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Subject: Two Years Early rss

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Philip Thomas
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This was an ACTS/Cyberboard game between myself and Kristian Thy (Turbothy), with Kristian playing the Central Powers. This was my third game against Kristian.

Two Years Early.

Fall 1914

I began the game by placing the Allied Beach-head opposite Abadan rather than its traditional Shatt-Al-Arab placing. This enabled a slightly different Allied Opening: playing a 4 Ops card I moved the Indian troops on the beach-head to protect the Arabistan Pipeline and take Amara and Qurna with the cavalry, returning to Amara as a final move. Meanwhile the Russians attacked Bayazit and positioned themselves to intervene in Persia (should Kristian play Persian Push, I hadn’t drawn Secret Treaty). Bayazit was captured and the cavalry there destroyed- and I had fulfilled my Mandatory Offensive, which I couldn’t have done with Russo-British Assault.

Krisitan replied with Pan-Turkism, placing the Bakhtiari. He covered the gaps created by my opening and attacked Oltu, suffering a surprise defeat. I played Kitchener and he played Indian Mutiny for Rps. I played Sphere of Influence, putting the troops in Julfa. Fresh Recruits repaired the Ottoman forces in Koprukoy and Ruwandis. I placed the Anzacs in Egypt. Kristian used SR to bring troops up to the edge of the Sinai, taking elite divisions from Damascus rather than the Reserve or the Gallipoli submap- a decision with fateful consequences.

I captured Basra (abandoned by Kristian earlier) and consolidated my Russian position, covering Urmia. The German Military Mission arrived placing trenches in Adana and Kum Kale- fair enough- and Sivas and Amasya- surely a rather pessimistic line of defence! I played Russo-British Assault for Ops, capturing Van and destroying the Turkish Corps in Korpukoy. Kristian finished the turn with Jihad, placing Laz, Tangistani and Qashquai.

Winter 1915

MOs were Turks and British Empire.

I began with Blockade. Kristian used SR to bring troops to the Persian Border. I pre-empted him with Secret Treaty, taking Teheran, Hamadan and Qum. He played Persian Push for Rps instead. I played Churchill prevails but couldn’t even take the first fort. The troops on the Sinai’s eastern border moved to the Suez Canal, leaving Palestine empty.

Russian Reinforcements preceded Liberate Suez, which did not break into Egypt, though IV Corps was organized in Beyburt. I played Enzer to the Front for Rps, to be promptly hit by Goeben, though the fort in Batum survived. I besieged Fao and destroyed the Tangistani with a lucky attack from Baluchistan. Kristian attacked Oltu, spending an extra Ops to prevent Severe Weather, and advanced into the space. The turn ended with the fall of Fao.

Spring 1915

MOs were Russian for both sides and an extra TU Mo for Kristian (the Russian MO was the Enver one).
I attacked Oltu, doing ample damage which was mostly repaired by Reserves to the Front. Djemal tipped my hand to Kristian, showing I had no invasions. His forces returned to Oltu. I played Grand Duke to Tiflis. A string of Turkish attacks on the Russian front followed, with the Turks at Suj Bulak and Ardahan and drawing at Sarikamis. I played for Rps and the Turks besieged Batum and won a battle at Sarikamis, destroying Yudenich in the bargain.

As the Russian position collapsed I played Egyptian Coup, a holdover from the previous turn. The Turks destroyed the Russian garrison at Kars and the fort, using up Jafar Pasha in the process (he defected). I played Russian Reinforcements, sorely needed. A 1 Ops move reinforced Trabzon and I finished the turn with Russo-British Assault for War Status only, the price to be paid for my opening gambit.


Summer 1915

MOs were Russian for both sides.

I opened with Kitchener’s Invasion on the beach-head off Jaffa, judging the VP and Jihad penalty would be offset by the potential games in a near-defenceless Holy Land. The Turks pulled back from the Sinai to Jaffa. I attacked with Shore Bombardment, only to run into Ataturk. I won, but he was able to cancel the retreat thanks to the trench created by I Order You to Die. He organized III Corps in Jaffa and successfully attacked Kagizman.

I attacked Bitlis, drawing. He withdrew from Kars and tried to entrench in Jaffa. Asquith/Lloyd George Coalition preceded Verdun, which I responded to by sending troops to the Western Front including a BR inf div from the beach-head. That meant I could place the Tigris Corps on the beach-head with Indian reinforcements, adding a second LCU and setting up Maude (if I drew him next turn). Gorlice Tarnow swiftly followed and I sent V Caucasian Corps to Europe despite the awful situation on the Russian Front. The turn ended with Allied Solidarity the securing of Salonika, and the Turks entrenching at Jaffa.

Fall 1915

MOs were No BR, and both BR/IN/ANZ (Enver) and RU.

I began with Gallipoli Invasion, landing on Cyprus. Kristian played Bull’s Eye Directive and attacked the Jaffa Beach-head. I defended with Gurkhas and defeated the Turks, then returned fire by attacking Jaffa with Maude, cancelling the trench effect and losing a VP for making a BR attack on a No BR turn. The attack succeeded, though the British IX Corps was destroyed, and the Indians and British landed at Jaffa. Troops were rushed into Palestine from Gallipoli and the Russian front. I besieged Gaza with the French from Cyprus and brought in VIII Corps to garrison Haifa.

The Turks moved to cover the northern approaches to Damascus, and Murray Takes Command brought the Anzacs to the Holy Land (direct- the game would be over before the railway was finished!). Parvus was sent to Berlin and I played for RPs. Bulgaria intervened and I captured Megiddo and Jerusalem, Jerusalem repaying the 2 Vps and 1 Jihad I had expended to get there. The turn ended with Gaza falling and the Senussi ending their belligerence as the Jihad waned. I rebuilt IX Corps in Salonika.

The Central Powers were now at Total War.

Winter 1916

Turkish and Russian MOs.

I opened with Lawrence, discovering Berlin-Baghdad Railroad and German Intrigues in Persia. The Ops from Lawrence allowed me to capture Damascus. Berlin to Baghdad Railroad was completed shortly after, and I played Salonika Invasion as British Reinforcements, splitting the Corps between Salonika and Cyprus. The Turkish I Corps was deployed to Riyaq, which Kristian had decided to hold at all costs.

I played for Rps and Kristian played Enver to Constantinople, revealing I had Romania. I attacked Riyaq, drawing. APIS eliminated the Serb Army in Nis, prompting me to abandon Belgrade and garrison Nis and Skopje.

The Central Powers captured Belgrade and attacked Kars, where my forces had recently returned. The Turks won but did not advance. I played Romania, successfully attacking and taking Hermanstadt, but forfeiting a VP for failed MO. The Turks formed VIII Corps in Alexandretta and marched II Corps to Strumica, covering for the Bulgarians.

Spring 1916

Both sides had British Empire MOs.

I opened by attacking at Riyaq and Sofia, but Kristian cancelled both retreats, using Confused Orders at Riyaq. He then brought VI Corps from Rodosto to Xanthi and attacked Nis, but was defeated. I attacked Riyaq and Sofia again, taking Sofia, abandoning Nis, and being held at Riyaq. Treachery at Fort Rupel rescued the units at Strumica from being OOS, although it seemed odds the Bulgarians would go ahead with the operation with Sofia in Serb hands. I attacked in the Caucasus, taking Ardahan, Sarikamis and Bitlis. Kristian brought troops to cover up the gap opened around Bitlis.

I attacked Riyaq and was again held, and Riyaq was further reinforced by VIII Corps. The Turks recovered Bitlis. The Russians advanced towards the border. Kristian played Unrestricted Submarine Warfare for Rps, losing a Vp for failed Mo.

Alas, there were further losses, for the Serbs still held Sofia and so Bulgaria Collapsed, all its armies disappearing. With the Russians able to besiege Adrianople and cut off the Turk forces in Europe at the next impulse, Kristian resigned.



Overview

An exciting game. Kristian really pushed hard on the Russian Front and would probably have got the Revolution to happen on Turn 9. Whether that would have saved him from the British forces emerging from Syria is doubtful. As it turned out, the game was decided in the Balkans before then. Kristian had forgotten about Bulgarian Collapse- I did offer to go back and let him prevent it but he declined. Anyway, one more tale here to encourage the change in Bulgarian Setup that is in the works…

Two Years Early? Well, Jerusalem fell late in 1915 and Bulgaria collapsed in 1916, so the game outpaced history by about two years. Interesting to speculate what that would have changed in the wider context…
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Wendell
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Yellow Springs
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Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
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Entertaining report as always, Philip. Any more details about the changes in Bulgarian set-up? Anybody?
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Philip Thomas
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The change has been announced on Consimworld now, so there's no harm in revealing it.

A Bulgarian infantry division is moved from the Reserve (leaving 2 behind) to Sofia (where it joins BU 2nd Army). This prevents Serbia from capturing Sofia the impulse after play of Bulgaria.
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Brad Stock
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Elsah
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This is now semi-official, although we will have players try it for a while before releasing it in the actual Living Rules changes.

But it is highly likely it will be officially official, officially....
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