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 Assault on Gallipoli by Gecko Games Designer Notes  This looks to be a great new game from Down Under. "Assault on Gallipoli Designer&...

Assault on Gallipoli by Gecko Games: Designer Notes Assault on Gallipoli by Gecko Games: Designer Notes

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Kieran Oakley

 Assault on Gallipoli by Gecko Games

Designer Notes

 This looks to be a great new game from Down Under.

"Assault on Gallipoli Designer's notes

The Gallipoli campaign holds a unique fascination for Australians and New Zealanders. The day of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, is celebrated every year as a national holiday when we remember all the men and women who have given their lives in the service of their country.

But most Australians and New Zealanders have largely forgotten the details of the campaign and know very little if anything about it. Their only reference point is the 1981 movie Gallipoli, with Mel Gibson, which is an excellent movie, but it only deals with one very small part of the whole campaign – the Battle of the Nek.  

So, I wanted to make a game about this iconic campaign. A game that would be easy to play, especially for non-wargamers.

Action Cards

I wanted to include all the key commanders and personalities, like Colonel Kemal, Colonel Monash, and Lt Colonel Malone. I wanted to make a game that would show how the ANZAC legend was born.


The campaign lasted for more than eight months and for most of that time it was basically a stalemate situation with both sides sitting in their trenches. In other words, it turned out be just like the Western Front.

But there were a number of key moments of the campaign that screamed out to be covered. First was the ANZAC Landing and establishment of the beachhead, from 25-29 April 1915. The first scenario covers this.

The second scenario covers the Turkish counterattack, when more than 40,000 Turks attacked the exhausted ANZACs in a desperate attempt to eliminate the narrow beachhead. This is really when the Australian and New Zealand soldiers earned their reputation for being tough fighters. They were outnumbered almost three to one, but they managed to hold out and fight on.


Scenario three deals with the Battle of Lone Pine, the attack on the Turkish trenches that earned the Australians seven Victoria Crosses.


Scenario four is all about the daring assault on the heights of the Sari Bair Range by the New Zealanders, British and Gurkhas. It really was the last throw of the dice and saw some of the most desperate fighting of the whole campaign.

The final scenario combines the Battle of Sari Bair and the Battle of Lone Pine scenarios for one epic contest to control the heights of Chunuk Bair.

In the game, each turn represents one day, units represent battalions, companies and individual ships. Players take it in turn activating groups of units in an area. Once they are activated to move, fire or dig a trench, the units are flipped over to their Exhausted side. At the beginning of each new turn, they are flipped back to their Fresh side.


There is nothing new about the mechanics, but they are easy to learn, and players will pick them up very quickly. We have spent two years designing, developing and play testing the game, so it really has been a labor of love.

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