Tag Archives: Mud & Blood

RCW: Blundering Into Each Other

Early in the game, with most forces still on Blinds. Whites in the top corner, Reds in the foreground. Click through to Flickr for larger version.

We had another round of Mud & Blood powered Russian Civil War action this afternoon, with a White composite platoon under a very dynamic officer meeting a spread-out Red platoon on the outskirts of a South Russian village and defeating them fairly soundly.

Once again Stout Hearts & Iron Troopers was our starting point, this time Scenario Seven, A Baptism At Bleid, which is a German-vs-French encounter battle, with the French unit resting in a farmyard, more French off-table down the road, and the Germans coming on cautiously as everyone advances into Belgium in 1914. The scenario also has the whole table covered in thick mist, so spotting is considerably more difficult.

We swapped in White Russians for Germans and a Red Guard platoon for the French and went at it. Due to lack of painted figures we had about half the troop density the scenario calls for, but it was still a fun game and really showed the power of a high-Status Big Man in M&B. The Whites had the energetic Capt. Rumelski, Status IV, leading their composite platoon, plus Dynamic Leader (bonus Big Man moves) and Heroic Leader (one heroic act per game by a Big Man) cards in the deck. While the Whites had some initial trouble getting their platoon moving, once they got going they never stopped, and comprehensively shattered the Reds before the Red reinforcements could get onto the table to help out.

Reds scout down the road. Photo by Corey
Reds scout down the road. Photo by Corey

I was commanding the Reds, and really being too aggressive for the quality and quantity of troops I had available. I also launched one unsupported and unwise assault just because we hadn’t yet seen the M&B close combat rules in action yet. Now that we have, I won’t be doing that again… I badly damaged one White section, but utterly destroyed my largest rifle section doing so. Close combat in M&B is indeed decisive and bloody!

White Russian Cossacks. Photo by Corey
White Russian Cossacks. Photo by Corey

There’s still more Russians on my painting table, both Reds & Whites, and I’m looking forward to getting them into the game!

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!

RCW Cards for Mud & Blood

rcw m&b cards
A couple of cards for both sides for RCW-flavoured Mud & Blood gaming.

The TFL rules “Through the Mud & the Blood” use a Game Deck of cards for initiative and game events. The construction of each deck will vary for each game depending on the forces available but there’s a limited total number of cards and many of the same cards will appear in every game.

With that in mind, I’ve started work on a couple of sheets of Russian Civil War cards for the White Russian and Bolshevik sides. Nothing in publishable form yet, but here’s a quick sneak preview for your amusement — and because blogging about this stuff encourages me to actually finish it!