I've been thinking of going along to the Bristol Big'Uns club for a while now. They're based in Iron Acton (35 miles away) so it's not exactly local for me. Club night is Sunday evening which usually consists of a quiet evening in front of the telly - or pehaps a bit of painting. Hence the lack of attendance so far.
But with the Summer hols now a distant memory I met up with fellow Great War-gamer Dave (aka "Orange Dave" on the Scarab forum) for a game of TGW using the new Over The Top supplement rules.
Now Dave has a pretty impressive collection of WW1 British figures whereas mine is somewhat more modest, so we decided to play the Storm the Hill scenario from the main rulebook using the OTT 1917 lists plus the rules for supporting artillery barrages, etc. As we both had British forces the "battle" would be a training exercise. Which is fine as all the main protagonists of WW1 made good use of such training before many of the big attacks. Dave drew up an ANZAC list and I used the British list.
All pics are clickable.
The battle ... ahem - "training exercise" ... has begun. The British are dug in on the hill and in the nearby trenches whilst the ANZACs begin their advance across a blasted no man's land of craters, woods and barbed wire.
Dave's excellent barrage markers - note the dead horse! Each turn these move forward a set distance - though we both agreed that a slightly random advance would make things more exciting.
The ANZACs begin to close on the hill using the creeping barrage as cover (no shooting permitted through the blasts). During the "training exercise" I was able to get my Battalion Command, aided by the Signal Staff, to successfully call in a couple of barrages. These hit the ANZACs on my right quite hard and certainly held up their advance for some time.
In the final turn the ANZACs made it on to the hill and dealt with the last few defenders to claim a hard fought victory.
Barrages - for both sides these worked really well in that the rules added a bit of extra atmosphere without unbalancing or dominating the game in any way. Having custom made markers really helped too.
So, a great game against an excellent opponent with nice terrain and figures. Add in a good venue and a warm welcome from existing club members. This is what wargaming is about.