I decided that we would try a play test of the first scenario in the upcoming Great War Spearhead scenario book, the Battle of Mulhouse, 9 August 1914.
We played the game using my 6mm WW1 forces, mostly Irregular Miniatures figures and guns.
Keith and I commanded the German forces, and Jon commanded the French. The situation is that a German infantry division is counter attacking to retake an area lost in an earlier French attack, and currently defended by the French with two infantry regiments supported by two regiments of 75s,
|The French defence on the right. A significant feature of the French defence is the railway line and embankment. I lacked suitable scenery and so marked the embankment with string.. as you do.|
|The Germans decided on a full divisional attack directly towards Cernay and the bridge. The bridge is the only crossing point on the river. The German forces are arrayed on the left of the photograph.|
|The French defended Cernay.|
|The view from behind the French defence. Jon deployed one regiment defending Cernay and the bridge, the other on his right (out of view) awaiting what he believed would be a German flank attack.|
|The right hand German regiment deploying to engage in a firefight with the defenders occupying the outskirts of Cernay (top right of the photo).|
|The French defenders waiitng.|
|The German regiments combined an extensive firefight woth direct assault to eliminate the French defenders in the outskirts of Cernay, before finally assaulting Cernay itself. The assault has just gone in and is yet to be resolved.|
|WIth Cernay in German hands, Keith began bringing down indirect fire on the French defenders behind the railway embankment.|
At this stage we ran out of game time. Not for us the victory of the German division on the day, and ignominy for the French commander. Jon had kept us back across the river.
The scenario offered the option of a flank march for the German division, but the issue of command zones meant that to do so would mean one German regiment isolated across the river, and open to defeat in detail. Hence our decision to keep the division together, concentrated for its assault on Cernay and the river crossings. The flank march option seemed to us to create more tactical dilemmas than we had the forces to deal with.
The scenario offers some interesting challenges for both commanders. For me it was a welcome return to one of my favourite rules sets, and periods, for wargaming after a long break filled with distraction.
We will be playing much more in the months to come.