Monday, May 23, 2011

WI 283: Jacob's Trench Scenario Playtest

WI 283
Well, sometimes it takes awhile to search, copy, and paste. Following is my battle report for the Jacob's Trench scenario from WI's big Gallipoli issue. For you solo gamers out there - this made a good one without having to program responses/initiatives for either side, although I suppose it could be easily done.

Again, I must say that John Bianchi did a great job not only with the narratives, but the games as well.

This one was a nail-biter. I played it solo using Crossfire rules (essentially using sections as platoons, which meant groups of about 4 figures functioned as a unit).

Game Narrative
Symon's lost 1/3 of his force taking the trenches, but reinforced to full strength before Turk counterattack. I held the rest of the ANZACs in reserve to reinforce or counter-attack. Two sections held the dugout while one (with Symons) covered the secondary (unroofed) trench.

The first Turk platoons were incredibly unlucky; one against the the secondary trench took 50% casualties on the approach, giving the defenders a chance to wheel on the platoon attempting to blindside the dugout, pinning them.

With the arrival of the third Turk platoon, the easy times were over and the ANZAC HMGs mowed down the pinned second platoon. The fourth platoon - replacing the second on the dugout blindside - was absolutely cut to pieces. Third platoon (after the secondary trench) got in for close combat, but broke.

Fifth and Sixth platoons came for the secondary trench. The ANZAC HMGs failed to catch them on the approach and the next thing that happened was a drawn-out firefight between in the open trenches - there were pockets of ANZACS between the Turk platoons and a reserve section of ANZACs piled into the mess. The Turk close assaults were rough, but the ANZACS managed to wear them down with defensive fire. The Turks reached the dugout once.

I did not use the 18pdr; the best chance to catch the Turks packed in together was achieved in spades by the two support HMGs.

Some Thoughts
I like the idea of the staggered Turk attacks, which allows the Turk player to decide whether or not to make the most of a worn platoon or withdraw it for a fresh one. There were times where I really had to think about whether I wanted to give up with a depleted force or take a risk on grabbing the advantage elsewhere.

The leadership values are critical. Crossfire allows leaders to confer close combat bonuses and/or rally bonuses. The Turks only got close combat bonuses, while the ANZACs got both. I also borrowed a close combat rule for Russians and Japanese - the Turks ignored pin results when charging into close combat, but suppression killed them.

Great scenario. Probably my favorite of the three. Lots of replay potential and easy to game with a modest collection of figures who can be recycled as needed.

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