The Trumpeter Salute convention last weekend saw the first full outing of my Russian Civil War forces, in a scenario I called Even Whites Bleed Red. I’m a pulp gamer at heart, so a punchy, interesting scenario title appeals, what can I say?
The scenario is set “somewhere south of Moscow, sometime early in the Russian Civil War” and has a disorganized scratch platoon of Red Guard defending a hamlet from a composite company of White forces, composed of a shorthanded platoon of White riflemen and a plaston (infantry platoon) of Cossacks, lead by an energetic and capable group of Cossack officers.
I threw in my White Russian SPAD, for additional “Ooo shiny” factor and because I had the thing painted, and off we went, with two players on each side and me GMing.
The SPAD appeared very early in the game, although never had much impact, neither strafing run doing much. Above, the plane machine-guns the Reds in the churchyard,
This game, the Reds got themselves shaken out and in position fairly quickly. They were able to get most of the Whites pinned down well outside the hamlet, and the Whites never got into position to launch more than a token assault on the place.
Above, the White rifle platoon advances, one section in the foreground on the crest of the ridge, the other two behind it. In the far background, one of the Cossack sections can be seen advancing. The Cossacks had far less cover than the rifles, and the White players might have been better off funnelling their entire advance up the near edge of the board, sacrificing one section to hold the flank while the rest of the composite company pressed in toward the hamlet.
Above was the high point of the White advance, with one rifle section thrown back after attempting to storm across the railway embankment and attack the Reds along the stone wall. The Red reinforcements, one section of Red sailors and another section of Red Guard, also appeared just after this assault was thrown back, and the White players conceded the game at this point.
I’ve got some thoughts on why this game went so differently for the Whites when compared to our squirrel-obsessed playtest version, but I’ll save those for a longer followup post. Suffice to say that all four players enjoyed themselves, I enjoyed running the game, and we actually got done surprisingly quickly. Start to finish, including introducing the game to four players who’d never played it before, we were done in under three hours. Near-perfect convention game length, in other words. We could even have gone a bit longer and still had plenty of time for cleanup.
As it was, I had time to run a little demo session with a “stacked” deck to give two interested bystanders a chance to see how the Mud & Blood system worked, and get everything put away in good order!