Squarebashing 2018 is to be held on Saturday 23rd June 2018, at Battlefieldhobbies in Daventry.
It will be a team event (entries permitting). The armies are divided into 2 Pools. In each team – one player plays allies, the other central powers. I have added forces from the Russian Civil War that are dated 1918+. I have added 2 neutral armies that can be fielded on the either side. Game pairings will ‘historical’ were possible, and avoid ‘same club’ where possible
The lists and statuses are
There will be 2 games, Team against Team (Allies vs Central Powers). For each game the sum of each team score will be added to the team total. The army points are 620pts (standard game)
To encourage using under valued armies the sum total of army rating will be deducted from final score.
The terrain will be pre set , other than that, its RAW. You have the option to use the ‘Rays Stick’ method for countdown to battle. There will be no trench, canal or fort games. All painted figures please, we want it to look nice!
Any questions can be raised to me at Simon@lurkio.co.uk or via the RFCM forum
I confess to coming a bit late to WWI wargaming and the Square Bashing system specifically. Well, I’m here now, and getting to grips with putting together an Italian army to drive back the wicked Central Powers.
Why the Italians? Well:
Nobody else has them in the BAD Club…there are worse reasons to collect an army!
Some great troop types: Bersaglieri, Alpini, and armour-clad Arditi (the latter classed as Stormtroopers);
Actually, they engagement in WWI is much more interesting than people think (see below).
The Italians in WWI
The stereotype of Italian involvement in WWI was the grinding slog on the Italian/Austrian frontier. Yes, in terms of sheer manpower, this was by far the most important contribution the Italians made. This front was largely in three unequal phases:
1915-17 The slow grinding Italian offensives against the Austrians, most famously on the Isonzo River, but also more interesting battles in the mountains of the Trentino. This phase of the Italian really a war of attrition;
Late 1917 The Carporetto Counter-offensive. With troops freed up by the surrender of Russia, and more importantly some help from the German army, the Austrians drove the Italians back to the gates of Venice. Over a third of the Italian army was captured or killed, and the leading general Cardona sacked;
1918 Eventual Victory. The Italians finally won an overwhelming victory over the Austrians at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, leading to an Austrian armistice.
But the italians were involved on other fronts, making them really interesting:
A volunteer expeditionary force sent to the Western Front in 1914-15 to aid the French, and some divisions in 1918 which saw action at the Second Battle of the Marne;
Putting down revolts in their newly established colonies in Libya and Eritrea;
A small expeditionary force to help the British in Palestine;
Most successfully, their offensive in the Balkans. They drove the Austrians out of Albania, and with the French and Serbians invaded Montenegro. They also sent a division to guard the Salonika Front.
Wargaming the Italian Army
Most accounts of the performance of the Italians characterise their troops as being very brave and dogged, but commanded by incompetent and often brutal officers (executions for desertions were rife). Their performance was not helped by their apparently poor use of artillery.
All of this is represented in the SB Army Lists. They have a good mixture of troop quality, but they have a Poor Higher command rating and below average artillery assets.
In terms of other stuff:
Armoured Units. They tended not to use tanks (apart from a few loaned by the French) but did make extensive use of the armoured car;
Mortars and light guns were better than their heavier artillery;
Good use of MGs;
An early adopter of aircraft. In fact, their bombing sorties in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911 was the first use of fixed wing aircraft in any conflict;
The aforementioned Arditi are classed as Stormtroopers in the lists;
As they were fairly late into the War they made limited use of cavalry.
In terms of uniform colours, the Osprey Men At Arms book on the period is one of the better ones, having a clear and unambiguous description of Italian uniforms and their colours.
My own army
I’ve always been a fan of the very quirky Irregular Miniatures, ever since first using them at the end of the 1980s. So I was pleased to see an extensive range of WWI Italians made by them.
I’m going to go:
1 Unit of Stormtroopers (Arditi)
2 Units of Professionals (Bersaglieri)
6 Units of Regular (in French-style helmets)
4 Units of Reservists (in after cloth hats)
4 pieces of artillery
A bunch of machine guns
1 Units of Cavalry
1 Heavy Armoured Car
This is a project which should take up the next few weeks, after which I’m looking forward to taking on my Austrian, German and Turkish opponents…
Walter Schnaffs is a version of Squarebashing to play the Franco Prussian war. Originally penned for SB v1 by Pierre Laporte . This is an updated version for Squarebashing 2012 by Ray Boyles , Richard Black and Simon Clarke.
This is not a complete set of rules. The full set of Squarebashing is required to play this game,
On 3rd June Martin (Peter Pig) held a day in which a group of players refought the 1917 Battle of Cambrai (specifically the 27th Nov)
The Battle of Cambrai was a British offensive and German counter-offensive battle in the First World War. Cambrai, in the Nord département(Nord-Pas-de-Calais), was an important supply point for the German Siegfriedstellung and capture of the town and the nearby Bourlon Ridge would threaten the rear of the German line to the north. Major General Henry Tudor, Commander, Royal Artillery (CRA) of the 9th (Scottish) Division, suggested trying out new artillery-infantry techniques on his sector of the front. During preparations, J. F. C. Fuller, a staff officer with the Tank Corps, was in the process of looking for a place to use tanks as raiding parties. General Julian Byng, commander of the British Third Army, decided to combine both plans into the attack.
Despite British success on the first day, mechanical unreliability, German artillery and infantry defences exposed the frailties of the Mark IV tank. On the second day, only about half of the original number of tanks were available. Subsequent British progress was limited.
The venue for the event was the Nothe Fort , which deserves a mention
Built by the Victorians to protect Portland Harbour, Nothe Fort is one of the best preserved Forts of its kind. Located at the entrance to Weymouth Harbour the Fort is a labyrinth of underground passageways and outdoor areas with stunning views of the Jurassic Coast. Constructed on three levels , which are easily accessed by means of a lift, the Fort is filled with displays, mammoth guns and cinema areas that chart the history of this large and magnificent Victorian structure which took 12 years to build.
So on beautiful June day we descended into the depth of the nuclear shelter to play our game.
The front was broken in 6 sections, each with a bespoke force and set terrain. The victory conditions were different to a normal SquareBashing game as the relatives sizes of the forces provides a target number. This target is what the allied has to beat to get what would count as a victory.
The forces were –
The tables were –
The teams were defined in advance , and the game would be played twice. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, with sides swapping so we get a accurate refection of the teams ability !
Here are some in games shots of the tables
For my part I fought on table E as Von Schussler , and with 4 units of reserves and a handful of machine guns was crushed by Stewart with the largest British force in the front. In The afternoon with the sides swapped I was on D as Douglas-Smith, and despite fierce assaults the Germans held on along the trench , with only a small breakthrough. I had two major loses contributing to the overall loss of my team
Games in Action
Martin explaining the nuances
more instructional advice
fierce fighting over the town in Le Pave.
lovely view for lunchtime!
Its no good Dene, 4 reservists won’t stop 6 tanks and 16 infantry
So, congratulations to –
Paul , Simon K, Dave , Dene Stewart and Miles as they won both of their respective games ! (British AM, German PM)
But everyone was a winner for taking part in a super day , as a great venue. Lets hope to see more of these!