What a brilliant day! Top marks to the chaps at Gripping Beast (Andy, Darren and Soapy) for organising a superb event. Plus many thanks for loaning me an army of Late War British.
There were 10 players at the event, 5 Allied armies (4 British and 1 French) and 5 armies of the Central Powers (4 German and 1 Austrian). There werethree rounds where the brave Allies were pitted against the fearsome Central Powers. The action begins with the Allies launching a major offensive, with subsequent rounds reflecting how the earlier battles went. Each of the 5 tables had a specific themed scenario, plus great looking terrain supplied by GB.
I'm delighted to say that all three opponents were superb sportsman, plus extremely helpful in explaining the rules to me, giving tips and advice, etc. I had three thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining games. I'm not really sure how I managed to win two of them (mostly by sheer luck I think!?) but they were certainly very close.
Game One vs. Mark's Germans
My first ever game of TGW ... my battalion were tasked with making a diversionary attack so as to keep German reserve forces from reinforcing the areas of the main Allied attack. German artillery provided a smoke barrage but this proved to more of a help to my chaps, allowing me to advance closer to the German lines before his Maxims and MG08's could open up. My Mark IV
male Tank was superb, heading right in to the heart of the German line and causing havoc whilst providing further cover for my troops. I managed to close with the enemy and keep the pressure on them right up to the final turn. Thus winning the game, but it was close. Enormous fun and a very enjoyable game for us both.
The results from turn one were generally not good for the Allies. The main British attacks had all been soundly defeated by the Germans, only the diversionary attack (me!) had succeeded in its objectives.
Game Two vs. Darren's Germans
With the Allies on the back foot, this game saw my battalion attempting to retreat in good order from a determined German counter attack. Most of my troops were strung out across the middle of the battlefield and had to retire to the allied baseline, the rallying point, and have more than 50% of the units intact by the end of the game, turn 8.
I quickly figured out that Darren was an experienced player and he certainly didn't hang about when it came to the attack. He craftily kept units in reserve so that they could mount a flank attack (note to self - read the scenario properly - doh!?) and these units mostly arrived on my right flank and tore it to shreds, particularly that flamethrower detachment! In the centre and left flank things were going a little better. I managed to get a Vickers HMG team and a rifle platoon with Lewis Guns in to a ruined building where they could cover the retreat. My tank once again proved its worth by engaging the German tank (a captured Mark IV, those cheeky Hun!) and immobilising it with a well placed 6lb shell. However, that did not stop it later returning fire and destroying my tank in a spectacular explosion.
Darren pressed on with his attack but somehow I managed to keep just enough of my battalion together to claim victory (if you can call a retreat a 'victory'), but it was very close indeed. Another hugely enjoyable game and a brilliant opponent.
Game Three vs. Rob's Austrians
I was really chuffed when I heard that I'd be playing Rob in round 3. He'd been very helpful in assisting me with choosing an army, plus his Scarab Miniatures Austrian army looks fabulous. In this scenario the Central Powers were on the offensive hoping to capitalise on the British withdrawal. The aim was to capture and hold ground, the winner would be who controlled more of the battlefield by the end of the game. I must say that I dithered slightly, not sure whether to take the bayonet to the tough Austrian troops, or use my Lewis guns and HMG's to soften them up a bit then counter-attack. In the end I didn't really do either and Rob exploited this ruthlessly. His assault troops, accompanied by a dreaded flame thrower, rushed forwards mounting a well coordinated attack and completely destroyed a whole company and its HMG support for little loss in return - almost half my army. The denser terrain on the other flank meant that the troops engaged more cautiously but again Rob made the best use of it and by the close of play the Austrians were firmly in control of the battlefield. Yet another great game and a brilliant opponent too.
Thanks also go to Rob for doing me a great deal on a big batch of Great War Miniatures, now available from Scarab, and for the excellent character figures of a downed pilot and soldier carrying a wounded comrade. They'll certainly be featuring in my army!
You might be wondering why I haven't any pics? That's because I didn't have my camera. Since I was going to drive all the way to Evesham for a day of toy soldiers, the rest of the family came along and went on to Warwick Castle and they had the camera. Hopefully Rob will put some pics on his website, or perhaps on the WAB forum.