Solo Game the Battle of Dioran 2nd Balkan War

My game mat from Cigar Box Mats arrived faster than I expected, just about a week so I decided to give it a go. Time to try for a solo wargame. I had already planned to game a battle from the Bloody Big Balkan Battles scenario book. Both for the size of the battle and also I planned to use Bloody Big Battles Rules for my WWI games. I got my copy of the book from Brigade Games.  It is really informative. 

So I picked the battle of Dioran, July 6, 1913 of the Second Balkan War between Greece and Bulgaria. Greece with around 16,000 troops and Bulgaria with around 18,000 troops so not a real large engagement. I used 10mm WWI Germans for Bulgarian troops and WWI French troops for the Greeks. The table was about 5 X 3 which was fine as the map was around 4X4.  

Straight forward battle the Greeks are attacking and need to take two locations.

Purest will dislike not using the specific figures for the battle but with the pandemic you take what you can get.  I wanted to get a game in and get more experience using the Bloody Big Battles rules for the WWI time frame.  

Bulgarian’s awaiting uphill behind the rifle pits (tongue depressors).

The Greeks had better quality troops but tough terrain to cross so kind of slow going. Both sides (I guess that is me) made mistakes during the game that kept them from being totally successful.  The game was draw with the Greeks taking one of the two objectives.  So is this a win as I kept one but lost one no matter from both sides as I was by myself.  Whatever.  

The Greeks sent the majority force up the middle and tried to flank the one objective with a single unit to tie down forces defending Dioran.  The Greeks did not move really well but when they reached the Bulgarian’s in the rifle pits they were superior in melee.  The Bulgarian’s were able to wipe out the single Greek unit sent to tie down the forces defending Dioran.  

Greek (French) troops take the rifle pits in the center with the bayonet.

The Bulgarian’s try to regroup after retreating and move some troops and cannon over to try and protect the second objective but two regiments broke and you knew they were in trouble.   The Bulgarian’s were regrouping and had Diorian well in hand but at the end of the turn limit it did not feel like they stood a chance of taking back the other objective even with more time if they have had it.  So the battle was a draw.

Greeks have taken an objective and the Bulgarian’s try to reform to protect Diorian

I liked the game had a real good time and plan to do it again soon. The battle mat is first rate easy to set up and take down.  If I get a little scenery to go with it I will be in even better shape.. Learned some things for both sides as I played both sides in this battle.

Greek’s: 

  1. Can’t just focus on one objective will need to spread out more though this will be difficult.
  2. Have to get the artillery up faster into closer range.  The guns were blocked by infantry and too far back so did not play much of a part in the game.  That needs to be solved.
  3. Turn limits mean you can’t go for maneuver so much as when the Greeks melee they are better so you got to get in with the bayonet and brake the Bulgarian units.

Bulgarian’s:

  1. Must be willing to shift troops out of rifle pits to be more flexible to meet any attack.
  2. Must remember to try and stop the Greeks with fire before they get to the Bulgarian units as you don’t want to face them in the assault.
  3. Move the commander to help get the command bonus for rolls for movement and be more willing to move the troops.  
  4. Might even try and move out of the rifle pits on the first turn to set up a advance line to try and slow down the Greeks and set up a second line in the rifle pits.

The main thing is it was a lot of fun.  I miss gaming with my friends at the local club, but we must find ways to adapt and this seems to be one.  I plan to use more scenarios from the same book while I work up some scenarios for the Frontier Battles on the Western Front of the First World War.