One of the games I took out was the excellent Through the Blood and the Mud World War 1 game by the Too Fat Lardies. I ran a scenario set in the early war during the Second Battle of Ypres. While not historically accurate or set on any one specific battle it was one made up of elements of several fights, rolled into one to make a good game. I had done this for a few reasons, one of which was to help with traveling light so that I could take less terrain and make it work on the new mat I got from Cigar Box Games. It allowed me to not have to pack as many trees, no roads or rivers at all, and use whatever hills Curt had as they go under the mat.
|The game started with the Germans setup at the crossroads and the Canadians |
coming on the board, everyone started concealed as blinds
Curt and Jeremy played as the Germans, while Stacy and Sylvain led the Canadian forces.
|The German HMG along with a rifle team, revealed that they had setup in the |
woods and opened fire on the advancing Canadians, inflicting heavy casualties
on a section and driving that section back over the course of two turns.
|The Canadian rifle team was quickly torn apart and reduced |
below combat effectiveness.
|A small German rifle team tries to prevent the Canadians from crossing |
a small stream and flanking the German right flank.
|Curt with his artistic flair insisted on an "action" shot.|
|Two Canadian sections already setup along the edge of the woods, |
and three more coming up behind to support them!
|The Germans only had one rifle section in the farm house, |
and a section next to them in the woods, but that section was also
dealing with units coming up the road.
As is true in many battles though, the tide turned unexpectedly and swiftly on them as they suddenly ran out of luck about halfway through the game. At that point for several turns in a row, the Canadians got almost every activation card they needed, before the German card for the unit they faced. Worse than that (for the Germans at least), the Canadians got hot with their dice, and the Germans dice froze over.
After a few hot Canadian turns the Germans got word (the time flies deck ran out) that their reinforcements were setup behind them and they retreated from the field of battle. It was a little too late for the Germans though, as the Canadians had closed in close enough to capture a majority of the German soldiers.
The final score was 52 to 28 in favour of the Canadians. As the games referee I had worried early on that the Canadians would not even reach the German lines let alone get enough points for a tie, and due to a run of luck in the late game they completely turned the tables on the Germans.
The game once again reinforced for me how extremely simple the rule system by the Too Fat Lardies is, yet how well it seems to capture the real ebb and flow of battles. It more than any other rule set for WW1 that I have played really gives me the feel of that grinding battle, yet allows for heroic changes in fate.
Thanks to Curt for hosting and to Sylvain, Stacy, and Jeremy for playing. It was an awesome visit and game, and one well worth repeating!