Dominating the Enemy


Thinking back over the year just gone, it struck me that when players clash with the little lead chaps,  you often see a particular manoevre in close assaults. The attacking player will put his model half over the defender or the defences, to emphasise that he has broken into the position, and is about to overrun the enemy. He does this before a single die has been rolled, in the expectation that things will go his way.

2nd Tank Corps Break Into the Northern Advanced LineLook at the dancing Cossacks – things have gone their way!

This leaves the defender in somewhat of a quandry. Does one point out this ungentlemanly behaviour and seem peevish, or does one let it slide and invite the player to remove his overly-familiar troops when the attack fails?

KV1 of 16 Motor Rifle Corps Breaks inConfident KV-1 vs. a dug-in doorknocker

A good umpire will, of course, not allow this sort of untidy behaviour, and will invite the attacker to place his troops more decorously until he does actually win the firefight …. or not.

20th Panzer Grenadier Division is Attacked

An optimistic BA-10

As can be seen from the photographic evidence, I have not always been a good umpire, but to be fair to the players involved, I have had to illustrate this article with one or perhaps two Soviet-style propaganda shots!

Happy New Year!



Filed under "Rules" Explanations, 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Land Battles, Wargames, WWII

8 responses to “Dominating the Enemy

  1. I’ve always seen it as a declaration of intent to engage in close combat rather than just manouvre very closely and as an aide memoir that they won’t be shooting. If/ when the assault fails I move stuff back to show that they are not enaged, if it is undecided I leave them in contact.




    • Nothing wrong with that at all Pete; it just amuses me that WWII is a period that folk seem drawn to dominating their opponent, in a way that the square dancing ancient DBA players don’t.

      Regards, Chris


  2. I must plead guilty to doing this, although just like Pete I do it to show intent rather than as a presumption of victory.

    All the best



    • I have you marked up now as one to watch out for in my little red umpire’s daybook, Bob, I must confess though that you have never been anything other than a gentleman in the games that you have played 🙂

      Regards, Chris


  3. Russian players do seem to be the worst for this:

    Bloody Big BATTLES!


    • There does seem to be a lot of Soviet propaganda to this end doesn’t there, Chris? You have to love the paint job on the panzer IV – straight out of the Dinky toy factory!

      Kind regards, Chris.


  4. Ion A. Dowman

    Apart from the aesthetic point of view, I reckon the practice has much to recommend it. Just as the attacker intends to frighten the enemy out of position, or submission, so this intimidatory behaviour mimics that intent. From the defender’s point of view it becomes ‘backs against the wall’ country, fighting for survival, which offers a huge sense of relief when the attack is beaten back. After all, it doesn’t affect the dice rolls does it?


  5. It does lend an air of heightened suspense doesn’t it. I think I have become more aware of the practice as my painted toys get closer to completion. I suppose I can explain the scrapes away as battle damage. Some of my unvarnished veterans are definitely showing their age, as am I 🙂

    Kind regards, Chris


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