Revenge of the Balkan Gamble

BGmbl cover

BALKAN GAMBLE

BACK IN PRINT – only 10 copies available! (no wait, only 9 left now…make that 7…)

Way back when, I initially made only 20 figuring they would never all sell, but they did and people kept asking for it, so I made up another 10 copies. They sold too. What gives? Is this some kind of a trend? So a year or two later I made another 10. 

The Allied invasions of the Balkans that never happened. One of the great what-ifs of World War 2 in the Mediterranean theatre, at least to Hitler and the German High Command, was the possibility of an Allied invasion of Greece and/or Yugoslavia. The Allies knew the Germans perceived such invasions as a credible threat and created several strategic deception plans, leading the Germans to move or keep critical troop formations in northern Italy and the Balkans when they would have been much more useful somewhere else. Scenarios for 1943, 1944, 1945, and a hypothetical 1950 Soviet invasion of Yugoslavia. Uses the Autumn Mist/ Summer Lightning/ Winter Thunder system of formation activations and almost-diceless combat with mission matrix, at a larger scale: 1 week/turn; 30 km/hex; division/brigade; 17×22″ hex map and 280 double-sided counters. Many “chrome” rules to cover the fragmented human, political and physical terrain of the area.

This game has twice the map (and it’s printed on nice heavy paper) and twice the counter sheets, so the price per copy is $25 US. This includes postage. Paypal to brian.train@gmail.com. Thanks!

About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

4 Responses to Revenge of the Balkan Gamble

  1. Peter Asimakis says:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for going to the trouble to make this available again!

  2. A very interesting what-if indeed! I played a strategic WW2 ETO game recently in which my Allies did just that – a landing in Salonica in 1943 grew into a large-scale Balkans offensive reaching as far as Vienna. By fall 1944, however, the lack of a major second front against Germany proved to be hindrance, and the plentiful Soviet troops were bottled up on the northern part of the eastern front, so Americans and British (and the Greeks, as Athens never fell) went elsewhere.

    • brtrain says:

      Thanks! I originally started work on this idea in 2005 as a large variant to the “Balkans 1941” game by Joe Miranda that appeared in Strategy and Tactics #182, back in 1997.
      (I also designed a variant on the 1940 Italo-Greek War very soon after the game originally came out!).
      There were a few new rules and you had to make up 140 new counters.
      Later I thought that the idea deserved a game all to itself, with a different system… for years it was to be published by Lock n Load, then by Fiery Dragon, and finally I did it myself in 2015, after swapping engines and creating a different game on the same topic for Decision Games (as Balkan Gambit) that used the “Victory in Normandy” system originally designed by Ben Knight.
      In that latter version, I also wrote a long article for Strategy and Tactics magazine about the Allied deception plans that created these notional invasions; I didn’t talk about how dumb an idea it would be in real life until near the end of the article, when there were serious plans to invade across the Adriatic in early 1945 to cut off the retreat of Army Group F.
      As you discovered, it is an idea that in reality wouldn’t go far, due to the closeness of the terrain if nothing else.
      But it was something that spooked the Germans often enough.

  3. Pingback: Obligatory end-of-year review, 2019 | brtrain

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