Saturday, 22 February 2014

Spearhead, or Baptism of Fire, circa September 1914

Well the end result of last night’s game of Great War Spearhead was a bit of a mullering for my poor poilu.  Despite the fact I was slaughtered by Alan’s gigantic Germans I really enjoyed our game. Possibly  the  most amusing  aspect of the whole encounter  was that  I could not  manage to call down any off board artillery  onto the Germanic steam roller.  
Creative Commons: C.C. BY-SA 3.0 Europeana 1914-1918

The defeat was mainly down to poor leadership on my part and by advancing my regiment  of green  troops on the left right into the face of German guns. Then by handing the advantage to my advisory and allowing him to move first in the next turn. This resulted in the regiment being decimated in a round of withering rifle fire which killed over half of them. Furthermore we should not forget Alan’s strategic brilliance to take advantage and exploit my tactical errors and storm the left flank achieving both centre table objectives.

My 10mm French feeling a little exposed with German flanking manoeuvre complete.
The German Regiment "Alsace" successfully taking their objective in the foreground.

The first response was to attempt to withdraw my remaining units to safety which  in retrospect would have been the better option. I will argue that  permission to withdraw was  refused  by  someone  higher up in the chain of command.  Instead I attempted to stem the advance by sending  a unit of brave if inappropriately dressed  cuirassiers across to the quickly disintegrating flank.  Sadly for me and them Alan’s eagle eyed artillery spotters saw them riding over the crest of the hill and dropped a well-placed shell on them. By the time they contacted the enemy’s flanking force there was one stand left, they killed the lead enemy stand before routing off.      

On reflection for the close on the enemy and slug it out tactic to be successful the French would need to outnumber the Germans around three to one. This is an expensive way of winning a battle.   

A wider view of the terrain showing the German start line behind "one tree hill"

A battalion of the Brandenburg Regiment controlling  the sugar factory objective     

Next time a more measured approach should be taken and keep the élan and flare up my sleeve for the coup de grace.