Monday, 14 January 2013

The Best of Enemies....Part 2

The Turkish Battlecruiser Yavuz after one of her numerous refits between the wars. Note the addition of substantial amounts (compared to when she was built that is) of anti-aircraft artillery and the rather fetching splinter camoflague scheme. You may be forgiven for thinking that the Fezian navy would have such a vessel but of course, I couldn't possibly comment....

Following on from my post of yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to expand on what my thought process is in respect of creating the background to a pair of imagi-nations. After looking at the 'periods' that I have an interest in gaming I would suggest that the biggest of these in terms of imagination would be the mechanised period. The historical Turks and Russians did not fight each other during the 1930s and 1940s so any such conflict using historical armies would be purely hypothetical in any event. This is good news for the imagi-nation gamer as the 'what if?' factor is very high for this and I intend to make full use of the potential on offer. To begin with, both sides will of course feature tanks and motorised transport, air support and a beefed up naval side. I have yet to scope what I want to use but suffice it to say that any kit from 1930 to early 1940 will be fair game. I am thinking of using the Zvezda 20mm figures for the infantry component and whatever takes my fancy for the vehicles and artillery etc. There are a lot of easy to assemble kits kicking around that will be pressed into service and whilst the Rusland army will seem more historical looking the Fezians will seem like a real mish mash of equipment. In actuality, the Turkish army of the period featured a wide range of equipment and during the war years featured an air force flying Spitfires with FW 190s alongside, as well as using a mixture of Russian and German armour with Czech transport. The navies will be the most challenging but I already have some ideas as to how I shall tackle this and these will form the basis of a further post in due course.

The middle two periods are probably the most straightforward of the four and luckily I have the historical background of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and the first world war to provide a backdrop. In each case I shall be looking to bolster the naval dimension and have already in my minds eye sketched out how this will develop. At no time will huge fleets be involved but there will be sufficient variety of types to ensure that some challenging actions will be fought. I am undecided about what scale these periods would be best gamed in with 15mm, 20mm and even 28mm all under consideration. Given that the armies will be fairly compact in terms of numbers they should  not present even me with too many problems on the painting front!

The earliest period - the smoothbore era - is really Napoleonic for all intents and purposes and given that the historical Turkish army of the period was long on variety of troops employed and short on quality; there is much potential for bands of irregulars and some useful cavalry types whilst the Russians featured solid infantry and plentiful horsemen. Their artillery was not too shabby either.

At the moment I have no firm plans about the order in which I shall tackle this; nor do I have any timeframe to work to. It will really depend on how the mood takes me and what I want to do first. At the present time the mechanised option appears to be favourite especially as it will give me the opportunity to make some tank kits. I will also be able to give the naval dimension some consideration although as mentioned earlier, this will be form a separate post.

I realise that in the past I have been guilty of 'talking a good game' rather than playing one - by which I mean I have described in detail projects and ideas that seem like a good idea at the time only to wither and perish on the vine as the enthusiasm wanes. I offer no apologies for this as being mercurial in my interests has been a lifelong trait of mine. The significance of this approach though is that I can tackle it using whatever I want or feel like using at the time and so my continual need for something new and shiny and different can be fullt catered for.


Francis Lee said...

Sounding good.

Anonymous said...

M3 Lee/Grants vs. T-35s & T-28s. How cool would that be?

David Crook said...

Hi Fran,

It is a long term but feasible series of ideas and I like the idea of designing the back story to flesh out the action on the table. The first step though is to get some infantry painted - any infantry in fact!

That will be the biggest challenge for me by far given my slow speed and lack of talent in that direction!

All the best,


David Crook said...


That would be an interesting match up for sure but I have something else in mind, details of which will follow in due course.

Gotta love T28s and T35s though - proof positive that Russian tank designers had a sense of humour.

All the best,


Sean said...

I have to say that I love this idea. And your statement

"I realise that in the past I have been guilty of 'talking a good game' rather than playing one - by which I mean I have described in detail projects and ideas that seem like a good idea at the time only to wither and perish on the vine as the enthusiasm wanes."

is one I can totally empathize with. That's the fun of wargaming, dreaming up all of the sweeping campaigns.

David Crook said...

Hi Sean,

I tend to find ideas very easy to come by but the execution of the same is usually a totally different wargame!

The thing that excites me about this idea is that I have no excuse for not doing what I like and how I like because after all, it is fictional. This should mean that it will stand a better than even chance of seeing the light of day!

All the best,