Break-in at Baku

14/9/18

v1.1

Pictures from V1.0

When the Russian Civil War started in 1917, many opportunists on the periphery of Russia saw an opportunity to take advantage. Both the Armenians and Azerbaijanis declared independence and the Turks saw a golden opportunity to attack the Caucuses. The Azerbijanis threw in their lot with the Turks forming the Caucasian Islamic Army, though most of the decent fighting troops were supplied by the Turks. They attacked and threw back the Armenians and various Red and White Russian factions until they were approaching Baku. The British were very concerned that the Baku oilfields would fall into Turkish hands so sent a small expeditionary unit, Dunsterforce, to bolster the defenders of Baku. Despite the British intervention the defenders were pressed closer and closer to Baku. On the 14th September 1918 the Allied forces were trapped in a a small ring around Baku, surrounded by the Turks. The scene was set for the final encounter of the Battle of Baku.

The scenario starts after the Turks have successfully stormed Wolf's Gap.

Map of the battle from: Caucasian Battlefields: A History of the Wars on the Turco-Caucasian Border
by William Edward David Allen and Paul Muratoff

Map and Order of Battle. The labels used also give the troop ratings

Note for "standard" BBB use the stand strengths in brackets

Allied Deployment

The Allies deploy second and move second

The 7th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment is deployed on the hill within 9" of the southern table edge. It may not be within 3" of a Turkish unit. It is in rifle pits (1L)

The 9th Battalion Worcester Regiment is deployed in or touching Balajari. It is in rifle pits (1L)

The 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment is deployed within 9" of the crossroads at X. It is in rifle pits (1L)

The 8th Royal Field Artillery (RFA)  and the 39th Brigade HQ are deployed within 6" of either the 9th Worcs or 9th Warwicks

The Machine Gun Detachment enters the board within 6" of point C the turn after an Islamic unit ends its turn within 12" of crossroads X

The British Armoured Car Detachment is a reinforcement. Starting turn 4 roll 1d6. On a 5-6 the detachment is formed. It may be formed anywhere on table within 6" or an Allied unit but can't be formed within 18" of an enemy unit. If that's not possible it is formed within 6" of Baku over 18" from the enemy.

HMS Kruger is on the Caspian Sea adjacent to Baku. The model represents the three British ships (the others were the SS Kursk and SS Abo). It takes hits as if a 6 strength infantry unit. It is unarmed and moves as infantry. It is considered considered Veteran and is considered to act as a general for activation (Dunsterville is on the ship)

From https://atebook.net/book/35862/readf

The Bicherakov Detachment, except for the armoured cars, is deployed on the hill to the east of the road between Baku and point B. The infantry is in rifle pits (1L)

The 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Baku Militia are deployed on the hill between the Wolf's Gap to Baku road and the Point B to Baku road. they may not be within 6" of a Turkish unit on the hill. They are in rifle pits (1L)

The 8th Battalion is deployed north of the Balajari - Balakhani road, between Balakhari and the salt marsh. It is in rifle pits (1L)

The 12th Battalion, Militia Artillery, 1st Cavalry Squadron and the Russian Armoured Car Detachment are deployed south east of the railway line.

The 21st Battalion is deployed on the road between point B and Baku. It must be south of the hill.

The 22nd Battalion is deployed touching Baku

The Centro Caspian Flotilla is on the Caspian. It consists of lightly armed gunboats (the Kars, Ardaghan and Geok Tepe). In game terms it is treated as a floating field gun battery, that is passive, fragile and tactically incompetent. It will not move unless in line of sight of the Turks. It moves like infantry

The gunboat Kars (Ardaghan was her sister ship) from http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10267769/70/1

Islamic Deployment

The Islamic forces deploy first and move first

The Army HQ may be deployed with, or enter with, any Turkish unit (not militia)

The 10th Regiment is deployed west of the railway and south of Khoja Hasan

The 13th Regiment is deployed on the hill touching Wolf's Gap

The 5th Divisional Artillery is deployed on the hill between A and F

The 56th Regiment enters the battle on turn 1 between points E&F

The 9th Regiment enters the battle on turn 2 between points E&F

The 38th and 106th Regiments enter the battle one either side of road B, up to 6" from the road. they enter the battle turn 3

The 4th Regiment enters the battle turn 4. Either within 6" of road B or within 12" of point D

The guns of the 15th Divisional Artillery may accompany any Turkish unit of the 15th division as it enters the battle.

The Azerbaijani Militia starts within 6" of point A

The Tartar Regiment enters the north side of the table within 12" of point D on turn 1

The Lezgin Regiment enters the east side of the table within 12" of point D on turn 1

Terrain

The table is 5ft x 8ft if playing 6" = 1km

The open terrain is either poor farmland or scrubby and desert like

The brown areas are level 2 hills, all have steep slopes, however where there is a brown dotted line there slopes are cliff-like. Only infantry may scale the cliffs and they lose 6" rather than 3" when scaling it. Note that as these are level 2 they can see over Baku and Wolf's gate to the Caspian, and visa versa.

The blue areas are water and impassable, except to ships.

The turquoise area is a salt marsh. It is difficult going for infantry and impenetrable to all other units

The grey squares are towns

The black dashed lines are railways, they have no game effect

The red lines are roads. Where they cross a cliff they form a defile. Defending a defile gives the same advantages as defending a bridge

Aircraft

The Allies had a mixed bag of RAF Martinsyde Elephants and Russian naval M-5 and M-9 seaplanes. Each turn the allies may roll 1d6. On a 5-6 a plane is available for air support. No aircraft are available turn 12.

If an Islamic unit get within 12" of the aerodrome the RAF will destroy their planes

If the Turks get an artillery piece on the hill overlooking the Caspian with 24" LOS, and spend a turn shooting, that will destroy the Russian Seaplanes.

If one is destroyed but not the other, aircraft arrive on a roll of a 6.

Special Rules

The game is 12 turns long. Turn 11 is dusk and LOS is only 6". Turn 12 is night and LOS is only 3"

If any Islamic unit is touching a BUA in Baku at the end of an Allied Army turn all Allied militia units are removed from play

Any Islamic militia unit that touches an unoccupied BUA is moved wholly within. It may not move or shoot fro the rest of the battle (too busy looting and committing atrocities against defenceless Armenian civilians)

The Russian armoured car may only operate on roads and BUA

HMS Kruger may not leave Baku before all remaining infantry battalions are aboard. If an infantry unit is in contact it may board if it makes a full move roll. Only one unit may board per turn. If it fails the full advance roll it becomes disrupted. Once on board the unit is removed from play.

Victory Conditions

The Islamic Army get victory points for

The Islamic army requires 3VP to win, 2 VP for a draw. 1VP or less is an Allied win.

References

Adventures of Dunsterforce, The: https://archive.org/details/adventuresofduns00dunsrich

Battle of Baku 1918: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Битва_за_Баку_(1918)

Gone to Russia to Fight: The RAF in South Russia 1918-1920: https://atebook.net/book/35862/readf
Islamic Army: https://reibert.info/threads/1918-g-nuri-pasha-kavkazskaja-islamskaja-armija-bitva-za-baku.93734/page-2 

Royal Navy's Caspian Flotilla: http://www.worldnavalships.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16318

Siberia Miniatures Forum: http://siberia-miniatures.ru/forum/showthread.php?fid=12&tid=121&block=10