Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I setup a big game for the Easter holiday.  Colin Jack and I decided to get out our joint early WWI collection.  I wrote up a fictional game set in September 1914 in France.  Given that we have far more allied troops than Germans it had to be a scenario with the allies as the attackers.  So I came up with a scenario following the Battle of the Marne.

The table is 12ft by 6ft.  The rules we used are Setting the East Ablaze which is based on Chris Peers Contemptible Little Armies.  The infantry units and most of the cavalry are 10 figures strong.  We started the game on Monday with 4 players but were well short of a conclusion by the End of the day so we are continuing the game on Thursday now with 6 players.  In this first post I have set out the scenario and provided some photos of the game terrain setup. 

View from the Col St Bart minehead

Player Briefings

Following the battle of the Marne the Germans retired northwards towards the River Aisne.  The combined allied armies followed hoping to catch and defeat the retiring Germans in an open engagement.  On the 14 September they attacked the Germans along the River Aisne – this is part of that large action.
The German troops arrived at the strategically important crossing at Bart-Sur-Aisnes on the 12th and secured their positions along the river.  As well as the main bridge across the river at the town they have installed temporary bridges over the fords to the east and west of the town. 

The town and its small foundries are north of the river.  The main domestic buildings in the town have been burnt by German Uhlans angry at the quality of the local saucisson.   The country south of the river is largely agricultural.  The bend of the river and its crossings to the south east of the town are dominated by the high ground around the Col St Bart coal mine. 
The Germans are in a defensive line along the north of the river with bridge guards on the south bank and a strong force and artillery around the Col St Bart.

Uhlans burn the town - another outrage!
German Objective

The objective of the game is for the Germans to prevent the allies crossing the river, taking the town and its road network.  If this cannot be achieved then the allied advance must be delayed long enough for stronger defences to be prepared along the high ground to the north.
German OB
12 x Infantry              3/3 Stubborn
2 x Jaeger                 2/3 Stubborn
1 x Cavalry                3/3      
7 x MMGs                  3/3
3 x Field guns            3/3

German deployment
3 infantry units are encamped south of the river acting as bridge guards.  These can be supplement by MGs if required.
At least 3 infantry units with MGs and artillery must be deployed on the Col St Bart.

The rest of the force is deployed north of the river.  Units can be in reserve to the north of the table.
The town streets have been barricaded.  Engineer officers are positioned at each of the bridges supervising the demolition charges.

German bridge guard at Bart-Sur-Aisnes - rest are sleeping

Allied Objective
The objective of the game is for the allies to cross the river, take the town and its road network and drive of the covering German forces.

Allied OB
French Forces
12 x Infantry              3/3  Ferocious
5 x Fusilier Marins     4/3  Ferocious          
5 x Chasseurs           2/3
1 x Cavalry                3/3
7 x MMGs                  3/3

9 x Infantry                2/3
1 x Cavalry                3/3
3 x MMGs                  3/3
3 x Field guns            3/3

4 x Infantry                3/4
1 x Cavalry                3/3
1x MMG                     3/3
Minerva AC                3/3

Allied deployment
Due to political issues the British and French forces cannot be intermingled.  There has to be a clear demarcation line between them.  The plucky little Belgians will support either of their allies.  Allies can deploy up to 8” onto the south edge of the table.  Units can be kept of table in reserve to the south.  Allied troops can flank march on the east side of the table arriving late.

View showing importance of position of the Col St Bart mine

Next - the day 1 action.....................



  1. Bill, I think you need more Belgians to stop them always being 'plucky' and 'little'. They may be brave but most of the Belgians I know are 'normal' sized.

  2. Looks interesting. I've been on a WWI kick recently.

    Why so many machine guns? What's the scale of the action.

    1. Rob
      I have not really thought of the scale To be honest we are making use of almost all the figures that we have. For the units I would say that every unit equals a company or sqaudron.

    2. Well, I asked because my reaction was "that's a lot of machine guns!" for 1914. I was worried that they'd overpower things, but with a unit as a company, that looks about right.

      I await the follow-up.