Tag Archives: Russian Civil War

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.

Footnotes:

  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“.

18 Comments

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

Russian Civil War Interlude – Hardly Mechanised at all.

 

RCW Cavalry and Garford Armoured Car

No, not that unit … the other one over there!

In a very welcome return to hybrid face-to-face wargaming, YesthatPhil, Trebian and I met up at Shedquarters for a game of the Russian Civil War. This is a game of Trebian’s in development, so I was less interested in the rules as in the setup and mechanics of running a Zoom wargame from the umpire’s end. The main takeaway lesson that came over loud and clear is that players need signposting clues on the ground.

Red Cavalry pass a scratchbuilt Garford armoured Car (one of YesthatPhil's) at the gallop.

Red Cavalry pass a scratchbuilt Garford armoured Car (one of YesthatPhil’s) at the gallop.

Ex-military types have little trouble talking section fire on to the “red hats ten o’ clock left of the burning armoured car on the road junction twelve inches to their front”. Civilians , alas are prone to saying “fire at that infantry unit by the wood, no not that one, the other one over there”. My time as a toy pusher passed agreeably, with much wry amusement. Coffee, cake and chocolate was involved for those in meatspace.

They've got a Cave Troll - The Garford squats down on the key road junction.

“They’ve got a Cave Troll!” – The Garford squats down on the key road junction in the centre far, far distance left of the village.

The game was splendid, with Trebian doing most of the sums, of which there seemed to be a lot. There was a proper Dr Zhivago cavalry charge across open fields and a satisfactory amount of to and fro-ing with infantry in a key village at the crossroads.

Red and White cavalry get properly stuck in!

Red and White cavalry get properly stuck in. Urrah!

Treb has put a lot of work into getting the period feel right, and it is paying off.  He threw four armoured cars into the battle to see what would happen. They did not overpower the game, although a burning model T Ford probably wished that they were elsewhere.

The Garford was soon renamed Garfield. It was close-assaulted by infantry and went WOOF!

The Garford was soon renamed Garfield. It was close-assaulted by infantry and went WOOF!

Is it safe to come out now?

“Is it safe to come out now?” Discretion proved to be the better part of valour for the White armoured cars.

Richard Lindley officered the Whites and claimed a victory. Steve Churchus and Will Whyler ran the Reds and also claimed victory, because of self-evident historical inevitability. Trebian claimed the last chocolate square, and deserved it for putting on an excellent playtest. Wins all round 🙂

16 Comments

Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames