Mark and I returned to Great War Commander with a September 1914 scenario from the Battle Pack. It’s an interesting setup, with the Germans holding a village with two platoons and MG team, while the French storm it with eleven platoons. The Germans get five platoons and another MG team as reinforcements as soon as the original force is wiped out or the French take an objective. Unfortunately, I don’t think it went the way the designers envisioned….

I had the Germans, who set up on a re-worked board 7. The marsh is made into a graveyard, the quarry is gone, the woods are gone, three objective locations change, two buildings off towards the edge are burning, and random draws rubble half the main village. An interesting idea is all Air Assault orders are instead treated as Advance (and using one will also cause the German reinforcements to enter). Annoyingly, the G4 fountain only has its terrain defined in the special rules of the original scenario using this map, and it is not repeated here. I set up in a line in front of it, with the MG in the center. Mark lined up on the left side of the map (this is new—to us at least—as while the idea of using left and right sides as the friendly edges was obvious, we’d only seen top and bottom before), and started with Aerial Reconnaissance, which is something of a pain in the Vassal module, as you have to set aside the next Strategy Cards, as he gets to peek at them.

The action started as Mark Moved to the outskirts of the village. As the north flank moved, I OpFired to break most of the platoons involved, and one of the leaders. Some of them did get much closer, and one German platoon was suppressed by an event. During further Fire, Recall Leader came up, removing Lochow to the time track. This also put everyone out of cohesion. The south flank Moved up, with OpFire unable to halt them. Then an Advance brought him into melee with all three German platoons defeated.

And that’s where the wheels came off. One of the conditions for bringing in the German reinforcements is if they have no units on the map. But, the first time trigger happened in the middle of the final melee, bringing on Lochow as the only German unit on the map… and preventing the German reinforcements from coming on.

There followed a long dead stretch as I passed time, and Mark maneuvered for position and cards without actually taking an objective and triggering the reinforcements. I contemplated trying to attack with Lochow in melee (and bonus actions), but Mark got three platoons and Grenier off the map for 9 VP before I could act on the plan, leaving me with too much open space to cross.

Mark finally Moved to take objectives, and I was in business… huddled in the cover of the graveyard, and the French safely ensconced in the remains of the village. An Offensive put me in slightly better positions, but three platoons broke during it, and two time triggers happened, followed by a third on the French turn.

Further French Fire didn’t manage any more effects, and I managed a Rally to get everyone in good order again. I Fired, breaking Lt Tignous, but that was because I rolled a 12, and then back-to-back 12s from Mark finished the game with 25 French VP.


It’s an interesting idea for a situation, and the conditional German entry is good. I’m sure that no one anticipated that the Germans could be left with a single leader after losing the three starting platoons. Still, I would recommend changing the wording from ‘formations’ to ‘platoons’ in SSR 1. Also, repeat the SSR from Scenario 2 any time board 7 is used.

We’ve seen some rushes of time triggers before, but the end here was a new record with three in about four rolls. That said, I wasn’t likely to take location 5 (worth 12 VPs with our chits), nor do much else productive while heavily outnumbered, in worse terrain, and with a smaller hand size. So, I was just as happy to get it over with.