The Battle of the Serre Road

On 29th March 1918 the German Spring offensive ‘Michael’ was well underway. The British Expeditionary Force was in retreat and there was a dangerous gap forming in the front of the Third Army. Into this gap was thrown the best reserves possible – the Australians and New Zealanders. On the 29th the 1st Rifle battalion made the initial contact at an old Sugar Factory. This Battalion was hard pressed until the arrival of the 2 Auckland battalions and the 2nd Rifle battalion. These troops were tasked with capturing the Serre ridge and linking up with  the 4th Aussie Division at Hebuterne.

This scenario is based on the Aucklander’s attack on the Serre ridge. There was a ridgeline where the Germans had established themselves, a hollow in front of it, at the top of which was a hedgeline, and behind which was a sunken road. The Aucklanders pushed through the hedgeline and took the defences on the right, but were slower closer to the road and had to wait until dark for success. I’ve set up the terrain as below:

The New Zealand player has to capture the defences on the Serre ridge (20 victory points each) and La Signy farm (40 points). The German player (remember this is still the great German offensive – they are attacking too!) needs to capture the Sugar Factory and the bend in the sunken road (40 points each). At the end of the game, the player with the most scoring units in  objectives, or who last occupied those objectives (allowing troops to attack and pursue the enemy rather than simply holding ground), will count those points. Casualties are immaterial for victory points.

Dan and I will play this tomorrow morning. I’ll let you know how it goes!


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