First up then is a straight 1915 Slugfest with a German Division assaulting French trenches near Verdun. The battle was deliberately restricted to a Regiment of Defenders as this keeps the table size down to a 2' x 4' which is a strange table size for most gamers when considering this will be a 3 Regiment Assault but reflects troop density and tactics in this year of the War.
French Defenders: (Using my Russians as Proxy units )
Regiment HQ Stand
- 37mm Infantry Gun Battery
- 3 Battalions each with:
- Hotchkiss MG
- 4 Infantry Companies.
- Regiment of 75mm Guns (3)
- Trench Mortar Battery
- 2 Regiments of 75mm Guns (3) (6 Fire Missions each)
3 Pillboxes (assumed provided on Divisional frontage by Engineer battalion)
24" of Trenches (First Line)
24" of Trenches (Second Line)
24" of Barbed Wire (10 Sections laid in one continuous strip)
12" of Barbed wire (5 Sections placed as required by the defender)
Division HQ Stand
4 Infantry Regiments, each with
- Regiment HQ Stand
- 3 Battalions each with:
- 4 Infantry Companies
- 3 Regiments 77mm Gun (3)
- 1 Regiment 105mm Howitzer (3)
- 1 Regiment 150mm Howitzers (2)
- 1 Super Heavy Regiment
- 2 Heavy Regiments
On Table forces set up (both sides) See GWSH map.
- French decided to go with 2 Battalions (at 50%) in the Front Line plus the two pillboxes containing the Bn MGs. The rest of the two forward Battalions were held in the Second line together with the Complete 3rd Battalion. The Bunker (containing the 37mm IG) and the final pillbox were in the second trench line with two battalions HQ and support. The idea would be to reinforce the threatened sector with reserves as soon as the German assault began.
- German idea was to lead with 2 Regiments into the first trench line and then pass through the two fresh regiments against the second line trench system supported by Div Arty.
I had 3 days Preliminary bombardment, I didn't extend it otherwise the French would have been allowed an additional regiment of troops.
So... Germans have, 1 SH Regt, 3 H Regts, and 4 Field Regiments to support the attack.
To destroy the Wire, I need the Field Regiments, while only the SH and H Regiments can damage the Bunkers and Pillboxes.
The defenders can replace 1/2 a stand of wire and on a roll of 4+ may replace a full stand (the rules let me replace 3 pieces per 2 engineer bases so 1 base can replace 1.5. As mine are double width I thought it sensible to give them a 50/50 chance of replacing a full stand.
Three days of 4 Field Regiments shooting gives me 12 shots so on average I might destroy 2 stands of wire. As hitting the same area twice causes a terrain effect, I may as well keep shooting and hope that day 3 will clear a path through.
Using the H Regiments against the Infantry should reduce the defenders firepower as they kill infantry 50% of the time. This then leaves the SH Regiment to 3 days to target 3 separate bunkers/pillboxes. Obviously this means I am aiming for the forward trench area.
Fire plan written off we go.......