Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans BBB Nikopolis 1877

A couple of weeks ago we played our next scenario in the Last Century of the Ottomans BBB Campaign. This was Nikopolis.  I commanded teh Ottomans, and Emir and Onur the Russians. It was a resounding Russian victory. Next up is 2nd Pleven.

To date we have played three scenarios. In all three the result was the historical, and in all three I lost.
Kurudere-> Russian Victory
Aleksinatz-> Ottoman Victory
Nikopol-> Russian Victory

The AAR was prepared by Onur, while I made the Video Report from recordings made by Onur. Emir and Onur took the pictures.

"BBB Nikopol AAR,
April 23th 2016. Children Holiday at Turkey.

We met at Konstantinos’s place again. Me and Emir commanded Russians and our host commanded Turks. All terrains and models were supplied by our generous host.

The Video Report

Initial deployment of Ottoman Army was heavily on the west.  Only single Nizam Infantry deployed on the eastern artillery redoubts. We, Russians deployed in concentration between Djournevo and East of Voubla as much as we can. Artillery used en masse to have a viable effect which they did several times. Single Cossacks cavalry deployed on the Eastern edge around Ermenia to make create threats. They did more than that.

Russian attacks started in column formation to close and stopped a couple of time by Turkish fire but command rolls were usually good. So by turn 3 first assaults initiated. But they didn't succeed  due to close range Turkish Martini-Henry fire. By turn 3, three Russian units suffered some losses and were in vicinity of the first Turkish rifle pits. In the meantime Cossacks found a gap between artillery and Nizam infantry and tried to exploit it. By occupying first rifle pit, Russians get the needed reinforcement.

2 artillery bases joined the 3 already deployed ones and started to pound Turkish positions. In 2nd salvo artillery barrage caught one of Redif Infantry in the open and decimated it by inflicting 2 casualties. 2 casualties inflicted in one firing was a first in our games as far as I remember so I consider it a luck shot. But all 5 artillery became “Low on Ammo” due to high roll. So we paid the price.

By Turn 4 first line of defense of Turks defeated and pushed back to plateau. I must admit Konstantinos’s bad rolls at shooting and assault were common in this game.

After Turn 4 all Russian units except newly arrived Tambov Infantry Regiment moved forward to first objectives. Tambov Regiment turned east (to their right) to assault artillery redoubt objective. This is for two reason. First we did not want a enfillidated cannon shots from our back. Second and more interestingly Nizam Infantry that is protecting two objectives leaves it post to join that artillery! It left our Cossacks unchangelled against two objectives. So Cossacks made circling manevour to avoid getting shot at to claim two Danube-viewed artillery redoubts.

The battle at plateau was bloody. The Russian foremost Infantry Regiment (I think they were Galicia Regiment) led two assaults till reaching Nikopol even they were spent! But they paid the price to be so close to the fort-town and didnt see the end of the battle. But they will be remembered.
So plateau was clean of two artillery and two infantry units of Ottoman Army. Russians claimed one objective there and fight several turns the get last one (the one just west of Nikopol) always halted before reaching it until the Turn 10.

Right hook of Galica Regiment was quick, they halted once but Russian reach the redoubt from behind and took it before Turkish Nizam arrived due to Nizam’s bad command rolls (It was still a good trip for a Passive unit). Nizam actually tried one assault to now Russian-held artillery redoubt was Russian artillery was on time. 4 out 5 artillery came to plateau to deploy against Nizam and pounded them several times. So that objective was also secure.

Cossack didnt do what Cossacks do this time, they easily captured two unoccupied objectives by themselves and stay put. They only appeared when they needed to. Because fire from Nikopol might make short work of themselves if they were so exposed. We played all 10 turns. And in the 10th turn Russians get the last (5th) objective. Play time was about 2.5 hours.

The movement of units.

My comments about the deployment and the battle plan:
If I was commander of Ottomans, I protected eastern objectives with one weak infantry (Redif) unit or one artillery (Konstantinos speaketh: I wanted to keep the East guard cheap. I considered that one Nizam unit would be able to hold against two Russian units. I could not expect a Redif  unit to do so). Also I wouldn't move the infantry out of their rifle pits (while that is true, since the Russian player can choose which of the two rifle pits it could attack, I decided I would rather have one position defended well as opposed to two defended not well. I forgot about Zones of Control, which would had forced your units to split anyway). They took so much artillery fire.  We played that scenario two times before and seeing Turkish fire-power I see the only viable option for assaulting in a mass. So we tried to gather all units together and offer Turkish lots of targets to choice from. In the end some would reach to assault. Russian managed to get their assault but it was a bit with help from Konstantinos bad rolls. We took lots of casualties but always had one unit to spare to close the gap.

Thanks  for all participants and Chris for this good gaming time.
Halil Onur Buyuran"

Nikopol and its garrison

Ottoman East Dispositions at the start

Ottoman West Dispositions

Initial Russian forces

Initial lay of the land

Russian Western Advance

Russian Western Advance

Cossack moves in the East

Russians concentrating for the attack on the field army rifle pits.

Ottoman unit tries to move behind the other to give depth, but is shot to SPENT

Russian Reinforcements arrive

Massed assault after heavy bombardment (all Russian guns became low on ammo)

The steamroller

Cossacks sneaking up in the East

The first line of rifle pits falls to the Bayonets of the Czar

Onwards to the redoubts. Ottoman units badly mauled try to hold Russians back.

The Russians concentrate on the first fort.

Ottoman regular unit leaves its position in the East to help secure the rapidly collapsing situation in the West

A general view of the battle

Second fort falls to the Russians

The Ottoman regulars fail to stop the Russians from taking a third frt

Towards the end

The great Russian guns

Final Russian Positions

The useful Cossacks

1 comment:

Chris BBB said...

Good-looking game, Konstantinos! I particularly like the spiky redoubts and the rascally mustafiz in the fortress. My compliments to Onur and Emir on a sound battle plan well executed.