Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Too much lead, not enough time: RCW game

I like lead on the table, and lots of it. I also like simple rules systems like "Hordes of The Things" (HoTT) that will give me a quick simple game. The problem with HoTT is that one element in only three or four figures, and this does not feel like a regiment to me.

In this Russian Civil War game, we doubled all dimensions and played HoTT with a frontage of 120mm. To put more variation into the "shooters" category, we allowed elements to be rated as Elite, in which case all odd dice scores are rounded up, and Conscript, where all even dice scores are rounded down. Generals are also free to move from unit to unit at "rider" speed.

The game was played on a nine by five foot table and the battle is set in Shinjiang province in 1920. Each element represents a regiment so in all the game was the clash between the sharp end of two divisions. You will notice I tend to scatter individually based figures around the table. This is for visual effect, to make HoTT look less blocky, and has no effect on the game.

Where is the initial setup looking North. The Red Soviets are on the left, the Chinese, White Russian and British Indian counter-revolutionary running dogs are to the right.

Here is the table viewed from the North

The reds had an aircraft (rated as a Flier in HoTT)

The battle opened with a column Mongol cavalry advancing on the White left.

The Reds counter this by pushing a cavalry brigade up the railway track and towards the White camp. Looming above the camp is the White General perspiring slightly. It could be the Sydney heat, it could be the threat to his baggage.

Spooked by the cavalry, the White commander detached a Punjabi Battalion supported by light armour to head them off.

On the White left the cavalry column continues to push forward.

The column is being shadowed by the Red airforce.

And its movements are followed by a regiment of the Red Army (conscripts) and a machine gun detachment

On the Red left flank the sight of a British tankette in the distance brings the Red cavalry brigade to a sudden halt. Here both units will remain for the remainder of the battle.

Here is the overall situation looking from the South.

The Red aircraft strafe one of the Mongol hordes...

... as it advances on the Red right flank

Caught between the aircraft and Red infantry, the Mongols break and flee (this seems to happen a lot).

One strafe and they are gone!

The British tankette cautiously advances up the railway track towards the Red cavalry, but seems in no hurry to get there.

Reds and Chinese regular infantry skirmish in the woods in the centre.

A fire-fight develops all along the line, with first one side, and then the other retreating.

To break the deadlock, the Whites throw in the British brigade (rated as elites). British to the front, Punjabis in support.

But even this does not break the deadlock.

Even when the White commander joins the British brigade to encourage them, they cannot break through.

Red sailors holding the line.

Finally the Red aircraft returns to the fray after spending several turns lurking uselessly near the White Camp

Here the aircraft "buzzes" the White Russian regiment's rear.

A roll of a six brings in the Red artillery. This is a "God" in HoTT terms. I put the artillery piece on the base line, the element is the point of fire.

A White regiment breaks and runs, but the Reds don't have the troops (or PIPs) to exploit the gap.

The Red biplane is brought down in flames, although the pilot can be seen here fighting it out with a pistol. This has happen in every single game to date, it is a wonder anyone will fly in these coffins.

In a storm of flame and noise, the Red artillery takes out the second Mongol horde. The next PIP roll is a one, and the artillery runs uot of ammunition; @#$&**!

Nevertheless, seeing Mongols blown to bits unhinges the White commander, who uses a PIP score of 6 to retire his entire line to some broken ground.

The Reds follow up.

Both sides reform and eye each other up warily.

The Reds probe cautiously towards the White left.

The Reds advance on their right, but they are met with a bayonet charge by the Punjabi and British regiments.

This breaks a Red regiment, which routs past a commissar.

Intense White fire in the centre causes the conscript Red regiments in the centre to break, leaving two huge gaps.

Exploiting this situation, the punjabi regiment wheels and hits a Red regiment in the flank.

When this breaks the Reds had reached their 12 point limit and retire back over the border to Russia.

But they will be back.

Epic scale HoTT is my favourite way of playing these rules despite my opponent's grumblings, and I am painting up an Indian Mutiny matched pair. More to follow no doubt.


  1. Mac

    This simply looks 'b***y glorious'... well done...

    28mm figures?

    Kind regards

  2. I recommend a WW1 variant of HOTT called Hordes in the Trenches (HITT).

    Revamped my WW1/Interbellum gaming.


  3. The large bases look fantastic. Great battle report and a good read.

  4. Mac..I have linked this to the NPU site if you wonder about traffic and the like..

  5. Wow... What a fantastic looking game!!! Brilliant stuff!