Russian Civil War interlude – More Cake and Mayhem

Red Northern Thrust advances to the Station

Red Northern Thrust advances to the Station

Red Southern Force advances to cover the Left Flank

Red Southern Force advances to cover the Left Flank. Note the Infantry Commander closest to the Artillery

Back at Shedquarters with Trebian and YesthatPhil, but joined by Tim Merry, with Richards Lockwood and Lindley,  Ian Lowell and Jonathan Freitag apparing online, the Russian Civil War mayhem continued.¹ This time, there was an armoured train. Trebian tells me that of all the questions he gets, “Will the rules handle armoured trains?” is the commonest (so yes, they will). Each side had four infantry units with artillery, three cavalry units, armoured cars and Ford model Ts. The object was to capture the main station, and destroy the enemy.

Part of the Armoured Train, with White Cavalry overrunning the Red Artillery.

Part of the Red Armoured Train “Победа” (Victory), with White Cavalry overrunning the Red Artillery.

The train was the undoubted star of the show in the same way that the Death Star dominates Star Wars. It loomed out of the trees, shot stuff and then was called off to do stuff elsewhere. It is worth mentioning that Trebian only counts the gun car as the real estate that the train occupies. The picture above makes no sense otherwise, although the cavalry base leaping over the engine looks dramatic!

Red Infantry take the Station

Red Infantry take the Station

It is also worth mentioning that a game of this size would normally be played over a larger table, when the extended cavalry moves make more sense. Because of the size of the game and number of players, only two moves were completed, but because each move consists of three actions for each unit, and units activate in a Ugo-Igo sequence, then it felt as if we had played about sixty mini moves. I still had plenty of time to push toys, make armoured train noises and take photos.²

Red Infantry Assault White Armoured Cars

Red Infantry assault White Armoured Cars. “Have you got a flag?”.

Because this was a playtest, there was still a lot of Trebian telling players to roll dice and being asked “What do I have to get?” or being told “It’s changed from last time”,  although the online players are getting the hang of it. The Quick Results Sheet (QRS) is the usual example of the type, with dense tables filling two sides of A4. A nice feature of the rules is that units test for morale but can be coerced into action if they fail. They carry this resentment with them for the whole of the game and reward the coercer by failing morale when it really matters.

Red Cavalry Charge the White Artillery

Red Cavalry charge the White Artillery seen in the Station photo two above.

I looked at the initial layout of the table and thought that the Reds would be kicking the Whites out of the station, but somehow, the Whites became diverted by Red artillery covering the southern side of the table, so the Reds were able to sneak a company of armoured motorised infantry into the station whilst everyone’s attention was fixed on the armoured train. Two cavalry units that charged infantry were shot away, the White armoured cars proved useful as supporting pieces, but were vulnerable to close assaulting infantry and the Red Austin-Putilov armoured cars proved that Ford model Ts are no substitute for a proper pair of armoured dustbins on an under-powered chassis with poor cross country performance.

Red Cavalry do not survive the White Officer Cadet Battalion counterattack

Red Cavalry do not survive the White Officer Cadet Battalion counterattack

In an entertaining example of real-life military problems, Trebian’s Red artillery observer went AWOL, and Treb picked up an infantry commander to command the artillery without realising it. He then spent most of the game searching for the missing infantry commander, who did an excellent covert job directing the artillery, until it was destroyed by marauding White cavalry. The infantryman then went back to his own unit and shot away the White cavalry. The artilleryman reappeared at the end of the night, looking unruffled, as the toys were packed away.


  1. The Young Ladies Cake and Mayhem Society is a Phil and Kaja Foglio invention in the Web-comic Girl Genius. There is no official Gentleman’s Beer and B*ll*cks Discussion Group, but we are working on it.
  2. When accelerating it goes “DA-da-da-da-DA-da-da-da“, and when slowing down “NYET-nyet-nyet-nyet“.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

18 responses to “Russian Civil War interlude – More Cake and Mayhem

  1. Jonathan Freitag

    Excellent photos! These are details only imagined from my remote viewing window onto the game. I do like the cavalry leaping the rolling stock.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Great Post Chris. The Shedquarters looks as if it has seen more action than the entire RCW.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Looks wonderful.



    Liked by 2 people

  4. Graham Evans

    There were four White infantry battalions and 3 cavalry Regiments against 3 Red Infantry and 2 cavalry. Shows how confusing battles can be – and you were in the room!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What a smashing looking game!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It had an ‘Old School’ look to it, although Graham’s rules are right on trend with use of cards and dice. There is a trend now for models replacing counters, but Graham is a big fan of printed cards and curtain rings for casualties.

      Regards, Chris.


      • Graham Evans

        I don’t know that I know what “Old School” means anymore.


        • Jonathan Freitag

          Depends on which generation is issuing the proclamation!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Graham Evans

            I always took “Old School” to be 25mm – 30mm sized figures/flats, based individually that mostly fought individually – like opposed die rolls – or in ad hoc groups. Games have no idea of figure or ground scale and rarely have any concept of command and control or higher level organisation. They use tape measures (or measuring sticks) and only d6s are rolled. Only one of those applies to the game on Tuesday, so I’m at a bit of a loss, really.

            Liked by 1 person

        • It means more or less whatever the writer wants it to, Graham.

          I am labelled as an Old Skool Kayaker (sic) based on the fact that I own a short kayak with rails, paddle it as if I stole it and punch through everything that looks scary head on, instead of stopping to play with certain death, and whooping when I come out alive. 🙂

          In gaming terms, the look is glossy figures, wooden road sections and templates marking the wooded and built up areas, instead of a diorama quality board.

          Some of the prepackaged game systems around nowadays could qualify as “Skipped School” 🙂 🙂

          Regards, Chris


  6. Graham Evans

    The umpire’s version of events is now up on his blog here:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sounds like it was a good game for all involved! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Chris!


  8. My pleasure, John. Credit goes to Graham.


Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.