This is based on a real battle, as the British pulled back as there communications were over extended the Turks followed up. The game starts with the British dug in against the Tigris with 2 battalions up front and a single company outside the lines holding a village as a forward picket. A second 3 battalions are in reserve. The British have a 3 gun battery within the defences.
The Turks come on the opposite edge of the table, initially with three battalions and three small comapnies of irregular marsh arabs on camel back.
A fierce fight now erupts between the two Turkish battalions to the front of the Trenches and the Punjabis and Royal Navy with the Imperial troops very slowly starting to get the advantage due to their better cover.
Meanwhile the third battalion of Turks slowly advances on the picket in the village and the arabs dismount their camels and start to work their way down the wadi to the rear of the village.
As soon as he got them in place and supported by some well aimed machine gun fire from the Turkish regulars to their front the Arabs stormed into the village from the rear. Now being poorly armed irregulars this should have been a bad move by Ken. However with some cracking dice and some pretty awful rolls in return from Steve the British were beaten and driven out of the village which the arabs promptly began to loot.
The arabs now opened fire on the remaining 5 men of the Royal navy company and quickly inflicted even more casuallties until the jolly jack tars could retreat out of short range. Too late though the company had ceased to be a useful fighting force.
Ever so slowly the Gurkhas made their way up the wadi and the gun boat continued to build up steam whilst the firefight in the centre continued to rage.
Finally reaching enough steam the gun boat pushed past the trenchworks and began to bombard the Turkish positions inflicting numerous disruption points on the Turks.
At this point Ken, commanding the marsh arabs had a brain wave. His arabs had done so well they should charge the Gurkhas who outnumbered them and were in hard cover. The result was fairly inevitable, the Gurkhas took one casualty and the arabs took 6 and promptly fled. However the wisdom of Kens decision soon became apparant, as the Gurkha card was drawn they could not charge and re-take the village as they had already fought a melee, this gave the Turks enough time to get more troops into the village.
At this point day one of gaming ended, the British had lost one company of Royal Navy battalion troops and the Turks had lost one and half companies of regulars and 2 companies of Arabs. The British Imperial force still had one more battalion to arrive whilst the Turks had several more waiting to come on including some cavalry. A fun and hard fought first day.
Week 2 and we are on for a Tuesday evening game with about 2 and a bit hours gaming. The fire fights have been fierce but now the Gurkhas have got themselves in charge range of the village. As Steve cant make it and most of Kens marsh Arabs are Hors de combat Ken takes over the Gurkhas and his beloved Cheshires.
Lonnies attack with the better quality Turks has been stopped bloodily in the centre left, the village has three machine guns and the 18 pounder trained on it and the Cheshires can lend fire support. Ken decicdes one more turn of fire from all of this before he charges, the heavy cover means relatively few casualties but a lot of suppression markers that will cost the Turks in hand to hand next turn. Ian has brought another battalion up to the rear of the village in support. Meanwhile I have been concentrating fire on the Turks to my front right, destroying 2 companies entirely and mauling another, a couple of good command rolls removes the suppression from all of my troops and we drag the jam jar thrower nearer to the village along with the Punjabi machine gun.
One last shot from Lonnies Turkish machine guns and he is then pulling them back to await reinforcements.
Next turn and the Gurkhas storm forward. The first company of Turks they hit are badly beaten and driven back but a surprise di roll from Ian and no sixes at all from 9 dice by Ken sees the second companny of Gurkhas thrown back and left exposed between the village and wadi in no cover. Both Ina and Lonnie take advantage of this to shoot them up until only 3 of them remain.
Ian throws another company at the Gurkhas and Ken removes the suppression from the badly mauled company of two and throws them back into the village, the company of two charges the Turks in their front who have 9 suppression and fail their nerve, running before the Gurkhas can use their fearsome Kukri knives, the other company puts up stiffer opposition but eventually is also driven off, the British now have a toe hold on the village.
But there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the Turks as their next battalion of reinforcements arrive. Ken kindly lets me use my Turks for this and its their first time on table so in some respects I am glad they come on directly in front of my Punjabi's in their trenches, the usual rule of course being that new units are seen off quite quickly, lets see.
There is a very stiff firefight around the village now as both sides push reinforcements in to try and take the village. The fire of three machine guns, 2 guns and the remains 5 companies being offset by the hard cover so for the most part we are only inflicting suppression markers.
The arab regulars held the village in force but had been very badly mauled.
Ken and I swapped commands as he knew the triggers for certain things in the scenario and I took the Gurkhas, Sikhs and Cheshires to expand our right flank and see what I could do about that Turkish held village. We started by pouring fire into it and moving the 18 pounder so it was in effective range, putting a lot of suppression markers on the units, I then charged in my Gurkhas. Unfortunately for me Ian had swapped his badly damaged company out with an untouched unit. Despite my three Gurkhas having 9 dice against Ians 4 I only inflicted one casulaty and Ina rolled two sixes to take two of my Kukri weilding mountaineers. The last figure was removed and this took the Gurkhas down to half stregnth.
I did mange to get a couple of particularly good dice throws much to Lonnie and Ians disgust.
Casualties on both sides had been fairly light, exactly 28 each on the regulars. A further dozen or so Marsh Arabs were also Ors de Combat The majority of the Turks were from the first battalion that closed with the trenches and 17 of the Imperial casualties being on the aggressive Gurkhas who had stormed the village twice at Kukri point. However the Imperial troops had no supressions at all whilst the Turks had 77 showing how bad things had become.
The game had been really good and I enjoyed my first taest of the rules "If The Lord Spares Us" which gave a real flavour of the conflict and the difficulties of command and control.