Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cangames 2019 Sunday May 19th - Western Up Front

This is the 2nd game run by David Redpath during the Cangames weekend. The 2nd Battalion of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade attack the outskirts of Fresnoy En Gohelle on the 3rd of May 1917.

Mike Haynes passing by and taking a look at the table.
The rules are based upon the classic Up-Front Game by Avalon Hill. It is my final action of the weekend. The Canadians are played by 4 players each with 5 cards in their hand. Cards allow movement, fire, rally etc. The Germans are played by Stephen St-John and myself. We each have a hand of 4 cards.  The hand size is reduced by one with every unit lost. The odds at the start are 20 cards to eight. Going to be an interesting day.

Canadian Troops Going Over The Top.  Programmed Fire shown on the Wire to cut it.
Canadians will not know how effective it is until the wire is reached.
Photo by David Redpath

Three of the Canadian Commanders.
Programmed fire on the wire with Canadians in forward positions.
Photo from David Redpath

The 4th Canadian Commander. First German
line taking fire on a discovered dug-out and
revealed LMG group

Canadian pre-programmed fire landing on the 3rd line of defense.

Canadian Troops reaching the wire but taking fire from medium mortars.

Canadian troops breaking through the wire on the right flank.

Left flank of the Canadians taking casualties. Right Flank advancing.
Revealed German troops shown in trenches.
Programmed allied fire on 2nd line of defense. German pillbox receiving special treatment.

 As the Germans we rolled and received 4 dugouts. All our troop locations were plotted on a map. As the programmed heavy fire rolled over us we rolled for damage. On the whole we were quite lucky with our rolls. Two of our dugouts were located by the Canadians at the start of the battle. One located in the middle of the front line, the 2nd near the middle of the third. Locations marked by green wooden blocks.

The Canadians pre-plotted their heavy barrage and their orders at the start of the game. Both sides had 20 mins to come up with their battle plans. The game flowed very quickly. Units are pinned if hit and cannot do anything unless they are rallied. Two pins and a unit is removed.

Terrain was made from camping/mattress foam. Trenches are cut in and shell holes created. Spray paints used to colour the terrain. An extremely effective method of creating the battlefield that is easily rolled up.

The Canadians end the game in the German forward trenches. Both Stephen and I are deduced to one card each. I was responsible for our right flank and had reduced one Canadian player (sorry Stan) to zero cards and the 2nd facing me had two cards remaining.   Things were not going as well on the left flank. These results somewhat mimic the historical results. One of the Canadian flanks became bogged down, while the other went on to reach their objectives.

The German Command. Photo by Doug Blair
The Germans were declared winners, based upon casualties inflected and objectives denied the Canadians. I had a good time this year in Ottawa, having been on the winning team in each game I played. The dice were good to me. It was a far cry from last year.