Category: Wargaming

Wargaming and Military History are the interests I pour most of my spare time into. This section concentrates on the wargaming rules I’m interested in. I’ve got quite a lot on running wargaming campaigns. I’ve also got sub-categories on: Crossfire, DBx (including DBA and HOTT), Twilight of the Sun King, Engle Matrix Games, Megablitz, Liberators QPR, Field of Glory. All other rules are lumped together.


Sagrajas 1086 – A Big Battle Big Base DBA (BBBBDBA) Scenario

Sagrajas Table for Big Battle Big Base DBA

Chris and Jamie are coming over and I wanted to use my new “El Cid” Feudal Spanish for Big Base DBA. So, of course, I’ve gone crazy and devised a A Big Battle Big Base DBA (BBBBDBA) Scenario for the Battle of Sagrajas 1086. I’ve only gone for 24 elements per side (not 36). We only used the historical context to give a bit of flavour for the pick up game, but I have included suggestions for a more historical simulation at the end.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 2 – Musing on Operational Game Resolution

Soviet Levels of Military Action

Things are shaping up in my head for my proposed Deep Battle rule set. One of the key decisions is what game resolution to pitch the game at. Obviously Deep Battle has to be Operational – that is the whole point of the exercise. But, unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. In fact I think Deep Battle has to work at two game resolutions: Front Operations and Strategic Operations.

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Steven’s “El Cid” Feudal Spanish Army for Big Base DBA

El Cid 843 General with Hidalgos

I’ve finally got a proper “El Cid” army. This is DBA army list – III/35b Feudal Spanish 951-1200AD. Of course my army is based for Big Base DBA

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Deep Battle Design Notes 1 – Musing on Hex/Square Grids

Problem with Hexes - Distances against the grain

What is this relatively recent thing with Steven and hexes? My mate Chris is the hex-meister of the universe but normally I prefer free form tables without a grid. So how come I’ve gone all-hexy e.g. my recent maps for the Battle of Kharkov (10km Hexes; 20km hexes) and operational terrain experiments (River Templates, MDF River, Experimenting, Felt Rivers, Felt Railways)?

A grid offers a handful of advantages which I think are particularly apt for Operational level wargaming. I’m not the only one who thinks so. When I did my Review of Wargaming Rules I could use for the Operational

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Kharkov 1942 Map for Deep Battle with 20km hexes

Kharkov 1942 Map for Deep Battle with 20km Hexes

I’ve drawn a new map for the Second Battle of Kharkov with one hex per 20 km. As you probably know, I’m focussing on the Second Battle of Kharkov as I develop my thinking on Operational Wargaming and my own Deep Battle rule set. A map is an essential part of this.

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Top 20 Pages on Balagan

Balagan Site Stats

I started this blog on 21 Feb 2001 and then Migrated Balagan to WordPress on 15 Sep 2013. So, roughly 4.5 years ago. One of the great things about WordPress, compared to the hand crafted HTML site I had before, is that I get statistics on page views. Apparently I’ve had 1,176,779 views since I migrated and 1,125 comments. My biggest day (23 Feb 2018) brought 2,420 views – this was because Reddit got hold of my Academy of Street Fighting: Tactics during the Battle of Stalingrad post. Today is a typical day with 750 views.

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Revised El Cid DBA Army List – III/35b Feudal Spanish 951-1200AD

DBA3.0 Cover

With my new “El Cid” army about to hit the table. I thought I’d have a look at the army list – III/35b Feudal Spanish 951-1200AD. The DBA 3.0 list has changed from the DBA 2.2 version. The changes are generally good but I thought I’d revise it to align more with the related Field of Glory army lists. These changes give more flexibility in the list. Personally I think flexibility is good because, really, we don’t know what any of the armies were really like.

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Operational Terrain 5: Railways using Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt

4Hex039 Gingham Hard Craft Felt Railway Line

Following my Experiment with Felt terrain on Hex Grid, I was unsatisfied with using a grey felt strip for a railway line. So I went looking for a patterned felt that I could use. And I found it: Gingham Printed Hard Craft Felt in Black.

This is all part of my ongoing search for Operational terrain to inform the set of rules I’m thinking about called Deep Battle.

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Operational Terrain 4: Making Felt Rivers, Roads, and Railways for 4 Inch Hexes

4Hex368 Materials for felt linear terrain

In response to my Experiment with River Templates for 4 Inch Hexes, Doctor Phalanx suggested I use 1cm wide felt for rivers and roads. So I gave it a go and added railways into the mix. This is all because of my interest in Operational Games and my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rules.

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Operational Terrain 3: Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid

4Hex821 Hotz Mat with rivers road rail hills wods and towns

I got my Hotz Mat with a 4″ hex grid so I thought I’d try out my Operational terrain so far. This is part of my experimentation to inform the set of rules I’m thinking about called Deep Battle.

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Operational Terrain 2: Making MDF River Sections for 4 Inch Hexes

4Hex819 Hotz Mat with painted MDF rivers

I’m really keen on Operational Level Wargames at the moment and have a mind to write a set of rules called Deep Battle. I thought a good starting point would be with the table top. Get a table that looks like the kind of game I want to play, and use that to inform the rules. So I’m going to continue experimenting with Operational Terrain.

One of the ideas from my Experiment with River Templates for 4 Inch Hexes was to get a company to produce my river templates in MDF. Warbases kindly agreed to do this for me. They

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15mm Wargaming Figures to use for Samurai armies of the Sengoku period 1467-1603

Museum Miniatures sm01 Samurai Kawanakajima Swords

The fact that the Portuguese were in Japan is sufficient excuse for me to consider getting Samurai armies for the the Sengoku period. I thought I’d look at what 15mm figures are available. I found five ranges of figures available and one set of transfers/decals for Sashimono banners. Before I do a (brief) review of the figures I explain what is distinctive about the period I’m interested in.

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My Wishlist for DBA-RRR Big Base Italian War

Italian Wars 47 Existing Figures

You have gathered from my recent posts on the Reformatted DBA-RRR Spanish Army Lists and Reformatted DBA-RRR French Army List that I’m currently keen on DBA-RRR and the Italian Wars (1494-1559 AD). I started this project 20 years ago when I commissioned the Spanish from a professional painting company. I got the Spanish infantry back but I never saw my Spanish cavalry figures or the money again.

It has taken two decades to get over the shock but I’m having another go. I’m repurposing what figures I have for big bases and filling in the gaps. Of course I’m

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Deep Battle: Soviet Doctrine for Operational Level Warfare

Operation Uranus - Successful Deep Battle -Eastern Front 1942-11 to 1943-03

Everybody knows about the German’s Blitzkrieg style of warfare. But I was surprised to discover the Soviets had a similar approach to warfare called “Deep Operations” or “Deep Battle”. This was a well defined doctrine for Operational Level Warfare, was invented during the 1920s, and deliberately applied during WW2. Admittedly Deep Battle had mixed success during the war, but this was probably more to do with the previous purge of Soviet military leadership than with any fundamental flaw in the doctrine. Soviet doctrine in the Cold War period is still based on Deep Battle.

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Reformatted DBA-RRR French Army List (Italian Wars 1494-1559 AD)

DBA-RRR Army List Logo

Following my reformatting of the DBA-RRR army list for the Spanish, I’m now doing their main opponents … the French of the the Italian Wars. The aim is to: (1) more closely match the style of other DBx army lists; (2) to understand them better with a view to perhaps tweaking them in the future; (3) know what to buy/build/paint.

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