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Subject: A Beach-head too far rss

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Philip Thomas
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This was an ACTS/Cyberboard game between myself and Jeromey Martin, with Jeromey playing the Central Powers. This was my third game with Jeremy and my 8th game of Pursuit of Glory to finish.

A Beach-head too far

Fall 1914

I began with my normal Allied opening using the beach-head off Abadan and playing the first card as Ops to move ashore and fulfil my Mandatory Offensive, in this case against Bayazit, which the Turks successfully withdrew from. Jeromey replied with Jihad, placing Marsh Arabs in Kut, Kurds in Van and the Laz in Rize. I followed with Blockade and the Turks attacked Oltu, destroying the Russian division there. Churchill’s navy destroyed four forts and Fresh Recruits boosted the Ottoman troops in Erzerum and Ruwandis. I played Egyptian Coup and then Secret Treaty, Jeromey taking Rps. Jeromey now attacked Sarikamis with IX Corps, playing Save Tiflis and Reserves to the Front. I used Russo-British Assault for Ops to recover my position from the retreat caused by Save Tiflis and took the third Persian VP space. The Goeben failed to make any impression on Batum or Russian supplies.

Winter 1915

MOs were Meso/Persia and RU.

I had a nasty surprise on drawing my hand: I hadn’t drawn ANZAC Reinforcements, so I would not be able to reach Limited War this turn. I began with Kitchener, Jeromey playing German Military Mission. I played Sphere of Influence and the Ottomans redeployed troops to Beersheba. Russian reinforcements were followed by the Turks taking up positions on the Suez Canal. I redeployed Indian troops to cover my side and the Turks attempted to Liberate Suez, with little success. They also formed III Corps in Damascus and pulled out of Basra.
I captured Basra and organized II Turkistani Corps in Batum while moving troops to Sehneh. The Turks reinforced Sulemaniye and Khanikan. I attacked Sulemaniye, but my troops were caught in a blizzard and lost heavily.

Spring 1915

MOs were Russians and British Empire for CPs and British Empire for the Allies.
I began with Russo-British Assault for War Status only, scrambling to recover the time lost by not being at Limited War yet. Turkish Reinforcements and Anzac Reinforcements arrived, and Enver to Constantinople cancelled one CP MO. I advanced to Sannaiyat and Ardahan. V Corps formed in Harput. An uprising broke out in Persia. I attacked at Kut and Rize, capturing Rize. IV Corps formed in Erzincan and the Turks attacked Sehneh, taking it. I attacked Romani, and the Turks withdrew, giving me a foothold in the Sinai. The turn ended with German Subs in the Med.

Summer 1915

MOs British Empire and No BR.
I began with Grand Duke to Tiflis. Turkish Arab reinforcements arrived at Baghdad and Indian reinforcements at Abadan. Parvus was sent to Berlin, and I played for Rps. XIII corps formed in Baghdad. I attacked Kut and Trabzon, winning at Trabzon but prevented from advancing. A Turkish Arab division at Kut killed itself by attacking alone, fulfilling the CP MO. The Russians conquered Central Persia from the Qashquai.
Jeromey played for Rps and I attacked Southern Persia but failed to take it. I also attacked Bayburt, doing more damage to the Turks. Jeromey counterattacked at Oltu and with the Tangistani, denying me an RU Vp for Southern Persia. At Oltu he destroyed a Russian Corps. The turn ended with the Senussi appearing during the Tribal Warfare check.

Fall 1915

MOs were British Empire and Meso/Persia.

I began with Asquith/Lloyd George Coalition, which was followed by Gorlice Tarnow and the departure of II Turkistani Corps. Kitchener’s Invasion landed on the beach-head off Jaffa, breaching Syrian neutrality, a risk I felt I could afford as Jeromey wasn’t playing Pan-Turkism. The Turks brought III Corps to Jaffa and I attacked, only to meet Ataturk, who defeated the invaders. More Turkish troops were redeployed to Syria. I played Salonika Invasion as reinforcements, putting the British in Cyprus. Turkish Reinforcements arrived and XIV Corps formed in Erzincan. Murray took command of the Suez operations though the railroad seemed likely to be superfluous. Jeromey played a 2 Ops card for Rps and I used Gallipoli Invasion for Ops, attacking Trabzon, Nasirya and Qum. I was defeated at Trabzon but took Nasirya and Qum. The turn ended with an attack on Hamadan, a draw.
I was now at Total War, having spend only 2 turns at Limited War, which meant some key cards had passed me by.

Winter 1916

British Empire and No BR MOs.

I began by moving troops up to the front lines. Djemal revealed my largely uninteresting hand. Russian Reinforcements were followed by Bulgaria. I entrenched the Jaffa beach-head but not Belgrade. Jeromey played Bull’s Eye directive, entrenching in Jaffa, attacking Belgrade and Romani, capturing Belgrade. Dunsterforce appeared in Eastern Persia. Both of us played for RPs and Jeromey played Persian Push, moving troops up to Trabzon. I attacked Trabzon, getting caught in Severe Weather and losing badly. I captured El Arish, which was scant compensation. XV corps formed in Beersheba as the round ended. I rebuilt IV Caucasian Corps in Central Asia as Tiflis was full.

Spring 1916

TU and Meso/Persia MOs.

Both sides were now at Total War
I began with the Gallipoli Invasion, landing in Cyprus. Jeromey brought troops up to defend Syria. I established beach-heads of Haifa and Adana. Jeromey reinforced those locations. I attacked Beersheba and Haifa, using Tanks at Beersheba. The Beersheba attack was cancelled by Sandstorms but I decided not to pick up Tanks. The attack on Haifa failed. More Turkish divisions were redeployed to the Holy Land. I played for RPs, and Talaat Pashas abolished CP Mandatory Offensives. I made a 1 Ops move bringing IV Caucasian Corps to Enzeli. Jeromey played for RPs and I brought IV Caucasian Corps to Saqqiz and attacked Trabzon, without success. The turn ended with attacks on Veles and Nis. Many Serbs died but they held their ground.

Summer 1916

British Empire MO (Allies). Russian Revolution due to break out this turn.

The Russians attacked Seneh and Kermanshah, capturing the latter. XVIII Corps formed in Baghdad and the Turks won at Ercis. The Russians covered the gap in their lines created by Ercis and drove the Turks from Van. The Turks attacked Ardahan and Nis, capturing the latter. The British attacked Jaffa from the beach-head, losing a division. The Turks attacked Kermanshah but did not break through. Indian Reinforcements arrived, including an elite division which went straight to the Jaffa Beach-head. The Berlin to Baghdad railway was completed. Russian Reinforcements arrived and we both played for RPs. The Turks ended the turn with an attack on the Adana Beach-head and on Urmia. Urmia, defended only by the Persian-Russian Police, surprisingly defeated the Turks, but at Adana the Turks drove the British into the sea, earning valuable Jihad points and RPs.

Fall 1916

No BR MO, Russian Revolution imminent. Sinai Railroad completed. II Turkistani Corps returns from Gorlice-Tarnow.

The Russians attacked Hamadan (where the Persian Uprising had appeared during RPs) and Suj Bulak, capturing Suj Bulak but defeated at Haamadan. The Central Powers conquered Skopje. II Turkistani Corps formed in Tiflis. Verdun led a British Corps and 2 Camel divisions to depart for the West. Russian Reinforcements including V Caucasian Corps arrived at Tiflis. Kaiserschlacht followed, and I chose to give up the VP rather than lose more men. I attacked at Samawa and Kut, capturing Samawa.

Jeromey now played Pan-Turkism, raising the Jihad level to 9 and destroying some Serb remnants in Veles. I made a general attack with the Russians, doing much damage but gaining no territory. The last Serbs were eliminated in Monastir. The Russians attacked again, still only inflicting losses. The Russian Revolution duly began, after King Constantine brought Greece into the war against us.

Winter 1917

RU MO.

I began with a Russian Winter Offensive, although the Revolution meant I could only launch two attacks. More Turkish casualties followed, with a Turkish elite division wiped out. However, Caucasian Army Reforms swiftly brought 2 fresh Turkish Corps to the Russian front. Lloyd George took Command and Turkish Reinforcements were followed by Turkish War-Weariness. XVI Corps formed in Bitlis. I attacked Jaffa, but inflicted a pathetic 1 LF. XXII Corps formed in Beirut and the Turks in Kut entrenched as the Turks counter-attacked at Jaffa, with the beach-head only preserved by the trenches dug in the sandline. I reinforced the Jaffa beach-head and attacked Beersheba and The Hai, capturing the latter. We both played for Rps and the turn ended with the Yildirim arriving.

Spring 1917

British Empire MO.

Lawrence turned up, unfortunately far too late to stir up the Arabs, but revealing several nasty combat cards. The first was swift to be played, with the Army of Islam liberating Kermanshah. I played for Rps and the Turks reinforced Jaffa. I attacked Diwaniyeh, winning the battle despite Pasha I. Turkish Arab Reinforcements arrived. British division advanced into the desert at Najaf. Turk divisions were redeployed to Karbala. I attacked Karbala, driving the Turks out and entrenched the Haifa Beach-head. The Turks entrenched Baghdad. I attacked Haifa unsuccessfully and the turn ended with CP RPs.

Summer 1917

Balkans MO, unfortunate for me as I had no troops in the Balkans.
I played for RPs, Mission to Afghanistan raised the spectre of Jihad Revolt and I lost another attack on Haifa. Jeromey played for RPs and I redeployed troops to Haifa. The Turks took Saqqiz and I attacked Haifa again, still to no avail. The Turks now attacked my Jaffa beach-head, suffering heavy losses. I attacked Haifa and Kut, still not breaking through but at least forcing an extra step loss at Haifa. The Turks chased a British division out of Museyib and the Armenian Uprising broke out with the Armenian irregulars seizing Alexandretta, allowing the port to be used for a rebuilt ANZAC Corps later in the turn. The Turks simply redeployed troops around Alexandretta.

Fall 1917

British Empire MO. I began by expanding from Alexandretta, capturing Aleppo and attacking Haifa, forcing another step loss. The response was a Yildirim Offensive, enabling the Turks to ignore the trench on my Jaffa beach-head and drive the troops there into the sea, another boost to the cause of Jihad! They also destroyed a British division at Antioch and began to isolate the Allied foothold around Alexandretta. I played Allenby, reinforcing Alexandretta. The Turks captured Mamure Station. BR XX Corps formed in Alexandretta and another attack on Haifa was defeated.

The Turks conquered Azerbaijan and formed XX Corps in Damascus. I played for Rps and the Turks took Teheran and Qum, using the Jihad boost to place Kurds in Van, capturing another VP space. I redeployed British Empire troops to Eastern Persian and Central Asia, and the Turks captured Erevan from its Transcaucasian garrison, bringing VPs to 20. I conceded as I had no way of recovering a VP before the end of the


Overview

This game was a classic warning of the dangers of over-enthusiastic Invasions for the Allied player. Paying some attention to the Balkans would have been wise, and attacking Syria with every invasion certainly proved foolish .My failure to reach Limited War on time meant crucial Russian Reinforcements were delayed and Lawrence came too late for an Arab Revolt. Jeromey meanwhile played a skilful game, easily defending his beaches and driving the enemy into the sea more than once. Although I had a small attritional advantage in the late game, with Turkish War-Weariness and Lloyd George, it was not enough to overcome the defensive advantages enjoyed by the Turks.
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