In this series of Action Points, we will be taking a look inside The Great War (Centenary Edition) from PSC Games, which is a lite wargame that uses the Commands and Colors System for World War I scenarios, which relies on cards and dice to move the action along.
In Action Point 1, we took a look at the Command Card System and how the cards are used to drive the action. In Action Point 2, we will look at the different units represented by really cool 15mm sculpted plastic minis that all have unique capabilities.
The forces that players control on the battlefield are represented by these really great highly detailed 15mm plastic miniatures, that come already popped off the sprue. Each side has their own colored units with the British being brown while the Germans are grey. These units are called Battlefield Soldier Units and then there are also a few special units as well, such as the Bomber figurine and the Reserve Artillery. We will take a very quick look at each of these types and their capabilities.
An Infantry unit consists of four soldier figures carrying rifles. These are your bread and butter units and will make up a majority of your forces in any given scenario. The Infantry unit has a range of 4 hexes and is shown as follows: (3), 2, 1, 1. The number is parenthesis is the Close Combat Value and there is no Ranged fire allowed into that adjacent hex. The other numbers represent the number of dice at varying ranges. 2 dice at 2 hexes distance, but only 1 dice at range 3 and 4. An Infantry unit can move 1 hex and still battle at the listed range, or move 2 hexes but will be unable to then fire.
The best ranged unit is the Machine Gun. A Machine Gun team consists again of four soldier figures made up of one Machine Gun with a gunner and three additional crew member figures, including a loader and a few carrying boxes of ammunition. The Machine Gun unit has a range of 5 hexes and is shown as follows: (3), 3, 3, 1, 1. Their Close Combat value of 3 makes them just as good as Infantry in close but they can bring 3 dice to bear on enemy units up to 3 hexes away but they lose power down to only 1 dice over 4 hexes. An ordered Machine Gun unit cannot perform a ranged combat if it has moved.
The Machine Gun unit can also cross fire with other Machine Gun units. This means that two or more units can target the same unit and roll all ranged combat dice at the same time. This is beneficial because the concentrated fire will minimize the benefit of terrain such as trenches and allow fir maximum hits to be scored. It is not uncommon for such a tactic to take out an entire full strength enemy Infantry unit even when they are entrenched.
The unit that has the greatest range is the Mortar unit. A Mortar team consists again of four soldier figures made up of one Mortar with a loader and three additional crew member figures carrying shells. The Mortar unit has a range of 6 hexes and is shown as follows: (3), 2, 2, 2, 1, 1. The Mortar unit does not need line of sight to target an enemy unit and this can be very powerful as you can attack units located behind fortifications that obscure their locations. Mortars can also be used to clear out wire as when a Burst symbol is rolled wire will be removed without creating a crater. An ordered Mortar unit cannot perform a ranged combat if it has moved.
This special unit can be added to a normal Infantry unit to give it additional capabilities. If this unit is present when the Infantry unit attacks at range 2 hexes, the Deadly Die face, which is a skull, will also remove soldier units. In addition to this ability, when the Bomber figure is present in a Close Combat, one additional die will be rolled. Each army has three of these special personnel figures. The special unit figure does not count as a unit that can be removed to satisfy losses and must stay with the unit it is assigned to at the beginning of the scenario.
I really like having to figure out how to best use your units and their capabilities to overcome the enemy in this game. There are lots of choices and it keeps me engaged in the gameplay. In our next Action Point, we will take a look at an example of Ranged Combat as well as an example of Close Combat.