War rules by Peter Pig, last night. The British Amy attacked the Ottomans. We didn't use assets or the pre-game mini-campaign.

This is the first Peter Pig RFCM (Rules For the Common Man) rules we have played. (I own AK47 but have not collected forces for this.) Rick commanded the Turks, Bill and Tom the British and I umpired.

We went through the terrain generation slowly but were pleased with it. Pasha Rick set up a ridge with woods and a town on his left. There was a wooded copse on his right center. The British managed to move that over to their side of the table, but nothing else as Bill rolled a one for moving terrain. Rick put the crossroad objective in the enemy start line, figuring that he could put the remaining three in a more defensible position. I made an error here, allowing the Turks to deploy combat units in row 1. The rules say all defending units except the HQ deploy in rows 2 and 3. I don't know how much difference this made.

Rick's infantry suffered much in the pre-game depletion (disease, preliminary barrage, etc.) but he didn't lose any machine guns or field guns.

On came the British, their right moving faster. The first two assaults on the Turkish left were thrown back. The assaults were renewed and failed again. One assault group failed morale and fell back. Meanwhile, the British guns advanced in the center and fired on the ruined farmhouse that was one of the assault targets. Rick was rolling well on the end-of-game rolls, eating up the clock.

On the fourth turn another assault broke into the ruined farmhouse. The best Turkish battalion, with two attached machine gun units, failed morale and halted. They could not counter-attack the farmhouse. On the next turn, a British infantry battalion with two batteries of field guns in close support stormed a hill in the Turkish center, wiping out the lone Turkish battery on the hill. Rick's crack battalion and machine gun support assaulted and took the hill back, capturing both batteries of guns.

Another British group with MK IV tanks had taken an objective hill nearby, wiping out the garrison. Another move forward would see them knock out the Turkish HQ and make a breakthrough. At the end of his 5th turn, Rick rolled a 5 and ended the game, having rolled exactly 21 in five turns.

We counted up. Rick rolled well for points he got for defending. He got 13 points for having a crappy army, and points for the heavy British losses. He got decent points for the one objective he still held. Bill got decent points for crossroads he started out with, OK points for the ruined farmhouse and absolute garbage for the hill he had taken. He racked up some more points for the considerable Turkish losses. With 69 to 51 points, the Turks won a minor victory. British losses were 1800 infantry and three batteries of field guns. The Turks lost 1200 infantry and two batteries of field guns. It took about two hours to play the game, not counting the hour break for dinner after the first turn.

It was out first game: I made mistakes. I read the rules again and saw we had not been doing the saving rolls right. The losses should have been a tad heavier. When next we play, expect professional units to be harder to bump off and reservist units to come apart rather more easily. I was assigning hits wrong too. In an assault, a player assigns the first two hits and the enemy assigns the rest BEFORE saving rolls. It will make a big difference. When shot at, a player assigns the first hit and the enemy the rest, again before saving rolls. I see now that saving rolls are a very important part of the game. Also, units that do not move adjacent to the enemy may move one extra square. This would have allowed the British machine guns to keep up with the initial advance at the start of the game.

When next we play we will use assets. After all, what Great War game is complete without gobs of off-table artillery crunching up the table? And after that we can then introduce the full set of rules with the mini-campaign and all.

The game moved at a decent clip. I presume we'll get faster over time. Having seen how hard it can be to assault a square, I think we've seen the last of objectives in the enemy deployment zone. People liked the terrain selection system and the grid – no measurement needed. We also liked the end of game mechanism. Next, we'll see if we like barrages. I may make some barrage markers. I also propose we don't use gas at all in the mid-east. I seem to recall that the British didn't use gas on the Ottomans. Post-war crushing of Iraqi revolts is another story…

Tom has mid-to-late war Brits, Germans and French. Get ready for the Big Push.

Personal logo Dale Hurtt Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member16 Nov 2012 8:46 p.m. PST

Great review and battle report. I bought the first edition rules and am considering the new second edition. I was thinking of using them for the Franco-Prussian War.


vtsaogames16 Nov 2012 9:28 p.m. PST

I think you need to tinker with them to get chassepot vs. Needle gun and brass artillery vs. Krupp guns.

Maybe no distant fire for needle guns, increased range and hits for Krupp guns. No off-table artillery, and crappy French HQ during the Imperial phase. Maybe Imperial infantry needs to pass a D6 roll to assault.

And everyone saves the same – no field craft in evidence.

I never got the first edition and so cannot comment on differences.

Shedman17 Nov 2012 11:24 a.m. PST

Sounds like a fun game – thanks for the report – any photos?

I watched Martin Goddard run a game at Warfare today. That was really useful especially as I could ask him questions as they cropped up in the game – Martin – sorry for interrupting you

A most useful tactic is to have an HMG in the assault as it has a good saving roll so can suck up hits

vtsaogames17 Nov 2012 3:34 p.m. PST

No, was too busy flipping through the rules to take photos, even though the camera was on the tripod.

I think a good reason for MGs in the assault is if successful, they can help drive off counterattacks.

I do like the fact that they bolster morale of other units in the square, a nice touch.

Hmm, I can see artillery doing the same in black powder games…

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