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Obscure Battles 4: Sand and Flies – The Mesopotamian Campaign in WW1
Obscure Battles 4: Sand and Flies – The Mesopotamian Campaign in WW1
by Obscure Battles Publishing Co. (2020)
Player Count
2 to 4

Player Ages

Playing Time
1 hour to 4 hours
  • Wargame
  • World War I
  • Print & Play
  • Designers
  • Freman Goldbo
  • Mechanisms
  • Hex-and-Counter
  • Chit-Pull System
  • TRN-11 Random Turn Order
  • Rating: 9.43/10 from 7 users


    "Sand And Flies". Volume 4 in the Obscure Battles series, the series take the player to the Mesopotamia Campaign in WW1.

    The Mesopotamian campaign was a campaign in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I fought between the Allies represented by the British Empire, against the Central Powers, mostly Ottoman Empire and a few German units.

    A more difficult place to fight would be hard to find. Flies attacked the troops, soldiers froze during the winter nights and were overcome by heat during the summer. Dust turned to mud when the banks of the Tigris overflowed during the rainy season.

    A war no side wanted but compelled to fight, the affair was mostly a see-saw string of battles both against each other and the elements. Senior commanders from both died from cholera during the campaign!

    The Battle of Kut and the subsequent Siege of Kut changed the campaign dramatically. The surrender of an entire division was a shock for the British Army. Massively reinforced, the British managed to take Baghdad 2 years later after some very bloody battles but never advanced further.

    The game has

    • Over 100+ counters
    • Battalion to Corps HQ sized units
    • Aircraft, Gunboats, Armored Cars, Tribal and Line Infantry, Cavalry and riverine transport units
    • Motor Transport Mode: Motorization was used extensively in the later stages and rules allow for "motorized" infantry units to advance faster.
    • Seasonal flood dangers
    • "Maude's road" and "Blockship Attacks"
    • Out of Communication and Out of Supply rules that are very easy to track
    • Solo Play Algorithm that lets players design a grand strategy and then implement it tactically.

    The game comes with a 22-page rulebook with charts and 2 scenarios that come with rules for exploitation and flank attacks, special conditions for being Out of Supply and Out of Communication. The complexity level is Simple ( with no optional rules to Semi-Complex ( with optional special rules )

    The game introduces an "Order of The Day Marker" pull system to the OB mechanism that randomizes the fire and movement but simplifies the routine chores and allows much faster gameplay.

    Players must collect and husband their precious RP points to mount and sustain offensives. Also - they can "purchase" Leaders to help their units.

    Provided are large 0.8-inch counters at 256 DPI that can be scaled even more or down ( just apply the same scale adjustment to the map ). There is a 55 x 36-inch map formatted for home printers

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