Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Turkish Delight

photo courtesy gridbasedwargaming
After beating back the EEF in Peter's ongoing solo campaign set in WWI Palestine in the Battle Fought In Two Years (see: First (and Last) Game of the Year), Peter asked if I would be interested taking a command in the next game of the campaign.  Of course, said I! 

OHW #11
map courtesy gridbasedwargaming

In this encounter, the EEF is still trying to breakthrough the Turkish defenders to continue the campaign.  Using Neil Thomas' Scenario #11, An Unfortunate Oversight from OHW, the Turks are defending a village protected by a wadi.  The goal is to hold Hill 12 by the end of the game.  Looks like a good situation for the defenders.  No?  Unfortunately, the defenders have overlooked a break in the wadi far out on their left.  Of course, this is where the attackers will breach the position.

To read Peter's battle account, please visit, WWI Palestine Campaign Turn 4 Game 3.

Let's see how the battle played out from the Turkish perspective.

The Turks begin the battle with all of their forces deployed close to the village.  It is a long way to reach the gap in the wadi.

Turks deploy around the village.
EEF deploy with five units at the wadi gap
 and two infantry facing the village.
Per-game bombardment shells three defending units.
The artillery and MG infantry take a severe pounding
 each suffering three hits.
With a firefight at the village anchoring the right,
the defenders move out to occupy Hill 12.
EEF counterbattery knocks out the Turk guns
almost before the battle begins.
This could be a tough fight!
Turks continue advancing toward Hill 12.
The attackers sweep through the wadi gap
 while artillery provides support.
Attackers exploit the gap and the defenders' oversight.
Lead Turkish elements reach the hill
 wary to remain behind the crest.
Mounted infantry attempts to sweep around the flank
 as the main attacking force moves up. 
Infantry near the wadi takes fire from the armored car.
As the two forces close, the firefight escalates.
Now in range, Turks on the hill are scattered by heavy fire.
The best Turk infantry destroyed in a blink!
Attacking the position is not so easy, though.
As Turkish reinforcements reach the hill,
 an EEF unit moving up is destroyed.
Casualties are mounting for the EFF.
Taking sustained fired from the Turk armored car,
the EEF guns are forced to limber and move away.
Fighting intensifies.  Mounted infantry is destroyed
while the EEF guns extract revenge against the armored car.

EEV guns continue shelling the defenders without pause.
Turks in the valley pull back attempting to escape the shelling.
Turks work around the hill to bring the attackers into a crossfire.
The attackers withdraw from their exposed position.
With time ebbing, two EEF units advance upon the hill.
Caught in a deadly crossfire, infantry in the center is scattered.
The ever-present EEF guns destroy another Turk!
With only one mounted infantry remaining,
the EEF pushes up on the hill
and takes out another Turk.
The Turks have only one unit remaining
but the attackers have run out of time.
With the EEF mounted infantry having sustained heavy casualties and the clock ticking down to Turn 15, victory has slipped away.  Another game goes down to the wire and another victory for the defending Turks.  Hoorah!

Having repulsed EEF forces in back-to-back attacks, the campaign is winding down for the EEF.  They will need to scavenge a victory soon if they are expected to win this campaign.

Great fun! 

37 comments:

  1. Nice looking game and an interesting period.

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  2. A delightful looking game, a theatre of the Great War that has always been a temptation.

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  3. How are you finding OHW? I guess Peter has modified it a bit. I find the basic system a bit bland and frustrating, although I have used the scenarios several times.

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    1. Good question, Graham. An answer for which should not be fully addressed in a comment.

      A short response is that OHW is a highly attritional game leading to very predictable results without requiring a lot of tactical finesse. Bland is a good descriptor. Seems like he who shoots first wins is often a winning strategy.

      Peter's variant makes the base game engine more interesting in that units must pass an activation test to, well, activate. As a unit takes damage, passing an activation Test becomes less likely. I like this addition since it increases strategy and tactical nuance, and improves game play.

      Peter's variant uses a D3 rather than a D6 and reduces unit elimination from 15 hits to 9 hits. These changes actually increase the lethality of the game. Some may like that quicker resolution.

      As I have said many times, the value of OHW is in the scenarios.

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    2. Those changes would certainly improve it. As you say, the main tactic is to get your retaliation in first.

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  4. Some very nice defending by the Turks in this game.

    You'd think though that the EEF might have fled the field at an earlier point after sustaining so many casualties? Regardless a lovely looking table and a fun game to follow Jon.

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    1. Thank you, Sir!

      In this game, play continues until there is no one left standing or we run out of time.

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  5. What a great looking report Jonathan!
    Well done!

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    1. Thank you, Michal! The layout is Peter's handiwork. I am but a simple onlooker.

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    1. Thank you! Good to see you back blogging and commenting again.

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  7. Well done on another successful defensive battle for the Turks, Jon.....it's looking to be a long, long way to Damascus for the EEF at this point in the campaign!

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    1. Thanks, Keith! My goal is to see that the EEF never reaches Damascus!

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  8. I was rooting for you the WHOLE time. 😁

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  9. Great looking game and interesting scenario. Giving me a few ideas for my own games

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    1. Very interesting scenario. After the guns started knocking my units down, I wondered how the Turks would hold on until the end.

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  10. That did not look like a bad position for the Turks to defend even given the break in the wadi. I suppose the break was always going to be the main point of attack. Nicely defended Jonathan and a lovely looking game.

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    1. Perhaps not a bad position for the Turks but they needed to concern themselves with attacks from two avenues of approach. The main attack must out of necessity come from across the gap in the wadi since forcing a crossing at the village is difficult. Yes, Peter presented a fine-looking game.

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  11. The Turks did well! Great game Jonathan.

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  12. It certainly was a Turkish delight to hold that hill. A nice blow by blow game report.

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    1. It sure was! The result was a close call. Our armies fought themselves almost into extinction. Glad you enjoyed the report. Hopefully, mostly accurate too.

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  13. Lovely atmospheric table. Are you warming to games set around the six units mark? I know they can be unforgiving as the fist few units get knocked out, but if the table offers challenges with objectives, I find them a sweet spot for table size and available time.

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    1. Yeah, this was a good-looking table.

      I have never been cold on six-unit games but I do think a dozen BMUs is the sweet spot for meaningful and interesting games. A lot of interesting play can be squeezed from these low BMU count games. This action was no exception. With six BMUs only, there is little wastage or indecision on how to best employ these limited resources. As a bonus, games can be completed quickly too.

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  14. Nice looking encounter and as others have mentioned an interestingly different period

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    1. Yes, a WWI theater that is off the beaten path for me beyond movies like Gallipoli, Light Horsemen, and Lawrence of Arabia.

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  15. Great report, Jon. I love to read both players’ reports as it gives the view from both perspectives (which differ a little, due to differing perceptions of ‘where are we now’ in the game). It’s a marvellous thing to be playing across the expanse of the Pacific. A techno-wonder! As for OHW, I find it’s very sound in its basic principles + Peter’s activation and D3 variations are superb (and for an online game like this it has a suitably limited level of detail…just right). Great stuff!!

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    1. Thank you, Martin!

      Having two BatReps to compare and contrast provides more insight into the game than seeing only one side's perspective. I am little surprised that the battle accounts often tell much the same story without a lot of spin.

      Yes, OHW works. Peter's variant works even better. Being able to game with players from across the globe is a real treat.

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  16. Enjoyed the report Jonathan. It was interesting to compare this with Steve's game with the same OHW scenario using different rules. Both entertaining, with different outcomes.

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    1. Glad you liked it, Richard! Seeing the same scenario played in different settings with different rules shows how versatile these scenarios can be.

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  17. Good looking game Johnathan. Its great how using simple terrain cloths can be so effective, well done.

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    1. The presentation is all down to Peter's handiwork. He is an artist with great imagination. All of the vehicles on the table are scratchbuilt. Amazing.

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  18. A fine AAR Jon to compliment Peter's earlier one. He really does put on a lovely games with relatively few units per side. The arrows do help to follow the narrative of the action, so thanks for that:).

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    1. Much appreciated, Steve! You can get a lot of play out of a handful of units per side. Each unit is important and must be husbanded carefully. Peter's layout is always a handsome one.

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