Sunday, September 13, 2009

Link to article on the 1920 revolt

Here is a link that might be useful:
It's an article entitled "Story of the Siege of Samawah" from Blackwood's Magazine no. 211 (1922)
Absolutely thrilling read in the finest colonial style and chock full of scenario ideas. Print it out because you'll want to keep it.
The still is from "The Lost Patrol" which is vaguely set in Mesopotamia in either the 1920 revolt or the Great War. (I lifted it from some random internet site. BUY the movie because you must have it.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Mesopotamia WWI Price of Glory Game Report

Game Date
: Saturday Sept 3, 2009
Rules Run: Price of Glory (but i used the vehicle hit charts from "To the Last Man)
Players: 4 + GM (me)
Played at:Yankee Peddler Wargames Club, almost all terrain Club terrain
Setting: Mesopotamia, October 1916 somewhere north of Kut al Amra
Scenario: A British detail, lead by a Lieutenant Frost, is cut-off in an Arab village where they had been attempting to woo the locals. Instead the local tribe sold him out to a nearby force of retreating Turks. As dawn breaks the Turks are besieging Lt. Frost inside the village while a small patrol of British infantry, Indian infantry and a section of Armored Cars comes to the aid of the beleagured detail.

Defenders: Ottoman Turks and local Arabs
1 Platoon Ottoman Infantry (5 sections with a total of 42 OR, 5 NCOs and an HQ group of 1 junior officer with a senior NCO and water-boy; Conscript Courage)
2 Maxim Gun teams

1 ad-hoc Arab Band (53 figures, divided into 5 units; armed with obsolete rifles; conscript courage; disband instead of route on third morale failure)
1 Arab Cavalry unit (12 figures cavalry & camelry; obsolete rifles; conscript) [many arab figs painted by Jim]
1 Turkish Cavalry Unit (12 figures; conscript)

Attackers: Indian Army
1 Platoon British Regulars (2 Rifle sections 8 figs + NCO each;2 Lewis gun sections, 4 figs + NCO each; 1 HQ group: Lt. + 2 man escort)
1 British Vickers MG
1 3.7" Mountain Gun
1 Section Light Armored Motor Battery (2 Rolls Royce Armored Cars,1 Model T scout Car)
1 Bi-Plane in a ground attack role (played by a Se-5)

1 Platoon Sikhs (3 Rifle sections 8 sepoys+ NCO each, 1 section had a lewis gun; 1 HQ : 1 Lt. + 2 sepoy escort)+ 1 Section Gurkhas (1 Rifle section of 8 sepoys + NCO)
1 Sikh Vickers MG
Lt. Frost's Detail (10 Riflemen, 1 Lewis Gun team, Lt. Frost)

The Game:

1. The British started with the initiative and moved towards the village. The Turks and Arabs exchanged fire with Lt. Frost's detail. Arab cavalry rode into the village, while the Turkish cavalry swung wide around the north end. The LAMB Section rolled up and began to hose the Turks in the orchard and fields on the Western flank of the village. The Mountain gun lobbed a shell in town. The Se-5 made a strafing run and suppressed several arab units; unknown to Todd, he had taken minor damage from ground fire...

2. Lt. Frost and his men continued to fire at the turks across the alley from them. The Brits and Indians moved up to the edge of the palm groves and began to exchange fire with Arabs and Turks (respectively) in town. Eddie's Sikh HMG got into an outlying building and set-up. Todd's scout car moved forward but took fire from the village, killing a crewman and suppressing the vehicle. The rest of the LAMB stayed in place and continued to hose the Turks who, in turn, spattered the RR ACs with Maxim fire, unfortunately to no effect. In the town, Jim's Arabs began to move into better positions for the defense. Todd's Biplane starts another strafing run but experiences an engine fire and crashes just past the building in which Lt. Frost and his men are occupying. The crewman bails out with a lewis gun... (and is promptly killed by Turkish fire from the Cavalry unit in the next turn)

3. Some of Todd's Brits moved into contact with a heavily defended building in the town. At the same time he wheeled one RR AC in front of the village. Jim moved his Arab Cavalry out of the village and ineffectively fired at Todd's assaulting British. The Arabs then took heavy fire (from a whom I cannot remember) and were forced to fall-back into the village. All the while the Indian troops were successfully whittling away at the Turks in the village and in the orchards. Unfortunately for him though, the Turk Maxim in the orchard continued to remain unbowed. The 3.7" gun continues to shell the town, to little effect.

4. The British Regulars lob grenades into the Arab building to their front and make a charge, the Arabs take casualties and fall back before a melee ensues. Todd follows this up with a second assault on another part of the building. Again, grenades are thrown but this time a melee follows and though the Brits have the initiative they are repulsed. The Turks begin a determined assault on Lt. Frost's position that is loosely coordinated with an Arab assault by Jim, both are driven back by Suppressions caused by Frost's Snap Fire. Frosts detail is down to the Lewis Gun team, two rifle men and himself at this point. An Armored Car whips forward and begins to fire at the Turkish cavalry, they wheel and charge the vehicle, hoping for an "improvised close assault", but fail their pre-charge courage check and thus are stopped in the olive grove they have been occupying. All the while the Indian troops are still attempting to force the front of the village while receiving a withering Maxim fire and Turkish volleys; they find they are unable to assault the village.

5. At this point the pre-arranged end time arrived at the same time as the Arab forces decided to skedaddle due to heavy casualties; this in turn led to a loss of nerve in the now greatly outnumbered Turkish forces. I called the game as a pyrrhic British victory since Lt. Frost was still alive

The Table around the beginning of turn three:

Conclusions: I think was the most fun we've had with the P-O-G rule so far. We play on a 8x12 table so the most common problem seems to be setting up infantry to far from their objectives. In retrospect I would have started the Imperial forces about 12" further on to the table. Comments were made that the Ottoman side should have had some kind of vehicle killing weapons, but I'm not sure this was really necessary. The Turkish HMGs scored at least 4 potentailally effective hits, but just happened to roll bad on the hit location chart from "To the Last Man". Maybe I should have given the HMGs some K ammo (the German AP rounds) but I'm sure these weren't available at this point in the war and may have never been available in Mesopotamia (though the AC instructional manual from this time and theater specifically mentions it.) I'm not sure if a field gun would have been of much use, since they are so immobile.

I really think the Imperial players could have gotten further with more aggressive play, especially the L.A.M.B. which could have been more effectively utilized in the first couple of turns. The game would have been lost by the Brits if Lt. Frost's snap fire against the two groups that assaulted him had not been so unusually effective.