Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Battle of Gumbinnen 1914

This game was a try-out of Richard Brooks's 'OP14' rules which he recently sent me.  These are designed to handle operational level battles in WW1.  Richard uses 15mm toys on an offset squared grid but I decided to use my existing 6mm Irregular Miniatures toys on my Hexon terrain. 

The Battle of Gumbinnen took place on 20 August 1914 and involved a German attack on Russian forces advancing into East Prussia.  In OP14, each hex is 2km across and a brigade consists of 4 stands of 6mm toys.  I decided to represent the sector of the front occupied by the German I and XVII Corps and the opposing Russian XX and III Corps.  The photo below has Gumbinnen and the Germans to the bottom (West).  The pale brown lines are roads, the black a railway line.  This photo show the situation in mid-morning as the opposing forces came into contact.

While my Germans are genuine, the 'Russian' infantry are in fact British.  My Russian infantry are as yet unpainted but I only bought them 20 years ago so I don't like to rush them...

Here we see the German I Corps (2 divisions and artillery) wheeling to face the advancing Russians.
This is the German right wing engaging a Russian Brigade.

Seen from the Russian side with Gumbinnen on the road junction.  By now (late morning) the Russian left has stopped the German advance but the Russian attack has stalled.  On the right the German I Corps continues to press the Russians but is itself on the brink of exhaustion.

The Russian left again.  The Germans have lost an entire division.
Seen from behind the German right, the Russians begin to crumble.

I am still far from clear about some aspects of the rules, but I always feel that playing adds more to understanding then reading!  I felt that this game went well and I plan to research additional scenarios.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

A very impressive looking battle.

I look forward to seeing more in the very near future.

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

Oh there will certainly be more. I'll be looking into some more Eastern Front engagements as this is a theatre that's always interested me. I think Irregular had better cast up some Austrians!