Wednesday 21 September 2011

"Ladies, if this hill doesn't kill us it will surely break our hearts..." Keder Sirt, September 1912

The hex and block based wargame rules - The Blocks of War - are ready for their first play test and I have chosen to try a representative action from the Balkan war of 1912/13. The game will be fought on a 9 x 8 Hexon battlefield and will consist of a Bulgarian force attempting to capture a village being defended by the Turks. The defenders are outnumbered roughly two to one with a portion of their force hastily entrenched on a gentle hill. The units are as follows (all are expressed in terms of blocks):
Bulgaria - 1 x command, 8 x infantry, 2 x cavalry, 2 x artillery and 1 x machine gun
Turkey - 1 x command, 4 x infantry, 1 x cavalry, 1 x artillery and 1 x machine gun.
For the purposes of this action the infantry units are at 4 strength points each, the cavalry are at 3, the Turkish artillery and both the Turkish and Bulgarian Machine guns are at 2, the Bulgarian artillery is at 3 and both command units are at 2.
The Turks are able to use deploy detachments from two infantry units and the Bulgarians are able to dismount their cavalry.
The Turks have three hexes of trenches on the hill but are handicapped by being too few in number to cover the all of the approaches and the  village. This was fairly typical of the period - the Bulgarians usually managed to get more bodies at the point of contact and so the Turks often had to cover more ground than was practical.
The challenge for the Bulgarians will be to keep the attack moving which means that the command stand will need to be busy as units out of command are not able to move. The Turks will have to cover a lot of ground and so will have to flexible and not rely of the entrenchments too heavily. I will produce a map and pictures of the action when the game is fought (probably at the weekend, possibly sooner) together with the inevitable after action report
The Battle of Keder Sirt never happened as depicted although the scenario could easily have - and not just in the Balkan War either.
No prizes for guessing where the post title or even the name of the action came from - unashamedly one of my favourite films!

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