Friday, 11 December 2009

"Some Damn Affair in the Balkans......" Part 1

The deed has been done and those very nice chaps at Irregular Miniatures are busy beavering away on my order. I opted for a version of their Oh! What a Lovely War! Battlepack which Ian Kay very kindly tweaked to reflect the Balkan Forces more closely than the better equipped WW1 armies. I usually avoid this ‘pack’ type of approach as I am a little fussy on the choice of figure poses preferring to have units in a single advancing pose. However, as the pack deal price represents an enormous discount over buying bespoke as it were (basically you have to have Irregular’s choice of figures), I really had little choice in the matter! In any event, the variety of poses available will look suitably active as the adversaries attempt to come to grips across the tabletop!

The forces will be quite modest in terms of the number of models but will certainly have sufficient variety for all manner of one off games and scenarios using my rules of choice for this period: When Empires Clash by Bob Cordery. Each side will have 48 infantry, 8 cavalry, 2 x MGs, 2 x Field Guns and a Howitzer and a command group of a general, a cavalry trooper and a foot officer. This seems a little on the heavy side in terms of equipment but as mentioned, I really wanted to have the choice. The Infantry will be based in 3s and the mounted in 2s all on bases of a 40mm frontage. I have chosen the Turks and Bulgarians to begin with but will add the Greeks and Serbs in due course. Hopefully the Montenegrins will be ready at some point (Ian at Irregular has them on his ‘to do’ list) so the next battlepack will be Greeks and Turks with the final one Serbs versus Montenegrins. I know that the latter is not a historical match up per se but it is a viable way of taking advantage of the battlepack concept. It means that the Turks will be the biggest single force with the ‘allies’ having greater numbers overall.

Of course having Turks from the 1912 era does raise the question of perhaps some Italian opposition - in conjunction with some Sanussi tribesmen for the Italo-Turkish war at some point. My knowledge of the Italian army of the period is very limited and so I am unsure of what figures, if any, would be suitable for them in 15mm. The Sanussi are also a challenge as although they are ‘Arabs’ they have more of a wraparound headscarf than the usual Bedouin headgear. At first glance they look more like long robed and bare-legged Afghan tribesmen so I will need to research this further in due course.

The naval side has already been taken care of with all the fleets represented (and ready to use) in 1/3000th scale with the exception of the Italians. This will not be a problem though as the redoubtable Mr Fox has a large collection of Italian ships, no doubt desirous of trying to force conclusions with the fleet of the Sublime Porte.

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