Breaking the Hindenberg Line by the 46th (North Midland) Division September 1918


In response to Andy Dumelow’s initiative “Marking 11/11/11”,

‘The publication of the IWM volume on 1918, complete with jacket cover depicting the 137 Brigade on the banks of the St Quentin canal , has firmly placed in the reading public’s mind the 46th Division’s breaking of the Hindenburg Line as the epitome of the revival of British Arms at the end of the war. It also provides a central plank in the revisionist arguments in favour of a “learning curve”. As Brian Bond has argued, the “learning curve” has become an orthodoxy for military historians whilst public perceptions remain fixed on the Somme. The breaking of the Hindenburg Line is important to revisionists because, unlike at Amiens, the key breakthrough was achieved by an ordinary English “county” division not one of the elite formations, such as the Canadian Corps, that had spearheaded the assault of 8 August.’ #

We have an opportunity to recognise this important contribution by units local to the catchment area of our club; 137 Brigade North & South Staffs, 138 Brigade Lincs & Leics & 139th Brigade Sherwood Foresters.  I am prepared both to sort out a Square Bashing scenario and to put together suitable memorial words, including a note on this local division at the Eleventh Hour.

As to timing, we have at least two choices:
1) To re-enact the SB scenario on club night Thu 27th September 2018.
2) To re-enact a larger /longer scenario on Sat 10th November, subject to room availability.
Either way I propose that some of us at least attend the Stretton War Memorial; if on a Thursday perhaps just before the start of club night.

Responses, commitment & ideas please.

# [Simon Peaple, Mud, Blood & Determination: The History of the 46th (North Midland) Division in the Great War. 2015 p146]


Square Bashing The Battle of Amiens

Proposal for BAD game Thu 9th August 2018
The Battle of Amiens, which began on 8 August 1918, was the opening phase of the Allied offensive later known as the Hundred Days Offensive that ultimately led to the end of the First World War.

I propose that we mark this by utilising Scenario 4 on the back page 64 of the Square Bashing Army List Book.

If you are interested in taking part and/ or can provide relevant figures then please let me know ASAP with details and composition of your LW British & German armies. Depending on this response we will run 1, 2 or 3 tables of the Peter Pig scenario exactly as written played side by side.


MeG – Aztec vs Purépecha AAR

With the Meso American lists just coming out and Dene rebasing his collection it seemed like a good idea to have a go at some Aztec warfare in MeG. So, as a showcase and demo combined, the opposing sides were Aztec vs Purépecha Empire. The lists were as follows.

The pre battle was not really of importance. Both armies are predominately loose foot. The Purépecha Empire have a regular command structure, so have more options to manoeuvre , but rely on shooting. The Aztecs are instinctive, but with formed troops so are reasonable able to counter any tricksy out manoeuvre. Being professional the Purépecha really had the control of the PB phase, however with 8 cards chose to hang onto the best the scouting phase . The Aztecs with 5 had no choice and actually got to move away from the chosen dense coastline and the battle took place on an open ‘plain’ in Mexico.

With a might 1 Aztec scouting card vs Purépecha 2 , the Aztecs – who while attacking – were out-scouted by 60% so 8 Ugs were deployed. It was a simple but brutal plan. The Aztec centre had the 4 big blocks of 9 mixed groups of Military order, Priest with Calpolli bringing up the rear. This was a solid chunk of the centre of the board. With some age wisdom, a thin line of expendable skirmishers were deployed across the whole of the front line to protect the more best (and most vulnerable) base form the long range shooting from the Purépecha.

The Purépecha faced this off with their own best fighting troops , 2 TuGs of Best Tiacham (Superior Dev Chargers) , Otomi (avg Dev Chargers), and the hastily raised Tiacham (Avg Dev Charger – but unprotected). Flanked on both side by stodgy archers , the Purépecha were actually far more numerous. But the the table was creaking by the amount of warrior on both sides.

The game has no subtly. Both armies lumbered towards each other. It is a testimony to the rules that the different period have a very different feel within the same rules framework. None of the free-wheeling charging lancers or horse archery here. The subtly of if these armies is all about the various troops types in the battle line. The Aztecs have the most ‘complex’ TuGs that MeG allows with 3 types. With a central base of exceptional Cuachque or Warrior priests who are a devastating charger types, flanks by Military order suit wearers – who are superior , melee experts with a shoot and charge with their darts. The rear ranks are composed of lesser Calpolli. The ideal plan being lead with the Priests trying to get the shatter , which then boosts the suits wearers either side. A protracted melee denuding the best front rank would mean that the lesser troops would be exposed and whole group would likely fall. The Purépecha have similar formations with the city archers having a ‘thin crust’ of superior shielded archers, before the soft under belly of unprotected troops at the rear.

The armies clashed. The dice dictated that the shooting was rather lack lustre, and the charge even more so , with 20+ devastating charge across the board 1 single shatter was achieved! and that was on the end of a file!

Some Aztec Calpoli on the flank did break from resulting arrow fire, followed by a base for base trade off between 2 rate troops. However the centre was grim for the Purépecha. With a spectacular fail in the charge the hastily raised braves were no match for the Aztec military order. (average , unprotected vs Superior , protected , melee expert … a white vs red fight was only going to end one way!

When time was called the score ended up as 8 vs 4 in favour of the Aztecs. We had played slowly taking through all the interactions , but given more time it was like for an Aztec triumph.

Interesting, along aside the dark ages battles , these games have a lot of flavour. The complexity is at the micro level in careful selection of the fights , and critical turn phases. These games are IMHO the hardest in MeG , and will take longer! Probably the armies could’ve been smaller, but BAD wargamer megalomania had to get all the toys on the table.