weird war turkey

Back in 2018 I wondered what sort of army Turkey would have in the weird-science, alternate history world of Konflikt 47. And, here is my answer.

Staying neutral as long as possible, Turkey enters the war late, signing as part of the Axis with Germany. With the real and fictional history only diverging in 1943, I felt this was a great opportunity to field a wide range of armour and other units, representing an under-prepared Turkey scrambling to respond to the seeming unavoidable Soviet invasion from the east and north-east.

I have chosen to restrict the number of units with weird technology. This reflects the junior partner nature, and likely German skepticism of just how committed their new ally is to the cause. In particular, I have no horror causing units which are such a distinct feature of German lists.

I swapped the heads of the Italian heavy infantry. I ended up with this set accidentally when I grabbed the Italian instead of the German box. Always take your reading glasses to the hobby shop. There is little chance for confusion, as this is a distinct looking unit in the force. Tougher than ordinary infantry they are still susceptible to anything that have armour piercing capability. If you can get them into cover near an objective they will be hard to dislodge.

The core of most armies are ordinary, regular infantry squads. With a few fezzes added, they are armed as late-war Germans. One squad has an LMG, but under my home brew they don’t get the Hitler’s Buzz Saw special rule, so no extra shot, leaving them with the same number of shots as other armies.

The second compulsory infantry choice has assault rifles and a panzerfaust.

Not all units are first-line. I will use these WWI Ottoman Turks from Woodbine Design as inexperienced troops.

Germany have deployed observers. Their role is to train and advise their new allies in battle spaces impacted by weird technology. Veteran observers have the special rule, Weird Tech is Expensive, which allows Turkey to field (selected) units with weird technology. These miniatures are Gebirgsjäger from Black Tree Design.

By keeping the colour palette restricted I have helped to give a more cohesive look to what is otherwise an intentionally disparate model selection.

A Panzer IV in Turkish livery. The decals are 1:48 modern Turkish air force and have come out great.

The Panzer IV-X is funky science version of the Panzer IV. The turret is a simple swap with the ordinary Panzer IV. So, while I can’t field both, I have the choice to field either in a game.

The Allied nations had hoped Turkey would join the war on their side. Part of this process was access to the Lend Lease program, where Turkey took delivery of a wide range of different tanks, all in small numbers. This included Valentines. This model is from Rubicon.

Every army needs officers. These figures are all from the Woodbine Design first world war range. They are lovely minis, full of character.

A German Liaison officer and his interpreter. As long as the interpreter is alive, the officer gets to use his German national rule to add an extra unit to the number he can Snap To. Liaison officers also have the Weird Tech is Expensive rue, so are an alternative to an Observer squad. Next project might need to include some practice with faces.

Support squads include a Pak 38.

Which has a Kettenkrad as a tow. This is another Rubicon kit.

A sniper and his spotter.

A medium Mortar.

A medium machine gun, another set from the Woodbine Design Ottoman range.

An anti-tank gun. By the late war these were mostly useless against most of the common armour. However, these heavy caliber rifles have found a role on the Konflikt 47 battlefield as a specialised sniper targetting heavy infantry and lightly armoured walkers.

Perhaps my favourite model is this Spinne Light Panzermech. Silly and wonderful in equal measure. In game they are reliable reconnaissance vehicles, suitable for rough terrain.

A feature of the Independence War in the early 1920s were irregular fighters that fought both for and against the emerging Republic (and sometimes both). I have included a unit of irregular cavalry, reflecting local resistance to the invasion of their homeland in 1947.

In addition to the painting and modelling, I have written a home brew army list. A draft version is posted here.

There are heaps more pictures in other posts. You can find them by using tags, especially the tag Turkish Army. My next goal will be to get them onto the table.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me so far.

lessons were learned

In the summer of 1944, German and fascist forces conducted many operations across Northern Italy. The sweeps and armed security-patrols into the rugged mountains were designed to break up the growing partisan companies and restrict their ability to operate.

Many of the rule book missions could be used to re-fight aspects of a security operation. But I want to create a mission where partisans are making a desperate bid to break through a security cordon to escape. With this in mind I played a couple of solo games to get a feel for how squads might interact on wooded table, with one side attempting to exit and the other to stop them.

I went with infantry heavy forces with around 450 to 500 points. A bit smaller than even a small game, but large enough to try out some ideas. For the partisans I tried one game with a small number of squads and another with the same number of fighters, but split into groups of 3 to 5.

I opposed the partisans with a more structured German force: several 5 man squads with rifles, a medium mortar, a 3 man LMG squad, and an officer. Thematically, I think matching the partisans against an inexperienced or green security force could be a lot of fun, but for this experiment I went with regular squads.

In the first game I deployed the partisans randomly, using the paratroop drop rules from Market Garden. Then the Germans entered the board from random board edges. The double randomness was too much and would likely lead to very swingy games- even more swingy than BA is usually!

For the second game I dialed back the random deployment. The Germans deployed up to half of their units on the board, but their reserves came on randomly in from turn 2. The partisans started off board, with at least half coming on as first wave.

The dynamic of using squads of 3 to 5 was interesting. It gave the partisans plenty of dice, but limited fire power, and forced moral checks more frequently. Another idea might be forcing the fleeing partisans to start with 0 to 2 pins on each squad.

I need to sort out scoring yet, and I think the points need to be balanced a bit. A higher number of points for the partisans, perhaps 50% more might even the sides up a bit, given the partisans need to advance into the Axis deployment zone and move off the board in order to win.

Also victory points need to be worked out. I think something like 2 victory points per exited unit for the partisans and 1 victory point per partisan squad eliminated by the Axis force.

More experiments are clearly required.

Easter Front Round Up

The first two day Bolt Action tournament in Melbourne for a long while ran as part of Conquest over Easter. It was ace and a genuine pleasure to roll dice with gaming friends once again. Some I hadn’t seen since last Easter (or before)! Winners and pictures of the fabulous tables and armies can be found on FaceBook. Search for Cast Dice page for heaps of photos. Bravo to Leigh and Brad for a terrific weekend.

As you might have expected, running an army for the very first time in an actual tournament was a steep learning curve. Partisans don’t get quite as many toys as many other armies, so you need to consider how co-ordinate your units to achieve mission objectives.

A large squad of Nationalist Chinese militia. They died in droves but held on to secure an objective.

I played five of the six games, lost two and had draws in the other three. All but one was a close affair, but in the end I couldn’t do enough to pull out a victory. Very historic, I guess. Without support from regular troops, Partisans rarely fared well in a stand-up fight.

A Soviet T-26 Tank in Chinese service.

Brad used this beautiful Nationalist Chinese as a gumby army. We played a mission called Nuts!, where there are 5 objectives: one in the centre and one in each table-quarter. Up to half your army can start on the board.

Partisan Guerrilla fighters ambush veteran Chinese fighters, catching them in the open.

I gave Brad trouble early on, but they just kept coming and in the end contested or held all the objectives.I placed my bombs poorly and spread my army too thin to support each other. Lesson: make a plan and focus on the mission.

Ben’s Soviets are are terrific and balanced army. Top-notch painting too.

Ben and I fought to a draw in turn 6. A 50% chance of a seventh turn didn’t occur, which would almost certainly have been a victory to the Soviets.

The Soviet barrage falls on target

Half of my army spent most of the game heavily pinned and down, ceding the initiative to Ben on one flank. But while I couldn’t shoot, dug-in troops are also hard to shift.

Lesson: don’t be afraid to go down or take a rally order to keep unit in the game.

Elizabeth borrowed this fine looking Sherman from Tristan for the tournament

Elizabeth and I fought each other to a draw in one of two missions unveiled on the weekend. In Punch Through there are 4 objectives deployed in a cross 12″ from the table centre. Each player can move one objective up to 6″ (possible the same one). Every one starts off the table, with at least half your army arriving in the first wave.

The British kept on coming but neither of us could keep enough units together to secure an objective by the end of the game.

Lesson: use the bombs to control a fire lane or protect a flank; don’t just spread them out.

The only Axis power I faced on the weekend was Johnathon’s late war German list. The mission was No Man’s Land, straight from the rule book. His veterans were rock hard and steadily took a tally on my grab bag of inexperienced units, leading to my second loss in the tournament.

Lesson: use your army special rules or you just leave points off the table.

Supply Drop was the other new mission on the weekend, and one I think will become a favourite. It is a variation of the classic Kittyhawk Down (itself inspired by Thunderhawk Down from Australian 40K circles). No objectives start on the board. On turn four, three objectives drop from the sky. They land in a straight line through the middle of the board, with the angle of the line and the distance apart randomly determined.

I played long-time buddy Consto, who had a marvelous looking veteran US force (a mix of rangers and paratroopers, plus a Sherman).

Captured inexperienced tanks are pin magnets. The R35 made me laugh the whole weekend.

The objectives landed near perfect for me, taking pressure off my units as the paratroopers made a dash for their own baseline, leaving me in control of my own. A cannier player might have sequenced their final turn orders differently to grab a win. In the end it was another tight draw. Highlight was an IED taking out a veteran paratroop squad trying to dig me out of the centre of the board.

Lesson: Air Support can be random, including having it make a bomb run on your own units. But so sweet when it works.

There you have it: Easter Front 2022.

Maybe I’ll see you across a table one day soon.

where should I put it

I realised that I need a tow for the Pak 38. Otherwise it will never get to come onto the board in a lot of missions! In the cupboard was this nifty Kettenkrad from Rubicon. Problem solved.

I don’t think they are in the K-47 rule book, but in Bolt Action it is up to towing a medium anti-tank gun, so I’m including the option in my home brew Turkish list.

I really enjoyed assembling this little vehicle. It went together easily, despite some of the parts being tiny.

There are decals, but I can’t see them without a magnifying glass, so I’m not going there.

This kit includes a Goliath on a trailer. Very cool, even if there are no immediate plans to blow anything up with it.

The fez wearing passenger isn’t glued on, so with a simple swap I will be able to use it for German lists in Bolt Action too.

With a large Turkish force, I’m wondering if I need some Soviets now …

fire support

This week, some fire support weapons for my Turkish Konflikt 47 project. A mortar and an anti-tank gun. Both are handy in games and both fit the background well.

In Konflikt-47 and Bolt Action, medium mortars are fantastic. Especially when paired with a spotter, they can project a useful threat or help dig out dug-in enemies.

The model is from Warlord Games, from their Afrika Korps range. They are nice miniatures, with a feel that the crew in the middle of laying a barrage. To tie in with the wider army I have swapped the head of one crew member to wear a fez.

Also from the Afrika Korps Warlord Games range is this pak 38 anti-tank gun.

Metal artillery from Warlord can be fiddly to assemble. I get around this by mostly not worrying if a part is missing or upside down, as long as the overall look is OK. The crew are great, though, with dynamic poses. Just like the mortar, they bring a feeling of a crew in action.

This crew also has a one fellow wearing a fez.

A pak 40 is probably a better choice, classified as heavy a/t over the medium a/t for pak 38. However I already have a pak 40 for my world war two Germans, so I wanted something a little different.

My reading leaves me with the impression that anti-gun guns are critical in stopping tanks, in games and real life. Time and again, it seems that gun screens could be far more dangerous to tanks than other tanks.

I had a look in the cupboard and it seems I only have one unit left unpainted in this Turkish force. It is true, armies are never really finished, but this is a bit of milestone just ahead. Wow!

Get me a bigger fez

Sometimes shiny gold buttons and red collars are not enough. You also need a big hat to show just how important you are.

Today I have some officers for my Turkish Konflikt 47 project. Three of the five figures are Ottoman Turks from Woodbine Designs WWI range. They are very nice miniatures, with heaps of character.

I don’t really need all of these officers, but they came as a set. And now I have options, and painted minis.

I also completed a German Liaison Officer. Under my home brew rules, for a Turkish force to have access to the weird tech, German observers must be present. These officers and their teams provide advice on correct tactics of the new weapons. They also keep an eye on the political reliability of their new allies. Attending the liaison officer is an interpreter. German officers with an interpreter are allowed to use their Snap To on Turkish units, including the extra die that German officers have as part of their national rules

This final figure will become a forward observer for artillery or air support.

Next it the queue are some more support teams.

See you on the battlefields.

codex ahoy!

Writing about writing is weird. But when there hasn’t been much painting and the only hobby has been words. Well. Here we are!

Turkey is mentioned in the narrative of the alternative history of the weird war Konflikt 47, but has no specific or separate official rules. So I wrote my own. Inspired but not bound by history, it has been a fun project to create a list that is both a little quirky and still balanced. Or at least as balanced as the existing armies.

Two main ideas underpin the list. The first is the mad array of armoured vehicles that Turkey accumulated (in the real world) is an opportunity to field Soviet, German and Allied tanks all in the same force. And because in the world background Turkey only enter the war in 1945, this leaves the space to field and deploy older tanks already superseded in other armies. Renault R-35? Why not, Turkey had these terrible little tanks so common in the 1930s, and if you’re defending an invasion from the Soviet Union, why not use everything available, including an armoured kitchen sink!

The other framing idea is that Germany do not yet fully trust Turkey as a ally and only selectively provide the wacky rift tech. Moreover, Turkey itself is suspicious of some of the stranger technology, especially subjecting their soldiers to the procedures necessary to create the more extreme, horror-type units.

Together, this makes an Axis army that is different to Germany, (Fascist) Italy, or Finland. All this before the modelling opportunities.

So, here it is: a text only draft of the Turkish list.

So now I have some layout and proof reading in addition to painting. Good fun.

still going!

No posts recently. Life. You know the drill. But work has NOT ceased on my Turkish army for Konflikt 47. After completing a tank and walker (which I think came out OK, check them out here) I have moved onto some support options and another squad of infantry. None of them are complete yet, so a WIP post today.

Support options include a medium mortar and some anti-tank in the form of a Pak 38 gun. They are Warlord Games Afrika Korps figures with a couple of added fez. Gunners work pretty hard and often seem to be stripped down in photos, so I think the hot climate uniforms will work nicely alongside everything else.

I have built a Kettenkrad from Rubicon as a tow option for the anti-tank gun. It is a fun kit to build and went together with a minimum of fuss despite some of tiny parts. The vehicle came with a goliath remote-bomb. Now that is a thing waiting for some weird war rules. Maybe a wee AI instead of a control-cable? Nothing could go wrong with that as a plan!

There is also an MMG. I nearly always field an MMG in Bolt Action and K-47. They can be a bit fragile on the table but they are iconic to the period. The team is a WWI vintage from Woodbine Designs, but Turkey is doing what it can in its homeland defense.

It feels like I’m in the home stretch of this project. Unless I keep buying more stuff.

Which might happen. So many ideas!

Cheers.

tanks sighted

Actually, just one tank, a Panzer IV. One of the neat things about Konflikt 47 is that many of the weird variants of the historic vehicles is the base Bolt Action kit with added (mostly resin) parts. By keeping the rift-tech to the turret, you get two distinct builds in the same box.

I cut away part of the Schürzen to simulate battle damage. Off topic question. German nouns are often capitalised. Does this hold over when you use them in an English sentence? So, is it Schürzen or schürzen? Not that it matters much.

The transfers are modern Turkish airforce markings, but there is no mistaking the flag so I think they do the job nicely.

D.

boots on ground

I’ve done some more work on my Turkish themed force for Konflikt 47. Adding to the existing units are Spinne Llight Panzermech and a unit of border guards. The panzermech is a weird science walking tank, which is a part of the K-47 world. It fits in much the same role as an armoured car, although the legs allow for better off-road performance over a wheeled vehicle. Did I mention the weird science part?

In our world, anti-tank rifles quickly fell out of favour. In K-47, the emergence of light armoured walkers and heavy armoured infantry saw their re-introduction in a specialist sniper role.

I have also completed a border guard squad. Keeping up the eclectic theme of the force, this squad uses older style uniforms rather than being equipped similar to late war Germans. The models are WWI Ottomans from Woodbine Designs. They are really very nice minis.

Border Guard units are armed with rifles but may also take panzerfaust

A German Liaison officer and attendent keep an eye on the patrol. Under my home brew rules, the presence of a German office allows for the Turks to deploy rift-tech units like the panzermech.

Gebirgsjäger from Black Tree Design

Next up, some more vehicles and onto support units like medium machine guns and mortars. In rugged landscape of east and south Turkey, both these units will be useful assets for commanders.
D.