7 Ağustos 2016 Pazar

Skirmish and Grand Battle

Hello everyone,

Here's another document for Trial by Fire rules; Skirmish and Grand Battle. This small book is about playing the game on Battalion or Divisional level, rather than the standard Regimental level described in Rulebook. There's also a section on how you can modify the rules and modelling for smaller or bigger gaming areas, like using fewer or greater numbers of miniatures.

This was something I had in mind for some time. Of course, anyone can change the rules and the modelling issues as they see fit but I thought that I should give away some tips and tell about the way I do it when solo play-testing.

Skirmish rules tell you about how you can change your games to represent clashes of a few companies and Grand Battle rules describe the way your games can turn into large wars with a number of regiments and brigades involved. With the tips in this book, now you can also easily play Trial by Fire on any small table with a few amount of miniatures, like using just one base for a unit. Or you can turn the game into a great show with many models and bases.

Hope this helps! Take care...

25 Temmuz 2016 Pazartesi

Trial by Fire - Rulebook

At last...

First of all, thank you all the people who gave me encouragement and support during this project. Today, after many play-tests, reviews and last touches, version 1.0 of the rulebook is finished and ready for your eyes.

It is not excellent, but it is something, it is complete and it is free!

Here you go; Trial by Fire - Rulebook v1.0

What is inside?
An introduction to Trial by Fire - WW1 wargaming rules.
Historical context: brief overview of the Great War.
Basic and advanced rules for Trial by Fire.
A game report, depicting a battle between Turks and British.
Four sample historical scenarios from various theatres.
Two points-based force lists from Middle East campaign.
Six standard scenarios for games with points-based lists.

Now what?
I will try to prepare a supplement for the rulebook in short time. It will cover rules changes for occasions when you want to play TbF on Skirmish or Grand Battle level. Then, I'm planning to focus on a book which will have more historical scenarios and force lists covering the theatres where Ottoman Empire fought during WW1. It shall include scenarios and lists for Middle East, Gallipoli, Caucasus Campaigns and Greco-Turkish War 1919-22.

Please join the Trial by Fire - WW1 facebook page to get updated about all things related to TbF. (And this is the Turkish facebook page, Ateşle İmtihan - WW1, for anyone interested.)

Again, a huge thank you for all!

I hope you enjoy some games with this ruleset and please give me your feedback if you ever get a chance to play Trial by Fire...

M. Batuhan Tunçdemir

20 Haziran 2016 Pazartesi

161st Brigade at First Battle of Gaza

This weekend, we played one of the last play-tests with Trial by Fire WW1 rules before the rulebook is out. It was the first game played with our desert terrain and also the first Trial by Fire game of my friend, Deniz. He commanded the Ottoman-Turkish force and me, the British side.

So here is the game report;

The scenario was written by me, it was a recreation of the fighting withdrawal battles of British 161st Infantry Brigade at the First Battle of Gaza. This battle was the first British attempt to open the way for Palestine. The Ottoman defensive line lay between towns of Gaza and Beersheba. The British plan involved the infantry to attack Gaza from south and east; and the cavalry to encircle the town and capture northern positions. When word has reached of an Ottoman counter attack, the cavalry was ordered to withdraw. With their flanks unprotected, British infantry also abandoned their captured positions and fell back.

After some time, seeing no great Ottoman attack, the confused British command again ordered the infantry to advance. But by the time they have recaptured their positions, the Ottoman counter attack was now being launched. We have used the miniatures at hand and the scenario is by no means a strictly historical one but it's designed to be a fun game that gives the "feeling" of that battle.

Anyway, here's the deployment map;

There were two trench sections to the upper left side, representing the previously occupied ground of British 161st Infantry Brigade. The British mission is to recapture and hold on to at least one of these trench sections AND also control the escape route. (Objectives are marked with yellow stars.) Ottoman mission is to take back both trench section OR occupy the British escape route. The game shall last for 8 turns.

There were two Ottoman battalions (each two companies) near trench sections and two battalions (each two companies, one of them veteran) near the road. British units were spread in map with a battalion (two companies) near the trenches, an Indian battalion (two companies) towards the table center and another British battalion (three companies) on the road. Ottomans had a small howitzer detachment, a medium field artillery unit and a stormtrooper company as support and British had a large field artillery battery and a cavalry squadron.

Deployment (oops, Madame Coco at WW1!)

A view from Turkish side.

After British turn 1, a British company advances and occupies a trench section.

And Ottoman turn 1, an Ottoman battalion occupies the other trench section.

Indian unit trying to figure out how to take that position.

View from Ottoman occupied trenches. Indians and British cavalry in sight.

British hold one of the trenches and open fire to the enemy battalion in front of them. Turkish stormtroopers from the other trench section are ready to assault the British infantry.

Meanwhile towards the British right flank, the Turks are divided. Veteran battalion decides to move around the hill while the rest of the force moves towards the British. Two British companies take positions to fight off the Turks.

Ottoman view from that position.

The British occupied trench section is in trouble. After the stormtrooper assault and howitzer shots, the British infantry is down to just a few men. But they pass their morale dice and stay on table, soon to be totally destroyed.

There is also assault preparation on the Turkish occupied trenches. British cavalry dismount and now with infantry support, they are ready to charge.

On British right, two infantry companies exchange fire with the Turks in front of them while hoping that the flanking force never make it on time.

Dismounted cavalry and British infantry assault the Turks, after lucky dice rolls, they destroy the enemy and jump in the trenches.

Indians soon follow and do their part, capturing the trench completely.

And as the game comes to an end, the Ottoman flanking force, doomed with bad Regimental Command dices, are delayed and can't make it on time to capture the British escape route.

The game end, one trench section is in British-Indian hands...

and the British, although nearly destroyed, still hold the withdrawal route. A very close victory for the British side.

That was a very enjoyable game, full of tactical thinking and hanged on balance to the last moment. If the Turks had some luck on Regimental Command, the veteran units could have flanked the British defending the escape route. And the outcome of trench hand-to-hand fight could have not been estimated. Maybe, just maybe, if the Turkish veterans did not try to flank my force around the hill and advanced head on towards me, things could have been different... But this is a big maybe...

Thanks to Deniz again for this game. Hope you also enjoyed the report!

Free Trial by Fire WW1 rules shall be available very soon!

28 Mayıs 2016 Cumartesi

Turkish Rulebook Pre-Release in Word Format

After some time, at last some kind of pre-release of the rulebook is ready. It's in Word shape so do not expect a brillant layout...

Document is in Turkish and I will try to make one in English soon.

What is included;
-Summary of the Great War
-Trial by Fire Rules
-Sample Game Report
-A Palestine Front Scenario

Rules cover most aspects of the game, but there are still some parts missing like armored warfare.



27 Nisan 2016 Çarşamba

A New Play-Test

On 23th April (national holiday in Turkey, for the first gathering of Grand Assembly during Turkish War of Independence) we played another play-test game of Trial by Fire, this time with fully painted models!

It was a very simple scenario; Ottomans (my friend, Ruhi Kucuk) was chosen to be the attacker and British (me) were defenders. Turks had twice the number of units and would attack the Inadequate Trenches of British around table center line. Also, half of the British units were put to Reserve. (they could not move or shoot until turn 2, passing turn 1 reorganising)

Objectives: Two trenches captured or the British battalion routed would mean an Ottoman victory. One trench captured would be draw and none of the trenches captured or Ottoman regiment routed would be British victory.

As I could not transport my dirt color table to the club, we played it on a green landscape and a fairly open table-set up to keep things simple. Also, it was the first time we used the tokens designed for this game. (thanks a lot Serdar Candan!)

Table set-up. British in trenches await the Turkish assault. Ottoman regiment focus on British right flank, leaving little troops on British left.

British game aids, regimental command tokens depicting Lord Kitchener on a visit to Anzac Corps at Gallipoli.

Ottoman game aids, regimental command tokens depicting Mustafa Kemal with his staff at Gallipoli.

Turkish regiment: 2 Regular Infantry Battalions with 4 Companies and 2 MG Squads each. 1 unit of Stormtroopers. 6-Gun Field Artillery and 6-Gun Howitzer Batteries.

British Battalion: 4 Regular Companies with 2 MG Squads. Cavalry and 6-Gun Field Artillery.

After Ottoman 2nd Turn, they roll wonderful command dices and move rapidly towards the British right flank. Entrenched British infantry is hit by Turkish artillery and MG Squads.

Turkish assault hits British trenches, British infantry and MG are "Under Heavy Fire" so they are not able to repel the assault.

Ottomans destroy the enemy and successfully capture trenches on British right flank.

British reserves try to form a defensive line to stop the Turkish advance. Cavalry dismount.

Ottomans in control of trenches.

After regrouping, Ottomans advance towards the British reserves. Again with successful command dice results, they reach the British and assault them.

Seeing their brethren capture the British right flank, two companies of Ottoman infantry rush for British left flank. But here, the assault is repulsed by MG fire.

Ottoman infantry make short work of British reserves in close combat. Losing more than half of their units, British battalion retreats and leaves the field of battle to the victorious Turks.

It was a simple but enjoyable game. Turks rolled superb for regimental command, in 5 of 8 turns, they rolled "Excellent Plan". Timely artillery hits pinned the British right flank and assaults were very successful. All in all, we decided that it was a fairly balanced scenario. The rapid Turkish advance decided the fate of British defenders and I would expect no less from a game that was played on Turkish national holiday!

Our work on game rules continue, but there is little to do left now.

Take care...

4 Nisan 2016 Pazartesi

Two Hills and Trenches

Hello again,

I have been working on some terrain pieces for the dirt/desert table in our local club. So here are two hills and two sets of trenches.

My work on Trial by Fire rules is also expanding. I have nearly completed all the history sections for rulebook, now giving last touches to the rules and started to design sample scenarios and army lists.

Take care...

These Infinity "Haqqislam" figures also seemed perfect fit for these hills.

And here are two sets of trenches.

7 Şubat 2016 Pazar

Rules Revised and Sample Lists & Scenarios

Hello again,

It has been a while since I posted. During this time, we play-tested, launched the revised rules in Turkish and now, again after a brief revision, giving you the new version of rules in English.

What changed?
Everything simplified.
Assault became much more easy.
Some units were revised according to historical context.
Special unit types were added like Mounted Rifles, Stormtroopers etc.

And now I can at last give some sample army lists and scenarios. Here are British and Ottoman Infantry lists for Middle East - Palestine Front with special rules for both nations and three simple scenarios to try.

While everything is subject to change until the rulebook comes out, I hopefully think that there will not be any major change on rules from now on. They very much satisfy me as they are.

Hope you like them. And please give us your feedback if you play-test Trial by Fire.

Trial by Fire, Rules for Miniature Games of World War I and Early 20th Century (v0.2)

Sample Army Lists and Scenarios for Trial by Fire

So what now?

Well, I'll concentrate on the book now. I have read many books covering WW1 Mediterranean Fronts, Turkish War of Independence, Ottomans, British and now it is time to produce the historical information that shall be in rulebook. I'm also very close to finish painting my 10mm British, I hope soon we will be able to launch an Ottoman-British battlereport with fully painted armies.

Take care...