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Friday, July 18, 2014

WWPD Sneak Peek: The Great War Pt IV- The Missions

by Eric Lauterbach and Steven MacLauchlan
The Great War Booklet contains three all new missions for the unique type of warfare representing WWI.  Also included are many new special rules designed to bring the feel of trench warfare to life...  but before you go anywhere there are some major changes right up front! First, all of the missions are played on a 4x4 table not 6x4 like normal, and the mission dictates where trenches go or even if they are present.  Another unique characteristic to WWI is that your army composition may decide if you attack or defend (as discussed in the overview).  Example if you choose “Stoss Platoons” you always attack, or if you choose “Field Batteries” you will always defend.  Of course there is still the roll off if you both end up the same. The missions presented in the booklet each use some (or all) of the following rules, reproduced in their entirety with permission from Battlefront.

Mission Special Rules

Preliminary Bombardment: All defending platoons on the table start the game Pinned Down.
Cratered Ground: Stationary Infantry Man-packed Gun teams count as being in Bullet-proof Cover while in Cratered terrain.
Overwhelming Force: When an Attacking platoon that is entirely made up of Infantry or Man-packed Gun teams is Destroyed, the Attacker may return it to play at the start of their next turn, representing a fresh platoon arriving to take over.

In the Starting Step after an Attacking platoon is Destroyed, but before Company Morale Checks, the platoon may be returned to play. The returning platoon is deployed anywhere in the Attacker’s Deployment Area.

The new platoon starts at the original strength of the Destroyed platoon. Only teams that are actually part of the platoon return in the new platoon. All Attachments, Warriors, and Independent Teams Destroyed with the platoon are permanently lost and do not return.

You do not need to wait for an Attacking platoon to be Destroyed. In your Starting Step, immediately before taking Company Morale Checks, you may elect to Destroy any or all Attacking platoons that are below half-strength. You may immediately bring the Destroyed platoons back again.

Treat the returning platoon as a totally new platoon. The old platoon still counts as being Destroyed for Company Morale Checks. If a platoon is Destroyed multiple times, it counts as multiple platoons being Destroyed.

New platoons do not add to the force’s overall platoons for determining Victory Points.
Trench Reserves: When a platoon arrives from Reserves, the owning player rolls a die to determine from which communication trench it will arrive. The mission map shows which trench the platoon will use for each roll. On a roll of 5 or 6, it will arrive anywhere along the owning player’s table edge.

A platoon arriving from Reserves at a trench, arrives anywhere along the table edge within 6”/15cm of either side of the trench.

Sometimes there is not enough room in the trenches to bring on a whole platoon from reserve. In this case the remainder of the platoon will queue up in the communications trench, ready to come forward.

A platoon may leave teams off the table when it arrives from Reserves. These may enter the table from Reserves (automatically) in the same location as the rest of the platoon in subsequent turns.
Flank Assault: In the Through the Mud and Blood mission, the attacker must divide their force into two assaults: the Main Assault and the Flank Assault.

The Main Assault must include at least half of all of the attacker's platoons, which must include at least half of all of the attacker's infantry platoons (those platoons containing only infantry teams).

The Flank Assault must include at least one platoon, but no more than half of the total number of attacking platoons.

Strategic Reserves
Tanks: The defender must hold all Armored Vehicles in Reserves.
Heavy Machine Guns: The defending player may replace all of the HMG teams in any or all of their
platoons with HMG bunkers. To do this the defender replaces:

  • One HMG team for an HMG nest, or
  • Three HMG teams for an HMG Pillbox

Doing this removes all other teams in the platoon from the game.

These Bunkers are Area Defences (see page 262 of the rulebook) and must be placed in the defenders Deployment Area at the start of the game before deployment.

Any HMG teams not replaced with HMG Nests or Pillboxes must be held in Reserves.
Guns and Artillery Batteries: The defending player may place any or all Light, Medium, Heavy, or Immobile Gun teams in Gun Pits.

All Command Gun teams and any artillery batteries Deployed in Gun Pits or Trenches begin the game on the table.

All other platoons or batteries with Light, Medium, Heavy, or Immobile Gun teams must be held in reserve.
All Remaining Platoons: After all Tanks, Heavy Machine-guns, and Guns have been allocated to either be Deployed on the table or to be held in Reserves, at least half of all remaining platoons must be held in Reserves.

Additional Mission Rules
Deciding Who Attacks: A force that includes a German Artillery Battery (page 18) or a British Field Battery, Royal Artillery (page 28) Always Defends against all other companies, no matter what other platoons are in the same force.

All other forces that include Stoss Platoons (page 16) or any Tank teams Always Attack.
Otherwise, use the normal Deciding Who Attacks procedure found on page 257 of the rulebook.
Great War Table Size: Great War Missions are played on a 4'x4' table.

The Big Push:  This is a classic WWI set-piece attack against a well prepared trench position.  The board is divided in half with the attacker getting half to deploy and the defender having the no mans land in his half.  The entire board is covered in  Cratered ground which is means stationary infantry and man packed guns count as in bullet proof cover. After deciding who is the attacker and defender the trench lines and wire go down.  The players do not decide the placement of objectives. The two objectives go 12” in and 12” over from the board edges and are the communication trenches running to the rear.  The defender places his forces using Reserves and Strategic reserves, and they arrive using the Trench Reserves special rule. The attacker gets the Overwhelming Force and the Preliminary Bombardment rule. The battle ends when the attacker takes an objective or after turn six when all attacking teams are out of the defenders trenches.

Through the Mud and Blood: This mission is a mobile battle similar to a Breakthrough mission.  The attacker has punched a hole in the flank and will appear behind you. After deciding the attacker and table sides and placing the trenches (which are pre-set by the scenario),  both players place one objective in a quarter of the table similar to breakthrough.  This mission uses the Flank Assault, Reserves and Strategic Reserves special rules.  It looks like this mission will be one of the more fun ones with a confused battle area. The attacker wins by taking the objective and the defender wins by holding out.

The Green Fields Beyond: Think free-for-all for this mission.  No trenches are on the table, and it is an open field fight.  You use the standard meeting engagement rules for this mission, place two objectives in the other guys area and go get them!

This concludes our comprehensive look at The Great War! We hope you're as excited as we are to take to No Man's Land (unless you want to live forever!) Check back soon as we work feverishly to get some armies painted and bring you some Battle Reports!

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