Tag Archives: RCW

Finally, Trumpeter Salute 2015 Photos!

Realized a few days ago that I hadn’t even taken my photographs from the Trumpeter Salute 2015 wargame show off the camera, never mind looking at them and choosing which ones to publish. This for a show that was at the end of March, three weeks ago and counting!

The whole collection is over on Flickr, as usual. Here’s a couple of highlights.

Whippet Tank vs Zombies

We started off with “Russian Civil War + Zombies” or “The Undead Are The Ultimate Proletariat”, which was fun and silly even if All Things Zombie isn’t my favourite set of rules. I got to blunder around in this great papercraft Whippet tanks, attracting zombies just by leaving the engine idling (thing is LOUD!) and then running them over or machinegunning them. Good fun!

Missiles Away!

Saturday morning and afternoon were both full of Tomcats, MIGs, and other Cold War planes as we ran two sessions of Air War C21, which is a fast, fluid, great set of rules. Tomcats are scary aircraft.

Actual Russian Civil War

Saturday evening I ran my actual Russian Civil War game for four players. I had two signed up as “spares” and had to turn a seventh away, which is always disappointing but it beats having nobody show up for your games! (which I have had happen at GottaCon here in Victoria…) It was a closely fought battle but the Reds succeeded in keeping the Whites out of the village in the end.

Crash and Splash

Sunday at Trumpeter is the long single session, so we get the “big” games out. I participated in the gloriously goofy Lego junkyard race game, with half of the other players under 14. The red-and-yellow pointy looking vehicle at the very back of the photo above is my racing machine. Good fun, I can’t even recall who won, to be honest!

Somewhere near Kursk

Next table over was Thomas’ absolutely spectacular Kursk WW2 game in 20mm, hordes of Russians trying to push the Germans out of the Motherland. I spent a lot of time between my racing turns gawking at this game.

Already looking forward to Trumpeter Salute 2016. I might bring Russian Civil War back, or I might go back to my pulp gaming and run some sort of pulp adventure game. We shall see!

Thanks again to Jon for the ride over, Martin for the hospitality, and the Trumpeter Salute club for putting on another amazing weekend.

Eureka’s Tachanka, Part Two

The Eureka tachanka itself (the wagon, that is) comes together fairly easily with a bit of patience and some test fitting. The main body is a single piece, which I had to bend very slightly to straighten as the back end had been pushed very slightly downward during shipping. The rear springs and axle are three simple pieces; the front piece has the bar the horses are harnessed to, then two springs, then a front axle.

The tachanka itself upside down on the right; the horses mounted and puttied into place on the base to the left. Crew figures int he foreground, along with the Maxim MG. Click for larger, as always.

I glued the whole thing together in one shot, wheels and all, and now that I’m painting it I find myself wishing I’d left the wheels off to make the undercarriage slightly easier to paint. On the other hand, getting the fenders on either side into place and symmetrical is easier when you have the wheels already solidly in place for reference, so it’s one of those “on the one hand/other hand” sorts of things. I can always slop mud around on the underside to hide any minor painting glitches, after all…

The base the whole thing will sit on is a strip of .040″ styrene plastic card, reinforced with Milliput epoxy putty, especially around the horses’ integral bases. I also ran a ridge of putty down the centre of the card base to stiffen it, with some slivers of scrap card under that just to give the putty something to hang on to. The base is just barely big enough to hold the wheels of the tachanka and the horses, but similar minimal “shadow” bases have worked to protect the relatively delicate wheels of other pewter/resin vehicles in my collection for several years now.

The tachanka is getting a dark green basecoat, similar to the paint scheme on the earlier armoured car. I’ve gone with blue trim, either a remnant of civilian finery (a lot of tachankas were lightly converted civilian carriages) or a bit of regimental pride coming through. I’ll leave all three crew in generic Russian khaki so they can be used by either side in my RCW games; I might eventually rig a flag holder somewhere on the thing for it to show off which side it’s fighting for today!

Such basecoating! Horses, tachanka and crew all basecoated, as well as heroic Russian officer dude on his horse behind – also a Eureka figure. Click for larger, as always.

I’m trying to get the tachanka ready for Trumpeter Salute in Vancouver which starts this Friday, so time is pressing and I’m speedpainting like crazy, and feeling rusty because I really haven’t painted much at all in the last eight months or so! At some point I also need to come up with some basic rules for running the silly thing in Chain of Command, but that might be left for the ferry ride over to Vancouver Friday afternoon…

Eureka’s Tachanka, Part One

About ten days ago I made an order to Eureka USA for a few things, most importantly their Russian three horse Tachanka/crew in cap.

What the heck, you ask, is a tachanka (also found spelled “tchanka”)? It’s a Russian vehicle developed during the Great War and used, in various forms, right through the Second World War. A lightweight, sprung carriage with two, three, or sometimes four horses out front, a Maxim machinegun mounted to fire out the rear, and a few crew holding on for dear life. It was designed to give machinegun support to cavalry units. Wikipedia has a bit more, if you’re interested.

The Eureka tachanka has been around for ages, but it has a bit of a mixed reputation among RCW/BoB gamers. The crew figures are undersized, is the usual complaint, and I’ve also heard comments about the beastie being fussy to build.

That said, it’s the only easily-available tachanka, and the presence of such an eccentric and unique unit in an RCW/BoB force is a powerful lure!

So to start off, here’s what you get.

The Eureka tachanka all laid out. 25 parts including crew and horses.

Three horses, three crew (driver, gunner, assistant gunner), a Maxim on the usual Russian wheeled cart (4 pieces) and 15 parts for the tachanka carriage itself, most of which are suspension. The whole thing is cleanly cast and there was a minimum of mold lines and flash to remove, most of it between the horses’ legs.

The small piece of paper with the exploded view is useful as a reference, although I think I’ll wind up printing the photo of the assembled tachanka off the Eureka website as well for additional reference. The front wheels/suspension/horse-attachment bit is the only really complex subassembly, although the fenders on the sides are going to require some gentle, careful bending to fit them into place and keep them symmetrical. I’ll put it on a “shadow” base like I did the armoured car I did a couple of years ago to help strengthen the whole thing, and probably use a small amount of putty out of sight on the underside to reinforce things here and there.

As I assemble the beast I’ll get some photos of it along side Copplestone & Brigade RCW infantry and cavalry, to attempt to answer that whole question about the scale of it. Onward!

The Assault on St. Vodkanovich Monastery

Last Sunday (15 March) got us another bash at using Chain of Command/Mud & Blood (I’ve taken to calling it “Chain of Mud”) for Russian Civil War adventures. I umpired the game for Mike, who has played RCW previously a number of times and once with the current Chain of Mud rules, and his brother Stewart, who was visiting from Vancouver and had heard interesting things about my RCW games and wanted to try it out.

We had a scratch White force of a short platoon of White Rifles (three sections), supported by two small troops (Teams) of Cossack cavalry and an armoured car attacking a hamlet around a small walled monastery defended by two sections of Red militia backed up by a single section of Red Guard and a single Team of especially enthusiastic local Reds lead by one of the Red Guard leaders.

It was a good game that saw the White rifles driven off by Red rifle fire before the Cossacks and the armoured car finally rout the Reds in a really, really tight game that saw both players convinced it was all over for them several times.

Late in the game, the White armoured car (lower left) brings its machineguns to bear on the walled monastery compound defended by Red Guard.

I realized afterward that I’d gotten the Force Morale tests wrong in the heat of the moment, so the Whites missed two tests that would almost certainly have damaged their Force Morale and could have cost them the game.

I’m really starting to enjoy the Patrol Phase of the game and the use of Jump-Off Points. The tactics of the Patrol Phase, once new players catch on, can be almost as fascinating as the main game itself, with the limits on movement imposed on the Patrol Markers and the conflicting desires to set up good JoPs for yourself and also deny the enemy good JoP positions. This was the first game we’ve played where one Jump-off Point marker wound up right on the table edge, nearly halfway up one long side of the table, which gave the Whites a flanking position on the whole hamlet that gave the Reds quite a lot of trouble in the first half of the game.

I’ll be running an expanded and tweaked version of this scenario at Trumpeter Salute in Vancouver in a couple of weeks; I might swap the ordinary Red Guard out for a section or two of Red Sailors, just because they’re such a colourful set of figures to put on the table! With a bit of postal luck I might also have a tchanka from Eureka Minis to add to the fun!

More RCW Patrol Markers In Progress

I’ve been working on a couple of additions to my earlier collection of markers for Chain of Command-powered Russian Civil War.

As I was finishing up that first set I realized that I was pretty close to actually having a full set of markers for everything that happened in and around (western) Russia between 1914 and 1921 or so, with German, Imperial Russian, Red, and White markers. All I was missing was the Poles for the Russo-Polish War and the Austro-Hungarians for their front against the Russians in WW1.

Polish and Austro-Hungarian markers (in draft form) for expanded Eastern Front/Russian theatre action.

The Polish eagle works nicely as a symbol, with red and white from the Polish flag in the background. The Austro-Hungarian symbol, like that Empire itself, is a bit of a colourful mess which incorporates a circular slice from the A-H Imperial Flag.

After I put the original markers up on Lead Adventure one of the other members posted some splendid but rough versions of his visions for alternate and extra markers. I especially liked his alternate Red marker, which used the hammer-and-plough symbol of the very early Russian Revolution, before widespread adoption of the hammer-and-sickle. I can easily see why the plough lost out to the sickle, it’s a difficult thing to draw well and tends to turn into a lumpy blob at the best of times!

Nevertheless, I sat down with Inkscape last night and finally produced a hammer-and-plough I’m happy with. Here’s an oversized version.

The hammer-and-plough, as used early in the Russian Revolution by the Bolsheviks.

I’ve got a few more ideas for additional markers, and I’d like to add markers for the various international intervention forces (Britain, France, the Americans, maybe even Japan), especially as doing the intervention forces would pretty much also finish the Western Front marker set I’ve been considering making!

RCW Patrol Markers for Chain of Command

In the run-up to this weekend’s GottaCon convention, I’ve finally gotten around to finishing the patrol markers I need to properly run Chain of Command-powered Russian Civil War games.

I’d done status markers back in January, and now I’ve got a set of the Patrol and Jump Off Point markers you need for each side in Chain of Command.

Imperial Russia, White Russian, Red Russian and German markers – see below for PDF link.

Even better, I’ve done up German and Imperial Russian markers as well as White Russian and Red (Bolshevik) markers, so Eastern Front World War One is covered as well as the RCW. The Russian markers are based on the roundel used by the Imperial Air Force; the White marker is the Russian tricolour defaced with an Orthodox cross; the Reds get a yellow star on red background; and the Germans get the classic cross on a feldgrau background.

RCW/Eastern Front Patrol & JoP Markers for Chain of Command – PDF, 5 pages, 40Kb

Note that I included the previously-released CoC tactical markers as well, just to put the complete set of markers into one PDF.

Permission is granted to print & copy this file for personal use only. Chain of Command is © TooFatLardies, obviously.

Enjoy the markers! Feedback, suggestions or corrections in the comments below, please! Let me know if you actually use these things!

Eight Days to GottaCon 2015!

Just over a week until our local convention, GottaCon 2015 starts! I’ve got a ticket already, and I’m doing something I’ve never done before, which is enter a tournament – namely the Blood Bowl tourney with my Crocs. The BB Tourney is morning & afternoon both Saturday & Sunday, so I have Friday evening and Saturday evening free from the rigours of having my ambulatory handbags pounded into the pitch by other teams.

Friday evening I’ve put in to run a Pulp Alley pulp adventure skirmish game. We really haven’t been doing much pulp gaming lately but PA is a nice system and easy to introduce people to.

Saturday evening I’ve put in to run a Chain of Command/Mud & Blood Russian Civil War game. This one is going to require the most prep this weekend and over next week, as I need a batch of new Quick Reference cards for CoC/M&B hybrid and some other gaming aids that I’ve been putting off, mostly because I’ve been distracted by Infinity recently.

I’ll run a fairly simple scenario, and my RCW project is at a nice mature point where it doesn’t really need any new scenery or figures to work as a good-looking convention game. That said, I’m thinking of bashing another Russian-flavoured building or two together after GottaCon to show off at Trumpeter Salute 2015 over in Vancouver at the end of March, which is always the high point of my personal gaming calendar each year.

Russian Civil War with Chain of Command

We had a quick and messy intro to the TooFatLardies’ Chain of Command/Through the Mud and the Blood WW1 hybrid today with my Russian Civil War figures. Chain is originally a WW2 platoon-level set of rules with some of the core rules based on the WW1 Mud & Blood rules we have been playing for several years, and in the December 2014 Christmas Special the Lardies closed the circle and provided an adaptation of Chain for the Great War, pulling rules out of M&B as needed to replace or supplement the basic Chain rules.

Our forces were as follows:
One short platoon of Bolshie Reds – four rifle sections of 7-10 men each, two Senior Leaders – who rolled hot for their Force Morale which was at 11 to start!

One short platoon of Whites, two Senior Leaders, three rifle sections of 7-10 men, 1 Maxim MMG with four crew, not as into this whole Civil War thing as the Reds with a Force Morale of only 8.

I hadn’t actually sat down to figure out the exact force balance on this particular force mix (TFL provide tools to do that, though) and we ignored the Support Points rules today and just ran with these basic forces, but it got us a good tight game with lots of back-and-forth until the White’s Force Morale collapsed to 0, so I think I was more or less right. Almost certainly too many Senior Leaders for either side at most stages of the RCW, but for an intro game I’m not fussed.

The first third of the game was all in the White’s favour; their Maxim deployed to fire down the village street and blotted out one Red rifle section single-handed, while two of the White rifle sections shot up, Pinned, and then close assaulted a Red rifle section that had pushed across main street and hunkered down in one of the hamlet’s houses but was isolated from any Red support.

The Whites had a string of dead Junior Leaders which pummelled their force morale, though, and pinned their Senior Leaders down acting as section commanders. The breaking point came when one White rifle section and the platoon Lt. launched a singledhanded close assault through the rear door of a house with a basically unsuppressed Red rifle section in it and got bashed all to hell, killing not a single Red and being thrown out into the open ground where irritated Reds quickly Pinned and then Routed them with close range rifle fire, killing the Lt in the process and routing the Whites with a FM of zero…

I’m absolutely certain we did a couple of things wrong, I know we missed rules and in some cases deliberately ignored them, but it was a good quick game and a great intro to CoC.

The Patrol Phase & Jump-Off Points are great, the Patrol Phase is much tenser and more tactical than the opening few moves of most games are, and JoPs mean less random wandering around the tabletop and more direct action!

The Command Dice mechanic isn’t as flavourful as M&B’s cards, but it’s quick and interesting, and often forces you to make difficult choices as to who to activate when. The actual Chain of Command Dice mechanic is also interesting but we didn’t use it much except to end the Turn and once to avoid a Force Morale check – there are more options for using Command Dice that we didn’t explore in this game.

I really like the fact that Chain has a Force Morale setup; sometimes in M&B it felt like you could feed men endlessly into the storm with just a bit of luck on clearing Suppression until everyone was dead. Not happening in Chain!

The actions/activations setup has been both clarified and expanded in Chain over M&B. Movement and fire, suppressive fire, and overwatch are all improved from M&B. The vehicle rules have had some expansion and clarification as well, especially with regards to Shock and vehicle morale.

For larger games, especially at conventions where I want to have two-four players per side I’ll probably stick with straight M&B, but for smaller games Chain/M&B (should we call it “Chain of Mud”?) is probably going to become my go-to system. I’m looking forward to more games and to getting to know the rules better!

Lead Painters League 7, Round Eight

Back to the Russian Civil War again this LPL round with some Copplestone 28mm Bolsheviks. I really like the whole Copplestone Back of Beyond range, even the “rank and file” infantry have loads of character and lots of really nice details.

28mm Bolsheviks from Copplestone. Click for full size, as usual.

The tan background and khaki on the Bolshies gives this photo quite a nice sepia tone overall; that wasn’t really planned but looks good!

Lead Painters League 7, Round Five

Round Five of LPL7 was one of three Theme Rounds; this time the theme was “Historical Civil Wars”. This fits perfectly into my ongoing Russian Civil War project, and was one of the reasons I pushed myself to participate in this year’s LPL.

I pulled out some RCW figures that I’d finished very quickly and roughly, stripped them, and repainted them to a much, much higher standard. The main scene depicts a group of raiding Cossack cavalrymen coming around the corner of a village church to find the locals armed and waiting for them, with a big farm wagon pushed across the road as a barricade.

Russian Civil War action – village militia vs Cossack raiders. Click for full size.

The local militia are Copplestone Castings Russian Partisan figures; they’re great figures loaded with character. I own twenty or thirty of these guys (at least two packs worth, maybe three, I’ve lost track!) and I have very few duplicate figures in that collection. I pulled out seven favourite poses to repaint for this scene. I painted them up as a mix of young men & old. The young men would likely be returned frontovik (Russian veterans of the Great War) or, if this is a Bolshevik militia, young radical Bolshies come out from the cities. There were rural militias for every political flavour of the Russian Civil War, and quite a lot of no distinct flavour at all — the “Greens”, who were either peasant militias formed for self-defence or anti-revolutionary bandits, depending on who was telling the story!

The Cossacks are from Brigade Games. Brigade’s Russian Civil War/WW1 in the East range doesn’t get as much attention as the Copplestone Back of Beyond ranges, but there are some lovely figures in that range, including these fairly recent Cossack cavalrymen. There’s a pack of regular riders with swords and slung rifles, and a command pack with officer, trumpeter and standard bearer; all six of these guys are from the regular Cossack pack. They’re very nice figures, a bit more fine-boned than the Copplestone figures but very compatible. The one downside to these Cossack figures is that some of the details are quite delicate, especially the sabres and scabbards.

By the time you read this my Round Six figures will be competing in the LPL; head over to the Lead Adventure Forum to see how they’re doing!