Michael Badeaux, 56, was relaying orders Saturday morning to a troop of World War I American doughboys storming a trench of German soldiers near the French hamlet of Chateau-Thierry.
With their superior firepower — specifically their tanks, a new addition to the U.S. arsenal— the Americans had killed scores of Germans while suffering only minimal casualties.
“The Germans are down to the nitty-gritty,” said Phillip Alford, 40, who was watching the action unfold on a large handcrafted board game at the National World War II Museum.
Badeaux, visibly pumped about his army’s performance, paced back and forth and chatted with his opponents, a pair of gangly teenagers.
Even when an unlucky roll of a die resulted in four of his soldiers being blasted by a hand grenade, Badeaux remained all smiles.
The high-spirited clash, meant to mimic the exact conditions of the 1918 battle, was one of dozens of war games that took place over the weekend at the eighth annual Heat of Battle Wargaming Convention at the New Orleans museum.