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Subject: 1916 Scenario: Russian Triumph leads to Photo-Finish rss

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Philip Thomas
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This was an ACTS/Cyberboard game using the 1916 Scenario between myself and Jeromey with me playing the CPs. This was my ninth game using the 1916 Scenario and my fifth as the CPs. For this game (as for the previous game) we made some changes in the Alllies’s favour. Jihad was reduced by 1, the Parvus to Berlin Marker was moved 1 turn later (therefore moving the Revolution marker), we removed the trenches in Gaza and Beersheba, and we treated the Persian Uprising as permanently eliminated.

Russian Triumph Leads to Photo-Finish

Summer 1916

British Empire MO for Allies, RU MO for Turks Revolution due in two turns, TU Max Rps at 11.

Romania entered the war, losing a battle at Hermannstadt due to the intervention of Pasha I. I reinforced Hermannstadt and occupied Kronstadt in a single 1 Ops move. Jeromey besieged Aqaba and attacked Gumsuhane and Erzincan and the Bahriya Oasis. I organized XIV Corps in Erzincan and attacked Bitlis using the Army of Islam, but the Russians slipped away under Jafar Pasha.

The Russians occupied Gumushane, sent more troops to Ruwandis and were defeated at Karind. I now abandoned Erzincan, a fateful decision, and also Giresun, moving an LCU to Mosul and taking Bitlis. The Russians captured Erzincan while moving back from Malazgirt to defend Van. We both played for RPs (Jihad Offensive, Greece). I organized XVI Corps in Sivas at reduced strength. Indian Reinforcements arrived at Basra and I ended the turn with more RPs (Enver-Falkenhayn Summit). Aqaba fell in the siege phase.

Fall 1916

TU and RU MOs Revolution due in two turns. Tu Max RPs at 10.

The Russians moved troops around, taking Giresun. I played for RPs (Yildirim). The Russians attacked Harput, taking the space and effectively cutting the Turkish front in two. I entrenched in Diyarbarkir while sending Schmettow and Falkenhayn to Rustchuk. Jeromey moved a Russian Corps to Turtukai and attacked Bitlis and Mosul, but was defeated at Bitlis by Ataturk.

I entrenched at Mosul and Jeromey played for RPs (Haversack Ruse). Turkish Arab Reinforcements arrived with a Trench in Gaza. Indian Reinforcements arrived in Basra. I played for RPs (Kaiserschlacht). Allied Solidarity brought more Russians to Romania. I attacked Seneh and Craiova, driving the Russians back at Seneh but suffering a defeat at Craiova. The Marsh Arabs and Jangali appeared during the Tribal Warfare Check.

Winter 1917

No BR and TU MOs. Revolution due in one turn TU Max RPs at 10.

Russian reinforcing infantry divisions arrived at Odessa and Trabzon. Talaat Pasha was followed by Dunsterforce appearing in Eastern Persia and my play for RPs (Unrestricted Submarine Warfare). The Allies moved troops to Samawa and El Arish. I redeployed troops to Gaza and Diwaniyeh. The Allies attacked Diwaniyeh and the Hai, taking Diwaniyeh.

I pulled back from Sanniyat to Hilla, sent the Corps in Mosul to Bitlis, and organized TU-A XVIII Corps in Baghdad. Allied RPs (Warm-Water Port) were followed by moving XVIII Corps to Kut and entrenching in Hilla. The Allies took the Hai and won a great victory at Bitlis, destroying TU XIV Corps. I ended the turn with RPs (Yildirim Offensive). The Kurds appeared at Kagizman during the Tribal Warfare Check.

Spring 1917

No BR MO, Revolution due this turn TU Max RPs at 10.

The Russians moved to Craiova (Romanians politely moving to Bucharest) and attacked Diyarbarkir as well as destroying the Turkish cavalry division at Cizre. I defended Diyarbarkir with Fleigbarateilung and German High Command, while the attackers had Armenian Druzhiny. Both sides took maximum casualties. I moved fresh Corps up to Malatya and the Russians attacked Diyarbarkir again, as well as Hermannstadt, winning both battles though my troops held their Ground.

Mackensen was disgraced in the Balkan battle. I moved Schmettow and the Alpenkorps to Hermannstadt and attacked at Harput but failed to reunite my front. Attacks on Mosul and Diyarbarkir followed, the Russians destroying III Corps and taking Diyarbarkir. Berlin-Baghdad Railroad was completed as the Russians took Mardin and Mosul and destroyed the Army of Islam. I played Turkish Reinforcements, placing Left Wing Group in Baghdad. Jeromey played for RPs (Allenby). I moved the Left Wing Group up to Kirkuk with a 1 Ops move, Jeromey moved a Russian division to Mardin with a 1 Ops move. I ended the turn with RPs (To Help and Save You).

Summer 1917

British Empire MO TU Max RPs at 8. Russian Revolution 2 turns away.

Lloyd George took Command, and I redeployed 2 divisions to Karind. Turkish War Weariness set in and I attacked Kermanshah, taking the space and disgracing Baratov. The Allies redeployed Russian troops to Hamadan. I played for RPs (British War Weariness). The Russians took Ras Ul Ain. I played Caucasian Army Reforms to put 2 Caucasian Corps in Alexandretta. The Russians captured Hatseg and attacked Amasya. I attacked and took Craiova and moved troops to Devrigi. The Romanians counterattacked at Craiova, retaking it, as the Russians took Aleppo and a British attack on Najaf was prevented by Sandstorms. My final play was RPs again (Bull’s Eye Directive).

Autumn 1917

British Empire MO TU Max RPs at 6, Russian Revolution 3 turns away.

The Russians began by redeploying troops to Aleppo and Craiova. I attacked at Aleppo and Hatseg, taking Hatseg and driving the Russians from Aleppo, while a Senussi destroyed itself attacking Mersa Matruh. Allenby arrived. I played for RPs (Indian Mutiny), Arab Desertion began, and I took Aleppo.

BR XX and XXI Corps formed in Egypt and the Russians were defeated at Aleppo. I organized XXII Corps in Gaza and entrenched at Aleppo. The Anzac Desert Corps formed in Egypt as BR XXI Corps moved to El Arish and the British attacked the Senussi. I entrenched Kut and moved the Kurds, who had been waiting almost a year at Kagizman, to Tiflis. Faisal attacked Maan and I played for RPs (Jihad Supremacy). Another tribe of Kurds appeared at Kagizman and the Revolution began.

Winter 1918

No MO TU Max RPs at 4 Revolution in Stage 1.

The Allies attacked Gaza and Maan, besieging Maan. I moved a Cavalry division to Hesa. The Allies attacked Gaza, Kut and Najaf, taking Najaf. The Allies used Push to the Breaking Point for an immediate extra attack at Kut. I moved a division to Beersheba and TU-A VIII Corps to Gaza. The Allies attacked Gaza and Kut, taking Kut and destroying TU-A VIII Corps in Gaza.

I had now run out of TU-A infantry in my Reserve, meaning my TU-A Corps were replaced by better quality TU infantry. I moved Left Wing Group back to Baghdad, now sandwiched between Russians in Mosul and Brits in Kut. The Allies took Azizya and Karbala. I moved XV Corps to Gaza by rail. The Allies played for RPs (D’Esperey) and I played Kaisersclacht, Jeromey removing Allied divisions from El Arish, Kut and the Reserve. Greece attempted to join the Allies but was foiled by King Constantine. Maan fell in the Siege phase, taking VPs to 3.

Spring 1918

Meso-Persia MO TU Max RPs at 4 Revolution in Stage 2.

An Allied attack on Museyib was held up by Water Shortage (otherwise the troops in Hilla would have been cut off). I pulled back from Hilla to Museyib. The Allies took Hilla and Ctesphon. I organized XVII Corps in Baghdad. The Allies attacked and took Beersheba and Baghdad, trapping 4 Turkish divisions between Baghdad and Russian Mosul and bringing VPs to 1.

Back to the wall, I played the Yildirim Offensive event, counterattacking with flank attacks at Baghdad and Beersheba and attacking the Russians at Ras Ul Ain. All three battles succeeded, in Baghdad destroying Tigris Corps before it could fire back and sending Maude reeling back to Aziya. Celebrating the recapture of Baghdad the Marsh Arabs appeared in Kut. The Allies moved troops up to Museyib and Kossaima and I pulled out the 4 Turkish divisions trapped in Northern Iraq, redeploying them to Beersheba and Ras Ul Ain.

The Allies took Baghdad for a second time and Maude redeemed himself by destroying the Kurds at Kut, putting Vps back at 1. I organized XX Corps in Beersheba and attacked Diyarbarkir, drawing. We both played for RPs (Haversack Ruse, Unrestricted Submarine Warfare). The turn ended with the surrender of North-eastern Iraq, which fortunately had no more VP locations in it. I removed the Qashquai from Central Persia to cover the Jihad loss from Baghdad.

Summer 1918

Egyptian MO. TU Max RPs at 0. Revolution in Stage 3.

The Allies moved troops up to Ramadi, Maude advancing up the long corridor in western Iraq which comes out at Deir Es Zor. I moved Corps to Nazibin, taking Mardin on the way. The Allies took out a Turkish division in Hit and attacked the Senussi, destroying the one remaining tribe. I attacked Mosul and Erzincan, taking Erzican but being held up at Mosul by Yudenich’s dying gesture. The Russians pulled back to cover Erzerum, one Indian Corps reached El Ghaim while another moved to Sulemaniye.

I attacked Erzerum and Mosul, taking both and bringing VPs to 5. The Russians continued to pull back while the Indians destroyed a Turkish division in Mayadin and moved up to Kirkuk. I entrenched Mosul, captured Diyarbarkir and moved a Corps to Deir Es Zor. The remaining Allied forces in the corridor gathered at Mayadin. I played Bull’s Eye Directive attacking at Mayadin, Trabzon and Ruwandis and moving the Kurds at Kagizman to Erevan. I defeated Maude at Mayadin and captured Trabzon.

Greece joined the Allies, bringing VPs to 7. I moved more troops up to the Russian front and took Targu Jiu with the Austrians. During Tribal Warfare check the Bakhtiari appeared in Isfahan, while I had to sacrifice IX Corps at Kayseri to Turkish War Weariness. The Revolution brought a Georgian Protectorate to Batum, 3 Armenian Divisions to Kars, and Georgian divisions in Shemakha and Bayazit, with a Russian Cavalry division staying on in Van.

Autumn 1918

Balkans MO.

The Allies moved some divisions up to Tikrit and pulled the Romanians and the Yugoslav division back from Craiova to Bucharest. I played a 5 Ops card, gathering a multinational force under Falkenhayn at Craiova, moving a Corps to Bitlis and capturing Suj Bulak. The Russian cavalry at Van pulled back to Tabriz and the Allies attacked Mosul and Isfahan, taking Isfahan. I moved a Corps down to Mosul from Caucasia and attacked and took Bucharest. The Romanians abandoned Ploesti and the Indians attacked again at Mosul. I captured Ploesti with a German division and moved the Corps at Deir Es Zor up to Mosul.

Jeromey switched targets and redeployed Indian troops deep into Russia, threatening to take out the Kurds in Tiflis and Erevan. With some complex maneuvering in Persia and near the Black Sea I managed to put the Indians in Limited Supply- drawing supply through the Soviet Uprisings in Baku and Enzeli. I also brought a division round to Sulemaniye and combined with a victory at Tikrit this meant the Indian Corps in Kirkuk was now surrounded.

Jeromey moved the troops in the western corridor back to Baghdad, cut off the Turkish division in Sulemaniye with Dunsterforce and attacked Erevan, destroying the Kurds and bringing VPs to 8. I moved Corps to Maragha and Ardahan and in the final allied impulse the BR-GR CND attacked Doiran to fulfil the Allied MO, the Georgians blocked my route to Baku and the Romanians attacked Ploesti, winning the battle but being prevented from advancing by Confused Orders. In my final impulse I took Hamadan and Tabriz but was defeated by the Germans at Batum. Urmia came under Turkish sway during the Attrition phase, making VPs 11
11.

Overview

The game looked like a sweeping Allied victory, with the Russians approaching the Mediteranean, but ended up as a very close game indeed. Both sides drew key events later than desirable, with the Allies not getting Lloyd George or Turkish War Weariness until Summer 1917 and the CPs not getting Berlin-Baghdad Railway or Caucasian Army Reforms until Spring 1917 and Summer 1917 respectively. I was fortunate in being able to prevent the first play of Greece with King Constantine. The geography of Mesopotamia hindered the Allies, making their advance up towards Deir Es Zor slow. Yildirim Offensive proved its worth, as did Bull’s Eye Directive. Romanian held out all game, with the Ploesti Oil Wells only entering CP hands in the final turn and the Mosul oil wells were also heavily contested that turn.

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Jeromey Martin
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Dallas
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I made some big errors towards the end--I definitely got overconfident after the early Russian successes.

Ideally, I should have done one of two things; either continue the offensive with the Russians, hoping to prolong the Revolution one more turn (probably the harder option, what with those pesky Kurds that I left alone). The second would've been to better prepare myself for simply holding on to what the Russians had left. An earlier SR into the Russian hinterland might've positioned me to knock off the Kurds and take those two VPs back.

I think my multiple assaults on Mosul were definitely a bad idea. Once the trench went up, I should've give up on that front and just hammered you in Gaza some more.

Ah, well. On to the next game!
 
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