The Great War 1914-18

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The Great War 1914-18

Postby Luoshangzhi » 04 Mar 2014, 18:38

2014 is the centennial of the start of the Great War in Europe. The Early War armies offer up the potential for large tabletop armies and colorful uniforms, while the mid to later war period offers all sorts of support weapons up to and including tanks. This was a global conflict that saw the introduction of many firsts, and IMHO offers up plenty of scope for 28mm wargaming even on the Western Front where by 1918 the situation had become increasingly fluid first during the final German offensive, then during the final months of the war once the American Expeditionary Force had become involved on a mass scale in the Argonne.
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby Lonnie » 04 Mar 2014, 20:44

That's a war that I find fascinating. Thanks for the input.
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby morrigan » 06 Mar 2014, 10:16

Late WW1 on the Western Front is a period that has really caught my interest lately as well.
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby mrinku » 07 Mar 2014, 01:49

Would also love to see WGF have a go at this one. Victrix has announced they will be doing these later in the year.
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby Luoshangzhi » 07 Mar 2014, 15:46

morrigan wrote:Late WW1 on the Western Front is a period that has really caught my interest lately as well.



The battles of 1918 beginning with the Kaiserschlacht offensive until the end were increasingly more fluid in a way not seen since 1914 on the Eastern Front. Tanks, light automatic weapons, hand grenades, rifle grenades, trench mortars, flamethrowers, and the stosstruppen tactics the Germans developed had all changed the tactical ground combat environment in a profound manner, such that for purposes of 28mm wargaming at the man-to-man level there is plenty of scope for large tactical level battles.

A typical infantry platoon of 1918 would have multiple automatic rifles or light machine guns, hand grenades, rifle grenades, and even be accompanied by heavy machine guns or trench guns in support. Allied troops especially the French and Americans could have light tanks -the Renault FT-17- in support as well.

A fast build yet reasonably detailed and accurate FT-17 in 1/56 (28mm) scale would be a very handy model for collectors, historical gamers, and even sci-fi gamers and model builders, as nearly 3,000 of them were built during the Great War, and many hundreds soldiered on into conflicts between the World Wars, through WW2, and some even turned up in Afghanistan as static pill boxes earlier this century(!).

Squad boxes such as already are in production for WW2 would be the perfect building blocks for WW1 gamers in 28mm. A selection of head options including wearing gas masks would be ideal, with the necessary rifles, light automatic weapon(s), and etc. to build out a pair of typical rifle squads would be near perfect. If extra weapons and bit to covert some of the figures into trench raiders/stosstruppen were included, so much the better. My suggested configurations would be:


*Germans. M1915 stahlhelms, gas mask containers, KAR 98 rifle, MP18 sub machine gun, Luger pistol with snail drum, MG 08 "light" machine gun, ammo containers for MG '08, potato masher grenades, empty sandbags used as grenade bags for stosstruppen, entrenching tools including a couple of the sharpened variety as improvised melee weapons, bayonets, and a flamethrower to convert two figures to a Pioneer Flammenwerfer team.

*French. M1915 Adrian helmets, gas mask containers, Lebel and/or Berthier rifles, VB rifle grenade launcher mounted on a Lebel rifle, Chauchat automatic rifle, spare Chauchat magazines, hand grenades, bayonets (these should be thickened to prevent breakages, as the actual Lebel epee bayonet was itself very thin and annoyingly fragile, entrenching tools, a selection of improvised melee weapons, and a double barreled shotgun for trench raiding.

*American. M1 trench helmets, gas masks (these can be the same as the French or British set depending upon the model chosen), Springfield rifles, VB rifle grenade launcher on Lebel rifle, Chauchat automatic rifle, spare Chauchat magazines, sawn off lever action shotgun, grenades, bayonets, M1911 pistols.

*British. Trench helmets, gas masks, Lee Enfield rifles, Lewis machine gun, spare Lewis magazines, grenades, rifle grenade launcher, double barreled hunting shotgun, revolvers, improvised melee weapons.

Certain weapons were interchangeable, such as the Lewis gun (used by German stosstruppen in preference to the heavier, clumsier MG '08), and the Chauchat (used by both the French and the AEF). Gas masks used by either the British or the French were used by the Doughboys and Marines in the AEF. The same for hand grenades. Captured German flamethrowers were turned on their former owners by both the French and the Americans on a number of occasions. French troops could double as the tough colonial troops of the Armee de Afrique, including the Legion Etranger (Foreign Legion) with the simple expedient of painting them in mustard khaki rathe than horizon blue:

Image

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Some examples of trench raiders and experimental trench armor:


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Of course, WF could go a bit on the wild side, and issue U.S. Marines in their distinctive tunics and trousers:


Image
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby crazyharborc » 07 Mar 2014, 19:48

Somebody send this guys post to the mold makers at WGF! A set of generic bodies, plus weapons and a selection of heads. A box of specialty weapons tools, body parts....Oh heck, a box of bodies and a couple of sprue sets of add-ons, conversions galore could be done.

I would be very interested in making two armies. Perhaps those armies would have allies, squads and companies. Whole other armies. Hundreds nay thousands of new miniatures...hahahahahahaha...OH YEAH :lol:
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby Strawhat » 07 Mar 2014, 20:30

You had me at M1 and 1911! I could use those as some serious conversion bits (sorry, not a historic gamer).

The shotgun was an added bonus.
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby Luoshangzhi » 08 Mar 2014, 12:25

Strawhat wrote:You had me at M1 and 1911! I could use those as some serious conversion bits (sorry, not a historic gamer).

The shotgun was an added bonus.



Play Call of Cthulhu? You'll want U.S. Marines in late war kit (just grab the BARs from the WW2 U.S. G.I.s set, as by the 1920s we'd ditched the much maligned Chauchats) for dealing with those pesky Tcho-Tcho People/Cthulhu cultists in the South Pacific (or those dinosaurs on a long forgotten island that everybody thought was just a myth). Same for French troops in late war kit straight out of the box for the Rif War or dealing with Sand Dwellers or ghouls defending their master's tomb/lair somewhere in the deserts of North Africa.

Troops in late WW1 kit and uniform will work for a bunch of interwar conflicts as well:

Rif War

Banana Wars

Chinese Civil War/Yangtze Patrol (ever seen the movie The Sand Pebbles?)

Irish War of Independence

Irish Civil War

Russian Civil War


For alternative settings, besides things such as a War of the Worlds invasion set in the 1920s, there's Pulp Fiction, conversions to make Warhammer 40k alternative Imperial Guardsmen, and ImagiNation conflicts using a Great War technological base (Duck Soup's war between Freedonia and Sylvania, anyone?).

Lots of uses for sets of late WW1 infantry with the appropriate kit, especially the French in fact, who had plenty of uprisings in their North African colonies during the 1920s in addition to the Rif War that was a major conflict requiring deployment of aircraft and tanks to finally put down the revolt of the brothers Krim and their followers among the Rif.
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby EthanJT21 » 08 Mar 2014, 16:26

Ok, love the idea of WW1. However, if this is done I demand copious amounts of MOUSTACHES
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Re: The Great War 1914-18

Postby mrinku » 08 Mar 2014, 21:23

Just make sure any French sprue can be kitted out as Legion. You'll sell 'em hand over fist! :)
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