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Thursday, May 22, 2014

1st Battle of Ypres 1914 at Huzzah!(3)

My final game of the weekend (I had a wedding to attend Sunday) was a battle using Rich Clayton's (of Boston Trained Band) Cordite 1914 modifications to the Black Powder rules. Rich had a very cool concept he set up three games on the same table (one in each session on Saturday) the front lines of each game were determined by the results of the previous game.
The Allies have managed to just hold onto their side of the Canal and are counter attacking to gain space and keep the Huns form completely over running Belgium. 
The Germans are in position in side the village some barricading has taken place but neither side has dug-in at this point as officers on both sides are still thinking in terms or a Napoleonic victory.
I commanded the French troops occupying the front line my men were very stretched out limiting my Command and control some what.  
I was further hampered by very good shooting by the Germans on the first turn that pinned (disorder in regular Blackpower with the same effect) so my role became giving cover fire as other advanced in the initial turns.
Thus began one of the greatest cavalry action in the table top version of the Great War as a mixed force of French cavalry and British lancers dashed for the German lines!
The leading French unit was quickly pinned down but the British Lancers raced passed them the following turn.
One unit fell short of the artillery unit that was its target but the other charged home on the Heavy Machine gun unit beside the building.
On the left under cover of MG fire and rifle fire from French Chassures the Belgian infantry drives forward.
The Lancers took casualties but over ran the MGs and then swept forward over running the German Artillery.
German Hussars counter attacked driving the leading unit of British Lancers forward and French and British Infantry begin to follow the successful cavalry charge.
German infantry advancing the center is cut down by a withering cross fire of French Rifle and MG fire.
The second unit of British Lancers Drives off the German cavalry and then launches and attack of its own!
Sweeping around the building the strike a unit of infantry on the flank and drive them back...
Then sweep forward to catch German reinforcements in march column and break that unit.
The German advance in the center takes more casualties though the do stave off an attack by a unit Belgian cavalry. Despite this they are latter broken by fire form multiple units.
 German Cavalry sweeps in behind their English counterparts and forces a break-test but the Lancers pass the test by the barest of margins though the do have to flee.
 English and French infantry alike cheer as the emerge from the Village.  The Belgian locked in a life and death struggle on the left probably don't notice.
 Heavy Fire form multiple artillery pieces bring down the building (not really but I couldn't resit the image) destroying the infantry with in.  Return fire is too much for my French Marines who head back seeking cover I am able to rally them and get control.  The Germans advance an artillery piece and with time running out I see chance as I might be able to charge that gun with out suffering traversing fire. Time is running out an we need to secure as strong a position as possible for the next game.
I issue a Follow Me order to the Marines and order a charge of the guns I pass the command test and we race forward.  The gun lands 3 solid hits on my force and I am forced to roll a break test... I roll double 6s and pass the charge goes home! With Cries of en Avant and Vive! l'France we begin to bayonet the German artillery men but one of them manages to depress his gun and reload sending another round into my men! (the German got one hit but he made his save and I didn't) and my unit was broken.  Thus ended the battle Casualties were heavy on both sides but probably a little higher on the German side.  The allies did gain some ground on the right were British infantry advance in relatively safety behind the wild charge of the cavalry. The Belgians also gained a bridgehead on the left over the canal.  The village is still in German hands but they have not gained an advanced jumping off point for the next game (you got to take make the most of small victories in the Great War).