Category: Wargaming


Deep Battle Design Notes 5 – Why Railway Lines are significant for Operational Warfare

I’m planning on having railway lines and roads on table for games using my, as yet unwritten rules, Deep Battle rule set. But do I need them? This is basically what Richard asked in a comment about my post Operational Terrain 3: Experimenting on a 4 Inch Hex Grid. Richard asked “do your roads/railways have any game significance? If they don’t you could take the bold step of forgetting them.” I think they are essential.

By coincidence I recently read “Thunder in the East” by Evan Mawdsley and if anything this reinforced my opinion that a set of Operational

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Steven’s Arthurian and Reconquista Christian Elements for Big Base HOTT

Christian HOTT 920 Religious Stronghold

I recently rebased my Reconquista armies on Big Bases. That includes the elements I use for Big Base HOTT. In this post I feature the Christians which can also serve in Arthurian HOTT. You might have seen some of these guys on small bases in my Strathclyde Welsh (Northern Cymry) for Britannia 600 AD. Of course they complement my “El Cid” Feudal Spanish Army for Big Base DBA and my Dark Age Horde.

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Operational Terrain 6 – Tiny Hills to Fit 4 Inch Hexes

Tiny Hills 4 On Table

My Terrain Experiment on a 4 Inch Hex Grid convinced me that my existing hills were too big. I need some tiny hills to fit within 4 inch hexes. The context is that I want to try some operational level wargames on a mat with a 4 inch hex grid. This is for my, as yet unwritten, Deep Battle rule set.

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Darkest Waikato: New Zealand Wars variant for In the Heart of Africa

Darkest Waikato

In 2003 Martin Craig sent me his Heart of Africa (Foundry) variant called Darkest Waikato. In hindsight I wish I’d published them on my site back then. But, in the principle that is it never too late to rectify old mistakes, I’m posting them now. All words are by Martin and the rules are copyright by Martin. You can download the rules as a PDF.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 4 – Musing on Logistics and Supply Rules

P1030783 long range logistics

Logistics was one the criteria I used in my Review of Wargaming Rules I could use for the Operational Level of War. To be considered Operational the game includes rules to penalise troops that are out of supply. So Deep Battle, my as yet unwritten Operational Level wargaming rules, has to have a logistical system. The game systems I reviewed offer lots of inspiration for my own logistical system.

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

Sagrajas 22 Castilian centre advances

Chris, Jamie and I played the pick up version of my Sagrajas 1086 – A Big Battle Big Base DBA (BBBBDBA) Scenario. This was an excuse to use my new El Cid Army for Big Base DBA. Each side had 24 elements on a 6′ x 4′ table.

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Deep Battle Design Notes 3 – Musing on Creating Intensity

Intense Game

Any long time reader of my blog will know I’m a fan of Crossfire. Crossfire’s initiative system makes it the most intense wargaming experience I’ve ever had. Even if you are the other guy, waiting to have your turn, you are actively involved and can’t afford to lose interest. And your turn comes around pretty quick. I want to bring some of that intensity into Deep Battle, my as yet unwritten Operational level wargame. I want intensity and I think that needs some kind of initiative or impulse system.

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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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