Reds & Whites in the Mud & the Blood

The Russian Civil War figures I’ve been painting had their first outing Saturday evening, as Corey and I lined them up and tried out Through the Mud & the Blood out for the first time.

Whites at the wall
Whites at the wall, Reds in the field

The evening was only a partial success, but I have to say it wasn’t the fault of the rules, it was our fault as players! We’ve been playing .45 Adventure and other pulp rules the last couple of years, which are fairly low-lethality and overall fairly forgiving when it comes to morale, fully automatic weapons and that sort of thing. Mud & Blood is… not.

As mentioned in the previous post, we used Scenario One, “The Platoon Attacking a Strongpoint” as the basis for our game, with Reds attacking instead of British and Whites defending instead of Germans. Both games, the Reds got clobbered. I think the closest a Bolshevik trooper got to the White trench was about 14 inches or so, and that was for all of a couple minutes until the White Maxim HMG unjammed and blew the Reds away.

Let’s just say that under the M&B rules, a unit reduced to 5 troopers from 9 and carrying 12 Shock Points is not going to be useful for quite a while, if ever…

Whites man the wall
Whites man the wall

We actually played the same setup twice in one evening, switching sides for the second game. Two games in about four hours, with stoppages to reread the rules, rebeer the participants, mutually mull over tactical choices, swear at the dice and such is very respectable. The card-driven activation keeps things moving at a good clip, even when you’re brand new to the rules.

Basically, we spent the evening drinking beer and recapitulating, in 28mm, the mistakes and lessons of the first years of the Great War. Do not charge machine guns. For Dog’s sake, have something resembling a tactical plan. “Charge that emplacement!” is not, in fact, an actual viable tactical plan. Pitting ordinary riflemen against an entrenched machinegun is more than slightly unfair to the riflemen. Things like that.

We want to try it all again, with slightly different forces as I finish painting more Russians for both sides. Look for more mud and more blood here in the future!

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