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"Artillery on the board or off? (WW1, Western Front, 1916)" Topic

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jfishm1981 Inactive Member16 Jan 2017 9:08 a.m. PST

Hey all,

I've decided to expand my 10mm troops into the Western Front, and am starting to think about artillery.

Wanted to take a quick poll of players that use the smaller scales (6mm/10mm) to see how many people put field, medium and heavy artillery on the board, towards the rear of the trench lines.

I'm going to try out a few sets of rules, but I'm thinking that the scale I want to play at is 1 inch= 100-150 yards.

I don't plan on playing on a massive board (at least 4 feet wide), and given that research is telling me that artillery was usually 2000+ yards behind the front lines, it seems like I can go either way.

In that sense, it might be cool to have the guns off board but present, that way aerial observation could come into play for the purposes of counter battery fire (which I know tended to be super difficult).

Really excited to hear your thoughts (and no TMP arguing! haha!)

Thanks all,


Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 9:19 a.m. PST


Off board is the right call, but it is cool to have them on board.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 9:31 a.m. PST

I might put field artillery (like batteries of 75s)on the table; the rest would be off board.

Battle Phlox16 Jan 2017 9:41 a.m. PST

I would put lighter calibers on the table if the mission objective was to overrun a battery or if the allies had tanks. Otherwise, off table.

vtsaogames16 Jan 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

It depends on your scale. If your attacking force is a brigade or regiment or smaller, then most of the artillery should be off-table.

If the attacking side is more than a division, then you may want artillery on the table on the baseline.

Figure scale and ground scale make the difference.

monk2002uk16 Jan 2017 9:57 a.m. PST

There were occasions where artillery was used on-table. Some field artillery, and sometimes mountain guns, were brought up in support of an attack. Conversely, the introduction of tanks saw field guns used in forward defensive positions. This battle offers an example of the latter:



jfishm1981 Inactive Member16 Jan 2017 9:59 a.m. PST


Good point! As I said, I'm sort of between rule sets, but I think I'm gonna shoot for 1 unit= a battalion. Thus, in big games, I'd imagine that I would easily have a corps on the board.

That said, if the ground scale stays at 1 inch – 100/150 yards, isn't artillery on the board still determined by the ground the game covers?

Definitely interested to hear your thoughts.


Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

Hi, J. I'm definately in the camp of putting arty on the table. One way to appease the situation is to lay a line of yarn across the rear edge of the table, perhaps 6-12 inches from the table's edge. The line would represent between 1800-2000 yeards to the rear.

Should any enemy units cross over the yarn, figure out how many turns it would take before they would reach the battery(ies). In the meantime, remove the enemy units until that time or play it out on another (but smaller) table.

I have been collecting a lot of WWI in both 6 and 10mm scales and just can't resist the limber teams and dug-in positions on the table. I suppose in 6mm, and at the ground /organizational scale you suggest, a typical 6 foot long table should be able to accommodate without a whole lot of compromise. Please let us know how you decided.


AICUSV16 Jan 2017 11:20 a.m. PST

I don't do the small of scale any more, but I really like the guns of the period. I'm trying to figure out how to have the artillery on the table and everyone else off.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2017 11:27 p.m. PST

If your artillery is off board, your table is too small.
Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Martin Rapier17 Jan 2017 12:11 a.m. PST

I often represent the guns for Ww1, both close support batteries and the longer range stuff. Certainly for Corps level trench warfare I tend to put the lot on for both sides and play on a narrow but deep table.

Id suggest using a logarithmic ground scale for each sides rear areas (so they represent a much greater depth than the trench lines). Both Wheel to Wheel and Playing Leapfrog do this and it works very well.

vtsaogames17 Jan 2017 5:51 a.m. PST

Do you have links to these rules, Martin?

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