241 - Verdun (Bois Des Caures) - 21-22 February 1916
German General Falkenhayn’s plan for the Verdun Offensive was aimed at securing positions in the Verdun sector, which were of such great pride to the French that they would in his words be “blooding themselves dry” to hold onto these and counterattack to retake any positions that were lost. After the German initial bombardment, three German Corps went over the top against the French in the Verdun sector. This sector had been stripped of many of its defenses to supply more active sectors, yet Driant’s 56th and 59th Chasseurs somehow managed to recover after the bombardment and held out for almost two days before the German attack finally overwhelmed them.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
Victory Medals: 6
- 1 Medal for each unit eliminated.
- Each of the three bunkers are a Start Turn Permanent Medal Objective for the German forces.
- The German forces gain 1 Permanent Victory Medal for each unit that succeeds in breaking through and exits the battlefield from the French baseline.
- The German forces are racing against time. The French player, when playing a “Recon” command card, may take a Victory Medal and draw only one command card, instead of drawing two command cards.
- German player does the No-Man’s-Land shelling roll.
Tom used "Infantry Assault" cards to attack in the centre initially, quickly getting a foothold in the French trenches. With the French units spread around, I couldn't counter-attack in any strength.
My machine-gun in the bunker took out a couple of German units, but couldn't stop Tom's next attack on my left, taking said bunker. I'd played a couple of 'Recon 1' cards that kept the scores level at 5:5, but Tom got the next medal to win 6:5.
Switching sides, Tom's choice of Special personnel was the extra figure for the machine-gun unit in the bunker.
My starting hand included a "Whistles & Bugle Calls" card. This says "...issue an order to a group of battlefield units in adjacent, linked and contiguous hexes". Hmm, how big is a group? All the German units are in adjacent, linked and contiguous hexes... Of course, the result of this was to leave most of the German forces standing in no man's land, which would have been catastrophic if the first French trench had been more fully defended.
My next trick was to use a "Short Supply" Combat card to remove the souped-up French machine gun from the bunker so that I could just walk in. Tom was not happy as German troops swarmed into the French trenches.
Fighting in the tranches went back and forth, but I was able to swap out damaged units for full strength ones. That kept Tom down to two medals as I reached six for the win.
It's an entertaining scenario, though I think the odds are with the Germans. They certainly won both times in our case and the aggregate score was 11:8 to me. (Full report - with photos - on BGG: boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/109660 )