I thought it best to start with a simple scenario so I chose Rolling with the Punches - one of Robin Sutton's excellent GWSH II introductory scenarios from his Great Adventure site. This scenario has a small BEF force seeking to delay a German advanced guard during the Great Retreat of August and September 1914.
Hexon terrain to build up contours under a terrain mat employed by Robert Dunlop. Alas shipping Hexon terrain to the Antipodes costs more in postage than it cost me to buy this magnificent collection (and you see only a portion of it here) of hand cut (!!!) MDF hexes. I obtained these as a bit of a one off from a local supplier (thanks Mike!). Not that the postage cost is the fault of Kallistra, just a fact of geography!
|Hills are laid out in preparation for the felt cloth|
|I ironed around the hills to improve definition of the contours through the felt.|
The aim of this scenario is for this detachment of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to hold the bridge for 6 turns to allow the remaining elements (not depicted) of the BEF to secure a defensive position further south. I was playing solo so to add a level of surprise, I set up he BEF and provided four possible lines of attack for the Germans all of which culminated at the bridge.
|The BEF were under 'defend' orders so had to sight the Germans before they could adjust their deployment.|
|German infantry are sighted as they advance up the valley. The German commander orders a regiment of 77mm field guns to deploy on the nearby hill (middle left)|
|On a tight schedule, the Germans surge forward into small arms range.|
|Small arms fire takes its toll on the German left while a battery of British 18 pdrs open fire.|
|As the volume of fire increased, companies of infantry were being mown down (destroyed companies marked with white skulls on red bases) on both sides and those remaining troops were largely suppressed (white skull)|
|Turn 8: The German advance has stalled. The BEF have paid a heavy price but the order is given to fall back as the main body is now well on its way to the next defensive position. The BEF live to fight another day.|
I know I've got a long way to go towards learning the intricacies of industrial warfare. The overwhelming feeling from this game was that of blundering into contact, with the Germans driven to accept heavy losses to keep to their tight timetable. Not unlike the events of 1914!