Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Road to Damascus

Today's game, my first in nearly two months, was WWI in the Middle East. The scenario had a British battalion, supported by an armoured car and several motor vehicles advancing on a Turkish outpost guarding an oasis just east of the rail line to Damascus. The British advance was preceded by a reconnaissance by two companies of New Zealand light horse, with a number of light machine guns in vehicles. German reinforcements were known to be moving to support the Turks. The capture of the outpost and the oasis is vital to the allied operation to take Damascus.

The outpost 

At the same time a mixed force under Lawrence were charged with destroying a culvert that carried the rail line to Damascus over a gully. That culvert was protected by a company of Turks and a machine gun team.

The Culvert

The game started with the New Zealanders advancing from the west. They soon located the Turks in the outpost beside the oasis and engaged them. About the same the British arrived also from the west.

The New Zealanders arrive

With thier vehicles

The British arrive

At the same time the Germans, supported by an artillery section, marched up from the south.

The New Zealanders quickly dismounted and engaged the Germans. Two German companies took up positions south of the outpost and dug in, while a third company moved to take post north of the place.

Meanwhile, Lawrence arrived and quickly located the Turks near the culvert. Dismounting he engaged the Turks frontally with one company, while the other swung around to flank them from the north. Lawrence's plan works a treat and after a brief skirmish the Turkish company was dispersed, although the machine gun team, in a railway carriage, was able to withdraw to the south. 

Lawrence arrives

And located the Turks

The New Zealanders and the British armoured car cut up one of the German companies badly and when the Kiwi's charged, the Germans quit the field. But the charge proved costly to the Kiwis and the German supports cut them to pieces. The Kiwis soon decided that they had had enough and quit the field. The British infantry pressed forward to fill the space.

The New Zealandes take the German defences

The British move up in support

The third German company was recalled from the ground north of the outpost to try to stabilise the line. But the second company of Kiwis mounted up and moved around the outpost, forcing the Germans to halt and turn back. The Germans opened fire with virtually no effect, but the New Zealanders did not made the same mistake and shot the Germans to pieces, driving them from the field.

Meanwhile by the railway culvert, one company of Lawrence's command was cut up badly by the Turkish machine gun, and eventually forced from the field. At the same time a train carrying another Turkish company arrived. Despite inflicting some heavy losses on the Turks, Lawrence's second unit was finally driven off.

To the west the British destroyed the last German company and then turned their attention to the Turks in the outpost. Sheer weight of numbers began to tell and when the New Zealanders charged the shaken Turks, they easily took the post.

The British MGs in action

The armoured car

The Kiwis storm the outpost

The Turks on the railway decided that their time was up and headed off to Damascus in their train.

The Kiwis and British troops rested and resupplied with water from the oasis. The success of the Damascus operation was assured.


  1. Really nice work. You have given me inspiration to continue with my Palestine 28mm WW1!

    1. Thanks Mark, but I must say that I can't claim credit for the armies - I was merely a particupant in the game.

  2. Mark,
    What a ripping yarn! Enjoyed reading that and looking at the pics! Hope everyone enjoyed the game!

  3. Nice After Action Report Mark and better pics than mine! I have done much the same thing on my blog.


  4. Lovely looking set up, nice figures and terrain

    1. Thanks Russ, although I can take credit for neither the setup or the figures. j was a mere player in the game.

  5. A period I don't see gamed much. Great layout and a well-told story.
    Great stuff!

    1. Thanks Jonathan (spelt you name right this time). It was fun and it s good that fhe Kiwis took the ouposts at the expense of our colonoal masters! I want to expand the WWI armies to include East Africa...maybe that is a project for next year.

  6. I will join you in that E Africa project Mark - already got a few units and once the Crimean and Carlist are completed, that might be my next area of endeavour

    1. I have a small unit of Sikhs already. The plan is to expand with some Brits, KAR and a small German force, but this probably won't happen until March/April after the Isabellinos, the Russian Napoleonics and the Spanish buildings are done.