Thursday, 30 December 2010

Sheffield Games Day -1- The Somme, 1918

This year's post Christmas games day (like a normal meet of Sheffield Wargames Society but starting at 1pm instead of 7pm) saw around 20 gamers gathering, with five games underway at any given time.  Martin Rapier and I had arranged three games and we were joined in the evening by John Armatys. 

We began with a game using my adaptation of Richard Brooks' Op14 rules, but set during the German offensive of 1918.  Martin had planned the game which used his 20mm toys, with 2 bases representing a brigade. 
The initial set up.  This and all other photos taken from behind the German lines.  All orientation from the German point of view.  The two British corps are colour coded blue (left) and red.  The three German green, yellow and white (from left to right). 
The German first day objective was to reach the Somme/Canal Du Nord - represented on the table by the main left to right waterway.
Early in the game - a victorious German brigade has assaulted the Brits and pushed then out of their trenches.
More victorious Germans on the left flank.  1st Cavalry Div stands ready to plug any gaps.
The Germans continue to make progress on the left.  The white crosses are casualty markers.
The Germans had a harder time in the centre.
More gains on the left - the pivot of the British position is in trouble.
Some success on the right - more Brits are pushed back.
The British line facing the German right has fragmented.
On the right - the British guns have been pulled back across the Canal Du Nord.
After the morning fog cleared, the German Air Service was much in evidence.  Here retreating Brits are subjected to a strafing attack.
The RFC (soon to be re-branded as RAF) also put in an appearance.  Aircraft by Wings of War.
More photogenic strafing - this time on a hill occupied by a brigade and artillery...
...which was subsequently stormed by heroic German infantry!  The town of Peronne can be seen in the background.
Blue Corps survivors take to their heels after another air attack.  Is this the future?
The situation as night fell - on the left - German Green Corps has pushed back Blue Corps but itself teeters on the brink of exhaustion.
The centre - British survivors are largely bottled up in Peronne but Yellow Corps is tiring.
And on the right - Red Corps has withdrawn over the canal and is in a bad way.
Overall, the Germans did slightly less well than their historical counterparts but many Iron Crosses were awarded - along with more than a few plastic ones!  Op14 certainly appeared to function smoothly in this later period of the war.

20mm toys by Emhar and Revell, heavy guns by Irregular.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


A very interesting battle report. OP14 seems to have really 'taken off' in South Yorkshire!

All the best,


Beccas said...

Very impressive. I am a big fan of WWI gaming. It's hard to find someone local to collect an army.

Tim Gow said...

We have been thinking about using Op14 for a later battle for some time now, so it was nice to confirm that it works!

Tim Gow said...

I too have long had an interest in gaming the Great War, but the difficulty until recently has been finding a playable game! Sounds like you need to build both sides yourself...

Paul´s Bods said...

That´s a cracking looking game. Love the planes!!
Happy new year

Tim Gow said...

Paul's Bods
Thanks - it does look pretty spectacular! And only took about 2.5 hours to play through.