Setting up the game
- Select a battle from the scenario book. First time players should play the first couple of scenarios “Opening Action 1” and then “Opening Action 2”. These are non-historical scenarios and are expressly designed to introduce players gradually to the basics of WWI trench warfare.
- Each scenario specifies which army is at the top or bottom of the battlefield, and players should sit on the side closest to the army they will command.
- Place the terrain hexes and wire tokens on the battlefield, as indicated by the scenario map.
- Place the units onto the battlefield, matching the various units’ positions to the scenario map. Each unit symbol on the map represents an entire unit of figures on the battlefield.
- Each player takes a Victory Medal Card and places the card next to their board edge.
- Each player takes a numbered reserve artillery token, as indicated in the scenario notes, and places it next to their board edge with its proper strength number facing up.
- Shuffle the command card deck thoroughly and deal the number of command cards to each player, as indicated by the scenario notes. Keep the command cards a secret from the opposing player. Set the remaining deck of command cards facedown alongside the game board.
- Shuffle the combat card deck thoroughly and deal the number of combat cards to each player, as indicated by the scenario notes. Keep the combat cards a secret from the opposing player. Set the remaining deck of combat cards facedown alongside the game board.
- Create a common pool of HQ tokens, alongside the battlefield near the deck of combat cards. Each player takes the number of HQ tokens from the common pool as indicated by the scenario notes and places them next to their board edge.
- Set the WWI battle dice, targeting dice, targeting templates, and the Victory Medal tokens alongside the battlefield near the deck of command cards.
- Review all special rules and victory conditions that apply to the scenario.
- Prior to the start of a battle, when No-Man’s-Land Shelling rules are in effect for the scenario, the starting player will roll for the shelling of No-Man’s-Land, to determine the placement of shell craters.
No-Man’s-Land Shelling Procedure
The starting player will roll the shelling of No-Man’s-Land. The scenario map will indicate with a series of arrows at the side of the scenario map, which rows are No-Man’s-Land rows and will be shelled.
Starting with the row closest to enemy, one targeting die is rolled. Counting each hex, going left to right, place a crater on the hex of the number rolled. Roll the die again. Starting with the next hex in the row, count the hexes and place a crater on the hex of the number rolled. Repeat this procedure until the number rolled takes the count off the right side of the battlefield. Working toward the starting player, complete the same procedure for all rows indicated as No-Man’s-Land.
When placing a shell crater, the following rules must be observed:
- When it is a countryside hex, place a shell crater on the hex.
- When wire is on a hex, the wire token is removed and a shell crater is placed on the hex. The wire token can be flipped over so the image of shell crater is showing.
- When a unit or any terrain is on a hex, the hex is still counted, but no shell crater is placed.
- The starting player, as indicated in the scenario notes, takes the first turn to begin play.
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