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Scenario 4 turned out to be played solo first because I was too slow in arranging a ftf meeting. The scenario is "Gorringe's flotilla". British gunboats on the Tigris have to pass by some Turkish gun positions to take two small towns on the riverside.




After some thought it became clear that the woods on the river can be used to completely hide the flotilla from the gun in "Chambley" on Turn 1. On Turn 2 the flotilla can pass the gun by except that the last steamer will still be visible. Therefore I had the Firefly ahead of the flotilla, and the Mantis behind it, in range of the gun but screening the steamer from sight.

The gun fires at the Mantis (at range 8), but misses three times. The Mantis returns fire and eliminates the gun.

On Turn 3, the flotilla approaches the gun on the hill. The gun fires at the Firefly and on the first shot takes the Engine out - permanent breakdown. The third shot is a bridge hit. On Turn 4, the Firefly drifts a hex upriver (don't ask me) and returns fire, suppressing the gun's crew with the 6" and 3" guns, and destroying it with the MG fire. Meanwhile, two of the steamers are disembarking their troops downstream of the town. A Turkish infantry unit fires on one of the stacks and misses, but is destroyed by the return fire in Turn 5. In the meantime, the Mantis has passed the rest of the flotilla and is continuing upriver with the remaining steamer. On Turn 6, it reaches the last bend of the river below the town of Nasiriya (spelled "Tramelan" on the map). The gun in the town opens fire at range 9, a bad idea, and misses 3 times (not surprising). As it is now spotted, the Mantis fires back at the gun; the heavy guns miss but the MGs eliminate the unit.

Meanwhile in "Frontenac", the Firefly continues to drift magically downriver (I rolled exactly the right sequence of values for three turns). The forward two stacks are moving adjacent to the enemy (who could not see them, being emplaced on the other side of town) in the 2nd FTMP (Foot Troop Movement Phase). This is an effective if artificial tactic, as now they can fire first in the Defensive Fire phase. There is one 2-platoon stack and a single infantry platoon left in the town. They fire at the stack and Pin it. What's worse, the Pinned MG fails to recover (using the non-automatic Unpin rule with our houserule modification), and the two infantry platoons' Offensive fire is ineffective. In the 1st FTMP of Turn 7, another four Allied platoons move adjacent. Two platoons each go into Close Assault into each hex, and all three Turkish platoons are eliminated, at the loss of one British platoon.



In "Tramelan", the Mantis and the steamer have reached the town, and the Mantis starts firing at the infantry in the buildings on the riverfront, immediately eliminating another two platoons. The other ones get the message and retreat from the riverbank. The steamer unloads its troops into two stacks, and the Turks retreat further to avoid the Defensive Fire. A bit odd, this. It is apparent that the system was developed with the expectation that most of the advancing would be done along open fields, not against troops that hide inside towns from shelling, as this effect makes them, nonintuitively, more vulnerable to attack).

On Turn 8, the British continue this tactic, advancing in the 2nd FTMP. The Turks, with open country at their backs, cannot retreat further. Ironically though the British Defensive Fire has no effect (both stacks rolled a 6), and the Turks now use the 2nd FTMP to bring more troops adjacent and apply the trick themselves. This forces the British (who have the river at their backs) to evade towards the north and south end of the town, away from each other, on Turn 9. They do eliminate one Turkish unit, which makes the Turks gather in three stacks on the other side of town. In the meantime, both of the steamers back in "Frontenac" have reloaded their platoons, and one has in fact started to move towards "Tramelan".

On Turn 10, the British plane finally gets into the fray and directs the Mantis' fire onto the three Turkish stacks (all are only in the Secondary Impact zone though). One is killed, one is Pinned, the third remains unharmed. The first British stack moves adjacent to the Pinned stack, fails to affect it with Offensive fire, but in the 2nd FTMP the other British stack moves adjacent, and their combined Defensive Fire gains another Pin - the stack retreats into the heart of the barrage and is eliminated. On Turn 11, the barrage is redirected toward the last stack. It is Pinned, both British stacks end up adjacent, and their Offensive Fire forces a retreat into the barrage that sees this stack eliminated as well; the British win. The second steamer has just arrived in "Tramelan"; its troops were not really needed.

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M St
Australia
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Looking at the photos, I see that by that time I had this scenario on the table, I had done my colour-coded phase record track which turned out to be quite helpful given the complexity of the sequence of play.
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