Russian Civil War at Trumpeter Salute

Ran my RCW game Saturday afternoon at the convention. Short version: everyone had a good time, but unlike our playtest a few weeks ago, the Whites got splattered, despite having more support and forces than the playtest. The Reds go going faster at the beginning and the Whites never had a chance to develop the momentum they had during the previous game.

Anyway, longer update and photos in a few days when I’m not blogging from my phone…

Off to Trumpeter Salute!

Off to Vancouver Friday morning for two and a half days of miniature gaming goodness at Trumpeter Salute 2012!

The Russian Civil War figures and scenery I needed for the game I’m running Saturday have all come together nicely, and I’ve got everything packed away for transport. Clothes, toothbrush, all that boring stuff too, with luck…

I’ve had a quick look at the convention schedule, but except for my own game, I don’t plan ahead too far at Trumpeter. There’s always good stuff running, with some reliable standbys like the near-constant 1:72nd Canvas Eagles WW1 air games to fall back on if nothing else grabs my eye. That said, I always go to conventions looking to try new gaming systems, new rules, new eras, new genres and to play with different people than the usual crowd I game with all the time!

I’ve got the WordPress Mobile app installed on my Android smartphone, so there might even be some short updates here over the weekend before the big post-Trumpeter posts sometime early next week. Hopefully I remember to take photos, even.

If you’re going to be at Trumpeter, say hi if you see me. I usually scribble “Wirelizard” on my nametag these days, because that’s become my default username online, and I even remembered to make a sticker version of my orange lizard logo (see the right-hand side of the banner up above this post) to stick to one edge of my nametag. Or just look for the Russian Civil War game in the Saturday afternoon slot and come join in! 2PM (1400) on Saturday afternoon!

Zulu War: A hospital unrelieved

And so the day began, much like the day before it, but with the promise of relief. Dust clouds had been seen along the road toward the main force, maybe the good Colonel could see fit to send us some more men. Yesterday’s fight was bloody but at sundown, we still held the hospital, if only just.

-Memoirs of the Zulu War, Col. Reginald Heathe (ret.), commander of the Royal Oak Bay Volunteers 1875-1891

Sunday marked our second Zulu War game, the first to include figures from all five players who have bought in (myself, Malcolm, Dale, Bruce, and Nathan). Also debuting this game was my hospital, built on an imperial-ized version of Matakishi’s detailed plans.

In the beginning, the calm
In the beginning, the calm

The back story I concocted for this game was that my Royal Oak Bay Volunteers had found themselves under siege yesterday and had narrowly carried the day, but were holed in the hospital and required relief. Continue reading Zulu War: A hospital unrelieved

Red Airships!

I am, as mentioned in the last post, neck-deep in prep for my Russian Civil War game less than a week away at Trumpeter Salute 2012. Nevertheless, something near and dear to the very core of the Warbard’s raison d’etre needs to be linked to…

Via the excellent Dieselpunk, who in turn got it from kitchener.lord’s spectacular Flickr stream, this Red Airships photomontage poster:

Nikolai Dolgorukov. Soviet Airships. 1932

I’ve long been a fan of pre-WW2 Russian design; there were some very talented people doing great stuff even in terrible conditions.

Anyway, back to final drafts of initiative cards, then painting the last 16 White Russian infantry for the game!

New Russian Buildings

I’ve been house- and cat-sitting for a relative in town the last ten days, so not a lot of action here on the blog, but I did take advantage of having extra space available to get a bunch of wargaming scenery built.

The most interesting pieces are a pair of houses for my growing Russian hamlet. The first is T-shaped, the second L-shaped with a fenced garden/yard area. Both have thatch roofs from towel; building and covering the more complex roof shapes was an interesting challenge. I even got some step-by-step photographs of the roof-building and thatching process, so expect an illustrated tutorial at some point in April here on the Warbard!

A pair of new, larger Russian-style buildings for our 28mm RCW games. Click for larger.

Both buildings have a 5″x4″ footprint and are about 3.5″ to the peaks of the double-hipped roofs. Unlike my earlier church, these two have doors or windows on all sides, so they’re potentially tactically useful instead of just being a line-of-sight blocker like the church.

In addition to the two buildings, I built two large hills (which can butt against each other to form one long ridge) and a smaller hill. I’ve needed more hills for ages, so it was nice to get these made finally. No photos of them, I’m afraid, as they’re buried in the bottom of one of my scenery boxes at present.

I”e also got about about ten new pieces of scatter terrain in progress, not all of which will be ready for my Trumpeter Salute RCW game in ten days, but I hope some of it will be. Photos of that as time allows in the countdown to Trumpeter!

Reds, Squirrels, Whites and Others

We had an excellent Russian Civil War game using the TFL Mud & Blood rules Sunday afternoon. More people than I’ve seen in a while up at our gaming club’s Sunday meet but for a lot of folks it was a day to socialize, do a bit of painting or figure prep or similar – the RCW game would up being the only full game running.

Red defending the village at the start
Red defending the village at the start

I acted as referee/gamemaster, and three of the four players had never played Mud & Blood before. We still finished the game in under three hours of play and everyone apparently had a good time, so that was all good.

Whites advance
Whites advance

The scenario was fairly straightforward, with a disorganized Red force defending the outskirts of a small village from a slightly larger but much better led force of White Russians. Continue reading Reds, Squirrels, Whites and Others

Spectacular Zeppelin Model

Bit of a quiet week here on the Warbard. I’ve been burning up all my available hobby time painting Russian Civil War figures. There’s two dozen Cossack infantry finished, another three dozen regular White riflemen nearly finished, twenty Red infantry in progress, and a new unit of ten Red sailors well underway. Yes, if you total that up, it’s nearly 100 figures, all 28mm. I’ve been a busy chap. There’s six or eight half-written articles in the Drafts queue here on the Warbard, but I haven’t touched any of them in days!

Nevertheless, a short Saturday evening diversion from the painting table… we are well known to love zeppelins here. We have to bow down to the gentleman featured in this Popular Science article, though. (via Bayou Renaissance Man, who has more photos)

Even better? By my quick admittedly rough calculations, a 20ft-long model of the USS Macon is roughly 1:56th scale, ie 28mm… the gentleman in California has created a wargaming model, possibly without knowing it!

Tomorrow we game the Russian Civil War again using the Mud & Blood rules, photos and a game report tomorrow evening!

Hordes of Zulus!

Zulus sir, thousands of them!

Well, dozens at least. We have recently decided to start down the Zulu War path, but haven’t made it very far down that path. In fact, I think we made it about 1/4 across the table today, our first Zulu Wars game.

As my Warlord Games figures have not yet shown up, we were quite light on the troops. I borrowed the 4th Coy of the 14th Fernwood, Malcolm ran his 3rd Coy, Bruce had a wagon train, and Dale another unit of infantry and a gatling gun. We pretty much all died.

I got to lead the whole day, an “honour” for which my slain commander, Captain Bromhead, scored our first Victoria’s Cross. At first, the Zulus were just a hazy sight in the distance (made hazier by Bromhead having lost an eye in the Indian Mutiny of 1857).

Zulus in the distance
Zulus in the distance

However, the Zulus very rapidly became not-so-hazy. Very distinct as a matter of fact. They were kind enough to remain at a distance, allowing me to very sportingly shoot them. (Later arrivals weren’t nearly so accommodating. Hence the VC.)

Zulus in the rough
Zulus in the rough

Bored at being out of action, our gatling gun decided to go and discover some Zulus via running to our extreme left flank. Shortly Zulus were discovered, and sent packing. The Horns of the Buffalo card meant that “sent packing” actually meant “gone to get their friends.” Amusing result on the right flank was a herd of cattle. Horn of the cattle more like.

Battle is joined
Battle is joined

The left flank went from “Gee, I don’t think they should be all the way over there” to “Oh crap, we are overrun” in very short order. Colonel Spiffer, shiny white uniform and all, quickly found himself surrounded. Being a hero, he was able to extricate himself. Our gatling gun, on the other hand… Let’s just say that rumours of the Zulus using a gatling gun a month later are totally untrue. Slanderous treason, in fact.

(Nearly) surrounded
(Nearly) surrounded

All this action to flank quickly evolved into action across the entire front as Zulus, hot off their success against our gatling gun, attempted a front assault. Flesh was pressed, personal details (and bodily fluids) were exchanged, and everybody got screwed in the deal.

Completely engaged
Completely engaged

In due course this wave of Zulus was sent packing, but the next wave sent both my brave 4th of the 14th, and Dale’s scurrying for the rear. Which leaves only the 3rd to hold the line. I think the next two pictures tell the story.

Near the end now
Near the end now
The end now
The end now

And so ends our first action of the Zulu War. We can only hope that better painted troops will fare better (although that is likely to hold true for the Zulus as well).

Our rules are based very loosely off of Triumph and Tragedy (from the superlative Lead Adventure forums) with a great deal of rules changed. First and foremost, we ran our Zulus as AI-controlled with dice to determine action. There are many on the fly changes to the modifiers, as we sought to get the right “feel”. We also changed from i-go-you-go to alternating half-way through, again to test rules.

We also experimented where the overall commander, in this case Malcolm, handed out two order cards (from the standard T&T deck) to each player at the start of each turn. This led to a lot of jockeying for a specific card, especially as our situation became more desperate.

Figures are mostly Warlord Games, with some Empress, Wargames Factory and Essex. Terrain is a mixture of mine and Malcolm’s.