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.

Unlike the historical Savior Officer supported goverment, Onur and Emir eschewed defending everything and gave up Kosovo, the Sanjak, Albania and most of the area north of Scopje to the Serbs. The main defense was drawn initially at Monastir/Bitola and then at Thessaloniki/Selanik/Solun itself. Bulgarian-Greek competition and the entry of Romania in the war on their side, kept the the important city in Ottoman hands.

A result of this policy was that Morten's with the Serbs was free to go on a conquering spree. Like in history, the Montengrins got bogged down at Schroder/Skodra/Iscodra. But the Serbs after a point were free to pretty much take what they wanted.

On the eastern front at Thrace, Emir focused on taking control of Western Thrace, and send a stronger force than historically against Thessaloniki/Selanik/Solun. Alas it did not arrive on time. The cost was an inability to break Onur's defenses beyond Edirne/Adrianopole/ Odrin. The entry of Romania in the war completely changed his focus.

As for me, I got bogged down in Ionnina/Yanya, and my forces in Macedonia were not strong enough to overcome the stronger Ottoman units. Though as in history, they were not able to stop me at the border.

All in all a good game.
The Balkans after a our game.


Steve J. said...

Nice to see a game on a relatively little known conflict:)

irishserb said...

Yes, very cool subject and game, thanks for sharing it.

Chris BBB said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Good to see you gaming this neglected period. What the Balkan Wars really need is a new book, from a reputable publisher, that gives them a thorough treatment from a wargamer's perspective, preferably with a full set of scenarios as well as suitable historical background ...


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