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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Balkan Wars: Battle of Kirkkilise (1912)

Despite my longstanding interest in the Balkans, I never seriously studied the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 before. Now, thanks largely to the encouragement of Leadhead, Ph.D., I have spent some $$$ and expanded my library, resulting in my first Balkan Wars BBB scenario, for the battle of Kirkkilise.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/tr/thumb/2/2a/Lozengrad_battle.jpg/200px-Lozengrad_battle.jpg

The Balkan Wars were a prelude to WWI, featuring some massive battles complete with machineguns, destructive artillery, trenches and barbed wire. Kirkkilise saw about 150,000 Turks defeated by 200,000 Bulgarians over the course of 3 days, on a 60km front.

We fought this using the WWI rule modifications we're testing for Bloody Big Battles (BBB). They definitely created a different feel. The firepower makes players very reluctant to move troops unless they have to, and really punishes attacks that are not well organised and in sufficient force.

In the historical battle, the Bulgarians had the advantage of both quantity and quality of troops. The scenario represents this accurately, and for the Turkish player, it becomes a question of whether he can delay the Bulgarians and prevent them taking enough objectives to claim victory. As it turned out in our game, the Turks were unsuccessful, and by the end their army was (fairly historically) mostly put to flight.

Overall a most satisfactory evening. The rules mods still need tweaking, of course, but are clearly going in the right direction, and make for quite different tactical challenges and an interesting game.

The rules mods and scenario can be found in the files of the BBB Yahoo group.
The scenario is also in Flickr here, here and here, plus a couple of pics of the game.

As I happened to be on the Bulgarian side, that's another one in the 'Win' column for the year.

Games played to conclusion - 17. (not counting ones I referee)
Won - 9.
Drawn - 3.
Lost - 5.