Gallipoli, 1915 Example of Play (Part 1): Moving, Firing, Assaulting, Hiding

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This example uses scenario 10.7.1 Kemal’s Counter Attack, a two-player scenario designed to be played in an afternoon.

Kemal Mustafa Atatürk was the commander of the 19th Division, the first senior Ottoman commander on the scene at Anzac. His quick actions saved the day for the Ottoman Empire. In this scenario he has just issued his famous order to the 57th Regiment: “Men, I am not ordering you to attack. I am ordering you to die. In the time that it takes us to die, other forces and commanders can come and take our place.”  Don’t let that dismay the Ottoman player – Kemal’s attack captured the vital high ground of Battleship Hill and Baby 700, which caused the ANZAC command to seriously consider evacuating the beaches under fire – vetoed by the Royal Navy.

This example deliberately chooses a very complex situation so as to illustrate all the rules.

Map 1 – Initial dispositions, noon 25th April

Map 1 – Initial dispositions, noon 25th April

Map 1 shows the initial position, as it was historically at noon. If a unit has taken losses, then units has been flipped to its reverse side.  All three brigades of the 1st Australian Division are hopelessly intermingled and have Disorganized Defense Orders. No actual player would create such a mess – the historical commander had chosen to feed in reinforcements one company at a time. Notice that both Australian and Ottoman units occupy Mortar Ridge (hex 36.56). They are in the “Us/Them” state, which is allowed in scrub and other close terrain hexes. All units in Us/Them are Hiding. Units that are hiding are immune to (non-plunging) infantry fire, but equally, they cannot themselves fire. The men are hiding in the tiny gullies and thick scrub and are focused on the very real threat just over the rise, not some abstract threat 400m away on their flank.

The 57th and 27th Regiments has just been successfully issued an Attack Order, as shown in Map 2. Section 10 includes a detailed example of Orders.

Map 2 – Ottoman attack orders

Map 2 – Ottoman attack orders

The Ottoman player has the command counters for 27th and 57th Regiments in their cup, the Entente has The NZ Brigade, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Brigades. For initiative the Ottomans roll a 6, as do the ANZACs. The Ottomans have a +1 Dice Roll Modifier (DRM) because they control the high ground at Chunnuk Bair, therefore winning initiative. They roll a 3 for sequencing, which is less than their required number of 6, hence they must pull randomly from their cup.

The Ottomans pull the Command Chit for the 57th Regiment. All units of that Regiment are now activated. Artillery and cavalry that have not yet been activated can optionally be included.

Commanded fire occurs before movement. The Ottoman player’s plan is to move the 2/57 Battalion into an assault position this turn, and assault Battleship Hill next turn. The 3/57 Battalion is “In Support” and hence will be kept in reserve for the subsequent assault on Baby 700 or The Nek. Units that perform commanded fire cannot move, so the 2/57 and 3/57 will not fire. However, 1/57 and the two mountain artillery batteries will fire.

All units of 1/57 are in hex 37.56. The MG unit has a range of 2 and could fire at Baby 700 and the Chessboard. However, MG fire is only worth ½ point at range 2, so the Ottoman player decides to maximize his maxims by firing at an adjacent stack. There are two potential targets – Battleship Hill and Mortar Ridge (hex 36.56). The units on Mortar Ridge are hiding and therefore completely immune to infantry fire from the same elevation. Hence the only target for 1/57 is the depleted L 11 Bn on Battleship Hill. Only 2 steps of rifle plus 5 points of MG can fire across one hexside, so the total firepower is 3 (2 rifle + 1 MG). The DRMs are: +3 for trench, +1 for firing uphill; gives net +4. The Entente player has the option of hiding and completely ignoring the fire (because it does not come from a higher elevation). However, if a unit hides then it cannot execute Opportunity fire (well, it can choose to pop its head up, but then every adjacent enemy gets a free shot, so usually if you choose to hide, you are really choosing to stay hidden). The Entente player chooses not to hide, because he fears an imminent assault, and wants to keep his Opportunity Fire ability. The Ottoman player rolls the five dice (green, red-white percentile, and blue-grey percentile):  3, 89, 78. The +4 DRM is applied to the 3 result on the green fire die, raising it to 7. Cross-referencing a 7 result on the 3 fire points column of the fire results table (see below) gives a result of “0.14.” That is less than one, so there is no automatic hit. The fractional hit requires a roll of 28 or less on the red-white percentile dice, so the result of 89 means “no hit.”

The fire table was designed so that there would be no artificial column or row breaks. The fractional hit allows for smooth changes in probability. The result is faster game play – every single fire point and every single DRM make a difference, so players do not need to fiddle around with their stacks trying to achieve a perfect column break on each attack. It might look complex at first glance, but it is very smooth in actual play. Add up the fire points, roll the dice, apply the DRM to one of the dice, and then read off the result.

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The 8 Mtn/3 battery in hex 38.56 elects to fire at Baby 700 (hex 35.56) with 8 fire points of low-angle shrapnel. 8 Mtn/3 and the target hex are at the same elevation, and there is no intervening terrain at a higher elevation, so the line of sight is open. The Entente player could choose to hide, but again prefers to retain their Opportunity Fire. The Anzacs lie in the open in the scrub, as they did historically. The only DRM is +1 for scrub.  The dice rolls are 0, 28, 46. The green die is modified to 1. Cross-referencing a 1 on the 4 column gives a result of 44. That is a 44% chance of a hit. The red-white percentile roll of 28 is greater than 44, i.e. one hit. The hit must be applied to the largest infantry unit (owner’s choice for ties). The Entente player chooses to take the loss on L 12 Bn, eliminating it. The morale check is made using the best unit (R 11 Bn). The roll of 46 is less than 70, so the stack passes.

The other mountain battery (7 Mtn/39) on Scrubby Knoll (38.55) fires at the Chessboard (35.55). The Entente player is tired of taking losses and decides to hide. However, he has forgotten that although hiding units are immune to infantry fire, they are not immune to artillery fire – even low-angle shrapnel shells are bursting high enough to reach into the little gullies. The fire strength is 4, DRM +2. The dice roll is 5, 78, 18 – no effect. In compensation the ANZAC unit has lost its opportunity fire ability, which is significant.

Both mountain batteries have a 1 fired marker placed on them – each fire cumulatively adds a +2 DRM to subsequent fires in the same turn.

The Ottoman player decide to move the 2/57 Battalion down the northern side of the main ridge. The 2/57 will be exposed to Opportunity fire from the L 11 Bn on Battleship Hill, but they are hoping outflank and isolate that position. See Map 3.

Both half-battalions of 2/57 leave Chunnuk Bair (hex 38.58) and spend 1 movement point to enter hex 37.57. This triggers opportunity fire from L 11 Bn in Battleship Hill (36.57). L 11 Bn has 1 Fire Point. The DRMs are -3 for moving, +1 for scrub, -2 for density (4 steps), yielding a net DRM of -4. The Entente player rolls the five dice with a result of 7, 05, 49. The -4 DRM is added to the green fire die for a modified roll of 3. Looking up the fire chart, the result is “0.05”. That means no immediate hits, and a 5% chance of 1 hit. The red-white percentile is 05, which is equal to or less than 16, so one hit is scored. A morale check must be made after every loss, which is the role of the blue-grey percentile dice roll. The morale of the best unit in the stack is used (15). The morale roll of 49 is less than 15, so the stack passes its morale check.

The Ottoman player chooses to leave the left half of the 2/57 battalion in this hex, hoping to set up a crossfire against Battleship Hill. R 3/57 spends its second MP to enter hex 35.58, immediately North of Battleship Hill. Once again L 11 Bn fires on them. The DRM for density is zero, so this fire is 1 fire point with DRM of -2.  The dice roll is 2, 42, 39.  The modified green die is 0, giving a result of 0.13. The red-white percentile roll (42) is within 40 percentage points of a hit (13), so a morale check must be made. The morale roll (39) is well below the stack’s morale, so the stack passes.

R 2/57 spends a third movement point to enter hex 35.57, NW of Battleship Hill. When a unit moves adjacent to the enemy, all adjacent infantry stacks or one remote stack are eligible to fire, in this case Battleship Hill and Baby 700 (due South). The total fire strength is 1+3 = 4, with DRM +-2. The dice roll is 5, 20, 17.  The 5 is modified to 3, a result of 0.33.  The red-white roll of 20 is less than 33, so a hit is scored. The morale is 87, which is greater than 85. Hence the unit is confused and must stop moving. The position at this point is shown in Map 3.

Map 3 – Ottoman commanded fire and the movement of 2/57 Battalion

Map 3 – Ottoman commanded fire and the movement of 2/57 Battalion

At this point the Ottoman player could assault Battleship Hill with the 1/57 Battalion, but he decides to spend a turn firing at it instead. The 3/57 Battalion is In Support and therefore cannot move adjacent to the enemy. The Ottoman player brings it one hex closer, to 38.58.

The 57th Regiment has no assault to resolve, so it has finished its activation. Both players roll for initiative, and the Entente wins. The Entente player then rolls an 8 for sequencing, which is higher than the required 7. Therefore, the Entente player can choose which formation to activate, rather than pulling randomly form the cup. They choose the 3rd Australian Brigade.

The 3rd Australian Brigade has Disorganized Defense orders so they can fire but not move. The two stacks on Baby 700 and Battleship Hill again combine to fire on the confused  R 2/57 in 35.57. The total fire points are 4; DRM is -1 for plunging fire, +1 for scrub, i.e. net 0. The Ottoman player elects not to hide. The roll is 3, 40, 81.  A result of 3 on the 4 column gives a fractional hit of 0.33, so the 40 is a miss. The morale roll has +5 DRM because the stack has at least one confused unit, and therefore fails. A Confused unit that fails a morale check loses an additional step to rout, so the iron men of the 57th lose a step. Oops, looks like outflanking the ANZACs by walking into a fire trap was not such a good idea!

The 3rd Australian Brigade does not move, so both players roll again for initiative. The Ottoman wins, and moves their only remaining regiment, the 27th.

R 3/27 would like to fire at L 1 Bn in The Chessboard (35.55), but L 1 Bn is hiding and not below them, so the fire would have no effect. A/3 Bn is also hiding, so it has no targets. The Ottoman units in 36.56 cannot fire out of their own hex because they are in Us/Them.

During the movement phase L 3/27 attempts to assault A/3 Bn. The first step is to pass a pre-assault morale check. L 3/27 rolls a 25, which is so much lower than their morale (80) that the player does not even bother checking the DRMs – L 3/27 passes. The MG will not assault because MGs cannot attack in an assault. Ordinarily a defending unit is able to fire opportunity fire as the assaulting unit enters its hex, but not if the assault originates within the hex from an Us/Them situation (at ANZAC the lines were often only 10 m apart, whereas a hex is 400m across). The other adjacent ANZAC units cannot fire into an Us/Them hex. I considered adding rules for allowing such fire at the risk of friendly fire but decided it was too complicated and historically rare. The hex is marked with an Assault marker and the movement phase continues.

The Ottoman player considers assaulting from 36.55 into the Chessboard (35.55) but figures that odds of 4 to 2 are not good enough.

That is the end of movement, and so the Assault in hex 36.56 is resolved.

The Ottoman player has 2 fire points, and the ANZAC player has 1. The initial “box” on the Assault Chart is the 2-1 box. Adjustments are made for terrain: both have scrub, so both have a 1-column shift down, bringing it to 1.5 to 0.5.  The Ottoman player rolls a 55 – the result is that the defender loses a step, wiping out the Australians. The Us/Them is removed and the Ottomans are remain in hiding.

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That assault ends the activation of the 27th Regiment.

The Entente player wins the initiative roll, and picks 1st Australian Brigade (green bar). L 1 Bn is hiding so cannot fire unless it comes out of hiding. If it were to come out of hiding then every adjacent Ottoman would be able to rain Opportunity fire down on their heads before the L 1 Bn’s fire would take effect, so the Australians decide to keep their head down. The only other fire is long-range fire from MG 2 Bn on Baby 700 against R 2/57. The Entente rolls 9, 98, 45 – no effect.

2nd Australian Brigade and The New Zealand Brigade are not yet involved in this little fight, so we ignore their moves.

To Be Continued…


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