After a brief break from remote gaming due to various non-wargaming engagements, Jon (of Palouse Wargaming Journal) and I returned with a WW1 Palestine game. In our recent sessions, Jon has achieved good success while commanding the Turkish forces. However, this time around, we decided to switch things up a bit, giving Jon the chance to command an Arab Rebellion attack on a train.
|This photograph is not from the game. I just set it up for fun after the game.|
I decided to revisit a scenario I had previously played, inspired by C.S. Grant's "Scenarios for Wargamers." The chosen scenario is number 23, titled "Railway Attack" (pages 58-59), which I have set in WW1 Palestine. In this scenario, the Arab Rebellion forces launch an assault on a Turkish train. To impede the train's progress, the Arabs have erected a barricade of rocks that the train cannot break through. The objective of the game is for the Arab Rebellion force to capture the train within 15 turns before Turkish cavalry arrives to investigate the delayed or missing train.
Some time ago, I created this map, and since I'm am now using a 6-inch gridded tabletop for my games, you will notice in the game photograph's that the tabletop is oriented in a slightly different North-East orientation. It's important to note that all rough terrain, buildings, and palm trees on the map serve as cover and hiding spots for the Arab forces during their setup.
The forces involved in the game are:
- 3 infantry units
- 1 infantry unit with machine gun
- 1 machine gun mounted on the train (which cannot disembark)
- 1 artillery unit
- 2 infantry units
- 1 infantry unit with machine gun
- 2 cavalry units
- 1 armoured car unit
The set up requires that all Arab units are in hidden out of sight behind hills or in cover when the train arrives. The train arrives from the north and must travel forward one square each turn until the Arabs reveal themselves, then it can stop and start, but it cannot reverse. Up to two units can be unloaded from the train each turn.
Units embarked on the train are treated as being in cover. The Turkish player can distribute any hits on the train to units still embarked. The machine gun at the front of the train is in cover and cannot disembark.
For the rules, we continued to use the WW1 Rules used throughout the WW1 Palestine campaign, which are a variation on OHW WW1 rules with activations added.
The game report…
|The train arrives and quickly comes under fire from Arab units positioned in cover on the hill. While the armoured car emerges from its hiding spot in the buildings.|
|The rocks blocking the track are spotted and the train stops to disembark two units as Arabs appear from their cover to begin their assault on the train.|
|During the last few turns, the Arab units encountered difficulties in activating and eliminating the remaining Turkish defenders. It was only on the final turn of the game that they managed to successfully capture the train.|
This game was a thrilling contest that remained undecided until the very end. That the game went down to the wire was quite surprising considering that halfway through the game, an effortless victory seemed within reach for the Arabs. What turned the tide? Although the Arab units managed to eliminate the defending Turkish forces, they sustained hits that hindered their ability to activate effectively. This, in turn, obstructed the movement of fresher units, preventing them from engaging the remaining defending Turks. Congratulations to Jon for securing the victory, and overall, it turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable remote game.
You might be wondering how this game fits into the ongoing WW1 Palestine campaign I've been running. Well, it doesn't currently align with the campaign, but I'm considering incorporating it and offering some advantages to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. This would give them a final chance to capture Damascus within the designated timeframe of their campaign objectives. (See the featured post for details of the campaign).
Great game, Peter! I, too, thought it was over for the Turks early-on only to see the Arab attack stall. Luckily, the Arabs found their resolve to bring the fight to a successful conclusion on the last turn of the game.ReplyDelete
It certainly turn out to be an unexpectedly close game in the end.Delete
Austere and atmospheric terrain and game ...ReplyDelete
Thanks I am please the way the terrain has worked out.Delete
Another fine game set in Palestine and good to see it go down to the wire. I have some trains, but need to add some carriages etc, but have never considered this scenario before. Certainly something to bare in mind for the future:).ReplyDelete
It is the second time I have played this scenario and on both occasions it provided an enjoyable game.Delete
Lovely looking game, the star of the show being that wonderful train.ReplyDelete
It is always good to get a train into the mix with later periods. Thanks.Delete
Wait! I thought Freitag of Arabia was the star? I need to review my contract.Delete
Reminiscent of the film..........apparently recreated for tourists in Jordan.ReplyDelete
As an anecdote, my grandfather served in the RE during WW1 in the middle east, notably Iraq. Once he told me he had seen Lawrence of Arabia. "What was he like?" ( I asked enthusiastically).....
"Little bloke on a camel" was the laconic reply......☺
Thanks. A fascinating connection you have in your family history.Delete
Brilliant report Peter on appears to be a very entertaining game. Good to see some train action. The only train action in the UK is either strike action, delays or cancellations!ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed the game report. Adding a train into the games always add another dimension to them.Delete
We have played very similar scenarios a couple times and the Turks generally seem to come off worst in those too...it's a pretty hard job for them in this type of scenario. Lovely looking table and figures as always Peter.ReplyDelete
I have played this twice now and in both occasions a close game with the attackers just winning. Next time I am tempted to have a Turkish cavalry unit appear. Thanks.Delete
A smart little action. So in keeping with accounts of the time. I like the terrain and figures.ReplyDelete
Thanks, the figures are 20mm plastic figures by HAT and Strelets.Delete
There should be more games with trains in them. They make great items on the table and nifty objectives. 😀ReplyDelete
Totally agree. I might try using a train in an ACW game.Delete
Fab scenario, very cinematic and I really like the table edge scenery.ReplyDelete
Thanks Norm. Very much a “pocket sized” game which proved to be most enjoyable.Delete
Great looking game Peter.ReplyDelete
Thanks Ben, it is pretty much all scratch built.Delete