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"Battlefront doing WWI" Topic

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Wargamer Blue18 Dec 2013 8:22 p.m. PST

YouTube link

Looks like WWI will get some new 15mm figures.

John the OFM18 Dec 2013 8:50 p.m. PST

Good thing Old Glory makes cheap Pershings. grin

Kimber VanRy18 Dec 2013 10:11 p.m. PST

You know, I was just telling myself I needed to get into yet another period. Oh wait. No I wasn't.

McWong7318 Dec 2013 10:43 p.m. PST

Interesting, very interesting.

OmniJackal18 Dec 2013 11:47 p.m. PST

Out of curiosity, how do WWI games work?

Like…you have two sides sitting in ditches. The first guys to get up and advance get mowed down by machine gun fire then both sides pound each other with artillery. Anyone have experience with this stuff?

Wargamer Blue19 Dec 2013 12:57 a.m. PST

Not in late war OmniJackal when the trench deadlock was broken, or in the Middle East theatre. The battles are as fluid and tactical as any WWII action. From that vid with the blurred out tank, 1918 it will be.

Gottmituns20519 Dec 2013 12:58 a.m. PST

Yeah I never really saw the allure of world war 1 gaming.

However with the way Flames of War is shaping out infantry wise, I guess they'll sell loads…lotta infantry campers there and tanks are already rare.

BunJen19 Dec 2013 3:33 a.m. PST

Would be good if early war, 1914 or Eastern Front and Middle East just not the bog downed trench warfare of Western Europe

Lewisgunner19 Dec 2013 3:59 a.m. PST

Do they say WW1?? It just flags 014 as an anniversary. Perhaps they mean Bannockburn from 1214??

Patrick R19 Dec 2013 4:15 a.m. PST

WWI on the Western Front is very "compartimented" with troops advancing or trying to, while others bog down. No flashy breakthroughs or flanking moves, you win the battle if you can take and hold the enemy's trench from the inevitable counter-attack.

Tactics involve infiltration, trying to sneak as close to the enemy as possible then jump off as the barrages lift and the creeping barrage starts towards the enemy. Meanwhile the defender decides when to rush in the machinegunners and desperately rattles the horn hoping to get contact with the arty and shoot the incoming enemy.

It's very relentless and not for those of a delicate disposition, or if you are allergic to heavy losses.

Martin Rapier19 Dec 2013 4:39 a.m. PST

I've done loads of WW1 gaming, including the 1914/18 open warfare stuff, Mespotamia, Palestine, Eastern Front and East Africa. My particular interest is high intensity trench warfare though, which is essentially just set piece offensives, and which bear are very similar relationship with much of the fighting in WW2 and even in Korea, as John Keegan noted many decades ago in 'The Face of Battle'.

He also note that NATO would have regarded the Somme position as a suitable target for several tactical nuclear weapons, although the unfortunate chaps at the time had to make do with 18pdrs.

There isn't much difference advancing in an extended line behind an artillery barrage in 1917 as there was in 1944 or even up Wireless Ridge in 1982. It is down to the defensive fireplan vs the attackers fire & movement along with their respective force arrangements, which is where the interesting game aspects come in.

Cyclops19 Dec 2013 5:53 a.m. PST

Strategically WWI in the West was stagnant for years but tactically was extremely innovative, maybe more so than WWII. And not just the later war of movement.
To say it was one line of men walking slowly forward while the other lot mowed them down is a myth/fantasy/lie and an insult to the soldier's memories. They were just as intelligent and capable as modern soldiers, not the upper class idiots/cap doffing serfs of popular history.
I dare say I'll be having the same rant for the next five years or so.

coopman19 Dec 2013 6:42 a.m. PST

I'd be interested in the mobile early war period, before things went stagnant and everyone dug in.

hoosierclyde19 Dec 2013 6:48 a.m. PST

How would you game a mustard gas attack?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2013 6:57 a.m. PST

I think FOW would work fairly well for early war and the eastern front, unfortunately, it appears (to me) that they are going to go late war, and that is probably so they can sell everyone lots of tank models.

WarWizard19 Dec 2013 7:00 a.m. PST

I realy like the look of those plastic figures, they look much more detailed than the metal.

VonBurge19 Dec 2013 7:32 a.m. PST

There is a yahoo group called FoW1918. They've been playing WWI using modified FoW rules for years.

I really see no issue with this. Might even get into some "Mesopotamian" theater action FoW WW1 myself! I can certainly understand an aversion to playing trench warfare but there is so much more than that for WWI wargaming opportunities. I'm sure BF will help bring these other aspects of WW1 to a larger audience.

Cheers, VB

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Dec 2013 8:14 a.m. PST

If nothing else I can probably use some of the figures with the All Quiet on the Martian Front game :)

anleiher19 Dec 2013 8:30 a.m. PST

Before the rush to judgment based on a blurry tank, may I suggest a possible head fake on the part of Battlefront? Might this refer to the already written, already proofed (since June '13) Spanish civil war variant, Spain in Flames?

I have no inside knowledge, but it is a possible alternative.

VonBurge19 Dec 2013 8:35 a.m. PST

SCW would seem a closer match. I just saw the new Minarions Armoured Car on the TMP front page, that's got my attention!

monk2002uk19 Dec 2013 8:35 a.m. PST

There were some dreadful examples of men trying to get forward and being mown down (by shrapnel and HE as well as machine guns). The battles around Fromelles, the northern-most sector of the Somme offensive opening, and the First Battle of Passchendaele are good examples. As noted above, however, there are many other examples of trench warfare battles that had so much movement that a standard wargaming table will not accommodate the historical scale. The replay of the Battle of Cambrai required 12' x 12' of table to cover just half of the day one battlefield in 6mm. And Cambrai was not a big battle by comparison to many others.

Conversely, so-called battles of movement on the eastern and other fronts are simply undoable as such. The vast scales of the movements require board games. Eastern Front and other battles will, like their WW2 counterparts, resolve down into the engagement between two forces in a very very small sector.

Mustard gas is fairly straightforward to model. Don't. It's main use was outside the field of actual battle. The risks to the attacker were just as great as the defender in these circumstances. This is why non-persistent gas agents were used for the actual battlefield. The British were able to work out where German attacks would take place by observing what gas agents were used where. Mustard gas use meant that the attack would not occur in that area.


Zargon19 Dec 2013 8:38 a.m. PST

ShaunB is right, as for the FOW rules being only good for early/late games your right but who's to say. Maybe they will release " a new rule set?". Those FoW guys will definitely make it work I'm sure, and also intrigued. cheers

Lion in the Stars19 Dec 2013 12:00 p.m. PST

Spain would be interesting.

I would need a very compelling reason to game WW1 conventionally. I'd rather play Zombiesmith's This Quar's War and pick up the heavy weapons and Royalist cavalry.

KCisco449119 Dec 2013 12:23 p.m. PST

I hope this is true I always have had an interest in ww1 and that means it could possibly roll into the Russian Civil war and lots of other good stuff. I am looking forward to 2014

monk2002uk19 Dec 2013 12:54 p.m. PST

The FOW1918 Yahoo Group has been working on WW1 material for several years now. Chris has been leading on the efforts. He has pulled together a lot of the information for TO&Es etc in the FOW style. There have been some minor amendments for WW1 but the primary focus has been on using the existing FOW rules with as few changes as possible.


Vimy Ridge19 Dec 2013 1:21 p.m. PST

Skirm level is not my gig but I would be very grateful for FOW to jump into the 15mm figs market :D

PSADennis19 Dec 2013 1:51 p.m. PST

Does anyone have a link to the WWI group site? I'd like to take a look around.

monk2002uk19 Dec 2013 2:55 p.m. PST

The Yahoo Group is here:



(Stolen Name)19 Dec 2013 3:47 p.m. PST

I cannot wait to see the Lawrence of Arabia Warrior special rules and of course every Brit army will have a General Haig Warrior.
eg He is a Higher Command team that stays off-board, way off board in fact in another building.
All teams save on a 6+ due to the fact Haig won't let them run as its 'bad form' they have to walk into the MG fire

Deadone19 Dec 2013 3:56 p.m. PST

I cannot wait to see the Lawrence of Arabia Warrior special rules and of course every Brit army will have a General Haig Warrior.

Yup! It's like 40K where big wigs find the best place for a multi-star general to be is in some low level company/platoon level engagement.

There's also the air support and artillery rules which allow near modern level accuracy and coordination.

Laser guided bombs from Vickers Vimys and Gothas.

Oh and like Vietnam, I'm willing to bet BF's take on WWI will be heavy armour orientation.

Heavens forbid they should ever do Napoleonics or Ancients. They'd find a way to squeeze a Tiger tank or 12 into the game.

(Stolen Name)19 Dec 2013 4:11 p.m. PST

Hey look it starts here
476 tanks – plenty enough for a tank park grin

Nick Bowler19 Dec 2013 4:20 p.m. PST

People forget how much of a tank war WWI was: "In July 1918, the French used 480 tanks (mostly FTs) in 1918 at the Battle of Soissons, and there were even larger assaults planned for 1919. The Entente had hoped to commit over 30,000 tanks to battle in that year." (Wikipedea, and with no attribution, so take with a grain of salt)

Gottmituns20519 Dec 2013 5:15 p.m. PST

You guys are forgetting the best part…

Wait until they release the Zepplin!

Deadone19 Dec 2013 5:26 p.m. PST

People forget how much of a tank war WWI was

But WWI is also a lot more than Western Front 1917-18.

I'm expecting FOW WWI Eastern Front to be dominated by these:

ancientsgamer19 Dec 2013 6:46 p.m. PST

I for one wish they kept going forward in time. They have Viet Nam, they could add Cold War and right up to near current times with no problem at all.

With all the newest and latest technology, we still haven't removed the need for feet on the ground.

monk2002uk19 Dec 2013 11:59 p.m. PST

And here is what Cambrai looks like in 6mm, based on an exact replica of the terrain and the forces involved. One stand = an infantry company or tank section:



nazrat20 Dec 2013 2:29 p.m. PST

I hope it is WW I-- I've always wanted to get into that era in 15mm and this would be the final push to get me to do it (with other rules, though).

Lion in the Stars21 Dec 2013 12:44 a.m. PST

I agree, the core FoW rules work pretty well for infantry, armor, and artillery from probably 1860 to today, and I've seen a Napoleonics mod for Flames. Things only get weird when you stack too many special rules on.

I'm still not sure about gaming WW1, someone would have to give me a really good story/setup for me to buy into WW1 gaming outside of TQW.

Airborne Engineer21 Dec 2013 4:38 a.m. PST

Gottmituns205 18 Dec 2013 11:58 p.m. PST

Yeah I never really saw the allure of world war 1 gaming.

However with the way Flames of War is shaping out infantry wise, I guess they'll sell loads…lotta infantry campers there and tanks are already rare.

Tanks were rare in Vietnam too and it didn't stop Battlefront from making it look like the Fulda Gap.

Vimy Ridge21 Dec 2013 7:42 a.m. PST

Lion, I would be happy to provide but depends on what scale you play – if you are skirmish type gamer – I can't help. But if you like the feel of the massed fire power, huge amounts of men and equipment and playable in a reasonable time frame – then I think I can help :)

Johny Boy21 Dec 2013 10:19 a.m. PST

If anybody at Battlefront is reading this (hope upon hope) please we don't need any more Western Front 1916 – 1918, Peter Pig, Blue Moon have the period sown up. However lots of opportunity for ranges covering Palestine, middle east and East Africa, we can hope ;-). Go on guys you know you want to.

Lion in the Stars21 Dec 2013 1:49 p.m. PST

@Vimy Ridge: I tend towards the tactical/skirmish scale of engagements, but I'm under the impression that even with a scale of 1 stand = 1 battalion, most of the WW1 actions are ridiculously huge, with multiple divisions advancing in each wave!

But do you have any good suggestions for someone new to WW1?

I'd be interested in Palestine, the Middle East and East Africa, under the idea that I could use the troops for colonial gaming as well. In fact, that might be the area to get me into the period, with the Liar of Arabia and his 'allies'.

GNREP821 Dec 2013 1:56 p.m. PST

as has been pointed out, WW1 was more than about trenches and comments implying that it was all just that, really do no more than demonstrate a bit of ignorance on the part of those commenting.

Vimy Ridge21 Dec 2013 4:07 p.m. PST

Well if you are into skirmish it is difficult to model it correctly in my opinion. For one thing just look at the numbers crunched into the Western front – huge compared to WWII on very limited ground (per se).

As far as suggestions I would say the following – have a go at a couple different levels of play to find the one that fits for you. I personally like the large scale – my own rules are 1 base = a company/squadron/battery. Once you find the level you feel right about WWI then you can delve into the rules. At the low end Through the Mud and the Blood seem popular, Flames 1918 might be a good go if you like Flames series. When you jump to the Battalion level it thins out a bit but there are some rules that are available, but to me the flavour hits at the Division/Corps level. Here rules like Square Bashing II and Great War Spearhead II lead the way. SB is a bit more gamey where as GWSH II is more of a simulation. Both give a great game and you can fight to a conclusion in about 90 minutes to 2 hours with a good sized field of play.

For East Africa or the Egyptian theatre I think you could use Crush the Kaiser (I haven't played them so can't give any opinion) and of course the Command Decision Over the Top will work as well – although the mechanics work well you have tons of markers all over the field.

The selection of troops for your preferred area is quite astounding at all scales from 6mm thru to 28mm so you have a huge selection to deal with, including plastic and metals.

The East Africa/Egyptian area have tons of scope for gaming as well – anything from set piece battles (like Megiddo or Beersheba) to rail line attacks to disrupt supplies and every thing in between as well as throwing in some Irregular Africans trying to cause grief for the Empire.

The amount of nice gear (tanks, aircraft, modern artillery) was obviously less abundant but you did have some Naval gun fire support in a number of areas. So for a skirmish level this area is likely the most realistic to play with most skirmish gaming rules (lets face it there are numerous accounts of a single MG or single tank either holding of, destroying or routing a whole battalion on their own).

I am inspired and enjoy the WWI gaming experience. I went through a long process of not only finding my niche but also 4 years of research for Great War Spearhead and another 4 for Great War Spearhead II to ensure I (along with a team of other folks) got the right "feel" so that when you play GWSH II you really get a feel of fighting a WWI battle, whether that is trench warfare, mobile warfare on the West front (14 and 18) or East Front, Med, Egypt or Siege of Tsingtao.

This to me is a fantastic period, under developed and not well understood. Lions led by donkeys fly in the face of any in-depth research and the intricacies of fire plans, defensive areas, development of pre-fab bunkers, mining, aircraft, tanks, artillery design and use and the list goes on!.

I have a lot more to say but think I have rambled lol – sorry for pontificating :)

All the best to you all and your families over the holiday season! 2014 promises to be a very interesting year for this period!


Deadone21 Dec 2013 9:08 p.m. PST

the core FoW rules work pretty well for infantry, armor, and artillery from probably 1860 to today, and I've seen a Napoleonics mod for Flames. Things only get weird when you stack too many special rules on.

That's actually not a good thing. One wants the rules to capture the tactics used in a period/war as well as the "cinematic" essence of the rules.

Deadone22 Dec 2013 12:34 a.m. PST

Whoops – that was "cinematic " essence of the historical period.

Battlegroup Kursk for example captures what I've read about Battle of Kursk very well.

Force on Force captures modern infantry combat very well. Etc etc,.

Old Contemptibles22 Dec 2013 12:43 a.m. PST

Yeah I never really saw the allure of world war 1 gaming.

The period has much to offer. I have been planning for the early war 1914-16 on the Western Front for a while. The Eastern Front was more mobile and I would like to do that too. Don't forget the Middle east, skirmish gaming Lawrence of Arabia. Finally there is the fighting in the German Colonies. The Italian Front. So many periods, so little time.

Fotherington Thrip22 Dec 2013 7:35 a.m. PST

The East Africa campaign would be very good but if we looking at a German tank and therefore British and French ones then LW would seem to be the go.

It will be interesting to see what the BF team come up with.

Vimy Ridge22 Dec 2013 9:17 a.m. PST

Rally, absolutely! But I don't think it is necessary to PAN trench warfare either – when you start reading into it the tactical and operational ideas are quite amazing and it is not quite as "boring", "predictable" as one might think. Also Salonika and the rest of the Bulgarian and Romanian front offer some interesting venues as well.

Everyone like the trench raid idea for skirm gaming, and I can see the appeal but trench raids were only one small portion of the vast operations that are now known as Verdun, Messines, Vimy, Arras, Trentino, Caparetto and others.

The operational level is often filled with areas we simply haven't looked at as a gaming community – we look at tactical, strategic and grand tactical but the operations tend to be left out for some reason. Just look at the rules available for both WWI and WWII – lots of company below, some Brigade level (one may argue this is small O operations) but really nothing above the division level.

Anyways – I for one am very glad that the community is taking a deeper interest in WWI over all.


deleted22222222211 Jan 2014 8:29 a.m. PST

Several years ago I ran a WWI game at Little Wars using the FOW rules set. The game was of the 2nd Battle of Ypres, April 1915. The game was played on a 12x6 table with 2 trench systems (1 German & 1 Britsh/French) The French occupied 6 feet of the British/French trench lines. The Allies were told to expect a German attack and planned their defense.

However on turn 1, before the germans conducted their movement. A bright green cloud appeared over the French lines and all their troops were removed from the board. The 2nd Battle of Ypres was the first use of a mass Gas attack. The Germans then poured into the breach created by the French troops departing their trenches. The British & French player had a stunned look on their face and realization that the game had taken a big turn for them. The French player was now informed he was a British player and in command of the expected British reserves.

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