World War 1 Trench Warfare Rules

Wargame Rules Review

Trench – World War 1 Trench Warfare Rules.

Trench is a set of World War One wargame rules for divisional level grand-tactical engagements, or skirmish level trench raids. Both games are played on a modular trench layout using 6 × 12 inch segments of main trenches, communications trenches, cratered pieces of no-man’s land, and barbed wire section. The interchangeable trench segments are built up from two sheets of polystyrene, the lower of which provides a ½″ fire step for figures to stand on.

A table of point values for men and equipment is used to recruit 12 to 15 figure battalions for the divisional game, or individual officers, NCOs, and men for the trench raid game. The table lists varies heavy weapons and artillery pieces, and the crews needed to operate them. Divisional scale fighting factor losses are determined with the help of the Casualty Calculator, made up of three overlapping cardboard discs with adjustable shooter and target parameters which determine the actual losses. For each 50 fighting factors lost, one figure is removed from the target unit. In the trench raid game, casualties are diced for normally.


  • Title: Trench
  • Period: World War One Trench Warfare Rules
  • Type: Grand-Tactical, and Skirmish Wargame
  • Time Scale: 1 turn = 40 seconds in skirmish mode
  • Ground Scale: 1:492 (4 inches = pistol range) in Skirmish Mode
  • Troop Scale: 1 figure = 1 man (skirmish), or 40/45 men (grand-tactical)
  • Basing: single figure bases ½″ square
  • Casualty rate per minute at 100 meters range: (unmodified)
    • Rifleman (Bolt Action): 0.3 hits
    • Light Machine Gun: 0.75 hits
    • Heavy Machine Gun: 1.5 hits
  • Author:
  • Format: 24-page rule book
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tabletop Games Ltd., Nottingham, England
  • Published: 1975


  1. Setting up a game, 1 page
  2. Movement, 1 page
  3. Communications, 2 pages
  4. Mines and gas attacks, 4 pages
  5. Small arms and machine guns, 3 pages
  6. Points values, 1 page
  7. Divisional scale game, 4 pages
  8. Tanks, 3 pages
  9. Trench Raid game, 6 pages

Quick Reference Chart

  • Casualty Calculator

The required 6 × 4 foot game table consists of 30 interchangeable trench modules and 18 pieces of no-man’s land which will require some investment and a substancial amount of time to build from scratch. Novice trench gamers may want to play-test the game using trenches drawn on packing paper, or simply dig their trench systems in a sandbox.

Trench is an easy to learn game of World War One trench warfare which has inspired many players to build elaborate trench systems to fight over. The WW1 tank rules included in Trench cover the morale effect of tanks on enemy troops, mechanical reliability, ditching, visibility from within tanks, tank crew casualties, and the defence of immobilized vehicles, which may be an interesting game in itself.

Wargame Rules