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The second scenario has the Germans launch their first ever gas-supported assault (against Algerians on the other side). This uses one map, which after setup has grey and blue lines of units running across it. The Germans have to cross the trenches and exit on the other side of the map.



After the initial gas barrage (with special rules since there are no gas masks on the other side), the blue side was very thin on the ground (there is a 2/3 chance of a platoon covered by the gas barrage to be eliminated).

DSCF4747


However, the Germans have to cross minefields between the trenches and the German player proceeded to roll sixes (which eliminate German units in the minefield) in about 30-40% of cases. Also, the Germans tried running, but since most were killed or Pinned in their first minefield hex that did not carry them further and only ensured that they had to rest the next turn as well. Some more suffered from the initial French artillery barrage, and what was worst, the minefields and barrages killed all the German Forward Observers. In the meantime, French reinforcements came up, and with the Germans, slowly and under losses pushing forward in the French trenches, unable to release their second gas barrage, it was clear that they would not manage to bring the required number of platoons out into the open on the other side (much less to the map edge), so the German player conceded.



There was not all that much strategy evident in our play, but it was interesting enough to be tried again (in particular since the Germans can probably find some crossings where there is less of a minefield than elsewhere). In particular, calling in artillery barrages on later turns is a quite laborious process (appropriately so). It seems advantageous to start artillery barrages somewhere behind the enemy lines, because keeping up Standing Fire is much more likely to keep the artillery going than calling for new hexes on later turns. (Of course if you eliminate almost everyone in the trenches on the first turn, that will not help you as your fire will have to fall further back.)

The game is pretty involved (and the sequence of play is amazingly involved) but still tends to move relatively quickly, presumably in part since we have not had a scenario that actually had lots of infantry, artillery, tanks, and aircraft together. The main drawback we found is the lack of markers - one needs Fired and Moved markers and we used some TCS markers for the former purpose. We also used some TCS smoke markers (since barrage markers hang around till the next turn, but there are only four for both sides in the whole countermix).

[Note this was played in 2003, thus the low-res images. When I recently posted it on CSW, Kerry Anderson pointed out the following: "I was immediately struck by this scenario though as being... mis-representative. The gas was released by cylinders against the Algerians and French Territorials and resulted in a complete rout. There was no fighting that afternoon as the Germans were shocked by the effectiveness of their own weapon. They timidly advanced over the vacated French trenches and dug in as soon as they reached their prescribed objectives."

A Perry Moore scenario that does not represent reality well, sadly nothing new. In other words, it can only be taken as a generic tactical puzzle, certainly not a representation of that particular battle. We didn't know that when we played back then, so I put it to the table again within a couple of days.

Original AAR on Web-Grognards, together with the previous AAR of Scenario 17.1:

https://grognard.com/reviews1/landships1.txt ]
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