Monday, 4 May 2015

Jonny & the Diggers (part 2)

With just under six weeks to go until OML3 "The Lardest Day" I took the opportunity at last night's club to have a dress rehearsal for this year's Sari Bair-A Ridge Too Far Gallipoli game. I'm lucky enough to have been lent a great deal of the scenery and figures needed, but this would be the first time I would actually get to see both Mike Hobbs' and Alan Sheward's kit mixed together. The object of the evening was not so much sort out the final layout, but to see if there were any glaringly obvious omissions which would need to be sorted before the event.
View from the Anzac approach. There's about a 20"(50cm) rise from the near edge to the top of the slope.
I already had a plan in mind of how I wanted the table to look. 6' x 6'. A long sloping rise, based on two foot square tiles with a cloth overlay. Gallipoli is surprisingly much more verdant than would first be assumed with plenty of vegetation (cotton bushes, long grasses & even pine trees!) as well as the pale rocky soil. I found some more useful items while packing away at the end of the evening which I'll probably find use for on the day.
Another view from the bottom of the slope. I've hatched a plan to try to make it a little steeper (hopefully still allowing the figures to stand!)
Mike's trenches would form the Turkish line at the top. The trenches were often short, not too deep and not necessarily joined. so I'd opted for two 24" lengths on either flank with communication lines running to the rear on both sides.
Turks pour fire down on the approaching Anzacs from their trenches.
I'll be trying to make the dry stream bed at the foot of the slope more obvious and the lighter hills will maybe end up beneath the cloth too. There are more grass tufts to use on the day also. Again, the conundrum will be to provide more scenery without necessarily increasing the cover too much. I'm hoping that the folds in the ground will be the biggest source of concealment.
View along the Turkish lines.
Although I'm acutely aware that the Chain of Command mechanics for this stage of WW1 may provide a tad "vanilla" gaming experience, I'm hoping that the challenge of the terrain, objective and scenario may encourage the use of some of the less obvious options of approach to each phase. It differs hugely from the WW2 CoC game format. Most of the troops being armed with only rifles. No LMG's, little in the way of grenade usage and no fire teams! At this stage in warfare battles were still being conducted on a company level at least. So this will form only part of the picture as a couple of Anzac platoons are on table with the smallest manoeuvre element being 8-9 man sections. The HUGE Turkish platoons (83 men strong!) will only be represented in part also.

Anzac sections begin the long, unenviable slog up hill under heavy fire.

I'll be giving a lot of consideration to support choices too. A defensive machine gun or pre-assault bombardment can totally skew a game for either side. so it'll be a fine line to tread I fear.

This will need some thought. Maybe some "jamming" rules will be introduced? :^)
Lots more reading up should hopefully help in shaping the finer points of the game. overall I'm fairly happy with the way it's moving. It's all about making it playable from here.
Finally, the view from the top.
As always, please excuse the quality of the photos.