Sunday 28 June 2015

Gallipoli Landings - Scenario / AAR Part 2

The ANZAC troops leave the safety of the beach
Its been a while for various reasons, but we finally got our Gallipoli game done to a conclusion last week. This is a continuation of an earlier post which you can read HERE

We left our intrepid bunch of Empire Troops starting to leave the beach and head up towards the first line of hills whilst the Turkish defenders tried desperately to throw them back in the sea. For ease of reference I have included the scenario map for a second time. Quite a long post today so sorry for that.

The Empire Troops started this phase of the battle with the following telegram in their hands,

"From Lt Gen Birdwood GOC.

Good show chaps, from my binoculars on board my heavily armoured Battleship a good distance off the coast; I can see that you have some fine fellows off the beach. Re enforcements are on schedule and you must ensure that the beach is safe for them to land on.

The hills behind the beach are steeper than we thought, it will take you one full turn to climb each level.

You will receive 2 AOP officers in the next wave, if they spot and enemy unit they can request a Battleship Salvo to teach Johnny Turk a damn good lesson. The ships are very busy with other requests so you will only be successful with your request on a roll of 4,5,6 on a d6. It will arrive on the NEXT turn of your Artillery Card, it will be subject to deviation but strike with 5d6.

My man has just brought me a fine Martini so I must crack on, toodle pip.

God Save the King
Lt Gen Birdwood OBE,MBE, CSE Maths, Bronze Lifesaving Badge etc etc"

The Turkish Commanders also received a message;

"Your timely observations have warned us of the landings in your sector, unfortunately a number of other landings have taken place and re enforcements are at a premium.

Units are on the way to your position but may arrive as late as 08.00.

We have scraped together two companies of troops (8 figs each)from those in the rear of your battalion and sent them to the front. You have a further battery (4d6) off table but in range as well as three specialist snipers who are now in your lines.

Stop the Empire troops from getting inland, hold each ridge line as long as you can. Die where you stand, others will come and take our places.

Mustafa Kamal Commander XVI Corps"

05.40 The second wave of troops begins to disembark on the beach, each boat carrying the remainder of the battalions that arrived at 04.30. Turkish Snipers and Reserve Companies deploy. One Company on 400 and one on Plugges.

05.50 The Turkish troops on the headland start to pull back due to heavy suppression

06.00-06.20 Anzac troops are advancing exposed to fire across the valley between the beach and the first line of hills, losing casualties to Artillery, Mg, Rifles and Snipers alike.

06.30 The next wave of boats arrive containing a complete battalion of the Royal Naval Detachment, including HQ and MG base. 2 coys of Anzac troops gain a foot hold on the 400.

06.40-06.50 A cautious advance up the 400 towards a Turkish blind which turns out to be a single Turkish Sniper, charged by 6 figures the Sniper takes one down before loosing out to superior numbers.

6 vs 1 only one possible outcome.
It was at that point that the sessions gaming ending and we determined a third Sunday all dayer was required, so while the rest of the world was in Waterloo 200 mood, we were still on Gallipoli 100.

Our final session started at 07.00 with further casualties to the exposed ANZAC troops on the 400 and it wasn't long before one of the companies was wiped out..

07.30 The next wave of Empire troops arrive on the table, in the boats this time we have half a battalion of regular British troops, the same of Gurkhas and the newly painted Sikhs. The Cheshires brought their Mg with them whilst the other two units turned up with their HQs, all the units landed next to each other on the beach.

Like a fish out of water, the RND attack.
At this point the Turks received another two battalions of troops both with a HQ section of 2 men, 4 x 6 fig companies and an Mg each, all arriving on blinds. One showed up on Scruffy Knoll, the other at the far side of Plugges, just as the Anzac troops on that side of the table reached the plateau.

We also went to a full deck of cards at this point, adding in Turkish Delight, Stiff Upper Lip, Hesitant Turks, They don't like it up em and the Tea Break.

Empire Troops advance across the front
And the Turks wait for them.
07.50 was not a good move for the Empire, the toe hold on 400 was lost, the two companies on the top of the hill couldnt hold out any longer and retreated down the hill, they had been stuck isolated on 400 for just over an hour but without support they just couldnt hold on.

On the other side of the battlefield on Plugges the Anzac troops came to grips with the newly arrived Turkish troops, a prompt Aussie charge should see those damn Turks off. Round 1 8d6 vs 2d6, Draw !, Round 2 7d6 to 2d6 and the Turks won 1-0, amazing.

Gurkhas Advance
The next turn things turned the other way.

Now you see them.
Now you don't.
The next 3 turns taking us to 08.30 all had quick tea break cards which although it slowed the Empire advance it also prevented the Turkish troops on 400 from reducing their suppression levels, that and the second half of the 3 Empire Battalions landed.

We battled on until 09.00 when the Turks pulled back from 400m onto Scruffy Knoll, general consensus was that the battle lines had been draw, similar to on the day of the landing, with further Turkish troops due it would take a long time for the Empire troops to re organise, and get the troops up from the beach into a position to attack by which time the Turks would be in a formidable position.

I think the game runs better with an umpire. The first real Turkish re enforcement arrived on the day from 08.00 and without some smoke and mirrors a player with a good knowledge of the battle would just keep going forward and be off the back of the table. For those who want a crack at the scenario, I planned for a final wave of troops to land at 09.30, a whole Battalion with MG, then shortly after a Regt of Turkish Troops where due to arrive on Scruffy Knoll. You could also consider adding a delay to the boats after 07.30, on the day boats where used to ferry away casualties and the hour turn round time started to turn into an hour and 10 and so on. A good umpire should be able to tweak the schedules etc to keep the game alive and interesting for both sides.

The Empire Troops lost just short of 100 figures (about 3000 casualties) and the Turks 30. Another enjoyable WW1 game, it took a while but as I've said before theres no rush when you are lucky enough to have a permanent set up.

The collection goes away until Xmas while the next game will see the start of our pre planned WW2 Mediterranean Naval Campaign.

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