As promised an after action report on a game using the terrain previously shown being built. The game represents a divisional attack on the German line sometime in 1916 using the ‘Playing Leapfrog’ rules. The game has three turns, Morning, Afternoon and Evening. Within each turn there is programmed phasing, as you will see. The players play the allies and the Germans are pre-programmed.
The Allies consist of a Regular Divisional commander in charge of a Territorial Division of 3 brigades of Infantry and 4 Artillery batteries. For the assault the Corps Commander has given the Division 2 French Heavy artillery batteries, 2 Heavy British artillery batteries plus a mine has also been dug under the German Front line. One battery also has the ability to fire a gas attack once.
The assault is the ‘big push’ and will be carried out over two sectors, with the primary objective of the German Second Line.
Below the German set up; they are defending in depth all the way to the Reserve line, with wire and redoubts. The wire has survived the initial bombardment.
Below the British set up, 1 brigade leading in each sector, with the third brigade split between sectors in the second line (Could the British regret this decision?)
Below the game starts as the morning begins and the endless days bombardment of the days before dies down and the attack begins moving forward. The artillery brings down destructive fire (helped by the plane observing) on the German front line, with a static bombardment on the communication trenches to intercept any German reserves moving up. However 3 batteries fail to fire effectively…..
Below the effect of the artillery strike, the German front lines have been weakened, but is it enough? The Static bombardments continue through this turn, however one dropped short onto the German Front line. The British may find out artillery shells don’t discriminate between friend or foe.
Below; Gas attack!!! The British launch a Gas attack in support of the left hand brigades attack…….
Below, the Gas cloud drifts through the German lines being largely ineffective!!!
Mine!!! Below the mine goes off under the German Front Line in support of the British right hand brigade assault, doing great damage to the German defenders.
Below, the initial attacks trigger the German defensive artillery ‘stonk’ into No Mans Land. The British brigades go ‘over the top’, the British right hand brigade sweep through the German front line, into the Communication trenches (taking casualties from their own static artillery barrage) through to attack the German Reserve line.
Below; the British right hand brigade is stopped by the German reserves, however it has captured and holds the German Second line. It has taken 66% casualties (including 90% officer casualties). The second wave moves up to the former German Front line and waits there, to avoid having to traverse the British (!) static barrage of the former German Communication Trenches.
Below, the British left hand brigade goes ‘over the top’ to be bounced by the German Front Line, and is left stalled, hung up on the wire, in No Mans Land losing 25% of its strength…
Below, the Germans launch another ‘stonk’ in preparation of their counter attack… which causes casualties to the British but they manage to hold onto their captured positions.
Below, the British launch a counter ‘stonk’
Below; the general situation at the end of the Morning…. the British right hand brigade has been reduced to a company desperately holding the German Second Line, with the second wave too far away to support. On left the British are being pushed back out of No Mans Land taking casualties for no gain, whilst the Germans have reinforced their Front Line. Overall casualties so far are about 50% for the British and slightly more for the Germans.