Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Red Hott - the advance on Kashgar

We have been using the rules "Hordes of the Things" to play Russian Civil War games. Although this is a fantasy set of rules, we use it for every period (except strangely, fantasy). Usually we make a few additions to the rules set to better simulate a particular period. In this case the two additions are:
  • Long Range Fire: elements can shoot at double normal range, but any and all negative combat results are commuted to a retire result instead.
  • Conscripts: any 2 point element can be downgraded to a conscript. The element suffers -1 on all combat and shooting rolls, but only costs 1 point to muster.
The figure scale is about one element to a battalion or squadron, which makes each command about a brigade and the whole army the pointy end of a division. It should be remembered that in the Russian Civil War it was common for Battalions to be company-sized.

The game was a 72 point big battle fight between my valiant Reds versus General Mark Stevenski's grasping White and Chinese alliance. The battle was fought on the road to Kashgar after Mark's 18-0 drubbing in our last game. Anyway, on with the report...

In the picture below you can see my right-flank brigade; the dreaded 173rd Red Cavalry. This brigade has been the terror of the Whites (and their capitalist running dogs, the Chinese). In HoTT terms, the elements with flags are heroes (of the revolution), the remainder are riders. The brigade is commanded by comrade Badenov, a hero of the revolution, seen at the rear in the picture below.

The centre brigade is of less renown. The 18th Tula brigade's infantry are all conscript (shooters). However the brigade has been reinforced with two companies of machine guns and a battery of artillery ( in a direct fire role). Standing next to his staff car is Comrade Macsky, the commander in Chief. He (and his propaganda unit) are ready to spread the revolutionary message -- even in the midst of battle. So we class him as a "Magician".

The left-flank brigade is a mix of elite regiments. In black uniforms are detachments from the Baltic Fleet. In their new 1919 regulation uniforms are some elite ChoN units. Elite in Red Army terms only gets them classed as normal shooters. They are commended by commissar Onatop.

Acting in support of the right hand brigade is a red air force (classed as a flyer).
Stevenski's right-flank is a motley assortment of Chinese troops from the garrison of Shinjiang province. On the extreme right are some date-to-die troops (classed as Warband in this game), the remainder are battalions of shooters.

The centre brigade is made of White Russian Units who fled across the border to take shelter in ShinJiang. With the huge flags are a regiment of cossacks (classed as Knights). On the other side of the artillery can be seen three White battalions who have been ordered to "go in with the bayonet" (and have been classed as "blades"). Behind them are lurking a couple of squadrons of mercenary Mongols. Behind the artillery you can just see an Orthodox cleric; whose religious exhortations will do a lot to cancel out Red propaganda.

The White left-wing is a brigade consisting of an artillery battery, a machine gun company and three battalions of blades. This brigade is commanded by a white "hero" visible in the centre.

"On the points of our sabers and bayonets we will bring freedom to the toiling masses of the east"

"We will do anything as long as we get paid"

Red detachments of sailors start to move through the village.

The view from the Red right flank. That's a lot of Chinese comrade.

They are heavily outnumbered.

The white right flank hunkers down in the fields.

The Red aviation detachment swings over the battlefield and behind the White lines.

The Krondstat sailors take control of the village.

The Chinese dare to die troops stream through the boulder fields to attack the Red left-flank.

White artillery throws the Red centre brigade back.

The Chinese date-to-die troops attack the red sailors.

On the red right, the 173rd cavalry brigade streams around the White flank.

The Chinese flank the red sailors, but in the backgrounds you can see an Ambush (lurkers) sprung on the Chinese by red guardsmen from Samarkand.

Red artillery causes confusion amongst the Red squadrons.

But the Cossacks are also under fire.

The Red aircraft choose this moment to strafe the White centre.

"No retreat!" says commissar Onatop.

Red artillery keeping the Cossacks at bay take a breather.

A luck shot from a Mongolian marksman brings down the Red aircraft. Damn those boys have a short life-span.

The view from the Red centre.

White artillery still play havoc with the Red Cavalry envelopment.

Bad news; a White off-table artillery barrage (classed here as a God) hits the Reds. There must be an armored train back there.

Despite the arrival of his artillery barrage; Stevenski ponders his mounting losses. I think he has just realized what comrade Trotsky meant by "historical inevitability"

In the Centre white battalions advance into a storm of fire from the red conscript battalions.

The artillery barrage moves on to Comrade Macsky. Never fear - we will keep the red flag flying here.

Red cavalry have edged around the fields and are making for the White camp. But comrades - what is this? It's a White gas attack.

The Red cavalry hit the fields from the flank.

Having survived the artillery barrage, comrade Macsky faces up to a charge from the Whites.

Red cavalry have now broken into the fields on the White right flank. White losses continue to mount.

Overrun by Chinese and artillery, the Russian left has broken, only a few battalions and commissar Onatop hanging on as rear guard against the Chinese advance.
However the Whites break, they have taken too many casualties, the result being a 34 to 24 point win for the reds.

Inevitable really.

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