It's really late but I wanted to get a couple pics and a quick report up tonight....
I had a playtest of the vimy scenario this evening on the 90th anniversary of the battle. John, Gary, and my Dad showed up to help out with the game. It was very useful in helping me sort out a lot of things I wasn't sure about. I was overcome over the weekend while working on the terrain that it might end up being a terribly boring game - either a quick cake walk for the canucks and over in an hour, or a wholesale slaughter with the canucks unable to even make it to the german line across the entier front.
Having had a month or so since the last playtest I had a lot of time to think about how to work out a lot of the things that hadn't quite worked out as I had hoped - in particular the creeping barrage -and I think I have that sorted out just fine.
The terrain still needs a bit of work but I'm feeling pretty darn confident about how things are shaping up.
Anyway here are some pics (as always, click on the pic for a bigger version..).
John and Gary each took a Brigade of Canadians and I played the Germans (my Dad said he would just watch and maybe play the 85th Battalion when it came into play). Here they are moving up their troops just after the mines were blown and the artillery barrage creeps over the german frontline.
Gary was on the Canadian right playing the 11th Canadian Infatntry Brigade, John on the Left with the 12th.
To the right of this pic in is the second german line opposite John's 12th Brigade. They are occupied by a battalion of the 11th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. The paper circles are the craters left behind after they detonated the mines they placed (I'll make something better by Mayday...). The German battalion holding the frontline was almost entirely wiped out by the three mines john placed on his front. The artillery barrage tooka couple and then the mad jocks of the 73rd Battalion C.E.F. (Royal Highland Regiment) charged INTO the creeping barrage (and lost one of their figures in it!) and assaulted the remaining Germans in their trenches perhaps killing another.... the sum total of this sudden violence saw the remaing two Germans in the battalion fail a third morale checks on the first turn and leave the board! (visions of a quick, boring canadian cakewalk flashed through my mind...)
Canadians surge forward.
At the south end of the table the 54th Battalions (Kootenays) attack the German front line after the 102nd (North B.C.) was wiped out in their attempt! This battalion of Germans from the 261st Reserve Infantry Regiment were tough bastards! Or rather I should say these four remaining figures of said battlaion... They threw back the 102nd - wiped out to the last man. Then forced the Kootenays to retire with two morale falure markers. Finally, then wiped out the 85th who had been commited to this section of the front after the 102nd met it's doom. As the Nova Scotians fled with two morale failure tokens the Germans shot another in the back causing another morale check that sent the rest to flight! At the end of the game these boys still held the german front line in this section!
The creeping barage creeps forward. The templates are bent wire coathangers. I hpe to come up with something better for Mayday. maybe thread some cotton balls onto the wire and dye them black or something.
At the extreme north end of the line the R.H.R. prepare to take the second trench line. These were another bunch of tough bavarian bastards. They wiped out the Black Watch and exacted a hefty tole on the Seaforths following along behind before they gave up the trench!
A view of the battlefield from the north end of the table. One of my reserve battalions has just arrived to begin their counter-attack. They can be seen at the left of the picture.
Another pic of the 12th Brigade attacking the Germans second trench.
At the top left is Hill 145 and the reserve battalion from the 261st Regiment is making it's counter-attack against Gary's 7th Battalion (Missisauga) that were just about to pass through the 87th (Grenadier Guards) who had just taken their black line objective - the German second trench.
Nearing the end. The remaingi four figures of the 38th (Ottawa) have taken their black line objective and are holding it (and tossing bombs at the german MG-bunker in the third trench. The 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) are skirting around to their right to out flank said MG-bunker that shot up 8 of their original 13!
The pink foam strips int he trenches were my temporary rubble markers to indicate trenches that were wiped out by the creeping barrage - better ones WILL be made before mayday...
there's those lads from the 38th again... althought that looks rather like a blue square over the green rectangle -which was the tactical sign of the Winnipeggers... hmmm... someone got mixed up...
Well the game was played pretty much to a satisfactory conlusion in around three hours - I think extra players might slow it down a tad - but that three hours also included fairly regular, and at times lengthy, stops to discuss possible changes to rules and scenarios, etc.
In the end the The 12th Brigade had taken their black line objective (the second trench line). The 73rd (R.H.R.) had been wiped out and the other three battalions were down to about four figures each (of their original 13). The Winipeg Grenadiers pressed on to the third trenchline and were counter attacked by the remains of the the 11th Regiments reserve battalion - which had been caught out in the open by the creeping barrage. The Winnipeggers threw them back with two morale failure tokens. No one made their Red Line objective (the opposing base of the ridge), though there really wasn't anything opposing them when we called it quits, both of the forward Germans battalions had been wiped out and the reserve battalion was reduced to about five figures with two morale failure tokens and they were cowering in a communications trench behind the third line....
On the 10th Brigades front. The Grenadier Guards had taken their Black Line objective, but were reduced to about four figures. The 102nd, 54th, and 85th to their right, however, failed to even take the German frontline. At the end of the game there was still Germans sitting in their frontline trench taking pot shots at the remains of the 54th that had fallen back to their starting trenches, with only one morale failure. The other two German battalions (the second line and reserve battalions) were still on the table, but in bad shape. Both were reduced to two or three figures and both had two morale failure tokens. The 75th were stil in not bad shape, had maybe half their original number but no morale failure tokens...
I had worked out a number of victory conditions and associated points along with a scale to measure the Canadians degree of success or failure. I can't seem to find it right now and am a bit to tired to remember how it went. I'll try and find it tomorrow and figure out how it came out according to my points-scale.
It was a fun game in the end with a lot of give and take. I think I'll run another playtest, or two, before the con just to work out a couple small bugs, get some practice running it, and just to see if any other wierd situations arrise.
Thanks to Gary, John, and my Dad for helping out with the playtest!