Saturday, January 23, 2010

Es Salt 1918..

Jon, Adrian and I played the Es Salt scenario last night. We had to use 'proxy' figures as we didn't have access to any Turkish infantry, nor to any armoured cars and light cars. Jon played the ANZACs, while Adrian and I commanded the Turkish division.

The opening phase of the battle saw the Turkish infantry send their 145th Regt across the pontoon bridge across the Jordan, taking up a position to protect the main assault from any interference from ANZAC forces in the south. Meanwhile Jon pushed the ICC regiment north to reinforce the two squadrons of the 11th ALH Regt positioned on Red Hill. Reinforcements were coming, but Jon knew he had to hold this position for some time until they arrived.

Here are a few photos of the 4th Battalion Imperial Camel Corp having moved to reinforce the two squadrons of Australian Light Horse on Red Hill. The figures are Airfix Arabs, used as 'proxies' for the ICC battalion.

Meanwhile Adrian and I had decided to make the main assault on the northern hill, to attack Red Hill would require us to take this feature, or bypass it, leaving considerable forces on our flank. The Division command zone wouldn't allow us to keep the forces on North Hill pinned while simultaneously attacking Red Hill.

Jon had taken up positions for all round defence of Northern Hills, as he was unsure exactly where the Turkish attacks would come from.

The main assault on the Northern Hills began with the other three Turkish Regiments moving up to positions from which they could bring fire down on the Australian forces. They were all at reduced strength after the variable strength rolls required at the start of the scenario, but two of the regiments were veteran (however in true Murphy's law it was the Regiments that had suffered the greatest strength reduction that were Veteran). The Turkish cavalry came on and moved around the eastern flank of the defending Australian forces on the Northern Hills. These cavalry were eventually driven off by ANZAC defenders, but not before they had inflicted casualties and pulled Australian reserves away from the main assault on the Western edge of the feature.

The fire fight evolved over 4 or 5 turns, with the Turkish machine guns supported by two regiments of Turkish 75mm guns, causing considerable casualties amongst the Australians. Once the ALH strength had been whittled down, one Turkish regiment rushed forward and was able to occupy Wadi El Sidr with only a few casualties, allowing the fire being brought down on the Australians to be increased even further. Finally the Turkish commanders judged that it was time to assault the position, and so they rushed forward onto the Northern Hills, taking minimal casualties, as the Australian strength had been so reduced. Finally the ALH were forced to take a morale test, which they failed. The Northern Hills belonged to the Turkish commanders, 5 victory points for the feature, and another 3 for having overrun the ALH guns.

However in the meantime the ALH and NZ Mounted Brigade reinforcements had arrived, moving rapidly north to occupy the wadi running around Red Hill. The position was too strong for the remaining Turkish forces, and the game ended after 10 moves with draw. The final photo shows the Australian and New Zealand troops, sleeves rollled up, getting down to action.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

First real WFB game.

So today was it.. my Dwarfs had their first big game of WFB. It was a practice game for the Warclouds doubles tournament in February, with my Dwarfs combining with those of Gabriel against the Dwarf/Empire combo of Darryl and his partner James. As this is my first AAR for a WFB game, I thought I'd write a slightly fuller account than usual.

I took the left opposing the James and the enemy Dwarfs, while Gabriel took the right opposing Daryl's Empire troops. I positioned my warriors and Longbeards in my own centre, with a Cannon holding my left, and an Organ Gun set up to support either unit. To my right was a unit of Thunderers set up to help Gabriel hold the centre, and bring down a fair mass of fire against any troops advancing against us there.

The enemy Dwarfs advanced a unit of Warriors out from their line, and it took a fair volume of fire from the Cannon and the Organ gun in the first turn of its advance.

The first turn of fire from the Organ gun saw a 10 rolled for casualties.. OUCH!!!!.. this would make any commander's eyes water. At the same time, fire from the enemy Dwarf Cannon, and a Grudethrower, all managed to inflict no casualties at all.. a series of misfires from the Cannon, and deviations from the GrudgeThrower, all contributed to a dismal performance. I'd have cried if they had been my own war machines.

Darryl advanced two units of State Troops with sub units against Gabriel's troops, but my favourite would have to be his unit of Flagellants advancing off their own hill at deployment.. I love the whole concept of these units.. and the figures are great.

Having reduced the advancing Dwarf warriors advancing against my own centre and left to just a half dozen figures, I advanced my Longbeards out from the line to threaten the flank of Darryl's Empire troops advancing against my Thunderers and Gabriel's line on my own right. The Thunderers had taken several turns of fire from some opposing Quarrellers, but had managed to save every wound... amazing die rolling for me!!

Darryl was however a little quicker and moved a unit of knights to threaten the Longbeards.

The Flagellants went in .... but lost the combat... I did figure that on the basis of looks and concept alone they deserved to win, but there you go... However they were unbreakable, so the combat continued until all of the Flagellants were eliminated a couple of turns later.

Flanking fire from Gabriel's cannons, and a round of fire from my own Thunderers, reduced the knights to two figures plus a character, and forced a panic test, which they failed.. back they went.

Darryl put his State troops into my Thunderers.. as I'm knew to the game, I wasn't sure what would happen.. thought this might hurt... but he had lost too many troops on the way in ... even so it was close.. whew!!

The sub unit of those same State troops went in to Gabriel's two cannon..

My Warriors finally charged James' unit of advancing Dwarf warriors, and forced them to flee.. we didn't catch them though.

Meanwhile the Longbeards charged the flank of the State troops locked in combat with my Thunderers... On this turn my own Miners managed to charge into James' Dwarf Cannon, having come on the move before on their flank, and then taken some serious casualties from the Cannon firing grapeshot.. ouch.. Dwarf eyes watering about now (mine, that is).

The flank attack did it.. the State troops fled, and were caught. In the meantime Gabriel's own Warriors had been charged by another unit of State troops, but were held to a draw....
And my Miners managed to defeat the opposing Dwarf cannon, but with a Master Engineer in residence, it was going nowhere.. damn!!!

Overall a Dwarf victory, but what an enjoyable game, with my three gaming colleagues (Darryl, Gabriel and James) coaching me along the way.. many thanks to everyone for a good time. I don't think we'll be as lucky next time.

Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...