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"WW1 using Rapid Fire & Pendraken 10mm" Topic

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Mick in Switzerland07 Apr 2014 4:54 a.m. PST


I am thinking of starting a WW1 project, with scenarios based on sections of major battles such as Verdun, the Somme (British & French sectors) and also Cambrai with tanks.

I play Force on Force with 28mm and have played Rapid Fire with 10mm and 28mm. I think that the WW1 battles are more interesting at a bigger scale than squad against squad so was thinking of using Rapid Fire. This way, I could field say 10 tanks and a lot of infantry.

I want to keep the costs down and was thinking of using the Pendraken 10mm range. I will need small armies for British, Germans and French.
I am thinking of a 3ft square terrain board with trenches cut into foam.

Has anybody tried anything similar and does it work?

Are there any published statistics for WW1 vehicles in Rapid Fire.

Can you recommend any scenarios and army lists that I could easily adapt?

Are there cost effective alternatives (using 15mm, 20mm plastics etc)?



monk2002uk07 Apr 2014 4:56 a.m. PST

Be very careful using WW2 based rules. There are several major differences, particularly the very compressed nature of forces and reduced frontages in WW1.


Mick in Switzerland07 Apr 2014 4:59 a.m. PST

Dear Monk

Are there rules which are as easy as Rapid Fire that are better for WW1?

I intend to play with my 15 year old son and he is not interested in complicated rules.



fred12df07 Apr 2014 5:02 a.m. PST

Pendraken WWI are a good choice, I am in the midst of assembling forces myself. I am going for Great War Spearhead as rules – as they give an even greater scope for the size of battles.

Trenches are interesting – with anything but 1:1 figure ratios they become so narrow to only be represented as area terrain. Yet they are so iconic to the war, you want to be able to put figures in them.

doug redshirt07 Apr 2014 5:02 a.m. PST

There is a version of Spearhead for WWI. Think the smallest unit is a company size.

jaxartes07 Apr 2014 5:27 a.m. PST

Have a look at the Crush The Kaiser website. They produce a WW1 suite of rule sets that owe a lot to Rapid Fire and are set at Battalion/brigade level.

Might be just up your street….


richinq07 Apr 2014 6:17 a.m. PST


I have just got Crush the Kaiser rules, they look nice and easy to play, I have some 10mm Pendraken figures based 3 figs to a 30mm base.

I have not done the bases yet so I my be rebasing. Though the rules say then work with any basing.

If I base single figures then I will use 15mm circle bases from Pendraken like I do for my WW2 Pendraken figures.

I will be looking at the Crush the Kaiser game at salute this weekend


monk2002uk07 Apr 2014 10:57 a.m. PST

Mick, if you are just interested in a knock around with some WW1 figures then it might be best to stick to Rapid Fire. Especially if you know it well.

My favourite is Great War Spearhead. The second version is now out. The rules cover all periods and all theatres so there is a lot crammed in. Once you have decided on a particular scenario though, the game itself flows quickly and smoothly. There are six scenarios published in the rulebook, plus a whole pile more in the Files section of the Great War Spearhead Yahoo Group.


Blake Walker07 Apr 2014 11:18 a.m. PST

Hi, I have 20mm WWI house rules based on Rapid Fire! However, they use a lot of figures. I also have 28mm early WWI rules variants using The Sword and the Flame, too. However, I only have hard copies of the 20mm WWI Rapid Fire rules. I have both hard and electronic copies of the 28mm WWI Western Front rules.


Mick in Switzerland07 Apr 2014 12:18 p.m. PST

Thank-you everybody.
I will try with Rapid Fire and expand from there.

I am still undecided on figures – 10mm is quite small and 15mm is actually quite expensive, so I have been looking at 20mm plastics but I have not really found anything nice yet. Pendraken 10mm is still favourite at the moment.

On LAF, I asked the same questions.

I was given this link to Rapid Fire WW1

fred12df07 Apr 2014 12:28 p.m. PST

Pendraken is very nice, a couple of pictures to perhaps help





Abwehrschlacht07 Apr 2014 1:10 p.m. PST

If you're using a small table have a crack at Square Bashing, we have had some very enjoyable games and it is at Battalion level, so no skirmishing. Here's one of my AARs on my blog:


Mick in Switzerland08 Apr 2014 4:32 a.m. PST

Thank-you everybody.

@ Fred,Your Pendraken figures look superb – well done.

Mick in Switzerland08 Apr 2014 11:46 a.m. PST

I have just been costing the options in various scales.

If I want 100 infantry and 5 WW1 tanks:-

10mm Pendraken Metals is £30.00 GBP
20mm Airfix & Hat plastic & Emhar plastic tanks is £50.00 GBP
15mm Peter Pig metals & resin tanks is £70.00 GBP
20mm Early War Miniatures metals & Emhar plastic tanks is £100.00 GBP
28mm Great War Miniatures metals & resin tanks is £295.00 GBP

When Victrix bring out their planned plastic WW1 infantry, this will save a good £80.00 GBP on 28mm.

It is a pity that Valiant do not make 20mm WW1 infantry. I have some and they are very nice sculpts. Their WW2 sets are outstanding value for wargamers because you get a good mix of troops including HMG and mortars.I noticed this during the comparison and I am very tempted to use Emhar tanks with slightly converted WW2 Valiant figures. This option works out at £56.00 GBP

I have orderd at Pendraken.


Texas Jack08 Apr 2014 12:19 p.m. PST

That´s very informative Mick, thanks for posting it. I can´t believe the cost of 20mm. I imagine it´s the tanks, eh?

Mick in Switzerland08 Apr 2014 12:23 p.m. PST

Dear Texas Jack,

Tank prices make a huge difference with 28mm as there are very few options and they are £34.00 GBP per tank.

20mm Emhar or Airfix plastic tank kits are £6.00 GBP to £8.00 GBP which makes them cheaper than 15mm resin tanks. The killer is 20mm metal figures which are about 70 pence each.


fred12df08 Apr 2014 12:28 p.m. PST

Mick, thanks for the kind words. They have come together very quickly, all in this year – I have a second regiment of germans that I based up this weekend.

I have orderd at Pendraken.

Good man.

I think I should be on commission from Leon…

10mm Wargaming08 Apr 2014 2:15 p.m. PST

I think we all do our bit for pendraken. That coz there one best

Take care


monk2002uk08 Apr 2014 10:01 p.m. PST

There are some Rapid Fire WW1 scenarios posted on this website:


I took a look at the Mons example. It illustrates the problem of using WW2 rules for WW1 games. The scenario features the defense of the Nimy-Obourg salient to the north and north-east of Mons. The ground scale is 12" = 500 yards. Each British battalion is represented by 40 figures, so 10 figures per company roughly.

In WW1, units were far more compressed than in WW2. The British Royal Fusiliers Regiment, for example, was responsible for defending the canal north of Nimy. The 40 figures would be in an area that was 12" square. Similarly, the Middlesex Regiment had responsibility for Obourg. Again the 40 figures would be compressed into an area of roughly 12" square. If you look at the scenario map, this leaves a huge hole between the two forces. This is exactly what happened in August 1914. The German attackers were able to exploit this gap very effectively. Note that the description of the British forces set-up is much more like a WW2 defensive pattern, with the figures widely spread across a much longer frontage.

There are some other historical issues with the scenario but these are more related to information from various sources rather than the rules themselves. The Germans did not attack in close order formations. The German artillery did not fire randomly. In fact the rapid build-up of German artillery on the higher ground north of the canal had a decisive influence on the German attacks in this area.

Does all this matter from a gaming perspective? Not a jot unless you are interested in something that is more historically accurate. As a game with your son then there is the advantage of knowing the rules well and having access to some scenarios in order to plan the game efficiently.

As a matter of interest, I am just putting the finishing touches to a translation of Die Schlacht bei Mons. This was the official German account of the battle published just after the war. It is an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to understand this famous battle. Publication of the English translation should be just before the anniversary later this year.


kabrank09 Apr 2014 2:32 a.m. PST


Nice figures and nice to see a WW1 tank in the correct Brown/Khaki rather than the post war green

Lion in the Stars09 Apr 2014 2:06 p.m. PST

As a matter of interest, I am just putting the finishing touches to a translation of Die Schlacht bei Mons. This was the official German account of the battle published just after the war. It is an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to understand this famous battle. Publication of the English translation should be just before the anniversary later this year.
Color me interested when it finally gets finished/published!

Mick in Switzerland20 Jul 2014 6:28 a.m. PST

Here is an update on the project

I decided to use Pendraken late War German and British. So far, I have 60 infantry, 3 HMG, 3 Artillery guns for each side. I also have 2 X MkIV male, 3 x MkIV Female and 1 x A7V. I will add more artillery and mortars at some point. (I have some WW2 items as substitutes).

The figures are painted in a fairly simplistic way as at 10mm, the game will tend to be be greens verses greys.

The British were sprayed black and then damp brushed with Vallejo Russian Uniform, which is a greenish khaki. I did not want to use English uniform as that would be brown troops on a brown base. Next, I picked out the hands and faces using Vallejo flesh. The weapons were painted in black with a drop of silver mixed in. Finally bayonets were painted silver. German infantry were done in a similar way but with grey shades.

British Mk IV tanks were undercoated with GW Black spray and painted with Vallejo Russian Uniform. Next, I picked out the hands and faces using Vallejo flesh. The tracks were painted in black with a drop of silver mixed in. The noses were painted with white, red and white stripes. This colour scheme is actually from the end of WW1 but is easily recognised. In 1916, tanks were simply painted brown to match the mud.

I usually play with my 15 year old son. We play LOTR and Force on Force with 28mm and have played Rapid Fire with 10mm and 28mm.

I am going to use Rapid Fire for Rookies so that we have a simple game to start with. I am using a figure ratio of roughly 1-20, so a Company is represented by a unit of 10. A Battalion is four companies. Each scenario will have extra rules based on the actual battle and tactics.

I decided to base the infantry on 15mm deep rectangular bases. This is the narrowest that works with the Pendraken figures. I can fit then into some trench terrain without the trenches looking like motorways. They are in units of 10 based 4 on 30x15, 3 on 30x15, 2 on 15x15 and 1 on 15x15. This gives me 10 figures that can be arranged in a line 90mm x 15mm in a trench or two ranks 45mm x 30mm etc. I can also remove casualties to get any number from 1 to 10.

HMG, MMG, LMG, Anti-tank rifle teams, Flamethrowers and Mortar teams are on 25mm round bases. This makes it easy to see special weapons crews.

Artillery is based on 40mm round bases. Square bases would be better if they will be used with limbers but round bases look more like emplacements.

Tanks are on rectangular bases about 60mm x 30mm.

Bases are 3mm thick from laser cut wood from Litko and or MDF Warbases. They were painted brown, then with PVA and dipped in sand. The sand was painted with a dark brown wash and a final drybrush of Vallejo Iraqi Sand.



Mick in Switzerland27 Jul 2014 6:31 a.m. PST

Trench Terrain (27th July 2014)
I visited the local DIY store to look for blue hard polystyrene foam but did not have any. They did have the standard soft white polystyrene foam in various thicknesses including 10mm. I also bought a sheet of 2mm Perspex 500mm x 250mm.

I drew on the trench layout with a marker pen and cut it out with a hot wire cutter. To make sure that the front trench line was straight, I clamped a piece thin piece of wood to the foam to act as a ruler while cutting. I bevelled the front edge with the foam cutter to make it slope down to the table. I also tried making a gentle slope by ironing the foam through two sheets of newspaper. This works quite well but you must be careful not to actually touch the foam with the iron – if you do the iron will be ruined.

I used hot glue to glue the foam to the Perspex sheet. I cut a few shell craters into the foam with a scalpel. As the foam is soft, I put on a very thin layer of papier-mâché. This was simply a matter of painting the surface with PVA glue and adding one ply of Kleenex tissue. Once dry this gave a harder skin over the foam that was easy to paint. The surfaces were painted brown. Next I coated the top surface with PVA and sand. This was given a wash of 33% PVA with 67% water and coloured with the brown paint so that it looked like cocoa. This dried overnight. The next step was a drybrush of Vallejo Iraqi sand. The final stage was to add patches of static grass and a few tufts.

I am very pleased with the result. I will try a few games before building a mark 2 version.


Vimy Ridge27 Jul 2014 1:04 p.m. PST

Nice looking troops and terrain Mick! Well done!

Mick in Switzerland29 Jul 2014 11:40 a.m. PST

Last night I repainted the A7V


Mick in Switzerland06 Aug 2014 11:16 p.m. PST

Added some sandbags to the trenches and barbed wire using springs and Cocktail stick. Also made emplacements and shell craters with Milliput covered in sand and painted to match the Terrain.


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