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.

fark!

Back in 2018 I had an idea to build a Turkish force for Konflikt 47. I accumulated most of the models I wanted, and there it sat until May last year when I picked up it once more.

One of the first units I started was a cavalry squad of irregulars. Which then sat on my desk until it was the last unit left unpainted. Well, I picked up my courage. Picked up my brush, and now, I have finished! Seventy-odd fighters, several tanks, and support units. Phew!

Kit-based, based on the Perry’s US Civil War cavalry

In my home brew army list, irregulars have the special rule, The Hills Have Eyes. This means the local area knowledge of the irregular units prevents opponents from outflanking. This rule is one of the Bulgarian national traits re-named, and I think brings some nice flavour (and options) to the list.

I will do better pictures, and get a beauty parade together. But I’m a little bit excited at reaching this point and wanted to share this with y’all.

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.

Garibaldi Brigade

As winter set in on the chaos of Northern Italy in the later part of 1944 Partisan morale collapsed. Many partisans returned home or took advantage of fascist amnesties to lay down arms.

However, a dedicated core held on and continued to fight to throw out the nazi occupiers and smash the fascist rump-state.

My list is inspired by one such group, the 28th Garibaldi brigade, who in December 1944 joined with the singular Popski’s Private Army to liberate Ravenna.

Most accounts focus on Popski’s British Special Forces troop, but the brave members of the Garibaldi brigade were essential as both a blocking force and as part of the assault.

The army has 13 order dice (units):

Like nearly all wargames, Bolt Action requires a force leader. While Partisans don’t have a structured officer corps (despite the many self-appointed titles and ranks!), I have selected the equivalent of a second lieutenant with regular morale to lead my Partisans. He is accompanied by additional one man, and both are armed with SMG.

Yes, the remaining photos are all ones I have posted already!

I also have a liaison officer. While some liaison officers wore civilian clothes, most wore uniforms, especially out of the towns. My OSS officer wears a US uniform. Once per game he can attempt to call in air support.

The core of the army are four squads of rifle armed Partisans (of either 9 or 10 fighters). Two of the squads have squad LMG to provide a little extra reach and fire power. One is also armed with Molotov cocktails, which will give some defense against tanks.

Partisans can take a squad of veteran Guerrilla Fighters. I’m taking a squad of 6, armed with SMG.

There are 3 teams with support weapons: an MMG, sniper, and PIAT. Of these the sniper is probably the most useful, but don’t underestimate the other two teams.

Actually, the PIAT team is inexperienced. They will supply an order die for the bag and otherwise likely spend most games hiding.

The last two units, a light howitzer and a captured tank, are both somewhat of a stretch historically. In games terms both will be useful. Both will play the important role of being able to throw out pins on enemy units. Both will also most likely die horribly. This is sad for the crews involved but will at least mean my core units are not being shot at.

To represent the lack of support and training, both the tank and artillery are rated as inexperienced. In addition, the Renault R35 has the captured rule, which means it is also unreliable.

Easter Front is a 1005 point Bolt Action tournament being run over two days as part of Conquest 2022 in Melbourne.

les gros canons

You are not going to believe what mon oncle found in this shed. Hid it in his shed at the armistice thinking it might be useful one day. Well the time has come, because it might only be a light artillery gun, but my Partisans are going to find it very useful.

This is a 75mm light artillery piece from the Warlord Games French Resistance range, but it will fit right in with my late war Italian Partisans.

One advantage is under the rules it doesn’t require a tow to come on the board, the poor crew can push it. Not something that actually happened, I suspect.

I have also made a PIAT team.

To reflect the lack of training in the weapon I will make them inexperienced.

I’m sure it will be fine.

Renault F17

Partisans can take a single, stolen armoured vehicle (up to a medium armour). Without the usual logistical support, Partisan tanks must take the unreliable rule, which means it might be immobilised when it attempts to move.

The model is resin, I think from Blitzkrieg miniatures, bought on sale a couple of years ago. It is nice to finally have a project for it, although it has been painted for a while now.

Partially because it looks so funky and a little bit because it will be funny, I’m going to take an FT17. These were a terrible design and obsolete before the war even started. Nothing can go wrong with taking this unreliable, slow, under-gunned tank for my Partisans.

take me to your leader

My Italian themed Partisans for Conquest will need some officers. I have chosen these two grizzled looking fellows.

A feature of partisan warfare, particularly in Italy and France, were missions by the allies to help understand and co-ordinate efforts on the ground. Both the SOE and OSS would infiltrate operatives with radios and money who would then seek to exert their influence. In Italy in late 1944 this could even extend to air support missions. While rare, in game terms the inclusion of a liaison officer will allow me to call in air support, providing some much needed fire support. I am going to use this US officer as my liaison officer.

Air strikes will occasionally fail to turn up or will make an attack run on your own side. Perhaps one of the more realistic parts of Bolt Action, even as some players dislike the randomness.

Easter Front

Live Bolt Action is returning to Melbourne with a two day event as part of Conquest Games Convention. OK, live BA probably never left lounge rooms and garages, but it is returning to the streets. I think the last time I played was Conquest last year, so I’m looking forward to rolling a few dice again.

Triangulating a desire to take something new with least amount of effort, I have decided to take Partisans. A chance to field a somewhat unusual and fun list that only requires me to paint 6 models.

My list is motivated by the turbulent and confusing warfare in the north of Italy in late 1944. Following the surrender of the fascists in September 1943 the situation became more and more chaotic until the final armistice in May 1945. In fact, it continued to be chaotic but that is another story. Many dozens of partisan groups, made up of thousands of individuals took up arms against the occupying Germans and puppet fascist regime. Being Italians, there were multiple political camps, from Soviet-aligned communists to right-leaning groups hoping to restore a monarchy.

Most of the force will be rifles, which is not that different to most Bolt Action armies. The largest potential weakness of Partisans is not the lack of armour, as the lack of anti-armour with real grunt. Part of the solution will be some crazy-brave souls armed with Molotov cocktails.

A Partisan force can include veteran, SMG-armed guerrilla units. My desperadoes will be represented by this mix of girl-power and an on-the-run tank crew.

The models are a mix of Black Tree Design, Warlord Games, and Eureka Miniatures.

Painting them was both fun and a bit of a challenge. The main challenge was creating a coherent looking force without making their clothes look too uniform. By restricting the pallet I used and basing all the models in a similar way I think I have managed to create a force that will look OK on the table. By varying armband and scarf colours I can differentiate squads on the table.

In a straight up fight against a trained army they would be hideously outgunned and out maneuvered. But in the heroic Bolt Action world I think they will stand up OK.

Or at least not loose too quickly.

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!