Sunday, December 16, 2018

Diplomatic History Course: The Cold War and Post-Cold War Period to 2001

The final set of recorded coursed for my Fall 2018 Ozyegin University IR 301 Diplomatic History Course are up. These cover the Cold War and the post-Cold War era up to 2001. I also uploaded a video of my student's map projects. I am a bit sad as depending how the job market goes this might be my last time being able to teach this course. 

The Early Cold War

The Middle Cold War

The Late-Cold War and Post-Cold War period to 2001

Student Project Videos

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Diplomatic History Course: The two World Wars and the Interwar Period

The newest set of videos covering the First World War, Interwar Period, and Second World War are up on Youtube.

The First World War

The Interwar Period

The Second World War (Note, due to technical issues I had to switch to a inferior camera, and I was not able to cover the 1941-1942 period).

Friday, November 30, 2018

18th Century Collection

A couple of weeks ago, when we played Saga, Nacho and I also set up our ongoing 18th century 1/72 collections to take some pictures. The goal was to incetivize us to continue painting until we have enough to be able to use Might and Reason.

Here are some pictures and video (click for larger pictures)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

SAGA (again)!

After a very long time, me and Nacho had the chance to play some Saga (the new edition). We used 1/72 Hat, Strelets, Italieri figures, and we played Milites Chisti (me) vs. Moors( Nacho). All in all we had a good time (taking a break to watch the The Great War Series Armistice episode) and the new Saga is excellent with the rules changes making for a more aggressive and fast game.

You can find a video at this link!

Here are a lot of photos from our two games. I lost both, with the first one being a closer call. But I had so much fun!

First game (click for larger photos)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Diplomatic History Course Videos continued: 1600-1913

I a uploading videos of my Diplomatic History course from Ozyegin University. I have now covered most of the 1614-1913 period. You can find the powerpoints used in the course in links in the video descriptions.


Rest are below

Sunday, October 28, 2018

OHI Day-Ημέρα του Οχί

Today  is the anniversary of the onset of the Greek-Italian War of 1940. By 1941 it will become part of the wider World War. In Greece the war is considered a watershed moment. It seemed to be a point of time were the deep divides of the National Schism got overcome. It also helped somewhat mitigate the deep trauma from the defeat in the Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1923 (which you can learn more of by following my monthly YouTube series Salvation and Catastrophe.).

The first radio announcement of the initiation of the Italian attack. 

Continues Below

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Liberation & Destruction BBB Campaign: Battle of Kirik Kilisse

This Saturday (20 October 2018) we initiated a new BBB Campaign, “Liberty & Destruction: The First & Second Balkan Wars”. We fought the first major battle in the Eastern Thrace front, the Battle of Kirk Kilisse (Lozengran).

The scenario game ended with an Ottoman Victory, due to the mistakes done by the players commanding the Bulgarians (including yours truly). Onur kept his cool and fully exploited my mistake in dispersing my power into three different axis of attack. Morten and me never coordinated until it was very late, and I gave wrong orders.  Having not played BBB in a long while I simply forgot the basic principles of strategy, which BBB always punishes you for forgetting. We did not concentrate and thus even though we broke through there was not power behind those breakthroughs.

Scenario map and direction of actions

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I left Facebook

A lot of you might have woken up to me being missing from Facebook. First please do not worry. I am fine. I decided to leave Facebook after a careful consideration of the priorities I have in life. This year is an important year in my life and there is a need to focus on personal life and work. My lack of discipline meant that Facebook was coming at the cost of the core of the hobby (reading books, painting armies, waging tabletop battles). Do not get me wrong. I appreciate the ability of social media ti simplify life. It would not be a lie to say Facebook helped me get through some tough times. But now is the time to move on.

I would like to apologize to the members of the various Groups I helped set up on Facebook. My abrupt leaving was necessitated by my character, but is nevertheless insulting. I apologize. I hope the groups will continue their life beyond me direct involvement. It is left to the will or lack of will of members. I especially want to apologize to Elliot.

What now? How can you keep up with my hobby activities.

First, you can follow my hobby activity on this blog.

Second, I am member of the Pendraken Forum (rather active), The Wargames Website (active to a point), and a couple of Yahoo Groups the most important of which is the BBB Yahoo Group.

Third you can always contact me via the following email :

Fourth, you can follow my videos on my YouTube Channel.

There a some really cool things in store. The Salvation and Catastrophe YouTube video series will have its first episode in the last week of October. I also working on a board-game, and look forward to be able to sink some more time in it. The War of Vasorvian Succession campaign should get started this year. And we are gearing up for a BBB game of Konningratz. Finally I am uploading on YouTube my Diplomatic History courses. So keep in touch.

Again if my abrupt exit from Facebook hurt you, I apologize. It had to be done.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Summer Gaming 2018 Rommel and Tercios and a new FB Group

Here is a quick post on two games I played during the summer.

Before this in Athens I was able to move forward our Battle Cry campaign with my friend Chris. Current score is 3 victories to Chris (always plays confederates) vs. 1 for me (Union)

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Our First Game of Rommel: Soviets vs. Italians 1942

Two weekends ago (yes it took this long to find time to prepare this. Such a busy summer this year for me), me, Morten, and Nacho came to Nacho's house to play my first game of Rommel. Initially the plan was to pit my Italians vs. Greeks, or Greeks vs. Germans (using the Greek command material I created which you can find by clicking here , and which has unfortunately been ignored by most , bu not all, of the Rommel community :( ) but we decided instead to play a Soviet vs. Italian battle during 1942. Nacho and Morten's took over command of the attacking Soviets, and I of the defending Italians. Scenario was breakthrough. 

Setting the table

Scetch map of the terrain and development of the battle.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Boardgame: The Balkan Wars

A couple of weeks ago I got together with Morten (who is visiting from Denmark), Emir, Nacho, and Onur, and finally got a game of the Strategy and Tactics board-wargame "Balkan Wars". We played at Grimdark, a friendly store in Istanbul, at Kadikoy.

I took control of the Greeks, Emir took control of the Bulgarians, Morten of the Serbs and Montengrin, and Nacho and Onur shared control of the Ottomans. In the end the Ottomans were defeated with one-point difference but they did well.

Monday, July 2, 2018

BBB Battle of Gettysburg Anniversary, and Battle of Chickamauga

Onur came over yesterday and we played the Big Bloody Battles scenario for the Battle of Gettysburg, considering that it was the anniversary of the start of the battle.

Onur took on the command of the CSA forces, while I took the command of USA forces. In summary, I lost, as I underestimated the strength of the Confederate forces. Onur focused on Gettysburg and the heights immediately behind it, while I permitted myself to be check by Longstreet's threat to my flanks. As a result my center was not sufficiently held and buckled under the attack of four CSA divisions. Attempts to fix the situation by, many times desperate, counter attacks failed. A convincing CSA victory to my shame.

You can watch the video AAR here

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A couple of videos from my recent Athens visit

I took my fiancee to Athens to meet my parents. We visited the Akropolis, the Akropolis Museum, the National Historical Museum and the Archaeological Museum. Two video clips we made might be of interest to the usual followers of my blog.

1. The changing of the guard at the monument of the Unknown Soldier at Syntagma Square.

2. The assembly hall of the Old Parliament Building (now the National Historical Museum)-with a reproduction of the old voting system in Greece.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Some Too Fat Lardies action: Teaching IABSM and some Kiss me Hardy

Nacho came over this Sunday for some relaxation, discussion about military history (the Thirty Years War especially), eating cigkofte, drinking lots of cold beer,  and we also played two games.

First I introduced him to I Ain't Been Shot Mum, by the Too Fat Lardies. We had a 4 squad Italian Platoon, supported by a two squad command platoon (plus 1 Big Man), plus a squad of MMG guns, attack a entrenched Greek position defended by two squads of Greeks and one MMG. The Italians were able to storm the Greek position and Nacho got some of the basics of IABSM.

The blinds phase

Friday, June 8, 2018

Finished Project : Catalyst Labs Battletech Mechwarrior Miniatures

Battletech/Mechwarrior Miniatures
I finished a small project I did for one of the friends in the Kararagh Club in Istanbul. The plastic miniatures that came with the Battletech Boxed set by Catalyst Games. I really just wanted to paint them, that is all. I do not care that much about the setting or the game.But they were fun to paint.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Expedition to the First Balkan War Battled Fields of Eastern Thrace.

Expedition to the First Balkan War Battled Fields of Eastern Thrace.

On 8 October 1912, Montenegro opened the First Balkan War. Quickly after this the Bulgarian 1st, 2nd and 3rd Armies invaded Eastern Thrace with the goals of capturing Edirne/Adrianopole/Odrin , and cutting off any communications between Istanbul/Constantinople/Tsarigrad and the Ottoman Balkans (Rumelia). The end of this campaign, in conjunction to the Greek and Serbian campaigns in Ottoman Macedonia and Epirus, and in the Aegean Sea, would be the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire from most of the Balkans, the massacre, starvation, and expulsion of hundreds of thousand of Ottoman Muslims, the creation of the modern Albanian sate, and the incorporation/liberation of hundreds of thousands of Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, and Slavic Christians in Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria. It would also feed the demands of Austro-Hungarian Chief of the General Staff Conrad von Hotzendorf for a war with Serbia, that in time would contribute to the First World War.

The Four Riders of the Apocalypse or The Four Liberators?

We decided to do a day long expedition to visit the sites of the four key military actions  of this campaign. Those were the Battle of Kirkilise/Kirklareli (22 to 24 October 1912, New Style Calendar), the Battle of Lule-Burgas-Pinahisar (29 October 1912 to 1 November 1912, New Style Calendar), the Battle of Catalca/Chataldja (17-18 November 1912, New Style Calendar), and teh Siege of Edirne (3 November 1912 to 26 March 1913, New Style Calendar).

Let us start with a video I compiled of our expedition

And then go one to our collection of photos.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

2nd Battle of Skra Di Lengen , May 1918 Centenary

The centenary for the 2nd Battle of Skra (Battle of Yarebichna in Bulgarian,Μάχη Σκρά in Greek) during the First World War has arrived. This is always a good excuse to do something for war-gaming. Unfortunately I am in the midst of grading and writing ,so no game. Instead with the help of Robert Monk, we developed a Great War Spearhead II scenario covering the central part of the battle.

A nice painting about the battle from the First World War exhibit of the National Historical Museum at Athens. You can see more at this link from my blog.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Naval Museum Istanbul: Naval History Exhibit

We had the chance to re-visit the Naval Museum at Istanbul. This time I visited the Naval History Exhibit, that had been closed for the last three years. You can find pictures(click to enlarge) below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Kazim Karabekir House Museum

I had the chance to visit the museum-house of General Kazim Karabekir. This was an Ottoman and Turkish Republican officer, who came to prominence during the First World War. He was one of the most successful Ottoman officers in the Caucasus Front, and was the commander of Turkish Nationalist forces during the war between the Turkish National Assembly and the Social-Democratic Republic of Armenia (1919-1920). He was one of the big political players during the period called in Turkey as the Turkish War of Independence (which covers the Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1923, Franco-Turkish War of 1919-1921, and Armenian-Turkish War of 1919-1920). If Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) had been defeated or overthrown, either Karabekir or Enver Pasha would had dominated the nationalist movement. Instead Mustafa Kemal won, and Karabekir was sidelined, venting his energy in the writing of a couple of important books.

Update on Projects Spring 2018

Things are going slow, project wise.

I am still trying to get some paint in. The 1866 10mm project for Konningratz has stalled under the weight of its massiveness. It is moving (the Saxons and one Austrian Corps done) but slow. I am also stalled with my 18th century imaginations work. The only painting I got in was two more lances of mechs for the Battletech set I am painting for a friend.

Some bad photos.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Active Learning at my Course

This semester I again had the chance to teach my course on military strategy. This year I extended the course to also cover non-violent strategies of political contention for a more holistic approach to options for obtaining goals in contentious politics.

I also heavily increased the role of active learning components from 2 in the course, to 4.
Three of these components were centered around the students playing historical wargames, in board-game or miniature game form, or computer games and writing response papers on what they learned from the games, as well as applying concepts learned from lecture.

What I think I am doing :p

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pritzker Military Library and ,Museum: WWI

I am in Chicago for Midwest Political Science Association Meeting. Romping around I found the Pritzker Military Library and Museum which had a WW1 exhibit. Here are some photos.

Hisart Museum Visit number two

I had the chance to re-visit the Hisart museum and took some pictures of new stuff I had not seen in my previous visit.

Quite a lot of news things, especially about WW2. Also in an effort to curry the favor of the goverment, the museum has made a special exhibition on Sultan Abdul Hamid II.

What I have been working on

Not a lot of completed projects right now.

I am working on 10mm 1866 Austrians for the Bloody Big Battles Koniggratz scenario.

I am also painting, slowly, my 1/72 early 18th century imagination forces. Here is what I have done to this point

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A selected recent English language bibliography on the Greek Revolution of 1821.

A selected recent enligsh language bibliogrpahy on the Greek Revolution of 1821. In order of more recent date of publication.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Big Bloody Balkan Battles Play-testing Done!

Designers and Play-testers enjoying the end of an era!

I am happy to announce that the play-testing of all battle scenarios for the Bloody Big Balkan Battles (BBBB) supplement for Bloody Big Battles( BBB) is done! I finished a 2nd play-test of Breglanitza!

Breglanitza Set up

Which means we can begin the finalization for publication. The next steps are

1) Editing Scenarios in view of play-testing (almost done)
2) Writing a quick biography for each of the generals present as miniatures in the scenarios.
3) Copy Editing
4) Publication!!!!
I want to thank the following people for helping with the play-tests! As promised early on, we will reward them.

Chris Pringle and Team (UK)

Onur Buyuran, Bekir Becit, Nacho Perez Sanchez, Mehmet Batuhan (Turkey)
Morten Kristien Andersen and Team (Denmark) 

Here is the final tally of playtests!
Sarantaporo: 2 Playtests (Chris Pringle)-CLOSED
Dioran: 4 Playtests (Me, Onur and Bekir)-CLOSED
Kilkis-Lahana: 2 Playtests (Me)-CLOSED
Lule-Burgs: 3 Playtests (2 Me, 1 Morten Kristien Andersen)-CLOSED
Kirkkilise: 2 Playtests (Chris Pringle)-CLOSED
Yiannitsa: 2 (Chris Pringle)-CLOSED
Prilep: 2 Playtest (Me, Me and Nacho)-CLOSED
Monastir 2 (Me and Morten, Me)-CLOSED
Kumanovo: 2 (Me , Me and Onur)-CLOSED
Chataldja: 2 (Me, Me and Mehmet Batuhan)-CLOSED
Bizani: 1 (Chris Pringle)-Conditional CLOSED
Kalimanchi: 2 (ME, Morten)-CLOSED
Kresna Gorge :2 (ME) -CLOSED 
Breglanitza: 2 (Chris Pringle, Me)-CLOSED
Secret non-Scenario Project: 0 (Assigned to Morten Team)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Almost done with Bloody Big Balkan Battles Playtests!

I just finished my 2nd Playtest of Kresna Gorge. With this we are almost done with the play-testing phase of the writing of the Bloody Big Balkan Battles scenario supplement for BBB.

Almost there! Let us hope this endeavor will end better than the Greek en-devour to take Istanbul/Constantinople 

Sarantaporo: 2 Playtests (Chris Pringle)-CLOSED
Dioran: 4 Playtests (Me, Onur and Bekir)-CLOSED
Kilkis-Lahana: 2 Playtests (Me)-CLOSED
Lule-Burgs: 3 Playtests (2 Me, 1 Morten Kristien Andersen)-CLOSED
Kirkkilise: 2 Playtests (Chris Pringle)-CLOSED
Yiannitsa: 2 (Chris Pringle)-CLOSED
Prilep: 2 Playtest (Me, Me and Nacho)-CLOSED
Monastir 2 (Me and Morten, Me)-CLOSED
Kumanovo: 2 (Me , Me and Onur)-CLOSED
Chataldja: 2 (Me, Me and Mehmet Batuhan)-CLOSED
Bizani: 1 (Chris Pringle)-Conditional CLOSED
Kalimanchi: 2 (ME, Morten) CLOSED
Kresna Gorge :2 (ME) CLOSED 
Breglanitza: 1 (Chris Pringle)
Secret non-Scenario Project: 0

Only one battle playtest is left. That is a 2nd Playtest for Breglanitza.The problem is that in all chances neither me, nor Chris can touch this before April. And that means having to use May-June to make revisions and looking at a possible publication in July-August. If someone can help us, by doing a play-test of Breglanitza ASAP, then I can do revisions March-April-May and we can look at a June publication (in time for the start of summer). Please consider helping! 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Project: The War of Varasovian Succession

The War of Varasovian Succession : An Imaginations Campaign 

Campaign map, click for larger picture

For thousands of years the Danaian Empire had ruled the regions washed by the Mother Sea. But 500 years ago, changes in climate led to mass migrations from the north and east of the region that overwhelmed and led to the collapse of the Danaian Empire. When the last Danaian Emperor signed off half of the empire to a confederation of tribes of migratory people, an era had ended, and a new era began, the Era of Kings.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some news that caught my eye

Two things
1) Nicholas Murray and Chris Pringle have translated Clauzewit's history of the 1796 Italian Campaign.  This is the first english translation. You can find more at Chris Pringle's site.

2)  Secondly, Strategy and Tactics is coming out with a game on the Turkish War of Liberation. As you know I am also working ,slowly on my own interpretation of the Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1923 (which is seen as part of the wider conflict termed the Turkish War of Liberation), called "Salvation and Catastrophe". Knowing a bit about the type of game S&T produces, my expectation is that it will be an ok game, but one that will simplify some things too much and take out some of the sauce and core of the historical case. Still until I am able to get my own work out, this might be a good stop-over.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year Post! Happy 2018 to all!

Happy New Year to all of you, and especially my loyal blog followers. Health, Wealth, Joy, Peace to you and yours!.

I would like to update you all for the plans of 2018.

2017 was another good year of war-gaming for me. We completed our Bloody Big Battles “Last Century of the Ottomans” Campaign. I was almost done with the play-testing of my and Chris Pringle’s scenario supplement for Bloody Big Battles, focused on the 1st and 2nd Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, titled “Bloody Big Balkan Battles”. I even got some 40k Action in.

But 2018 has also brought some clarity and decision to clean slate. I am selling a lot of my stuff (you can see at Agora. My main goal is to sale in Turkey right now, but if you find something you like and are willing to cover the shipping costs, talk to me). This year my hobby plans are as follows

1) Finish the playtesting and writing of “Bloody Big Balkan Battles”, with a publish date target of either Summer 2018, or Winter 2018.

2) Paint my 10mm Pendraken Miniatures Austro-Saxon Army for the BBB Konningratz/Sadowa scenario.

3) Me, Onur and Nacho have become determined to do some later 17th century, early 18th century war gaming. Those of you who have been around this blog from the start, know that this blog began as part of an aborted attempt to get into the 18th Century Imagination gaming. Well some things never die, and we decided to go down the imagination path. We will be waging the “War of Varsovian Succession” using the “Might and Reason” rules, with the “Lion and Cresent” and “Sun King” expasions, and the Might and Reason seasonal campaign system (here is a preview of the map I created).

We decided to go for 1/72 scale figures. My forces, representing the Dominion of the House of Travlos (hey it is make believe and I will satisfy my ego), will be based on Imperial forces in the War of Spanish Succesion but are themed after the Venetian armies in the Great Turkish War. Nacho is building his based on Spanish Bourbon forces, fighting for the Great Kingdom of Sanchez, while Onur will fight using Ottomans, for the Onur Halil Pasha Beylik.

4) Once the BBBB supplement is done, focus fully on the board-game “Salvation and Catastrophe: The Greek-Turkish War of 1919-1923” (here is a preview of the cover illustration I made)

5) I am running a e-mail game for the board game “Iron and Blood”, based on the 1866 Seven Weeks War scenario.

6)  Do a scenario for Great War Spearhead based on the Battle of Skra Di Legen, preferably close to the anniversary of the a battle (May 2018).

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

WW1 Exhibition at the National Historical Museum Athens

Happy New Year to all. I will make a more proper new year post later, but for now here are some pictures from the WW1 Exhibit set up at the National Historical Museum in Athens, Greece. Click on pictures for a bigger view

First off, an unknown, to me, painting from the 2nd Balkan War

The Exhibition