Saturday, 26 May 2018

Cangames Battle Report #1 - Trench Raiders

Howdy folks,

I took part in the recent Cangames convention that happens in Ottawa every May long weekend.  As always, there were some great tables, some great games, and a lot of folks seemed to have a good time.  Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to get to my desired end-state of running a game myself and given a few holes in the schedule, an extra miniatures/historical game or two would have served the con well.

Regardless, I did have a good time and enjoyed immensely the 3 games I took part in ...So, in the interest of getting these pictures online for the GM, I am starting backwards this year with my last game as my first report. 

The last game I played in was a Great War trench raider scenario with an adapted ruleset from the GM based in large part off of a Wargames Illustrated #235 article: 

The game was quick, easy to play, had a small footprint, and did not require an outrageous amount of figures...so if one was inclined to STEAL or be inspired by the idea, it is within grasp...the linchpin being, the GM had some great looking figs and terrain...so, yeah...

Anyway, here goes...a small slice of brutal hell from the Western Front...thanks Seth!!

A small line of allied trenchline, sections 1 to 7 from left to right, ...includes 'suicide corner' on the far left #1, 'the Ritz' in the middle #4, and a communications trench cutting into the far right #7.  Each section was a 4-6 inch square, built up from styro...Seth did a great job scratch-building his own terrain...
 
The view leading into 'suicide corner'...
 
...the corner itself...again, a great job from Seth, who went so far as to get an appropriate level of grit and filth in this painting, top it off with water effect to get a good sense for just how wet, damp, and gross trenchlife was.  And, I think my personal OCD favourite, he even made sure to model gas alarm gongs...love the shell casing!!

The majority of the German raiders were from North Star's Great War Miniatures line...and, they were painted up very nicely...for gameplay, the poker chips with numbers referred to the individual soldier, the green discs signified the number of grenades that the soldier had.  To activate a soldier, Seth would draw a chip out of a helmet until all were activated OR a tea time chip was triggered.  Very slick, very easy to catch on...oh, and for this game there were 4 of us with 2 British and 2 German players.

Taking a long look down the line...
 
Quick reference sheet for the game...

Initial deployment, the bulk of the raiders deployed in section 2 and 3 while the British deployed around the Ritz in sections 4 and 5; there was only one or two lone Tommies that deployed in section 1 and 2...each soldier was deployed by their chip number and randomly rolled into a terrain piece.  The premise being that each raider basically rolled into the trenchline and the British defenders were unawares that Fritz was in the wire...in-close and personal...
 
Overhead view of section #2, three raiders and one lone defender at the bottom right...just out of frame is another raider, a very tight spot to be in for Tom.

In this frame, you can see Tom with 2 raiders on his right in section #3...

So, I received the first draw of the game...with that I sent one of my raiders up to section #1 to knife the lone Brit soldier...I roll, he defends, I win the fight, but fail to roll for wound...my partner in crime was the second draw and followed up with shovel and shield guy...he rolls, he wins, and knocks the Brit down and steals an initiative token.  The initiative tokens indicated the number of actions that each soldier could take.

a tough spot to be in...lone British soldier with 5 Germans around him...some would say a fair fight, some wouldn't...
 
 
If I recall correctly, we drew a free activation chip next which allowed us to move with any raider, even one that had already activated...we elected to go with the shoveler and have him re-pummel the British soldier that we had knocked down.  One defender eliminated...

Horribly out of focus, but a great action-looking shot...again, IIRC, the British soldier that had 5 raiders around him activated, killed one of the raiders and then ran towards the dugout...or was killed in return...can't entirely remember...but cool action shot anyway...

The Brits are merging around the Ritz...it kind of just naturally happened, but kind of fitting considering that is Officer country...
 
Looking down the line from #1 to #7...the left end of the trench is in raider hands...
 
British defender moves into section #3 (at top of picture) shoots at the raiders and has a grenade land just behind him...IIRC, he kills one of the raiders and manages to move away from the grenade without effect...until a grenade or two later...then he is out of the war...
 
The German raiders start to push towards the Ritz...by this time we had killed a couple of defenders and had two of our own killed as well.  We started to take to lobbing a plethora of grenades targeted at the Ritz.  There was a roll to see if you landed your grenade where you threw it...and for the most part, we ended up throwing them where we needed them.  As well, once you threw it, we had to roll for how long it took to cook of the grenade (1d6 for number of activations before detonation).  I lobbed a masher near the entrance to the Ritz and had it detonate after 3 activations...I think I was able to kill a defender, wound another, and left no mark on a third.
 
The troop in the middle would end up surviving 3 detonations without a mark...I think he was one of the few that deployed in that section to actually make it to the end.
 
  
View of the Ritz and main dugout for this piece of the line...section #4, you can see another gas alarm gong next to the sign.  The Germans retired from the field before this grenade could cook off...the game itself only took about 90 minutes-ish...was extremely enjoyable, BUT very very bloody with close action occurring with nearly every activation...very effective at giving some sense of the urgency and doom of the trenchlife!
 
I have to admit, I was looking forward to this game when I signed up for it...I even made sure to prep myself for the day by wearing a new acquisition of mine...the Zero Foxtrot vengeance trench raider shirt (no, that's not me in the pic)...definitely fit the mood of the game!!
 
 
An unused section of the line...it was linked to a random event that would have involved friendly fire and large bore artillery...another excellent terrain piece.

Last long look of the line from #7 to #1...great work Seth...thanks for the game!!

6 comments:

  1. Looks like it would have been an interesting game. I too enjoyed my time at Cangames this year and wished there was time to walk around and see what else was going on.

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    1. It was good to see you Robert. The game was very interesting indeed, Seth did a great job.

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  2. Sorry I missed this game, looks like it was great fun.

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  3. Atmospheric and beautiful trenches, inspiring!

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