The Balkan Front

In order to provide a reasonably full accounting of the major conflicts and regions in WWI in our Chronological play thru we do need to cover the Balkan region and if possible some or all of the Greek Invasion fiasco.

Titles that cover this early aspect of WWII are fairly limited. S&T’s #182 comes to mind with Balkan 1942. A Joesph Miranda special. I’m wary here as I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the half arsed effort of Drive on Pyongyang.

Image: BGG- Cassius Longinus

Things then fast forward to 2011-12 with Balkan Fury from Diffraction, checking in at a mid monster 1100 counters this one is expensive, OOP and the jury seems to be out on production quality and rules cohesion. I almost pulled the trigger on a flier with this but held off.

This one has potential but I would love to hear from owners or player as to how this plays out. No VASSAL support is also a bust.

The 1990 Europa title Balkan Front also weighs in at 1100 counters, 2 big maps and 6 quarter maps. OUCH. The upside here is rule consumption would be done via the Europa system which I will be using for Case White and likely FitE or Scorched Earth. But it is big and likely going to be punched which means lots of work sorting one sided counters of which 90% are all white on the back, and setup process are time consuming. I’m talking 3-4 hours of head down slippery counters. Ugh!

Which has me wondering where does Maritar Merkur fit into the equation given the above?

M-M is a smaller title, from 1979 GDW designer John Astell. Just one and a half maps, 2 1/2 counter sheets and once again I think the Europa rule sto reduce overhead. “from Austria to Crete, including all of Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece along with bordering regions.” but notes that future titles will cover Greece proper. Which is ok. I specifically want the action from late ’39 to mid ’40. That would tie in or bookend The Blitzkrieg Legend game play and the DAKII play.

What else is out there people?

If I had to choose today perhaps S&T, or M-M in a pinch as the counter sorting would be manageable.

4 thoughts on “The Balkan Front

  1. Since you’re going to play Case White, the earlier edition of the game First to Fight, I recommend you play Merita-Merkur, the earlier edition of Balkan Front. As you mentioned, you’ll be able to play it quickly as the Europa rules don’t vary too much, game to game.

  2. I’d go with Merita – I can’t imagine how they get 1200 counters out of the Balkans – are they company sized? That was from the original Europa. If you decide to go and do Norway the old GDW Narvik was highly touted back in the 70s. This was also kind of a Europa game.

    1. Thanks man. I am likely to skip Norway. The Balkans figures into this purely as it is a factor (Greece) in DAKII so it makes sense to give it a bit of air time.

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