A bit ago Mark and I cycled back to Great War Commander with the final Mons scenario from the British expansion. After attacking last time, I had the British as they defend a large sanatorium where the battalion HQ is. Somewhat oddly, while the description mentions a cemetery, which is on the board, the special rules mention its treated as open ground, even though cemeteries are also a terrain type….

At any rate, I set up my one hex of wire at the central crossroads/victory location, with four platoons covering it. Another platoon was on top of the west hill to cover another location, three more covered the east location in buildings, and the rest, along with the one MG was in the sanatorium and on the adjacent hill. I wasn’t really happy with this setup, and I was probably trying to cover too much, but I didn’t like leaving any avenues of approach too open.

The interesting part of the scenario is the Germans start with ten platoons randomly chosen between landwehr and fusiliers. All but one leader is also randomly chosen. And every odd turn, they can draw random reinforcements. Mark broke into two groups, a small one on the west, and a longer string in the east. The entire line shuffled forward by moving up with three Advance card. Fire then caused a couple suppressions before Moving towards the eastern objective (2). More Movement got him close to the objective (this was helped by High Command Meddling).

I tried an Offensive in the west, moving out of the too-light cover of the hedge around the graveyard, and going for the orchard north of it. Sadly, the “big” fire attack I had was negated with a Probe. Mark conducted an Offensive in the east, wrapping around my positions, but the only result of his fire was play of Hidden Position to put an 18-pdr in M5.

I Advanced in the west, but an Ambush broke my platoon that went into melee, and I lost them and Major Wells, and put that entire area out of cohesion. I Fired in the east, trying to use the 18-pdr as a sniper weapon, and broke Lt Lochow and his platoon, but couldn’t get any results with follow-up fire, and the lieutenant Recovered. More Fire eliminated the platoon, and broke Lt Herzler and his platoon, …and also got the time to 3, and Mark brought in another six platoons; two in the east corner with the new Lt Rommel, and four in the west, already in range of Hptm Waldau.

Mark Recovered everyone, and then Fired, getting no result, but a sniper broke my west hill platoon, and another time trigger happened (all three so far had been British). Also, Aftragstaktic came up, which let him get Waldau and a platoon into one of my positions in the orchard and eliminate my platoon. He then Moved in the west, and I broke a lead platoon with some OpFire. He then Moved in the east, drawing the noose tighter, and I had nothing to do.

I Recovered, which got rid of a lot of built-up suppression, and rallied the hilltop garrison. Mark Moved up to the hilltop position (1), and towards the graveyard. I tried to halt Waldau with Hidden Wire (this had worked fairly spectacularly in our first game), but he countered it with an immediate Engineering Works. Advance got him into all three positions in the east, and took out two of the three (including Lt O’Donnel) in melee, with Herzler becoming veteran in the process. Also, he ran out of cards to take us to time 5, and he brought in another three platoons with Lt Ruhberg.

Offensive let him creep up in the west, with the fire breaking my last platoon in the orchard. Fire from everyone else over there broke the hilltop position again, and eliminated the broken platoon in the orchard (…I had finally gotten a Move, and had been about to get him out of trouble in the gully). More Fire in the east did nothing, but got me an Offensive through High Command Meddling, which I used to get my remaining platoon in the graveyard back towards the sanatorium. But then more Fire finished off the hilltop garrison, which took me to my surrender limit.


Overall, this was a fairly frustrating scenario. I spent most of my time feeling unable to do anything.

Now… there were some things I did do, and one of them ended in disaster. That… is the price of doing business. Charging forward into the orchard was risky, but without that action to break my platoon in melee, it would have paid off well.

I’m finding the more I play GWC, the more critical of it I get. With only four cards as the defender, I feel like there’s a lack interesting choices, when all too often your only choice is to discard a completely useless hand. This is a more acute version of the problem I see too often on offense.

Part of it may be that ASL and SFB have trained me well to maneuver. And… without move cards, which it feels like I too often am, you can’t maneuver. As either side, but especially as the defender you feel herded into a siege mentality, even when it’s not appropriate. There’s a lot to like in the system, but, it does rub me the wrong way.