Boardgames offer a graphic opportunity to study military campaigns and test alternative strategies. For the figure wargamer they provide maps and a campaign system. The magazine type game such as Strategy & Tactics include an excellent overview of the campaign including the often elusive order of battle which is so often missing from other campaign histories.
Below we set out a list of games which cover the history of Balkan warfare. If readers are aware of other games covering the Balkans please contact the editor Balkandave@ntlworld.com
War in the Aegean Against the Odds No.14
A simulation of the sea, ground and air battles in the Dodecanese Islands from September to November 1943. The game includes a 22" x 34" map and 375 counters representing the units and game markers. In addition there is an historical overview and orbats for the opposing forces.
Ottomans: Rise of the Turkish Empire 1453-1571 Strategy & Tactics 222
A grand strategy game of the Ottoman expansion period. The map is divided into ‘nations’ and players take the part of the Ottomans or three groupings of their main adversaries – the Holy League, Orthodox or the Caliphate. The game covers political and military actions with the objective of building the strongest empire.
Forgotten Axis: Romania 1941-42 Strategy & Tactics 206
A game based on the Romanian offensive of 1941-42 against the Soviet Union. It covers two battles; Jakimivka and Kuban Gateway with counters down to battalion level.
Balkan Storm Pacific Rim: Just Plain Wargames
A two player simulation of a potential world war in the 21stC. The title is somewhat misleading as the campaign is based on central and eastern Europe and the southern Balkans are missed off the game and map. The game is played at the grand strategic level with mostly divisional level counters.
The Balkans Campaign of 1941 Strategy & Tactics 182
A game for two players based on the German blitzkrieg against Yugoslavia and Greece in WW2. The contents include a strategic level map (25 miles to the hex) and counters for units at divisional level.
Balkan Wars Strategy & Tactics 164
Simulates the two Balkan Wars 1912-1913 which preceded the First World War. The contents include a strategic level map (15 miles to the hex) and counters for units down to regimental level. Fleet actions are not covered in any detail.
The Russo-Turkish War 1877-78 Strategy & Tactics 154
Part of S&T's Wars of the Imperial Age series, this games covers both fronts of the Russo-Turkish War. The contents include a hex based map of the contested areas and counters at divisional level. In addition to the military campaign each turn has a political segment representing other factors affecting the conflict. Optional scenarios include the possibility of outside intervention.
TITO and his Partisan Army Strategy & Tactics 81
This game simulates guerrilla warfare in the Balkans during WW2. The map is a diagrammatic (not hex based) representation of Yugoslavia with counters for the guerrilla and occupation forces. A key element of the game is based on the role of Tito, both in providing advantages to the partisan player and attempts by the Axis player to locate and eliminate him.
Byzantium Strategy & Tactics 183
Covers the high point of the Byzantine Empire from the 8th century defeat of the Arabs to the first fall of Constantinople in 1204. The game is played in scenarios covering the major wars. The game map shows the main areas of the empire (not hex based) with counters for the Empire and it's main opponents.
He Who Would be King Society of Ancients
A fun 'tongue in cheek' representation of Macedonian power politics in the fourth century BC. Players represent factions with the aim to be King of the Macedones.
Belisarius: The Glory of Byzantium Vae Victis Nov. 1995
Featured game in the French language wargames magazine Vae Victis. It covers the campaigns of Belisarius in Italy and North Africa as well as the Balkans. A full colour map (not hex based) divides the Empire into military provinces. Counters cover the Byzantine field armies and garrison troops as well as the Goths, Ostrogoths, Vandals and Franks.
This is a list of other games which are not in the Editor's possession which have a Balkan interest:
Great War at Sea: The Mediterranean Avalanche Press
Alexander Avalon Hill
Trireme Avalon Hill
Budapest '45 Command Magazine
Balkan Front Game Designers Workshop
Constantinople S&T 66
Ancient Wars: Trajan S&T 145
Aegean Strike Victory Games
Peloponnesian War Victory Games
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