Tuesday 21 November 2017

Cambrai +100 a Square Bashing game

On the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle of Cambrai Simon and I were hosted by James for another game of Square Bashing.
James had set up the terrain and we just had to provide the plucky Tommies and their armoured support.
Sadly some of the armoured support I purchased for the occasion met a fearful fate due to an unfortunate "mistaking the packaging for rubbish" incident, so I only had two to go with Simon's four.
Still a little fiddling with a "depletion" type roll to represent tanks breaking down on the way to the front meant I could field them as under-strength units.

The battle was (very) loosely based on 71st Division, supported by H battalion tanks attacking toward Ribencourt. Basically a simple "storm the trench lines scenario.

Here's the images (though James' lighting has played havoc with the white balance so some are a little weirdly coloured).
(And yes, we know the battlefield colour is probably more reminiscent of the fighting at Passchendale 100 years ago, rather than the greener fields of Cambrai but I think even James balked at the idea of making a whole new mat for a one-off game)

The attack started well with the initial British barrages driving many Germans from the trenches. However Simon and I then discovered out "inner Lord Melchetts" and launched a headlong assault without sufficient softening up. Which went quite badly.
Fortunately stiff British pluck and a second go at the trench-line saw a tank or two break through whilst regulars overcame German conscripts at the end of the section.

So we declared a narrow British infantry (a far cry from the heroic advances of the real Cambrai attackers) and are now planning another game in the Christmas holidays - hopefully allowing us more time for gaming.