mail drop

Where do you go if you need a few Turkish flags?

I don’t know about you, but I headed for an authentic Turkish hobby shop and with the aid of google translate and paypal picked up some suitable transfers.

OK, they are air force livery, but hey, I’m off fighting a weird war, so they’ll do me nicely.

Huzzah!

all the tanks!

Turkey has an almost bewildering array of armoured vehicles, although it possesses relatively few of any given model. The most modern tanks are a preciously guarded resource by the higher command. Unlike the other belligerent nations, whose older stocks after 8 years or more of war are all but destroyed or relegated to training units, older Turkish vehicles are available to be put into service. The existential threat posed to Turkey in the K-47 world sees every available asset put into use. Turkish leaders hope that deploying the out-dated tanks will buy time for sufficient stocks of modern material and vehicles to be built, and help turn the tide on the Soviet invasion in the east and respond to the threat from the US/UK to the south and west.

Valentines in British service (15mm Battlefront)

During the interwar years, like many nations, Turkey acquired French tanks, 100 Renault but there is some confusion as to whether these were FTs or R35. These were added to the existing fleet of T-26 and BA-6 from Russia and handful of British Daimler Dingos and Vickers Light Tanks.

M4 Sherman (15mm PSC and 1/56 Warlord Games)

Between 1940 and 1943, the Turkish government made use of US lend lease arrangements to purchase M4 Sherman, M3 Stuarts, Valentines, and additional light tanks. Universal Carriers were also acquired at this time, adding valuable battlefield mobility to a military largely stuck with a mix of pre-war Soviet ZiS and US Ford trucks, civilian cars, and pack animals.

The core of the Turkish tank regiments is German made Panzer IV, mostly now up-gunned to the 75mm heavy anti-tank gun.

Tiger I (15mm Battlefront)

So far, all of the tanks mentioned were actually in Turkish service up to 1945. There are probably others. In additon, in the game, pretty much anything goes. At a minimum, Panzer III, Stug III/IV and Tigers all make sense. That is before the weird stuff rolls out. For Konflikt 47 this provides a fun smorgasbord of choices that helps make Turkey distinct from the other belligerent nations. Heaps of modelling opportunities too.

D.

movement reported

OSS Report 1947-9996C/4 to Allied Joint Command Mediterranean. Classified assets on the ground in Eastern Anatolia have captured images of what appear to be German rift-tech enabled units. This is a concerning development since it is understood that the German expeditionary force is operating further North, much nearer the Black Sea coastal plain. This leads our analysts to conclude that Germany has made rift technology available to the Turkish Republic.

This appears to be a Spinne Light Panzermech, light walker. Relatively fast and with moderate to long operating range it is often used in a reconnaissance role. It is usually armed with a turret-mounted light anti-tank gun and co-axial light autocannon.

Also seen was a Schwerefeld Projektor mounted on a Panzer IV chassis, designated as a Panzer IV-X by German forces, they are a potent rift-tech weapon designed especially to counter heavy armour.

A wee WIP update, with the there-is-a-lot-left-to-do models disguised with a black and white filter. In addition to painting, I have finally got around to reviewing the crazy mix of armour that Turkey had in 1945 and thinking about how to bring it into K-47. This mostly consists of finding the right entries in the Bolt Action armies of books.

D.

more assembly

The first of the vehicles for my Turkish K-47 army, a Panzer IV-X. Another WIP update. I am enjoying this project having picked it up again after a couple of years pause. I find posts like this help me to keep the momentum going.

The rift-tech versions of the Bolt Action kits are fun, as most of them have metal and/or resin parts as additions to the base Warlord models. It is like a two for one offer, especially for the Panzer IV where I can just swap the turret. In keeping with the late war theme I have chosen the Ausf. H with the long barrel and schürzen.

I removed one of the panels to represent some battle damage and used a Soviet crew member as the commander. This will help give my Turkish panzer a different feel. I almost like the Ausf. H version more than the rift-tech gun. Either will work in K-47.

Now back to painting.

first two squads

The photos are terrible but I’m feeling pleased to have completed the first two squads of my Turkish Army for Konflikt 47.

Squad the first, a regular squad armed with assault rifles, ready to defend their home land. These are Warlord Games German grenadiers with fezzes from the SS set with the eagles cut off. I resisted the urge to paint the hats red. The army, where they wore them at all, wore misshapen khaki ones, so that is what I went with. This might be an alternative diesel-punk future but verisimilitude still matters.

Squad the second are Gebirgsjäger, who will give some veteran grunt and provide access to rift-tech for the force. These are metal, and I’m pretty sure they are some of the fun and characterful models from Black Tree Design.

Back to the paint desk. Those Soviets won’t stop themselves and I need to be ready.

A project revived

Far too long ago I had an idea to create a Turkish themed list for Warlord Games’ fun weird war member of the Bolt Action family, Konflikt 47. The models have been purchased and languishing in the backlog ever since. Well, I uncovered them the other day and thought I either needed to get started or move them on. Only WIP today, a public statement of intent to get some painting done! It wasn’t overly successful last time, but at least assembly has begun.

If you want painted minis I suggest having a look at the rather fun round-up of the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge over at Anne’s Immaterium. Well worth a look for all the ace talent on show.

No weird stuff yet. I have concentrated on the Turkish army units and their supporting German troops.

WWI Ottoman Turks with a few tweaks like panzerfausts; these will be inexperienced/second line troops
Gebirgsjäger, who will take the role of Axis troops embedded with the Turkish force
One of the Turkish squads, basically grenadiers with fezzes. I have shaved off the tassel and eagle to match the military dress from the 1920s Turkish Army
Squad number two, with an LMG
Sniper team (the turban is not right, being Sikh, I’m sure he has a story tell)
An anti-tank rifle, which in K-47 can be used in the sniper role to hunt light armour and walkers
Kit-based irregular cavalry.

I have also created a draft home brew list for Turkey. It is based on the German list, but with additions motivated by the lists for Hungary and Bulgaria. More on that later. It isn’t quite ready to be released into the wild yet.

The officers including a German liaison officer

A start. More assembly yet, as I need to put together a couple of vehicles. And then the paint, of course.

delayed action

Are you sitting down folks? Actual gaming happened! As part of the Conquest gaming convention over Easter in Melbourne there was a Bolt Action Tank Wars event. Ten players participated, so it was only a modest gathering but it was so nice to see some friends again irl and roll dice together.

Tanks Wars is not a form of Bolt Action I have much experience with. I played a few games when it first game out, but it was long enough ago I didn’t remember any of the lessons I may have learnt. It was however an ace opportunity to get my Hetzer assault guns all on the table at the same time.

Led by a Stuart light tank, Chris’ US force heads straight down the middle 50cals blazing. Just the way it should be.
A Hetzer holds the cross road: hull down it stalls an enemy probe on the right flank
Chris’ Marines push forward. Vets or not they couldn’t take the objective in the face machine gun fire from the Hetzers
Last game of the day, and Django’s Soviets withstood my initial shooting to surge forward and sweep me for the table.
This IS2 didn’t do a lot of damage, but I couldn’t stop it either. In the end my guns couldn’t position themselves to pierce its thick frontal armour

I don’t think I managed my assets very well on the day. Aggressive early, I didn’t leave enough in reserve to hold on in the final turns and drew or lost every game.

Thanks to my opponents: Pedro (Soviets), Chris (US Marines), and Django (Soviets), for three fun games.

Mission Rules

There are heaps of missions in Bolt Action including a dozen in the main rule book. Despite this choice missions can start to feel a bit stale. Tournaments especially carry this risk as organizers seem to focus on the most balanced of the missions. I understand why, but it can make things start to feel a bit same same.

A simple way to mix this up is to add a mission special rule. Some players hate this, as some random rule messes with their carefully crafted list. I’m not one of them. I like adding a little twist. Not too many. I don’t want too much extra to remember during a game. Here are a few ideas on adding a little something new to existing Bolt Action missions.

New officer: A new officer has arrived; he seems OK but he doesn’t know anyone’s name yet and it is causing some confusion.

The commanding officer begins the game with a pin.

O-Group: There is an O-Group meeting, and the old man is back at company HQ when the battle starts.

All officers (lieutenants, captains, etc.) must start the game in reserve and cannot be deployed on the table or come on as part of a first wave.

Supply problems: Supplies have been delayed causing fuel shortages.

After deployment but before turn one, roll for each vehicle in your list. On a 1 it gains the Fuel Shortage rule. Vehicles that start in reserve may re-roll the supply problem check.

Last day of the war. The war is nearly over, and nobody wants to be the last person to die. Even experienced troops are reluctant to press home attacks.

After deployment but before the first die is drawn roll for each unit in your list. On a 4+ it gains a pin. Vet and/or fanatics may re-roll. Units in reserve roll when they first move onto the table.

Dutch Courage A cache of liquor has been discovered and drunk. The unit is still under the influence when the battle starts.

To represent their drunk condition, a single unit receives both the Shirker and Fanatic special rules.

New Orders Local commanders can’t always see the big picture. Assets must be redeployed to a more critical mission.

A support asset is being reassigned. Randomly (and secretly) select one unit in your list from the following: tank, armoured car, or artillery. Following from turn 4 onwards it must be withdrawn from the battle by moving off the board from your table edge. If successfully withdrawn this unit is worth 1VP at the end of the game to the owning player.

What do you think? Are extra rules the road to tears and unnecessary complexity or can they help build a fun narrative?

Hezters gonna Hetz

I spoke too soon that my Budapest Defenders were ready to go. And also that I hadn’t bought anything for the army, that all the models I used had come from my lead and plastic backlog. Well, there were just too many sales on recently, and I ordered a set of three Hetzers from Warlord Games.

The Budapest campaign book has an armoured list with a core of three assault guns, which comes with some fun special rules, or one will fit nicely into to my existing pocket defenders list. The Wirblewind will remain an option, so it is good to have choices.

Hetzers are great support choice in BA. The weak sides rule does make them more vulnerable but also cheaper, and it pretty easy to negate with some decent deployment.

The Hungarian late war paint scheme is pretty easy. Dunkelgelb and some weathering and they’re ready for the front. The Warlord models are OK, although the wheel sections do feel unnecessarily fiddly. The kit is very flexible, coming with the options to make anti-tank, flame or flak versions all in the same kit, and decals for either German or Hungarian forces. Nice.

That means my little Hungarian project is out to around 1,800 points, which is actually quite a large force. It may not be complete yet …