Category: Modern Warfare

Modern technology in small scale wars. WW2 could be in the Industrial Warfare or Modern Warfare periods. I have arbitrarily lumped it into the earlier, Industrial, period because in wargaming circles “Modern” usually means post-WW2. Sub-categories: Korean War, Arab Israeli Wars, Spanish Sahara, Portuguese Colonial War.


African Ambush 3 – A Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado Battle Report

PCWA785 Insurgent patrol

Chris Harrod and Adam Landa played my Ambushed Patrol – A Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado Scenario twice in one evening. I’ve already posted their first as Play Test 2. This was their second game of the evening. Of course it is for the Portuguese Colonial War.

Summary: Intense game with thrusts and counter thrusts. Although considerably outnumbered Adam’s Portuguese Commandos successfully ambushed the Insurgent patrol.

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Steven’s Convoy for the Portuguese Colonial War

Portuguese 743 Civilian truck convoy

A key element of the Portuguese Colonial War was convoys. Either military convoys to supply fortified posts or civilian convoys travelling through dangerous areas under government guard. I’ve been building up a convoy to put on table. Both armoured cars and armoured personnel carriers using my Painting Guide for Recce Vehicles of the Portuguese Colonial War. But I’ve also been painting civilian trucks. This is a bit of a gallery of the result = Steven’s convoy.

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African Ambush 2 – A Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado Battle Report

PCWA771 Portuguese Patrol

Chris Harrod and Adam Landa came over to experiment with my Ambushed Patrol – A Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado Scenario. So, for a few hours, we went back to the bush in the Portuguese Colonial War. It was an experiment and we learnt a bunch of things.

Summary: Short and brutal game. Adam’s Portuguese successfully fought their way out of the ambush.

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African Ambush – A Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado Scenario

PCWA05 Portuguese patrol entering village

An armed patrol walks into an ambush somewhere in Portuguese Africa. The action starts seconds before the bullets fly. Will the unsuspecting targets spot the danger before it is too late? This is a Crossfire/Fogo Cruzado scenario for the Portuguese Colonial War. The scenario uses a cinematic premise, i.e. start the action when there is action.

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Using Political Tokens for Military-Political Climate in an Insurgency Campaign

Portuguese Political Tokens Logo

I think the maxim “war is the continuation of politics by other means” particularly applies to insurgencies such as the Portuguese Colonial War. So I wondered how I could use Political Tokens for a campaign set in the Portuguese Colonial War.

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Painting the windscreen of a wrecked Portuguese staff car

I got a Destroyed Mercedes model from Peter Pig. Don’t ask me why. It seemed cool I guess. So while I was painting my reconnaissance vehicles, I thought I’d paint this baby too. As a wrecked Portuguese staff car for the Portuguese Colonial War.

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Painting Recce Vehicles for the Portuguese Colonial War

Step 9 - Spray matt varnish

I’ve had a busy week. At work and at home. But I found few hours to paint some Portuguese vehicles, mostly reconnaissance scout cars and armoured cars. All for the Portuguese Colonial War. With so many to paint I got into a bit of a production line. Here’s how I did it.

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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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Grass Tufts or Wargaming with Fairy Door Grass Mats

FDGM062 Fairy Door Grass Mat

Brett Simpson kindly sent me some “Fairy Door Grass Mats”. I’d asked about the grass tufts in his jungle photos and wanted to know the source. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Fairy Door Grass Mats are only available in Australia. So Brett sent me some. Despite the mushrooms and bugs, these mats are a useful source of jungle foliage. Perfect for the Portuguese Colonial War.

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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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2018 Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac

My inner megalomaniac is back. This post is a follow on from my 2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian. The previous post was a retrospective of the last 23 months, which means pointing out my successes. This post is the (overly ambitious) list of what I’d like to get done in the coming year. It is the more embarrassing part. The confession. Bear in mind these are more or less active projects.

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2017 Reflections of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian

Megalomaniac 2017

I have noticed that my The Confessions of a Megalomaniac Wargamer and Amateur Historian of 2015 was literally a confession, describing my overly inflated ambitions and incomplete projects. But the 2016 edition was more a reflection on my progress against those goals. It has been a 23 months since the 2016 edition and it is time to revisit. But I’m going to split the reflection aspect from the confessions bit. So this is my reflection on the 23 months from the beginning of 2016 to the end of 2017.

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What is the Operational Level of War?

Three Levels of War - Strategic, Operational, Tactical

I’m interested in operational level wargames for World War II. But my definition of “operational level” has been pretty vague. Something about campaigns and major offensives. So I thought I’d explore operational level war in more detail … and it turns out I was right. It is all about campaigns and major offensives.

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Fincher’s Initiative – A Crossfire Scenario for Vietnam

Map for Fincher's Initiative

Julian Davies sent over one of his Vietnam scenarios for the Schueler variant of Crossfire. All words are Julian’s.

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Water Party – Scenario Design Experiment for Crossfire and Fogo Cruzado

PCWW-14 More insurgents

Immediately following our successful experiment on Ambush scenarios for the Portuguese Colonial War, Jamie Wish and I tried another type of scenario. The goal of our second game was to defend a water party, which is an idea from FNG of Two Hour Wargames. Of course, our version of the scenario was for Crossfire and my Fogo Cruzado variant.

As a scenario design experiment, this one failed in a pretty spectacular fashion. But maybe I’m biased because Jamie won, and very quickly. 😉 Anyway, the good news is that we learnt a few things.

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