First Balkans War Demo Game for 2016


This game depicts a skirmish near the city of  Ioannina, by the shores of Lake Pamvotis, in the spring of 1913, using the CHAIN OF COMMAND rules by TOO FAT LARDIES. All miniatures used are from TIGER MINIATURES.

The First Balkan War occurred due to the Weakening of the Ottoman Empire; which had just lost the Italian- Turkish war in North Africa, and the determination of the new Balkan League (Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro) to resolve their issues of National unity.

Turkish hopes to transfer an army from Syria to the Balkans were abandoned due to Greek naval strength and operations in the area. So the Turks had to rely on troops already in the area, some of whom proved to be of poor quality.

Montenegro was the first member of the league to declared war on 5th October 1912. The official start of the war was the 17 October 1912 the same day the Bulgarian Army Crossed the border and attacked Eastern Thrace.

The conflict can be divided up into areas or ‘theatres’ for ease.

Eastern Theatre (Thrace)
Western Theatre (Macedonia, Albania and Epirus)

The Epirus Campaign

The Greek army of Epirus crossed the border on 19th October moving northwest it occupied the town of Philippias on the 26th October. Dividing the force one part moved to Preveza and laid siege to the old fortifications, which held out until the Turks surrendered on 4th November.

 The second force headed north where Greek forces encountered heavy resistance, this slowed their advance. After the surrender of Preveza on the 4th November Greek forces were reinforced with an Italian volunteer corps under the command of General Ricciotti Garibaldi, son of the famous Giuseppe Garibaldi. Strong resistance meant that the Greeks didn’t arrive to lay siege to the city of Ioannina (Janina) until 25th November. Reinforced by volunteers and irregulars from Crete and Greece, the Greek army faced a heavily fortified city; which itself had been reinforced with Albanian irregulars and Turkish troops retreating from Macedonia.

Despite skirmishes and assaults the defenders held out and the siege continued until the end of the war.

The war was ended with the Treaty of London in May 1913. The following month the Second Balkan War broke out when Bulgaria attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece.

Here are the Chain of Command army lists for the Greeks and Turks for the 1912/13 wars, plus the composite army lists I used for the demo game.

Table from the west

Greeks prepare to charge

Turkish artillery