If you've played his other games (Memoir 44, Command & Colours, Battlecry, etc) the mechanics will be very familiar...card driven activation and special dice to determine hits or retreats. Berg's skill seems to be in using the same format in each game but, by making a few tweaks, creating a game that really suits the specific period. In this case the additional rules include HQ points which can be used to either call in off-table artillery or to play Combat cards which give additional bonuses or advantages. HQ points quickly become a precious resource...they are regenerated by combat results or at the end of the turn and judging when to use them and when to let them stockpile is key. As you'd expect from a WW1 game advancing out of your trench is likely to prove fatal without some softening up of the opposition first.
As you'd expect the game comes with excellent components including double sided boards reflecting the green fields of the early war or a sea of mud for later on. There are a couple of sprues of figures from the Plastic Soldier Company which are very nice (although fiddly to get off the sprues intact)...these represent infantry, MGs, Mortars and Bombers.
We played through the introductory scenario which is a straightforward slog with no specific objective other than killing the opposition. Anthony quickly showed that he'd played the game before by concentrating on my 2 MGs which were both quickly knocked out. We continued to exchange rifle and mortar fire across No Mans Land with the odd Artillery barrage coming in. I managed to call in lots of these but with little real effect other than replenishing my HQ points...very handy but I'd rather they had knocked out some of the opposing units. Anthony meanwhile was demonstrating the superiority of British rifle fire (or dice rolling) by whittling down my units. I first refused my right flank, and then my left flank...apparently refusing the centre wasn't an option! I had a bit of success in destroying a couple of units but too slowly and, after a hand to hand battle when British bomb armed troops stormed the German trenches, Anthony reached the target of knocking out 6 units and winning the day.
Great fun amidst the misery of the mud, blood and trenchfoot!