Balkans 1943-45: The Invasions That Weren’t
March 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Okay, herewith a link to Balkans 1943-45: The Invasions That Weren’t.
http://www.islandnet.com/~ltmurnau/text/gamescen.htm (scroll down a bit)
This is a large variant I designed in 2005 for the Joe Miranda game Balkans 1941 (S&T #182, DG 1997, http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11135/balkans-1941). One of the great what-ifs of World War 2 in the Mediterranean theatre was the possibility of an Allied invasion of Greece and/or Yugoslavia after clearing the German and Italian armies from North Africa. In history, the logistical and political difficulties were rife and the Allies did nothing of the kind until Operation MANNA, the liberation of Greece in late 1944 after the German garrison had already withdrawn into Yugoslavia. But to Hitler and the German High Command, it was always a possibility and made them vulnerable to several Allied deception plans, which have been used as the basis for two scenarios in this variant. In response to these plans, the Germans held several critical troop formations in northern Italy and Yugoslavia in readiness for invasions that never came, when they would have been much more useful somewhere else.
To play this variant, the rules for the game are altered as described in the doc found at the link above; you will also need to make up 140 new counters from the included PDF files (one version in black-and-white to colour yourself, one in colour if you have a fancy printer).
Files have also been posted to the game’s topic on Boardgamegeek (see second link above).
My work on this variant grew into a completely new game, Balkan Gambit, but I have been waiting since 2008 for it to be published so I just thought I would at least get this variant on the same subject out there, so someone can play it.
One of the most onerous parts of the variant and the game, and yet what will probably the least appreciated, was trying to work out the Order of Battle for the campaigns – it’s one thing to find out which units were actually where at some point in time, and quite another to figure out which units could plausibly have taken part in a campaign that was never fought! For the Allied OOB I used half actual units and half deception units – the Allies had over a dozen fake divisions deployed in the Mediterranean, as well as several fictitious corps HQs, in order to confuse the Germans as to the real strength they had in the theatre. So I thought that if these invasions were to be the realization of German fantasies, then they should include units the Germans got sucked into believing existed too.
Hope this excites your interest!