„I don’t know whether we are going to make history tomorrow, but at any rate we shall change geography“ – General Charles Harington before the detonation of the mines in the battle of Messines
Welcome to the official website for the strategy board game TRENCH CLUB. Experience epic battles in the First World War!
During the First World War, France and Britain wrestle with Germany and Austria-Hungary for the dominance of a decisive front section. Take on the role of a general and send your troops into battle. Barrage enemy units with artillery fire and attack them with your tanks and infantry or surround and annihilate them.
Trench Club is a complex strategy game in which, in addition to attack strength and armor of the troops, their tactical setup, combat experience, damage and terrain have a decisive influence on the outcome of the battle. Since each unit brings its own strengths, you must cleverly assemble your army to win the victory over your opponents.
The game is for 2-4 players and lasts 2-4 hours (~1 hour per player). The game has been developed, play-tested and refined for over 10 years. Here is what play testers consistently said they most enjoyed:
- Highly complex strategy game, yet very easy and intuitive to learn the rules
- Detailed miniatures
- Different unit types with individual strengths and weaknesses – without using a simple “Rock, Scissors, Paper” principle
- Individual strengths of the different nations, yet balanced chances
- The game stays in balance for a long time, so every player still has a chance to win and stays excited
- Complex combat system that depends on type of unit, combat damage, experience, strategic formation, terrain and armor
- “Dice luck” only plays a minor role (since battles involve a lot of 12-sided dice the outcome is usually around the expected value)
- High re-playability due to the variable start setup
44+ detailed miniatures including infantry, cavalry, howitzers, mortars, planes, tanks, armored cars, etc.
Damage and combat experience
Each unit can suffer damage in battles and gain combat experience, in the form of markers added to the units.
The game includes two detailed maps (on the front and back of the game board). The movement range of the different units depends on their speed and the terrain they are moving on. For example, streets allow for faster movement and forests slow you down.
You can conquer strategically important forts in the game. The forts will produce money you can use to repair your damaged units or buy reinforcements.
The game has high re-playability because no game starts like the other. Each player uses their starting units to build 3 armies. These armies are then randomly placed on the game board for the start setup. This puts you right into action and allows for different strategies with high variability.
Combat is a lot of fun in this game! So let’s talk about how it works:
The combat mechanic is very complex, yet intuitive to understand. The amount of damage a unit has, determines the number of dice you may role. For example, if a unit has 2 damage (indicated by the grey markers), it can attack with 10 dice. If you attack from a strategic position (“flank” or “surround”), then you get extra (red) dice.
The type of unit and its combat experience determines which number on the dice will land a hit. For example, an infantry only lands a hit with every dice showing a “2” or less, versus a tank will land a hit with dices showing “6” or less. If the tank already has combat experience, it will hit even with every dice showing “8” or less. These numbers are shown on a “Unit Chart” every player has in front of them.
The hits will translate into damage, depending on the units’ armor and the terrain. 5 hits will for example give the infantry 3 damage. If the attacked infantry is however entrenched in a forest, it would require 6 hits to receive 3 damage.
Download the (draft) rule book here:
… more languages to come if there are enough backers of that language. The rules in other languages will be available for download. Other game materials are largely language-agnostic and will be included in English and/or German language.
Special Forces – Extension
Special Forces: The „special forces“ extension includes 8 new unit types (cannon boat, medic, airship, poison gas launcher, ground attack aircraft, railway gun, gun turrets and minelayer) for even more fun and variability. The special forces work like technological developments: you can purchase them, but you don’t know what you will get! It can turn your strategy upside down if you hoped for an airship but actually get a medic.
While the normal game units are carefully balanced, the special forces units are not. Each one adds heavy disruption to the game-play and requires an entire new strategy. Let me give you some examples:
- The Minelayer can install explosive mines throughout the battlefield. You know where they are – but your enemy doesn’t!
- The Poison Gas Launcher (one of the many horrors of World War I) damages units on multiple fields at the same time – friend and foe!
- The Medic lets you repair units in the field – normally you would have to retreat from the front line to your own forts
Special forces in action:
Forts (bunkers) are printed on the game board – which is totally sufficient for the game. However, it just looks so much cooler with the extra large Fort miniatures to place on the game board!
Please note: all game components shown here are prototypes and might change.
Example: British units approach the river under heavy German artillery fire. A German heavy infantry confronts a British Mark IV tank on the bridge. In the background a French tank unit with artillery support forces Austrian foot soldiers to retreat from the fort.
This game was originally funded on Kickstarter. You can watch the Kickstarter video here:
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