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September 1914 – Somewhere in France near the Marne River

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Just this afternoon Myself, Dave Lowe, David Hancox, and Daniel got together and played a great little WWI game using the Bolt Action WWI variant, which I downloaded from the Internet. There was no real scenario other than ‘Let’s have a bash at the rules and the winner is the last man standing’, which seemed to work out just fine. So on the German side, I and Daniel fielded one platoon of three sections, another platoon of two sections, two medium machine guns, and a light howitzer.

The two Dave’s played the colourful French, who fielded two small platoons of two sections each, plus one platoon of Senegalese (with two sections) and to medium machine guns. Both sides fairly evenly matched with the Hun on 60 odd infantry and the French on 55 odd infantry, including command.

The was a very mix of 28mm figures ranging from the very nice Mutton Chop Miniatures (pictured above, painted by Terry Moran), to Great War and Renegade Miniatures French and Germans, then finally the Artizan Senegalese. All of which made for a great variety of figures and painting styles on the tabletop.

Our little game using the Bolt Action WWI variant seemed to work well and the game ran fairly smoothly. Initially, it looked like the Germans might win however the hand-to-hand combat in BA seems to be quite harsh on the looser of the combat, which took one of my sections out of the game after losing a round of combat by one. I am not quite sure if that was correct at the time, but after reading back in the main rule book it does state that if you lose a round of combat your unit is destroyed and removed from play….very nasty indeed.

So in the end after nearly four hours of battle, the Germans were finally overwhelmed and forced to either flee or be prisoners of war. However, we all seemed to enjoy the game and professional banter between sides was of the best nature.

Senegalese advance

Lots and lots of Germans…looked good at the start but French small arms fire soon thinned the ranks

Overview of the battlefield from the German side of the table.

German infantry move into the village…just ahead of the French

The Senegalese were not great shots but scared the breeches of the Germans so I gave them a +1 in close combat.

More Germans swarm across the battlefield.

And the French do the same

German infantry clear the buildings.

The French on the other side of the village advance to the road and move into the village.

The Germans set up first and start to inflict serious casualties on the French below.

A maxim machine gun sets up in support of the infantry

French infantry break into the village and start to engage the Germans across the street.

The platoon of Senegalese advance across the fields in order to engage the Germans with a bit of cold steel.

A section of German infantry made a rush onto a few French soldiers held up in a ruined building.

Hand to hand fighting ensures and the Germans are the victors this time.

However, the French soon counterattack and destroy my Germans in the village first, then Danial’s Germans on the next move…..victory to the French…however casualties were high.

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