Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Action on the Yser Front


On Tuesday Ian and I played a WWI game using The Great War rules from Warhammer Historical. Ian has quite a collection of 1914 Belgians that he has been working on and although my Germans are quite a bit later being equipped for the 1916 Verdun campaign that was not going to stop us having some fun.

Ian picked a force of three companies with a machine-gun while I had two reinforced companies supported by a machine-gun, a minewerfer and a 77mm gun. Both were about 650pts and more based upon the troops we had at hand rather than any specific formations.


Ian had not played the rules for many years, while I had never played (or even read) them, so we decided on a simple pitched battle scenario. Ian won the strategy roll, picked a table edge and started to set up.

After Ian had finished I completed my deployment and we were rolling for who went first, me!


The rules are very reminiscent of when I had a brief interest in Warhammer 40,000. Move 6", fire 12" if moved, 24" if not, etc. with a few bits of WWI themed glitter bolted on.

Once our units had bagged cover in the shell-holes that littered the table Ian and I were soon engaged in a massive fire-fight which my Germans seemed to get the better of as I was fielding them in companies of 13 models to his puny tens. My 77mm gun missed five times out of 7 but when it did hit was quite devastating.


We played out seven turns over about two and a half hours, not too bad considering our inexperience with the rules.

After seven turns we rolled the dice and there would not be an eighth turn. I had certainly come up trumps on the who can cause the most casualties chart, however, reading and re-reading the rules we could not determine how to figure out who had Pitched Battle scenario.


Ian was a gent to play against and it was nice to see his lovely Belgians on the table, however, I don't think I would be encouraged to play Warhammer Historical: Great War again, there are much better alternatives that don't feel like you are playing Warhammer 40,000 with no index and a collection of early 20th Century models. I'll see if Ian fancies giving Chain of Command a try next time, he certainly has enough Belgians to field a platoon.

Here are more images from the game.