Thursday, December 29, 2016

BBB December 2016 Sessions

Over the last three weeks I had a number of BBB games. The first was Montebello with Mehmet and Kerem, and the second two sessions of Domokos with the guys at the facebook group "Diavivastis".

Greek troops of the 1897 war.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Data of Bloody Big Battles

If you follow this blog you know I am very big fan of Chris Pingle's Bloody Big Battles rules. So much a fan that I have written scenarios for them. After a discussion at the Yahoo Group about scenario balance, I decided to collect data on plays of scenarios and too look up indicators of balance. After a couple of weeks I got responses on 131 plays of 46 BBB Scenarios.

For each scenario I noted the following information
Plays: How many times was it played in my data
Historical Victor Won: Did the play result in a victory for the combatant who won in history?
Draw: Did the play result in a Draw? In BBB Draws in the scenario rules represent the historical outcome.
Historical Defeated Won: Did the play result in a victory for the combatant who lost in history?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans: Katseljevo-Ablava 1877

Last weekend me and Onur played the next battle in our Last Century of the Ottomans Bloody Big Battles Campaign. This is Katseljevo-Ablava during the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877-1878.

Here is the video AAR

Here is a map of the action

And here is Onur's AAR

Saturday, November 12, 2016

On the Election and the world events of the last years

I took me some days, and some judicious avoidance of politics on Facebook, to force down the authoritarian urge in me. But I do think I need to write some things and get them out. This will be a rant, and I am ashamed of that but I rather be shamed than suffer inner death.  I am posting it on Leadhead Phd, and not Sthomasmoi: What do we know about IR,  because Leadhead PhD is a blog closer to my inner world, than Stohamsmoi, which is closer to my scientific world. Also I respect my con-contributors on Stohamsoi, too much to mar that blog with such a selfish exercise. I would prefer not to put politics on Leadhead PhD. But I have not avoided that always (Defending Political Science in the past in these pages). And I need an outlet. Thus may the blog forgive me, and may those of you that come here for anything but politics. I apologize to you.

For that reason, all that I say here is not ex-cathedra. Konstantinos Travlos, holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, holder of a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago, holder of Ptychion from Panteion University, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Ozyegin Univeristy, is not talking here.  Neither is Konstnatinos Tralvos, the wargamer, the scenario writer, the enthusiast of humanities military history.

Only Konstantinos Travlos, human, is talking here.  I am attacking everything.  This document is a massive exercise in smug elitism. Take it for what it is worth, which is not much. Do not read if you do not want to know my politics. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Small Update: Kiss Me Hardy, 1912-1922 Evzones

Hi all

Over the last month we played Katsljevo-Ablava with Onur for our BBB campaign, Last Century of the Ottomans (AAR up coming, you can find the youtube video embedded below)

I have been working on scenarios for the Bloody Big Balkan Battles Project.

Yesterday Emir came and I introduced him to Kiss me Hardy. We played a simple 2 vs. 2, 74 Rate, scenario and hi won (2 of my ships captured, 1 of his retired).

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ο Ελλήνο-Ιταλίκος Πόλεμος στο πλαίσιο των Εκστρατείων 1939-1941.

Ο Ελλήνο-Ιταλίκος Πόλεμος στο πλαίσιο των Εκστρατείων 1939-1941. 
Κωνσταντίνος Τραυλός

Για προσωπικούς λόγους δεν μπορούσα να γιορτάσω την 28η Οκτωβρίου 1940 την ήμερα της γιορτής. Όμως, μπορώ σήμερα να γράψω κάτι για την επέτειο. Η γνώμη μου είναι πάντα ότι η ιστορία από μόνη της αρκεί για να τιμήσει τους πρωταγωνιστές της. Δεν είναι αναγκαίο να υπερβάλλεις τα γεγονότα ή να αναπαράγωνται ψεύδη σαν μορφή τιμής. Κυκλοφορεί στο διαδίκτυο μια ανάρτηση, η οποία δυστηχώς κυκλοφορούσε και πέρυσι, που στην προσπάθεια της να τιμήσει τον αγώνα των Ελλήνων το 1940-1941 αναπαράγει ψεύδη και δημιουργεί ένα φανταστικό πεδίο κατανόησης της θέσης του αγώνα του Ελληνικού κράτους στα πλαίσια των εκστρατειών της περιόδου 1939-1940. Μπορείτε να την βρείτε εδώ. Τα ψεύδη κυμαίνονται από την υποτιθέμενη παράδοση της Δανικής κορώνας σε έναν γερμάνο μοτοσυκλετιστή (αγνοώντας της αψιμαχίες στην Γιουτλάνδη, ή το γεγονός ότι η Δανική βασιλική οικογένειά είχε να χρησιμοποιήσει επίσημα κορώνα από το 1848), μέχρι την ψεύδη μη-αναφορά στις βαριές απώλειες της Πολωνίας και της ΕΣΣΔ στον Β. Π. Π. 

Ελλάδα 1940

Στόχος μου εδώ είναι να θέσω των Ελληνικό αγώνα την περίοδο του 1940-1941 σε ένα πραγματικό, παρά φαντασιακό πλαίσιο. Δεν είναι στόχος μου να μειώσω τον αγώνα τον Ελλήνων το 1940-1941. Όπως θα δείτε αυτό είναι αδύνατο στην πραγματικότητα. Στόχος μου είναι να διορθώσω της εσφαλμένες εικόνες των σύγχρονων Ελλήνων για αυτή την πραγματικότητα. Γιατί αυτή αγνοεί πολλούς παράγοντες που εξηγούν γιατί Ελλάδα μπόρεσε να αντισταθεί στην Ιταλία, και που καταδίκασαν πολλές άλλες χώρες, και την Ελλάδα σε γρήγορη σχετικά πτώση όταν δέχτηκαν την γερμανική επίθεση. (στρατιωτική ετοιμότητα, μορφολογία εδάφους, συσχετισμός δυνάμεων αμυνόμενου-επιτιθέμενου).

Friday, October 28, 2016

Greek Army for War of 1897

Another project is done. This is a Greek Army in 10mm (Pendraken Miniatures) for the Greek-Ottoman War of 1897. Specifically it is built for the Battle of Domokos scenario in "Bloody Big European Battles". There are no dedicated ranges in 10mm for this army. Indeed the only dedicated range is a set of Greek Evzones in 25/28mm by Eureka miniatures. I thus had to work through proxies. This might be the only 1897 Greek army in miniature, in existence at 10mm, that I am aware of. Hopefully not for long!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Horizon Wars – Warhammer 40k equivalency guidelines (Draft)

Preface: I have always liked the universe of Warhammer 40k. What I have not been warm to is the actualization on the board. So I am always out for the lookout for potential rules, that meet my gaming preferences, and can permit me to dip my cup in the rich drink of the 40k Fluff (rekindled by shows like If the Emperor had a Text to Speech Device, The Lord Inquisitor Prologue, and the mesmerizing trailer for Dawn of War Three).

Recently I exchanged Frostgrave, a excellent system I did not have the chance to play, with Horizon Wars. Reading about them on the net made me interested in them.  Once I got them I went through the book once, and while the fluff left me cold (beyond Era IV), the meat of the matter, the mechanisms, seem to give a solid fast game, amenable to scripted scenarios (ala Bloody Big Battles and Altar of Freedom). I have begun thinking about how to modify HW (Horizon Wars) for 40k. Below you can find a first draft of army lists ,and some discussion of the philosophy I am following. These are drafts. Feel free to pick up ideas or modify the (as long as you make those modifications and ideas available for free to the gaming community). My goal is to play-test them a bit and then write a six narrative scenario supplement based on Battles of the Angels of Fury (the chapter I created for my 40k Space Marine Army). Feel free to give feedback.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Imperial War Museum, and National Army Museum, London 2012

Here are a some older pictures I had taken from my visit to the Imperial War Museum, and the National Army Museum in London. Click on photos for larger versions.
Imperial War Museum


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pleven Panorama and City

Beyond Bucurest the next stop of my romp through Romania and Bulgaria was Pleven were I visited the excellent Panorama, plus the city in general with its many monuments to the the Battle of Pleven. Here are pictures from the panorama, but also the city and Historical Museum in general. The Panorama was great, but the souvenir shop was closed. The National Historical Museum had an excellent collection on the war, but photos were prohibited and the souvenir shop was poor. Both were cheap. I could not find a place that sold good military history books in the city which was a shame.

Here is a video I did of the surviving Ottoman redoubt and the Panorama

Here are pics. Click for larger version

Romanian Military Museum Part II

Part II of the photos I took from my visit at the Romanian Military Museum

The Romanian National Military Museum and Bucharest fortifications Part I

Thanks to the invitation of a friend, I had the chance to visit Bucharest, Brasov, and Bran in Romania and Pleven in Bulgarian. In Buchurest I visited a number of museums that most relevant for us being the National Military Museum. 

The Museum is located close to the Gard du Nord train station, in one of the less posh areas of the city. It is readily accessible from the Metro. Outside it does not look like much. But once you enter you see one of the largest artillery and tank parks I have seen in one place. Beyond that the museum has a Aviation hangar with airplanes, a great exhibition on Romanian military uniforms, and then a permanent exhibit that takes you from pre-history to 1989. Unfortunately for me the 19th century-1989 exhibits were being renovated and closed. But even with that this was a massive collection. I took 1040 pictures , worth the 50 lei for taking photos. The cost for the ticket itself is cheap, about 12 lei. There is no souvenir shop, but a book stand has some books in Romanian and some in Romanian/English. I did not find the book on the Romanian Army of 1877 that I have been looking for, but I did find a book on the Army of the 1854-1868 period, and a book on the fortifications of Buchurest. These are from an osprey style series produced by the Romanian National Military Musuem. They are rather good and were added to a well illustrated book in English about Vlad Tepes Dracul that I picked up in Bran (they also had one on Mircea the Elder, but only in Romanian, despite that fact that Mircea outperformed Vlad Tepes). Not a lot of loot, and not the book I was looking for, but better than nothing.

Talking about the Bucharest fortifications, as luck would have it within walking distance from the house I was hosted in, Battery 4-5 of the system was located. I went and visited it, and despite the scars left by the wild vegetation it was worth it. I hope the Romanian goverment restores some of them to their full glory.

So let us start with the fortification pictures. Then the 1040 photos I took at the National Military Museum. Because of the sheer size, I will have small version of the photos. Please click on them for enlargement. There will be two parts to this post. This is part I

Friday, September 2, 2016

Armored Cruiser Georgios Averoff

Over my summer vacation I had the happy occasion to take two Turkish friends to visit the Armored Cruiser Averoff ship musuem at Faliron Athens. The ship is one of the great historical artifacts of Greece and a veteran of the First Balkan War (were it saw action in the Naval Battles of Lemnos and Elli), the First World War (where it did not see much action beyond some shelling), and the Second World War (where it saw action in evading German air and navy pursuit, and then convoy service in the Indian Ocean). Miraculously is escaped the breakers and is now a floating musuem in Greece. It is the largest pre-1914 ship in Europe, and one of the few pre-dreadnoughts left in the world (together with the Aurora, Mikasa-excluding ironcalds and steam ships from the ironcald era).

Serkan and Doruk loved it, and I once more enjoyed it. We made sure to ask for the special visit to the engine room. If you visit it make sure to ask politely the conscript sailors serving on it (the ship is still on the greek naval list and has a active flag). You can easily reach it form the center of athens by taking the Tram from Syntagma to Trocadero (its takes time but it is the most straight-forward).

Here is a ton of pictures taken by Serkan mainly, with some of mine. The ship is a very open museum, with tons of artefacts and a lot of the areas open to public (though not all)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans: 3rd Battle of Pleven using BBB

Well after a bout of unneeded real world excitement, we decided to take a break into military history and toy soldiers, and got together with Onur, Emir, and Mortens who is visiting from Denmark with his family (this will be a vacation to remember!)  to run our next battle in our BBB Last Century of the Ottomans campaign. We decided to skip Katseljevo/Ablava, and will play it as the next one, and instead played the 3rd Battle of Pleven.  Emir hosted us at his home.

Emir and Onur took command of the Ottomans, with Emir as CnC and Onur as second in command. I and Morten took command of the allies. He controlled the Romanians and Skobolevs force, while I took on the IX and IV Corps.
The Romanians storm Grivitza

Saturday, July 9, 2016

BBB Battle of Tacna (with Proxies)

Our good friend from Denmark, Morten's is visiting, so we decided to run a fast game of BBB. After discussion we settled on the Battle of Tacna (also known as the Battle of the Alliance Heights) for the War of the Pacific. Fought in 1880 this battle was the decisive battle of the war seeing the destruction of the Peruvian and Bolivian regular armies and Chilean dominance in the pacific littoral. Peru would continue fighting, but Bolivia de facto, even if not de jure, dropped out of the war. The battle it self sees a better quality Chilean army storming gentled slopped heights from a comparable in numbers, but worse quality allied army.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Orphan 19th Century Armies and 1897 Greeks

Over the period of building up BBB armies I have ended up with bases for various armies I did not intend to collect. This is because I had to use codes from them for proxies for other forces.  This was before I learned of how accommodating to Special Orders Leon and the Pendraken team is. Thus I have units for BBB for armies I might not fully collect, though I will probably buy enough of some of them for the smaller scenarios. At the same time I have completed my first Greek bases, all of them command bases.

1st: French 1870/1871

18 bases of Infantry. 

6mm Prussian Napoleonics Done

A very old project is now almost done. Back in 2009 (gosh 7 years ago) I talked a friend in Greece to get into 6mm Napoleonics. We pooled our resources and got the French vs. Prussians box from Bacchus, together with Polemos. The plan was that I would paint the French and he would paint the Prussians. But as life goes the plans went awry. His life was much harder then mine, and he was also in long term relationship, got married and became a dad. So he never was able to tackle the project. I , more of a free  bird and foolish in my youth to spend time painting minis rather than writing papers, did finish part of  the French portion and part of the Prussian portion (see here, here and here). But without and opponent that project went to a back-burn. Furthermore the Polemos rules simply did not work for us.

Seven years passed, during which I would paint a bit, but largely this project was in the way back-burn. But with the introduction to Bloody Big Battles, and a new generation of Napoleonic Grand Tactical Rules like Blucher, I came to see a new use for these armies, ranging from Red vs. Blue proxies for various BBB scenarios, to Blucher games.  Thus I threw myself at them. First I finished off the French Heavy cavalry, and then I worked on the full Prussian Army. I rebased the Prussians from the 60x30mm Polemos bases to my universal system of 20x20 Bases.And finished them off. So here they are in their tiny glory.

The Infantry and Artillery compoment

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans BBB 2nd Pleven 1877

Our campaign goes on. To date we have played the following battles:

Kurudere 1854 Russians (Onur and Emir) vs. Ottomans (me)-> Russian Victory (Historical)

Alexinac 1875 Serbians (me) vs. Ottomans (Onur and Emir)->Ottoman Victory (Historical)

Nikopolis 1877 Russians (Onur and Emir) vs. Ottomans (me)-> Russian Victory (Historical)

Now came the turn of the great battle of 2nd Pleven, the first serious attempt of the Russians to take Pleven and annihilate Osman Pasha's Army, that straddled their communications lines.

The video report

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Updates: Naval Games and the Great Evzone experiment

Hi to all

Not much gaming these days because Onur is swamped at work. But we are all excitedly waiting for the next chance to fight the next battle in our BBB Campaign "The Last Century of the Ottomans", 2nd Pleven.

Your host keeping busy

Most of my hobby time has thus focused on scenario buildings (Kumanovo 1912 is at Chris Pringle for post-processing), reading, painting (almost done with a 6mm Prussian Army for 1813-1814 that has been waiting for half a decade), and planning next steps. Two things that I am toying with is Naval Rules, and Evzones. Read below.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Revisiting "Blood and Iron,Bismark's Wars for Empire" 1866

I decided to revisit the board-game "Blood and Iron, Bismarck's Wars of Empire" once more. The Last time I had run  solo scenario of the 1864 War, one in which the Danes got the better of the Austro-Prussians. I wanted to run the main scenario of the game, the Seven Weeks War of 1866 as a solo game, in preparation for a multiplayer game. This is the games main scenario and I hoped it would be more enjoyable then my brief foray into the 1859 scenario that proved very boring.
Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria

In the game you have the potential for five players, as on one side you have Italy and Prussia with its German Allies, and on the other side the Austrian North Army in Bohemia, the Austrian South Army in Italy, and the forces of the German Confederation (Bavarians, Federals,  Hannoverians, and the forces of Baden and Wurtterburg) with the Saxon Army a force that could be used in either West-Central Germany, or Bohemia.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Orthodox Christian Easter Gaming: BBB Velestino and a Kiss me Hardy Clash

Last week I traveled to Greece to celebrate Orthodox Easter with my family. It was a quick four day trip but I was able to squeeze some gaming  into Megali Pempti (God forgive me). In addition to the 19th Century War-gaming and Warfare Facebook Group I also created a group to help historical war-gamers in Greece to organize sessions. While I have my own posse from the years of youthful folly (i.e Warhammer 40k), and there is the Strategikon club, the groups aim is to broaden the space for players that are not a) my friends b) not finding their gaming needs fulfilled by the otherwise excellent Strategikon. This is especially the case for people like me who like less main-stream historical war gaming.

You can see the page at The name is Ο Διαβιβαστής (Greek for Courrier).

Anyhow to the meat. Me, Peter and Vangellis met at the Kaissa store Peristeriou, our local friendly gaming store, and I introduced them to Bloody Big Battles. We played the Battle of Velestino Scenario. We used my 10mm Pendraken Ottomans, while the Greeks were proxied by my Union troops. Peter and Vangellis commanded the Ottomans, and I the Greeks.

The video

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans BBB Nikopolis 1877

A couple of weeks ago we played our next scenario in the Last Century of the Ottomans BBB Campaign. This was Nikopolis.  I commanded teh Ottomans, and Emir and Onur the Russians. It was a resounding Russian victory. Next up is 2nd Pleven.

To date we have played three scenarios. In all three the result was the historical, and in all three I lost.
Kurudere-> Russian Victory
Aleksinatz-> Ottoman Victory
Nikopol-> Russian Victory

The AAR was prepared by Onur, while I made the Video Report from recordings made by Onur. Emir and Onur took the pictures.

"BBB Nikopol AAR,
April 23th 2016. Children Holiday at Turkey.

We met at Konstantinos’s place again. Me and Emir commanded Russians and our host commanded Turks. All terrains and models were supplied by our generous host.

The Video Report

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Battlefield Visit: Chataldja, Turkey

I was lucky to go on a excursion last summer with friends from the Istanbul war-gaming scene to the Chataldja lines, sites of the First and Second Battles of Chataldja during the First Balkan War between the Ottoman and Bulgarian armies.  After the war, the lines were updated and modernized as the final line of defence of Istanbul against enemies attacking from the west (Bulgaria, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia).

The fields is large and we used a car to get around. It is also not developed at all, so part of the excursion was to explore it and find artifacts and sites of the Balkan War battles. It is doted by villages settled by Muslims expelled from Bulgaria and Greece in the sad and tumultus history of this region of the world. There is no commemoration of the battlefield by the state, and very little private work. A scenario of the First and Second battles will be developed in the future for Bloody Big Battles.

The vistas are breathtaking, and to be frank the decision of the Bulgarians to attack the Ottoman positions, over open ground, cannot be seen as anything but bravery married to stupidity and arrogance.  We took lots of photos, so here they are.

Also here is a map of the dispositions of he two armies in the first battle from the Official Turkish history.

The First Battle saw an woefully under-strength Bulgarian army lunch frontal assaults against the Ottoman entrenched positions at high ground. While Bulgarian elan might had carried the day in Kirkilise and Lule-Burgaz, it failed here in the face of determined Ottoman resistance, excellent defensive ground, and good works.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Project Complete: 1877/1897 Ottoman Army

Another 10mm 19th century army joins my collection. This is an Ottoman Army that can be used from the period between 1865 to 1897. The figures are all Pendraken, and the army is mainly going to be used for Bloody Big Battles, Black Powder, and Neil Thomas 19th century rules. The army may be expanded to also cover the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars.

The forces arrayed. About 40 infantry bases, 6 guns, 2 Generals, and 11 cavalry bases

Friday, April 8, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans: Aleksinac

Last weekend, Onur, Emir and me joined at Emir's house to play the second battle in our linked Big Bloody Battles campaign. This campaigned includes all the BBB Scenarios in which the Ottoman Empire was one of the two sides. Our last battle saw a Russian victory at Kurudere during the Crimean War. This time we moved forward 20 years. It is 1876 and since 1875 the Ottoman Empire is at war with its vassal state of Serbia. The Serbs are fighting to force the Empire to end the vassalage of the Principality of Serbia and to expand into the contested areas of Old Serbia and Bosnia (itself in revolution). After a series of Serbian attacks, the Serbs are forced back into their borders. At Aleksinac (Sumatovach) the Ottomans try to encircle and annihilate half of the Serbian army.

This time Onur took the role of AAR writer, so I am posting his AAR with my own remarks in italics. Emir took the photos, I did the video. Last time I commanded the armies of the Sublime Porte and Emir and Onur the armies of Slavdom This time I took the role of Serbia commander, while Emir and Onur took the role of the Ottomans.

This map by Onur gives a good idea of how the battle went.

Here is Onur's AAR( my notes in italics)-video report after the text report

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Fleet that Never Was: Some early photos

One project I have started with my friend Doruk is a campaign for the naval aspects of the First Balkan War, and more especially the War that Never Wars, the expected 1914 naval war between the Ottoman Empire and Greece. Both sides had engaged in an arms race, ordering dreadnoughts in a race to gain operational dominance in such a war.  The dispute was over the heavility Greek populated, but crucial for Ottoman strategic security Western Aegean Islands. The Greeks had taken them (or liberated) in 1912, but the peace treaties that ended the Balkan Wars did not resolve the issues of sovereignty. The war never happened as in 1914 World War 1 started. The British impounded the two Ottoman dreadnoughts (which became the HMS Erin and HMS Agincourt) and the French and Germans stopped working on the Greek orders (a Breatagne class ship, and the unique Salamis, which looked like Koning Class).

What would had happened if these Aegean behemoths had actually gone to sea? This is what we wish to find out.We are using the Operational system of Great War at Sea to generate battles, and will fight the Tactical engangmenets using Fleet Action Imminent.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga National Battlefield Park 2014

Since a lot of people liked my Kennesaw Mountain Park post, here are pictures and a video from my visit to Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga National Battlefield park from 2014. I am going to make this a regular series, to give a chance to many of us to see places we might never see up close. This is not as organised as my Kennesaw one.

Video from Chickamauga

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Kennesaw Mountain

Over last week I was in Atlanta attending the ISA convention. It was a good convention. I decided to take time to visit and explore Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which is rather close to the city. The National Park commemorates the Battle of Kennesaw , fought in 1864 as part of the campaign that led to the fall of Atlanta.

I took a lot of pictures, but also prepared a video of my excursion. Here is the video (hosted on Youtube)

And here are the photos

Friday, March 11, 2016

More Warhammer 40k from Greece

Another friend of mine, Tasos, sent me a number of pictures from Warhammer 40k wargames in the area of Markopoulo (and the eastern suburbs of Athens) which is rural Attica around the International Airport. Enjoy

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Last Century of the Ottomans: Kurudere

Battle of Kurudere 1853, A Bloody Big Battle AAR.

Last weekend Onur and Emir came over for the first game in our Last Century of the Ottomans Bloody Big Battles Campaign. It was decided that I shall command the Ottoman attack, and they would share the Russian defense. 

We even did a video!

Historically the Ottomans divided their forces and executed a Night March to flank the Russians at Karayal. A good idea on paper it failed due to the terrible leadership and quality of the Ottoman troops. My rule of thumb when leading bad quality armies is concentration. Thus I opted for a daytime approach and a condensed battle array.  On my right flank I placed the powerful 2nd division with one of its batteries. Its goal was to sweep over the Karayal mountain and pincer any Russian units between the mountain and the small stream together with the 1st Division under Hassan Pasha. The Hssan Reserve Force would keep any Russian troop deployed at Kurudere and Poldervan from helping the isolated troops. Once those were destroyed I would roll the flank and either win a draw or victory, with the chances of the draw higher.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Reviews: 19th Century Warfare II

Book Reviews: The 19th Century II

I decided to once more do brief reviews of books I have read over the period since my last Book Review (which can be found at Book Reviews: 19th Century Warfare I)

Some of the books I read I read in print, and I believe that for those I will do a video review, since many of them are illustrated. Kindle books and non-illustrated books I will review here.

French Army 1870-1871 Franco Prussian War volumes 1 &2, Stephen Shann & Louis Delpenier, Osprey
The First Schleswig-Holstein War, Nick Svendsen, Helion Press
Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance 1864-1870, Gabriele Esposito, Osprey
The Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871 Volume 2, Quintin Barry, Helion
Three Weeks in November, Ralph Weaver, Helion

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Once more to the grinder: 2nd Pleven using Bloody Big Battles

Osman Pasha, Ottoman Commander

Onur and Emir, another friend of ours, came over yesterday for a Bloody Big Battle Scenario of the battle of 2nd Pleven.  This time it was decided that I will take the role of Osman Pasha and command the Ottomans, while Onur and Emir would command the Russians.
Lt. General Baron Krudener, IX Corps Commander

Unlike out last game, this time we had full complements for both sides (though we did conscript ACW Union gunners to reach the 13 batteries needed. The ottomans were serviced by a mix of mine and Onur’s collections. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Apocalypse in Thessaloniki

Hera are some pictures from my friend Nigel Lonetree. They are from a game of Apocalypse they played in Thessaloniki. There is an active WH40K scene up there.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

PC Game Review: Commander the Great War

I do not usually do pc game reviews, but taking a cue from Gunfreak’s excellent blog and Anatoli's blog, I am going to showcase a bit “Commander the Great War”.  

 When dealing with historical wargames I tend to prefer operational and grand strategy games. I have been looking for good theater/gran strategy game for a long time. I initially tried AGEODS “American Civil War” but the battalion level gameplay quickly turned me off. It just was too detailed for what I wanted. I am big World War I buff (though I do not game it at the miniature table), and I have been looking for a straightforward no frills theater/grand strategic game. Commander the Great War was that game.

Kiss me Hardy Once More!

Yesterday Mehmet (the developer of the Trial by Fire WW1 rules) came over to stay at my place as he was visiting Istanbul for work. We decided to run a small Kiss me Hardy Scenario, so he could check out naval gaming.

It was the usual setting. A small French squadron trying to break a British blockade, with a squadron of far squadron ships trying to stop them. The French needed to survive 7 rounds of combat to win, while the British needed to sink, capture, or cripple at least one French ship.

The British order was the following. Mehmet Commanded them
HMS Ajax, Elite crewed 74 gun 3rd Rate, Foul Bottomed
HMS Naiad, Elite Crewed 38 gun frigate, Foul Bottomed

The French Order was the following. I commanded them
MNS Indomptable, Average Crewed 80 gun 3rd Rate
MNS Cornelie, Elite Crewed 40 gun frigate.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Museum: Hisart Living History and Diorama Museum

This Sunday me and my friends Onur and Emir visited a small private museum in Istanbul. This is the Hisart Museum. It is essentially the private collection of militaria, models and figurines of one of the major industrialists in Turkey who is also an avid hobbyist.

The museum is small but jam packed with stuff. This is the museum from which I have taken the most pictures. Lots of uniforms, militaria, and dioramas. A real treat. Organisation is better than the Army Museum in Istanbul,though labeling could do some work. Some of the exhibits are of questionable accuracy, but in general this is the work of an enthusiast and it shows. The Museum covers Ottoman History from the Seljuk period to the modern era, and also covers WW2. Its one of the few Museum's in Istanbul that cover the Balkan Wars. Because of the massive amount of pictures I will let them speak for themselves.

Friday, January 22, 2016

19TH Century Stuff

Here are some pictures from 19th century related activities.

First pictures of works in progress

1877/1897 10mm Ottomans by Pendraken. Half-way done to my goal.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

First 2016 Game: Battle of Lemnos 1913

Me an Doruk got together for a game of Perfidious Albion, loosely based on the Battle of Lemnos, during the Firs Balkan War.

I commanded the Greeks made up of
the AC Averoff
and the three sister ironclad battleships Spetsai-Psara-Hydra

All my models are from War Times Journal

Doruk commanded the Ottomans made up of the sister pre-dreadnought Battleships Torgud Reis and Hyderrin Barbarossa, the ironclad battleship Mesudieh, and the light Cruiser Medjidieh.

All his models were Panzwersiff.

Initial dispositions. Greeks towards you, Ottomans away

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Retrospection and plans 2016

Happy New Year to all

As always I take a retrospection at the start of the new year, and lay out my plans for the year that has started.

Games Played 2015

Over 2015 I played about 25 miniatures games, a goodly number.While I do not have exact numbers I pieced this breakdown from older blog posts.

Bloody Big Battles:5
Black Powder: 2
Perfidious Albion: 4
Altar of Freedom: 2
Kiss me Hardy:3
Warhammer: 1
Warhammer 40k: 1
Saga: 5

Of those games 4 were solo games. I lost 31 f 32 games.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Museum: The Army Museum in Istanbul (1st 2016 Post)

Happy New Year to all. May 2016 bring you Health, Wealth, and Joy. And lots and lots of war-gaming.

Since most of you were good last year, here is your present. Pictures from the Harbiye Army Museum in Istanbul. This is a very large museum with a massive collection of artifacts. However it is badly organised, with really bad English translation, and mislabeling of periods and paintings. Also of all the museums I have produced it is the one with the least subtle ideological bent.

The Museum does have a massive collection, it also has a very nice shop (with interesting books but most of them in English), and finally it is where you can check out the Mehter Band, live.

As in the case with the Greek Museums I will keep captions short.

Fleeee the Conquering!