Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Night Raid on the Trenches

Caught under a flare!

 Tonight Spike and I tried a few house rules to allow the chaos of a night action in No Man;s Land. I will run through the "scenario rules' here, and later this week post a turn by turn account of  a game using them.

First, no figures begin play on the board. Both sides were given sixteen wooden blocks, marked as such:one Commander, one Engineer, two Machine guns, six infantry, and six blanks. These are deployed, with their labels facing their baseline, like the pieces in Stratego.

The game is played using the standard rules in BBPW. As your side gets to move, roll for initiative, not counting your blank pieces.  The blanks can be moved on your turn, using an initiative point, though they can not fire, and if adjacent to an enemy Unit, they are removed. They are also removed if hit by enemy fire, or " Illuminated" by a flare.

Any "real" Unit may move on its turn. Firing  Units are revealed, and are placed on the board in place of their blocks.

Commanders have a new function; They can fire Flares, using the rules for Mortars. A flare does no damage, but the square it lands in is Illuminated, and any Unit that is in the square or moves through it is revealed and placed on the board. Units firing at a Unit in an Illuminated square receive a plus 1.
Flares stay in the target square for two turns.

Units firing at an unrevealed block DO NOT get a plus 1 bonus for not moving.

A pair of sample blocks on the table

The mechanics worked well to reflect the tendency to "fire at nothing"  or be pinned by a parachute flare.  What is missing, at this point, is a purpose for leaving the safety of your trench.  Over the next day or two,I plan to produce a set of six "Mission Cards" allowing slight variances in the force composition, and a Victory Goal for the individual player.  Both sides COULD be out trying to take a prisoner, by winning a close combat. One Could be trying to remove wire, while the other is trying to lay more.....You get the idea!  Once these are done, Spike and I will play one and give a turn by turn account with pictures.

I will also post an English Civil War battle report on Thursday.


  1. Most interesting and much to think about,I look forward to finding out more.

  2. Hi Steve,

    I am really looking forward to reading how this works - what a novel idea and one with all kinds of potential.

    Love those trench blocks as well.

    All the best,


  3. Play in the dark and put a small bulb in each terrain block to represent flares:-)

    1. Prince L, we are trying to find single LED bulbs to allow this!

  4. A very interesting number of ideas and I look forward to seeing them in action in the near future.

    All the best,


  5. To Any Readers:
    I have come up with a few Mission Cards, that will determine the number of troops, and blanks, that each side will field. So far I have:

    1.Lay wire.
    2. Remove wire.
    3. Take a prisoner(by winning a Close Combat and getting back home).
    4.Hold your ground. Passive defense.
    5.Infiltrate the enemy line. Must break the enemy morale.
    6.Blow something up. Must get engineers to target square, spend a turn planting charges, and roll for the blast.(Inspired by "Beneath Hill 60")

    If you have any other ideas for these mission Cards, PLEASE send them along. Thanks,