Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Taking of Akaba


Arab Revolt   - 1916 to 1918

The taking of Akaba

Prince Auda Ibu Tayi with 50 Arabs, “advised” by Lawrence of Arabia (and 22,000 British gold sovereigns) leads a daring assault on Akaba (a port on the Red Sea) to break the deadlock in the Middle East War. The force crosses the harsh Nefud desert terrain swelling to 500 men as they travelled, attacking the Hejaz Railway on route, and avoiding the Turkish cavalry sent to intercept them.

On July 6th 1917 the Arabs meet the Turkish infantry guarding the land approach to the port at Abu al Lissan. The Arabs skirmished ineffectually at first but goaded by Lawrence they charged on camel back into the enemy positions.

During the fight the Arabs lose a handful of  men killed and an unknown number of wounded - far less than the losses to snakes and scorpions in the desert! The Turks are overwhelmed, many are killed after surrender as the Arab leaders struggle to hold back their jubilant men.

Lawrence was lucky to escape unhurt as in the excitement of the charge he managed to shoot his own camel in the head! Luckily he was thrown clear and managed to avoid being run down by his own allies!

The arrival of the Arabs from the desert resulted in the surrender of the Akaba garrison.  Lawrence then made an epic dash to inform the British, who quickly sent ships with supplies and transported units of Prince Feisal Arab Army to consolidate the success and launch the next phase of the campaign. The success also encouraged many men from the local tribe to join the revolt, which diverted Turkish troops, and helped the Allies advance into Palestine.
The game was set up much more to the Laurence of Arabia film than the "Real History". In Reality the battle was mostly focused around a Turkish block house. Which was situated between two towns (Akaba and Ma'an). Wikipedia has an entry on the battle should you be interested in what actually happened. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Aqaba
 
And indeed was more balanced as a game.  I did use a very simple set of rules that I had made up myself and they led to a quite balanced game.  On the day we played 2 games. Tim and myself took the Arabs in the first game with Peter and Graham taking the Turks. In the second Game Peter had to leave early and Richard sat in for him.
In each game the two Turks in the trench died very quickly (as they are supposed to). But after that each game went completely differently. 
 
 
 
 
 
In the first game I had spotted a gap in the Turkish troop line (they were spread thin. And managed to slip around half a dozen Arabs into the  rear of the army.  When I brought my arabs into melee the Turks (Peter) was able to beat them of with bayonets and my atrocious dice rolls. Not once while in Melee in the first game did I roll higher than a 2 on d6. Mostly I threw 1's. While Tim managed to hammer into the Turkish main line and not only keep them occupied but also to break them. All the while my troops in the rear stopped the Turks from getting any reinforcements which resulted in the Arabs being able to out gun the Turks and close for melee combat. It was a close run thing with each side capable of winning it.
Lucky for me the Arabs won the first game but it was balanced on a knife edge at one point.
 
The Second Game was more one sided. We had all learnt from the first game. I think I used up all my favours from the dice gods as well as my Turks were turning out to be crack shots (I rolled high on the dice a few times more than usual). My troops this time (now the Turks) were rubbish in melee (my dice rolls). But as My troops were mostly able to keep the Turks at a distance the rifle fire was the telling blow. Additionally both Tim and myself had learnt the value of slipping Arabs into the rear (ohh err! Waits for Tamsin to make a choice comment!) so we put a stop to that. Which allowed us to keep reinforcements arriving.  And by having reinforcements we were always able to keep up the pressure on the Attackers .
Overall it was a very good day and we mostly played for fun. The photography is a bit hit and miss as mentioned on Monday my Camera was playing up and it is no where near the quality of Grahams hence the different colour tones.
Anyway thanks for looking and with luck more again on Friday.
 All the best Clint


 
 

24 comments:

  1. That looked like a lot of fun and it is good to know that your rules gave a balanced game with both sides winning once. Many thanks for sharing, Clint.

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  2. It all looks very nice. I'm glad that the games went well.

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  3. Very nice looking board and game dude.

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    1. Cheers Bob nice of you to say so.

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  4. Your Akaba game has all the ingredients ofa great game. The results in all (four ?) of your games have been close with wins for both sides. The terrain, figures and all the bits that make up the game have made it all a bit special.

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    1. Thanks Joe. Yes 4 games with two wins to each side. The easiest win was the last game with me as the Turks and the favour of the Dice Gods. (All praise the Dice Gods). Already planning games and boards for next Broadside. Several Ideas but nothing concrete yet.

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  5. What a game, very neatly done.

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  6. It looks wonderful Clint and from I've read well received. Great to see the backboard in action too.

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    1. Thank you Mr A. I think the Back board might be a rod for my own back as I suspect that no other back drop will be as easy to replicate. *Slaps Forehead!* Doh!

      Still I have some ideas for next time. Mammoth Hunting for one! (thought that one might appeal!)

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  7. VERY COOL looking game Clint!!! Postie said "Have you remembered what you phoned him for the other day???" ha ha ha ha!

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    1. Yes! I phoned him and he kept deliberately putting me off the git!

      Thank you Ray

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  8. Great looking game and a nice surprise to see that one sided scene in the movie turned into a balanced game.

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    1. It is also one sided in history! (Very few Arabs died in reality. More die each time we play the game than do in 3 days of the battle. But as it is one of the Iconic scenes in the film (that and the Train) it did deserve to be put into a game. Thank you Robert.

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  9. Clint
    Great looking game. I've seen it featured on several blogs following Broadside. Kudos for including the backdrop - it too looks great.
    Cheers
    PD

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    1. Thank you Peter. I appreciate your kind words

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  10. Hi Clint,

    It looks absolutely fantastic and I am SO sorry I was not able to be there and take part. As you rightly point out the whole episode was one of the the most iconic scenes from the film (with of course the history being somewhat different!).

    I have my own Middle Eastern collection to work on now which currently features around 30 mounted Arabs so I may well be asking you for tips when I get to repainting them.

    A fantastic effort and the backdrop really set the scene. Truly for some men nothing is written; unless they write - on their blog!

    All the best and many congratulations on a job very well done.

    All the best,

    DC

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  11. Thank you David. It would have been good to have you at Broadside but I fully understand.

    You now have a great collection of your own and I will no doubt see them in action at sometime.

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  12. For my money, the best looking game on the day. You'll have to run it for us now!

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    1. It would be a pleasure to run it for you guys. But you can finish the game in 90mins as it stands and I would like to keep you all busy a little longer. Thank you Lee.

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  13. Great post! It's good to see how fantastic it all came out in the end!

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    1. Thank you Mathyoo. I hope to start something new quite soon. Let's hope that comes out as well.

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