Wednesday, 28 December 2016

1912/13 Balkans Wars with TMWWBK

I've had some excellent games withe new Osprey Colonial rules, The Men Who Would Be Kings by Dan Mersey, so I thought I'd give them a go for the 1912/13 Balkans Wars. All the necessary troop types are covered in the rules, good and poor quality regulars, militia, irregulars, field guns, machineguns and cavalry.

Here's a batrep on a recent game.

I wanted to try out both artillery and machine guns, so I went for two 36 point forces. As I had two players who were new to the rules, I used variable leadership ratings, but did not roll for commander's traits.

1 unit elite regular inf (Evzones)
2 units regular inf (Greek inf and Italian Legion)
1 unit irregular inf
1 unit machineguns (well served)
1 unit field gun (well served)

3 units regular infantry
1 unit poor regular infantry (Militia)
1 unit irregular infantry
1 unit machineguns (well served)
1 unit field gun (poorly served)

                                                 The deadly Greek gunners take aim!

The Turks were attacking, trying to push the Greeks back from their position. Both forces deployed their field guns on a hill close to their started edges ( the first ranging shot from the Turkish gun showed that the artillery were just out of range of each other, so neither gun suffered any casualties for the entire battle).

The Turks deployed the militia and machineguns next to the artillery in the centre, sent a regular unit and the irregulars down the right through a wood and put the other two regulars on their left flank.

The Greeks had the Evzones and irregulars on the right, the regulars and Italians on the left and just had the machineguns in the centre.

The respective artillery were deciding factors in the battle. The Turkish gun, being poorly handled with a high leadership roll, only fired a couple of shots during the whole engagement, whereas the Greek gunners, well handled with a low leadership rating, only failed to fire in one turn, and inflicted a casualty with almost every shot. They started by bombarding the Turkish mgs as they advanced, wiping them out in three turns, long before they got a shot off!

                                         Greek infantry move up to support the Italian Legion
                              Turkish infantry and irregulars (now somewhat depleted) oppose them

On the Greek left the regulars were slow to advance, leaving the eager Italians to face two Turkish units alone. They gave as good as they got, but were soon whittled down. As the Greeks finally joined the fray, the artillery chipped in as they could see the Turkish irregulars at the edge of the wood. The irregulars and the Italians both broke and retreat about the same time. However the Italians quickly rallied and returned to the fight, whereas the Turkish irregulars kept running. By the time they had rallied the Turkish regulars were down to half strength, then a well-placed shell sent the irregulars scurrying back again.

                                                 Evzones advance through the woods
                                       Whilst the irregular troops wander around the outside
On the Greek right the Evzones advanced through the wood, whilst the irregulars took "the pretty way" around the outside. This meant that for a while the Evzones were under fire from two Turkish units, until the mgs and irregulars supported them on either side. In the following firefight the Greek mgs were cut down, the irregulars lost about 1/3 of their number and were forced back, but rallied and returned, whist one Turkish unit was reduced to about 1/3 for it's starting strength and the other suffered about 1/3 losses.

                                                 The Turkish gunners miss-fire again

In the centre the militia finally rushed forward and took cover in a walled enclosure with the intention of picking off the Greek gunners. Unfortunately, their first shots kicked up dust just short of the gun's position. In order to get into range they would have had to advance into the open, not only under fire from the guns, but in a position to be caught in a crossfire between the Greek infantry on either flank and the mgs. In the event they sat tight and were slowly blown away by the Greek gunners, who bombarded them whenever they didn't have a better target.

                                  The Turkish militia cower down under fire from the Greek gun
                                        Turkish irregulars break and run (and keep running)
                                                    Whereas the Italian Legion rally

We called a halt when all the Turkish units other than the gun were at half strength or less, and several were now pinned. They had no chance of taking the Greek position, who only had one unit down to half strength.
                                            A somewhat depleted unit of Turkish infantry

I was really pleased how the rules had work out for this period and it was a very enjoyable game.


  1. Interesting period and figures. Great report.

  2. Very interesting post, never thought of using it for this period.

  3. Just found this thanks to Dux Rampant. Very cool!

  4. How similar are the rules to the Rampant series? From reading reports they look like they might be fairly close. And if they work for this type of conflict then they may be just what I need for a project that's been nagging away at the back of my mind for a few years.

    1. Very similar in some ways, they share many basic mechanisms. But there are enough appropriate changes to feel like a different game. I particularly like the option to play at a skirmish level, with half sized units. we play this quite a bit at Tring.