Monday, 16 April 2012

The Battle of Kut Al Amara

The Great War play test game.

Ralph was asked at the last minute to run a game at Adepticon (I think), and he needed some people to play test the game he whipped up. It was set during the Siege of Kut Al Amara.

It used the "Great War " rules from Warhammer Historical, the same company that released Kampfgruppe Normandy and a couple of other titles. The Great War rules are  apparently Warhammer 40K transposed into the First World War. I don't play 40K so I don't know that they actually are, but everyone else seemed to think so, the unit stat blocks look identical to 40K at least.

There were three central powers (Turks, Germans and Arab allies) players vs. three Allied (British, Indian and Arab allies) players.

Central powers had 2 artillery pieces, a German Krupp and a small Turkish Gun, 2 light mortars, 2 Medium Machine Guns and several Infantry units.

Allies had 1 Gun, an Armoured car, 2 light mortars, 2 Medium Machine Guns and some Infantry units.

We fought on a 8'x4' table, a town (control of which was the objective) about 4-5 turns from the Turkish starting line, the Allies a mere one move away from the town.

We rolled initiative and the Allies won. Turn one they enter 3 of the 7 houses comprising the village, the armoured car races forward to interdict the Central Powers advance, the Allied gun fires on the Turkish gun killing 3/4 of the crew. The Central powers advance, and the small Turkish gun (which drafted two nearby soldiers so as to be able to fire) kills the Armoured car and that was the high point of Central Powers game.

After that it was the slaughter you would expect from a piecemeal attack against an equal sized force in superior cover.

Highlights (or low lights depending on whom you ask) were the complete inability to hit (troops) with the Krupp, but it did eventually manage to collapse three buildings ( 2 of which were full of troops but killing 1 guy in each building collapse), Sikhs charging a unit unit of Turkish Arab allies, killing all but the leader, who passed his leadership test and the frustration of the Germans 6 inches away to shoot at the Sikhs, because you cannot fire on melee, he knew he was going to lose the next round of assault (outnumbered 9 to 1) and the Sikhs would plow into him and he could do nothing, so he dove into into the melee and won killing most of the Sikhs who passed leadership test, the British nearby had the same situation, but they wanted to get "stuck in" anyway, so they were happier than the German player. They joined the melee and killed all the Germans and that was definitely "Game Over, Man!" (at that point the Central Powers had no chance at victory) though we played a few more turns.

Allied troops after their first move
Central powers after 3 turns of movement
5 turns of shelling has resulted in this, 2 collapsed buildings and 2 dead Allies
This was as far as the central Powers got, the Allies ignored our Machine guns and mortars, until they reached 36" (their maximum range) and blasted them before they could get a single shot off

The Great War has some odd rules, like once you fire with a machine gun you can't move it again (ever), same with guns and mortars.

The purpose of the play testing is to help the GM to find any faults in his scenario design and to refresh his knowledge of the rules. In that respect the game was a success, but unfortunately for the Central Powers players it was well nigh unwinable for them.