Le Mort Homme, Verdun 1916

All the recent 1918-2018 coverage and a visit to Ypres got me thinking about gaming ww1 again, so I got the 12mm collection out of the loft and set up a decent-sized game of Square Bashing. SB is a rather clever set of Peter Pig rules intended for recreating large scale battles, and indeed definitely makes you feel rather like a divisional commander when the promised bombardment either turns up late or falls short onto your own troops! Last night’s game was unusual in that my battle plan actually came together…

As Tom WD (who owns a fine British force) couldn’t make it, we used my French and German forces to recreate one of the grimmest parts of one of the grimmest battles of the Great War – the German attacks on the hill known as the Mort Homme at Verdun in May 1916. The Germans ‘simply’ had to capture the village of Cumieres and two positions on the crest of the hill. Sam took the French, I was to play the Germans for a change.It didn’t start well as my artillery barrage made only a limited impact on the French positions, with all the best quality units remaining at their posts; Sam showed his usual ability to roll 6s as no less than 4 of his reserve units turned up on the first turn!

However, as the game progressed, I was able to mount a large flank attack on the open right of the hill, and a smaller one to the left. Surviving a number of French barrages (frequently inaccurate), my Germans managed to storm the two positions on top of the hill and surround the village of Cumieres, forcing its surrender at the end of the game. It was a very enjoyable game with a good ww1 vibe, as ever, and a great rarity to see an attacking force win so decisively – though I have to say that I was aided by the tardy French reinforcements and inaccurate shooting in the last few turns! I’ll definitely play again soon – maybe British and Germans next time?

The 12mm figures used are from the excellent range by Kallistra and available here: https://www.kallistra.co.uk/

Peter Pig publish the Square Bashing rules and also manufacture a huge range of 15mm metal miniatures: https://www.peterpig.co.uk/

The two planes used are 1:144 pre-painted models from the Wings of Glory range.

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