WW1 Dungeon Crawler / Fort Vaux Box Set Idea

  • Had an interesting (to me at least) idea for a WW1 box set.  

    A game set in Fort Vaux, which was a battle inside the wider inferno of Verdun.  

    Verdun /Fort Vaux Book Review

    German and French troops grappled in close combat within the subterranean confines of the tunnels of Fort Vaux.  Machineguns, flamethrowers, rifles, grenades, spades, and fists were all employed in the struggle.  

    The game would be a "dungeon crawler" in the lines of Space Hulk:

    Or Warhammer Quest:

    Or Mantic's Dungeon Saga:

    It might have random terrain generation ala Lost Patrol:

    It could have plastic terrain in the form of arches:

    And barricades:

    Of course there would be tunnel tiles:

    Bring a squad of German Infantryman into the depths and fight your way to objectives.  

    Bring extra handgrenades.......

    (I think this would work well.  Various missions just like Space Hulk.  And just like Space Hulk you have great weapons but the foe is utterly deadly.)


    Confirmation that WGA is working on a WW1 Box Game here:



  • Possible contents:


    Scenario book



    Tunnel tiles x many

    Plastic tunnel arches x many

    One sprue WGA WW1 German Infantry

    One WW1 German flamethrower team

    Two sprues WGA WW1 WW1 French Infantry

    One French heavy machinegun team



  • Alternate take.

    French defenders explore the surrounding tunnels, close off tunnels, and fight waves of Germans.

    Similar in concept to this.

  • Better views of the tunnels:

  • @JTam 

    Awesome concept my friend ... 

    At Verdun in 1916, one French unit was told: "You have a mission of sacrifice. . . . On the day the Germans choose, they will slaughter you to the last man, and it is your duty to die."

  • @Steven StGeorges 

    A game/box set like this would be an auto buy for me.  There's nothing like it in historical wargaming....

    And of course I love Space Hulk and Warhammer Quest....

  • Alternate take.

    Similar concept to above but the tiles represent lengths of trench, bunkers, machinegun positions, etc. 

    Representing a trench fight/trench clearing the game could then be taking any place in the war and use any forces.

    There might be the ability to jump out of trench and back in somewhere else (cross the black [surface] portion) by spending action points, but there's a high probability of violent death by shrapnel or direct fire each time.  

  • @JTam Hmm, inresting thought since I am working on a rule set and have been leaning towards Victorian-WW1/2 "industral Fantasy" setting for it debute, though I get the feeling your talking a "historical ruleset" that plays like a "dungeon crawler."

  • @Brian Van De Walker 

    Exactly, it's more or less Space Hulk.  Except instead of Terminators you get Stormtroopers, and instead fighting through the corridors of a Space Hulk you fight through the corridors of a subterranean fort, and instead of flamethrowers you get, well, flamethrowers.  

  • Wargames Illustrated showcased this extraordinary table/terrain/game:



    Gives you a feel for what a WGA Fort Vaux dungeon crawler with plastic arches and barricades might look like.....


  • @JTam 

    More like Kill Team than SH to my mind.. with specialists and so forth.. 

    Building the Fort is quite simple -thanks to your interesting link to Wargames Illustrated: mere carved foam board from dollarstore with backsplash vinyl tiles from the home depot. 

  • @JTam 

    But... where is Quiqui?

    And I am almost 99% quite sure Dan Abnett did use the battle of Fort de Vaux in his Gaunt Ghosts' novel "Only in Death".. an awesome book. 

  • @Steven StGeorges 

    Not familiar with Quiqui.

    Googled it.

    This conversation took an unexpected turn.

  • @Steven StGeorges Do you mean CQC?

    @JTam Hmm, "Dungeon crawler" kinda of implies playing a bunch of adventurers going around in a dungeon, killing the monsters that live there (generally pesky goblins), and then looting the place.

    To be honest this second take seems more like a "dungeon defense" game, where you play as the monsters fighting off hoards of anger peasents and greedy adventurers😆. 

    Now the first take, about playing as Germans going full murder hobo on those pesky French in the fort, that is more like a Dungeon Crawler (though it needs to have body looting).  

  • @JTam 

    In French my friend !! Not in Spanish 😅

    Quiqui was the name of the dog of Major Raynal, commanding officer of the Fort.. a cocker as far as I remember. 

    Quiqui is a very French term that could be wrongly translated in English as Whowho (or Whoswho) cause of the fact the correct spelling is Kiki, a typical nickname for dogs in France like Loulou for instance.

    Kiki is an very dated term for "neck" or "throat"; so "Serrer le kiki de quelqu'un" means "to strangle somebody" and you know how much soldiers were eager to name their mascot pet to "honour the enemy"

    But Kiki is also synonymous of Zizi as described below (taken from Wikitionnary)

    Found an article about Quiqui I translated in English.. just in case 😅

    And do not forget the messenger pigeons of Fort de Vaux.. and more especially Le Vaillant (The Valiant)

    This First World War commemorative postcard depicts a normacolour photograph of "The last pigeon of Fort de Vaux". It commemorates, in French, the flight of the last passenger pigeon of Commandant Raynal, which departed from Fort du Faux during the Battle of Verdun on 4 June 1916. The French title translates to "For Pigeon Lovers / Died for France / The Pigeon of Verdun".

    The pigeon Vaillant accomplished its mission to transmit Raynal's order, but due to poisoning by gas, it arrived dying. Due to its success, the first of five French relief forces arrived the next day but failed. Nevertheless, the bird received a citation à l'Ordre de la Nation (citation at National Order):

    "Despite enormous difficulties resulting from intense smoke and an abundant emission of gas, [Valliant] accomplished the mission entrusted to him by Commander Raynal. Sole means of communication of the heroic defender of the fort of Vaux, transmitted the last information which had been received from this officer. Heavily intoxicated, arrived dying at the dovecote".

    Below is a commemorative postcard based on a picture of Le Vaillant taken before the Siege and the famous sentence of Raynal.

    Here is a picture from the Mont Valérien Military Colombophilia Museum of the embalmed Vaillant and its citation at National Order.

    @Brian Van De Walker 

    Close-Quarters Combat?

    The Siege of Fort de Vaux should be played just like a Kill Team or Necromunda game with very specific rules like:

    • French defenders could be able to scavenge/looting dead German attackers (ammo, weapons, water and food) with the appropriate penalty resulting from gas and smoke.
    • Germans attackers were equipped with functional gas masks unlike the Frenchs so no penalty from smoke and gas but should have a restricted field of vision.

    And I think such a Siege could be easily transposed to Death Fields with Grognards as defenders and Eisenkern stromtroopers as attackers. The Fort could be a major objective for both factions. 😅

  • @Steven StGeorges No, I was trying guess at what you meant by Quiqui, and I was very wrong.🤣

  • Good comrades, a big thank you for introducing me to the Fort de Vaux and its protagonists. Especially Marquis-Quiqui and the heroic pigeon. Animals were "more human than men", in this age of hate and destruction.

    The regiment in which served my grand-father Jean-Baptiste, the 34e régiment d'Infanterie, was engaged around the Fort de Douaumont, just a few hundred meters away.

    And at the Douaumont Ossuary, a young corporal of Irish origin, Arthur, mobilised in the area of Cognac, rests (in peace, I hope)... He was a descendant of a Lord-Mayor of Dublin (in 1799) and a great-uncle of my wife. One of our sons is called Arthur too... 


  • For some other inspirations you could see an old WWI movie "Deathwatch", with Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis, about an haunted trench near war 's end. Imagine an endless nightmarish labirinth of trenches and bunkers, in the dark, my greatfather said to my dad that this was the worst part of trench warfare.

  • @Steven StGeorges 

    Indeed.  Great stuff.  Thank You for sharing some of the lesser known, but fascinating history of the fight.


  • Reference:

    Fair enough.

    I meant "dungeon crawler" to imply a game primarily played on tiles tiles you lay out.  I should have just said WW1 more or less Space Hulk.  Less leveling up and looting, more tense tunnel combat and gaining objectives.  

    I suppose the game could just have the same core rules and different scenarios (and possibly different AI rules for the opponents) allowing you to play as the Germans or the French.


  • I was watching Kleio last weekend...

    Which made me Google "The Faithful Hussar" which lead me to scene I had forgotten:


    One of the great WW1 films: