Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Gumbinnen 1914 revisited. Again.

Having arranged for Steve and Len to come round for a bank holiday Monday game, we then needed to decide what to play.  Steve had requested a WW1 game, so I dug out Richard Brooks's Op14 rules and set up the Gumbinnen scenario.  I've run this particular scenario a couple of times before (see report here) and I knew it was about the right level to occupy a couple of hours.
The game was set up on my Hexon tiles and used my 6mm Irregular Miniatures figures.  Len arrived first an opted to lead the Russians (he kept having flashbacks to reading Solzhenitsyn's August 1914).  This left Steve in the spiked helmet while I oversaw the game mechanisms and provided advice where it was (most unwisely) sought.
The Russian XX Corps (left) advances on the German I Corps defending the area around Gumbinnen (top right).
The initial Russian advance went well and soon the sole German corps (the Russians had three) was feeling the pressure.
In the distance (to the south) the Russians were poised to seize the smaller town of Goldap.
After many furious 'phone calls from 8 Armee HQ to the local airfield, a German aeroplane finally appeared, buzzed around pointlessly all and flew off again.  They'll never catch on.  Something else failing to catch on in this very fluid battle was the practice of digging holes and hiding in them which at the time (August 1914) was becoming fashionable in Belgium and France.
By now the Russian XX Corps had ground to a halt and would advance no further that day.  The lone German division which appeared near Goldap had been seen off.  A second German Corps (bottom right) would clearly have put XX Corps to flight and secured Gumbinnen.  A third German corps was about to appear from south of Gumbinnen so we agreed that the battle had been a German tactical victory.  And a steep learning curve for both generals.  A bit like the real thing then...


Stephen Thomas said...

The Russian bear was given a bloody nose and skulked off eastward to cower in his cold, damp cave. Meanwhile the good folk at the iron cross factory are all getting lots of lovely overtime thanks to the brave lads of 1st corps. Proste!!!

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Thomas
Now that you've seen off the Russians just think how easy it will be to defeat the French & Brits...

ian drury said...

I've managed to get modern Polish maps for Gumbinnen and Tannenberg, and am modifying my maps accordingly. (PDFs available on application.) This is a v good scenario for an evening game though.

Tim Gow said...

Ian Drury
Please let me have copies of any scenarios you work up for Op14.