Sunday 31 July 2022

A couple of distractions

Upon my return from Wellington, New Zealand, I had planned to get back and play through the next stage of my WW1 Palestine campaign. However, this was not to be as WW2 and Medieval forces made it (at different times) onto the tabletop. All this was initiated by the reading and thinking time which comes with travel. I read Medieval Warfare by Terry Wise and also thought of some changes to the current variation of WW2 Western European rules. These rule changes were influenced by the WW2 rules from Donald Featherstone's "Tackle Model Soldiers This Way".

The latest Minifigs unit to leave the painting desk.

A Medieval game setup and ready to begin

The WW2 game was based upon the St James's Road scenario from Donald Featherstone's War Games book. The rule changes included having tactical units of one to four bases that can be a combination of types (eg, infantry and AT guns) which must maintain their coherency. Rather than track hits, bases are removed when a hit is taken.

The start of the game

The attack begins

Sherman's waiting for the attacking forces

An Airfix 6 pounder opens fire

During the week I will be returning to the WW1 Palestine campaign.

Sunday 24 July 2022

A couple of Medieval units get painted

Not much to post this weekend as I am away in Wellington, New Zealand, visiting my daughter for a week. Here is a single picture of some secondhand Minifigs units I recently completed after cleaning them up with paint stripper. I had to wait to complete their bases while an order of some scatter to arrived to complete the bases.

Recently painted units

Monday 18 July 2022

WW1 Palestine Campaign - Turn 2 Game 1 - Battle Report

This post of the latest WW1 campaign game is using for the most part the battle report (or AAR) structure I mentioned in a previous post (see here). I have deviated from the structure when it comes to photos which have easily exceed the constraint of 4 which I had originally had placed upon myself. Other than that it certainly got me thinking about providing more background to the game which is why I do enjoy campaigns, even simple ladder type campaigns like this one (campaign rules).

The assault on Magdhaba


In September 1916 the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) having received fresh troops and having extended both the light rail and water pipes supply infrastructure, was in a position to make its second advance across the Sinai Desert. The original EEF HQ plan was to launch an offensive in October, thereby providing another month for the new troops to become acclimatised to the harsh conditions, but London was insistent on a new offensive as soon as possible to follow up on their previous successes earlier in teh year (June 1916). The objective was to push on to the Palestine border. Turkish forces for the most part were being withdrawn to their defences around Gaza and their HQ opted for a limited counter offensive in an attempt to delay the anticipated advance by destroying key water supplies. An encounter of both forces unexpectedly occurred near the town of Magdhaba where both sides were trying to secure the water wells.

The EEF advance across the Sinai

Order of Battle

The One-Hour Wargames force composition table was used to determine the units. Campaign event cards meant the EEF also had an armoured car unit and the Turks a mountain artillery unit. Both forces would benefit from a single aircraft sortie as part of their chance cards used in the game.

Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF)

  • 4 Infantry units
  • 1 Infantry unit with supporting machine guns
  • 1 Artillery unit
  • 1 Armoured Car unit
  • 1 Aircraft (once during a game an aircraft sortie can be carried out)

Turkish Force

  • 4 Infantry units
  • 1 Cavalry unit
  • 1 Artillery unit
  • 1 Mountain Artillery unit
  • 1 Aircraft (once during a game an aircraft sortie can be carried out)

The Plans

The EEF was advancing towards the town of Magdhaba when an early aircraft sortie alerted them to a nearby Turkish force also moving on Magdhaba.

Both forces are advancing on the town of Magdhaba.

An early morning sortie by EEF aircraft spots the advancing Turks.

The Turkish force was the first to gain entry to the town of Magdhaba and quickly took up defensive positions  behind the town ready to feed in reserves as required.  In response the EEF quickly deployed its units with the armoured car unit providing protection on the left flank to deter any interference from the Turkish cavalry. Their artillery moved onto the nearby hill and prepared to provide supporting fire. Although they were initially bombed by Turkish aircraft. The attack on Magdhaba then began in earnest...

The Turks are able to gain control of the town and both sides deploy their units.

EEF units attempt to out flank the Turkish units positioned around Magdhaba.

The Battle

The EEF made multiple and sustained assaults throughout the day and moved units around on both town flanks. These actions were not without loss, the Turkish artillery units were able to destroy the armoured car and inflict casualties on the flanking units. The Turk plan to hold the town was proving to be successful until those supporting forces came under fire from the flanking EEF units supported by their artillery, which the Turks had failed to suppress. As evening was beginning to close in (turn 13 of a 15 turn day) the Turkish infantry vacated the town and it was open for the EEF to occupy.

Turkish forces struggle to reinforce the town as EEF units assault from three sides.

The EEF finally manage to take control of Magdhara.

An EEF victory, which will allow them to consolidate their capture of the Sinai and move up to the Palestinian border were the Turks wait in prepared defences.

The rules used were a variant of One-Hour Wargames (OHW) Machine Age rules where units have to pass activation tests to move and shoot. A draft version of the OHW rules and modifications are written up here.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Book Arrives and WW1 Palestine Campaign Setup for Turn 2 Game 2

A second-hand book purchase arrived today. A quick flick through its contents suggests this will be a useful background book for wargaming.

Latest second-hand book purchase

Book contents

Moving on with the WW1 Palestine Campaign I started the setup process for turn 2. The campaign clock progresses 3 month as the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) advances into step 2 on the map (El Arish and Magdhaba). The campaign rules can be found here.

Campaign map and timeline

Each campaign step has a selection of three One-Hour Wargames (OHW) scenario and dice are used to select scenario to be played. Campaign steps 1 and 2 of the campaigns have scenarios with the objective of eliminating the opposition, or are trying to capture an objective hill, or are encounter battles. The dice decided the One-Hour Wargames scenario #16, Advance Guard, would be used as the next tabletop game.

Table of campaign steps and selected OHW scenarios

The tabletop is setup.

The campaign also uses chance events to add some of the interesting elements of the Palestine campaign. Both sides randomly get one chance event. The EEF get an armoured car unit and the Turks a mountain artillery unit.

Chance event table.

The next step will be determining the force composition using the OHW table and will be covered in the battle report.

Monday 11 July 2022

Battle Report / After Action Report (AAR) a Blogger's Dilemma

All being well I will be getting quite a few games onto the tabletop for my WW1 Palestine Campaign, between 8 to 12 games seems likely, possibly more. This number of games can turn the writing of Battle Reports or After Action Reports (depending on how you like to call them) from being an enjoyable exercise into a bit of a chore. Part of this dilemma is self inflicted as I have a general rule that I don't like starting another campaign game until I have written up the report from the previous game. This presents a quandary and I was pondering about a taking a different approach with these reports by creating some self imposed constraints on the writing of a battle report.

A Samurai game currently underway - nothing to do with the post.

The constraints I plan to apply to the battle report will be the consist of: 4 paragraphs and 4 photographs. 

The paragraphs will have the following structure:

  • Battle background and order of battle.
  • The attacking battle plan.
  • 2 paragraphs describing the battle.

This structure is based around the scenarios presented on the "Command and Colors" website where I often go looking for scenario ideas. The game descriptions have a map and a description of the historic events at varying levels of detail. The ones I enjoy reading the most generally have 3 to 4 paragraphs with the following structure:

  • Background to the battle
  • The plans
  • What happened (often over 2 paragraphs)

The four photographs will have:

  • 1 photograph of the tabletop or map.
  • 3 photographs of key points in the battle.
Another picture - just to add some images

As I progress the WW1 Palestine Campaign it will be interesting to see how I go with applying the constraints, and whether it makes the posting of reports easier or simpler. I suspect the photograph constraint may be the most difficult one to adhere too.

Saturday 9 July 2022

The next painting project

While I have happily embarked on my WW1 Palestine Campaign, I still need a simple painting project to mix up the wargaming aspects of gaming and painting. Over the last year or so I have been squirrelling away a number of second-hand 25mm medieval Minifigs purchases which will make for a good painting project. The objective of these medieval purchases is to increase the size of my units from one base to two bases. This is because I am increasingly liking the tabletop aesthetics of fewer but larger units in my games.

Current single base units with 11-12 figures.

Planned units with two bases.

I expect to add another 8-10 bases to my existing armies to allow me to field 6-8 units of various compositions that fit with army lists from One-Hour Wargaming and Ancient and Medieval Wargaming.

All the bases removed, placed into the tin bucket, and paint stripper added.

After a week in the paint stripper they are washed.

The last WW1 unit I recently completed was a mountain gun unit for the turks.

Turkish Mountain Gun

Before getting back to the next WW1 campaign game I snuck in a Samurai pike and arquebus game.

Currently on the tabletop

A close look at the defences

All in all quite a bit of wargaming activity was achieved this week. This was aided by my working week having dropped to 4 days a week, as I gradually work my way into retirement.

Thursday 7 July 2022

WW1 Palestine Campaign - Turn 1 Game 1 - Battle Report

The first WW1 game of my solo Palestine Campaign uses the One-Hour Wargames (OHW) scenario #7 Flank Attack (2). See the previous post on how the game was setup (here). The Turks are defending a large hill and the control of this hill is the objective of the game. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) are the attackers. They have two mounted units are holding a small hill opposite the Turks and a large infantry force has been able to take up position undetected on the Turkish flank.

The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) launches their flank attack while they move their mounted units on the left flank as a distraction.

Things are progressing well for the EEF. Their initial flank attack caused casualties and an air sortie strafes Turkish mounted units as they move out from behind the hill. The Turkish armoured car has moved forward and engaged the ANZAC mounted units.

The Cavalry clash in the centre. On the other flank the Turks, having been initially surprised by the flank attack, have formed a defensive line. 

The EEF are pushing forward on the flank. While the ANZAC cavalry have successfully defeated the Turkish cavalry, but are coming under fire from the hill. 

Turkish units on the hill are giving ground and in the centre their armoured car has been destroyed.

The weakening defenders are about to relinquish control of the hill.

The battle went pretty much to plan for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and gives them their first victory of the campaign. They will now be able to progress to the next step of the campaign.

EEF units gain control of the hilltop.

Leading up to this game I have messed around with a couple of WW1 rule sets, both variations of Neil Thomas OHW and 19th Century rules. For this particular game was played with the 19th Century variation and made for an enjoyable and entertaining game. Once I have played a couple more games I will post them. This is also one of the reasons I like to play campaigns. By the end of a campaign I am generally able to settle on the rules I want to use for a period.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

WW1 Palestine Campaign - Turn 1 Game 1 Setup

The solo Sinai-Palestine campaign finally begins. This post will work through the steps to setting up the first tabletop game. The rules to the campaign can be found here.

The campaign begins

Step 1

The first decision for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) is whether to expend another month in preparing for the offensive as it moves into the Romani zone. By using another month the EEF would be able select a second Event card which can be of benefit in the tabletop battle.

The campaign begins with the move into zone 1 by the EEF.

It was decided to push ahead quickly. The minimum preparation time of 3 months for the first battle was crossed of the campaign timeline.

Campaign timeline. The EEF need to reach Damascus before October 1918.

Step 2

Both armies randomly select one event which will be used during the tabletop game. The EEF rolled a 6 and will get to use aircraft sorties during the game, while the Turks rolled a 3 and can field an armoured car. An unwelcome surprise for the EEF.

Event Table

Step 3

The orders of battle are decided using the One-Hour Wargames (OHW) army composition tables. Both rolled a 3.


  • 3 x Infantry
  • 1 x Infantry with supporting machine gun
  • 1 x Mounted Infantry
  • 1 x Cavalry
  • Aircraft sorties


  • 3 x Infantry
  • 1 x Infantry with supporting machine gun
  • 1 x Mounted Infantry
  • 1 x Cavalry
  • 1 x Armoured Car

Step 4

The OHW scenario to be used is randomly selected from a table where each campaign step has three scenarios selected from OHW. The choices of scenario try to reflect the nature of the battles which occurred at the various stages of the campaign. 

A snapshot of the campaign steps with three scenario options. These are randomly selected.

The dice decided #7 Flank Attack (2) would be the scenario to be played. This scenario has the Turks defending a large hill with the designation "Big Ben". An ANZAC Mounted force of two units took up position on a small hill late the previous day. Overnight under the cover of darkness a large infantry force has been able to take up position on the Turkish flank and will attack early dawn.

The tabletop and EEF planned attacks

The next post will cover the battle report.

Friday 1 July 2022

Solo WW1 Palestine Campaign Rules

So far this year I have completed some Samurai 1550-1600 armies and just recently finished the WW1 Palestine Campaign forces. Normally after completing an army I would run a campaign to:

  • test and become familiar with some rules, either written or purchased, and 
  • use and enjoy the completed armies. 

I finished my samurai armies a while ago, but I have struggled to come up with a campaign idea or approach that I like. There have been a couple of failed efforts. Anyway, this is not the case with my World War I Palestine campaign which is described below.

Solo Sinai-Palestine Campaign

The campaign is very much a solo campaign and begins after the raids by Turkish forces on the Suez canal, and covers the period April 1916 through to October 1918 and the capture of Damascus. The solo player commands the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) and has objective to get to Damascus by or before October 1918.

The campaign map - showing the six steps to the campaign. The original map before my annotations over it can be found at A useful source of information.

In each campaign turn the EEF progress one step on the map, then fights one or more battles on the tabletop. Once the EEF win a tabletop game, they can progress one step on the map. The harsh environment meant the campaign was fought for a series of territory gains. After each gain by the EEF they had to build their supply infrastructure (light train tracks and water pipelines) and prepare their supplies and resources for the next advance.

Each tabletop battle fought will use randomly selected One-Hour Wargames (OHW) scenarios and chance cards to add different elements of this period (e.g. tanks, aircraft, armoured cars).

Campaign Timeline

Time is the other element to this campaign and this is tracked on a simple calendar showing each month. The first battle in each turn progresses the calendar three months, and any additional battles fought during the turn until an EEF win progress the calendar by one month. The three months for the first battle reflect the preparation time to the offensive.

The Campaign Timeline - starts in April 1916 and ends in October 1918. The EEF player's objective is to reach and capture Damascus before October 1918. The months are ticked off after each battle.

A couple of examples using the timeline:

  1. The EEF in step 1 fight one battle and win. Three months (April, May, and June) are ticked off the calendar.
  2. The EEF in the next turn move into step two. The EEF fail to win the first battle and second battle, but finally win the third battle. Five months (July, August, September, October, November) are ticked off the calendar.

Tabletop Battles

The battle will use a One-Hour Wargames (OHW) scenario and dicing for the units involved. Each campaign step has three scenarios selected from OHW which try to reflect the nature of the battles which occurred at that stage of the campaign. Additionally one chance card is drawn by each force for every battle. The EEF player has the option to draw a second chance card for the first battle at the cost of month. 

The process for setting up a battles is:
  1. Randomly select one of the three OHW scenarios allocated to the campaign step using dice or made up cards with the scenarios written on them. When selecting for a second battle select from the scenarios not used, and in the case of a fourth battle introduce all three scenarios again.
  2. The EEF player will be the attacker in the scenario unless there are encounter scenarios and no specific attacker, then the EEF player chooses the side to play in the scenario.
  3. Dice for the force unit makeup using OHW and the scenario guidelines.
  4. Randomly select a chance card, or cards, for the battle (see section below for events and their effects).
The tabletop battles are then played using whatever rules that suit.

Early stage of a game

Scenarios and Campaign Steps

There are 30 scenarios in OHW to choose from for the battles. I have tried to select ones that suite the campaign step. For example:

Campaign steps 1 and 2 - For these I have tried to select OHW scenarios that are open with the objective of eliminating the opposition, or are trying to capture an objective hill, or are encounter battles.

Campaign step 3 - The Turks established strong defensive lines between Gaza and Beersheba. There were three Gaza battles fought by the EEF before they finally broke through at Beersheba. For these battles I have selected OHW scenarios with a defensive nature or with towns as objectives. The Turks will always have one unit with trenches in these battles. The campaign map indicates this with zig-zag lines on the map as a reminder.

Campaign step 4 - The battles to capture Jerusalem were fought over rugged terrain with hills and wadis. The OHW scenarios selected are ones with rivers (I use wadis terrain features which are impassible) and bottleneck situations.

Campaign step 5 and 6 - At this stage Turkish forces are very much on the defensive and Arab raids were drawing away troops. The OHW scenarios selected are ones involving raids and infiltration. For the EEF the first battle will always use an Arab Rebellion force. The campaign map indicates this with a camel on the map as a reminder.

The following table lists the campaign steps and their associated scenarios which are randomly selected. No scenario can be selected twice unless 3 battles have been lost.

Campaign Steps and Scenarios

Campaign Chance Cards

The campaign uses chance cards to add some of the interesting elements of the Sinai-Palestine campaign. These include the use of tanks and armoured cars, aircraft which would bomb and strafe enemy positions, and EEF forces were always worried Turkish cavalry reserves were nearby and appear.

When setting up a game both sides pick up one chance card from their chance deck. The EEF player for the first battle can pick up a second card, in doing so the first battle will consume 4 months on the campaign timeline rather than 3 months for the first battle.

EEF Cards:

  1. Tank - Add a tank to the force (if Arab Rebellion add an armoured car)
  2. Armoured Car - Add an armoured car to the force
  3. Bombardment - Bombard 1-3 positions with artillery before the game.
  4. Mobile Reserves - A mounted unit or cavalry can arrive on turn 8 with a 4+ dice roll.
  5. Aircraft - Make 1-3 attacks in a sortie.
  6. Aircraft - Make 1-3 attacks in a sortie.

Turkish Cards:

  1. Trenches - 1 units can have trenches
  2. Trenches - 1 units can have trenches
  3. Armoured Car/Train - Add an armoured car to the force. If the scenario is suitable add an armoured train as an alternative.
  4. Mobile Reserves - A mounted unit or cavalry can arrive on turn 8 with a 4+ dice roll.
  5. Aircraft - Make 1-3 attacks in a sortie.
  6. Aircraft - Make 1-3 attacks in a sortie
Some of the scratch built models I want to introduce into the games

Next Steps

While I am sure to have missed some rules for the campaign, it will begin soon and will post any changes and updates as the campaign progresses.