Monday, February 6, 2017

Last Century of the Ottomans: Battle of Aladja Dagh 1877

Yesterday we got a chance to continue our Bloody Big Battles Campaign, Last Century of the Ottomans. Onur, who had been caught up with the move of the Kararagh Club from their old cite to a new locale, finally had a chance to play. We also introduced a new player to the game, Murat. Emir and Doruk were supposed to come, but alas they were caught up in PhD work.

The set-up

The scenario was the Battle of Aladja Dagh in 1877, during the Russo-Ottoman War. This battle was fought in the Caucasus and the Russian victory opened the way for the Siege of Kars. Onur and Murat took the role of the Russian commanders on the offensive, while I took the role of the Ottoman defenders. A Video AAR can be found below. I apologie for the bad sound quality, but only now did I figure out that what I thought was the mic jack, was not the mic jack. This will not be an issue in future AAR.

You cna broadly follow the action on this map.
The red indicate Ottoman initial positions, while the yellow final positions. The green are the Russian axis of advance. In general we both had a mix of bad and good dice. The Russians had a hard time in the first five turns, being unable to mass sufficient firepower and bodies to take the northern positions. In the end they did it, but the Night Interval rules permitted the Ottomans to shore up the line. It also permitted Onur to finally mass 8 batteries. Turns 5-10 saw Onur using the massed batteries to open up gaps in the North, break through the Southern front and nab 2 objectives, ad storm again Little and Great Yahni hills in the North.

However, both armies had been pummeled, and the decision to focus most of his remaining infantry on Great Yahni, meant that he did not have enough troops to exploit the gaps created by his artillery. Beyond that, perhaps channeling our exhausted state, the armies suffered multiple collapses of morale, and whole units that dissolved due to combat stress 3-4 spent units being eliminated due to low activation rolls while disrupted). In the end Onur only captured 4 objectives, thus giving the victory to my Ottomans. 


Ottoman defenders in the north line

The Kars place-holder

The Ottoman mobile reserve

The Russian mass arrives.

View of the furious fighting at Little and Great Yahni.

It was a good interesting battle, that was see-saw to the very end. Very balanced and with a lot of maneuver despite the brutal terrain. 

The current Loss-Victory tally for the campaign is 

1.Kurudere 1854, Russians (Onur and Emir) vs. Ottomans (me)-> Russian Victory (Historical)

2.Alexinac 1875, Serbians (me) vs. Ottomans (Onur and Emir)->Ottoman Victory (Historical)

3.Nikopolis 1877, Russians (Onur and Emir) vs. Ottomans (me)-> Russian Victory (Historical)

4.2nd Pleven 1877, Russians (Onur) vs. Ottomans (me) -> Ottoman Victory (Historical)

5.3rd Pleven 1877, Allies (Mortens and Me) vs. Ottomans (Onur and Emir)-> Allied Victory (Ahistorical)

6.Katseljevo-Ablva 1877, Russians (Onur) vs. Ottomans (me and Doruk)-> Draw (Historical)

7. Aladja Dagn 1877, Russians (Onur and Murat) vs. Ottomans (Me)-> Ottoman Victory (Ahistorical).

There are three scenarios left in the campaign: Metchka/Tristenik in the 1877-1878 Russo-Ottoman War, Velestino 1897 in the Greek-Ottoman War, and Domokos 1897 in the Greek-Ottoman War.


Joseph.Cade said...

Interesting, Konstantinos, we played this battle already too, twice even. When I played the Turks, if I recall correctly the Turkish player has a choice of two options as to where to put his reserves. You put yours in the same place I did. No doubt brilliant minds think alike! :)

Chris BBB said...

A bloody battle indeed! I hope Murat enjoyed his first taste of BBB (looks like he didn't make it to the end?). Your new markers are effective.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Konstantinos Travlos said...

Hi to all. Thanks for the comments.

Joseph, that is the case. I like my mobile reserves to be where they have maximum options. Putting them in the other position makes it harder to move south if need be.