BoB: Big Game – Важно полустанке Part 1

Yesterday’s Big Game went well. The tables were set up, with one featuring the village, and the other the steppe.

Much more open:

On Table 1, at the village the French interventionists and their White “definitely not brigands” set up their defensive lines.

There was much chat about the french running a brothel.

The brave French pushed their colonist levies forward.

The Whites pushed forward.

To be faced by hordes of Reds !

On Table Two out on the steppe, the ragged White Russians set up their defensive perimeter.

Whilst the German hirelings, the Don Cossacks swept in across the open steppe.

Along with their Turkish allies (NB: Matt’s Turks were based for mountain warfare, hence the white bases !).

BoB Big Game 31st May – Once Upon A Time In The East

Details of the BoB Big Game I am organising are now up including the overall scenario, table dispositions of players and useful resources. The trains and rolling stock shown before should be deployed for the first time.

As inspired by:

One of my favourite films: “Once Upon A Time In The West”.

The door is still open to anyone wanting to take part, its based in Hereford UK.

Train (now arriving at platform 1)

Some more rolling stock:

An armoured train.

Coach, and high sided truck.

Flat bed trucks with varying height side pieces.

A flat bed truck would often be put in front of the train so that any sabotage/explosives would destroy it, rather than the main locomotive. The flat beds with higher sides would be used for supplies, horses and troops.

Train

In the RCW/BoB genre, armoured trains feature a fair amount in the bibliography but rarely on the table. Years ago, I bought the Brigade Games rolling stock (not all of it!) and now I am hosting big BoB games, wanted to roll it out.

So here’s the juicy Armoured train. All 12 inches of it (oo-er).

The resin features such as the rungs were fragile, one broke off when I picked it up.
So taking it to Byakhee Richard’s pining service, a lot was replaced with brass rod.

The three turrets, all armed with artillery guns and HMGs were all magnetised. The wheel bogies also got some attention to cope with some modest curves in the track.

The photos show it on the little S Gauge track I have acquired.

If I thought that wargames suppliers were retrograde in terms of commercial service, then my eyes have been opened by the sheer unwillingness of railway model suppliers to have decent websites, decent catalogues and their sheer unwillingness to actually respond to e-mails and telephone calls in order to sell their wares.

More rolling stock to follow, plus my own painting efforts.

BoB: The Czech & Slovak Legion in Siberia, 1917-1922

BoB Book 1001

New book arrived, just published by McFarland.

It covers the Czechoslovak Legion during the dying days of WW1 and more particularly WW1. The author has obviously used personal reminiscences of friends and family of the legion. The book is chunky and has lots of photos I have not seen before. These are non-combat photos but nonetheless very handy when modelling/painting the legion and understanding its history.

The development of the Legion during WW1 is detailed, and its subsequent involvement in the RCW is covered. There is nothing new in that narrative, but it is very useful to have the individual frustrations of Czechoslovaks detailed. It fleshes it out and adds more personal insight. The Legions role in the RCW is covered again offering no revelations but a host of detailed events and personal experiences. The growing gulf between the aspirations of the Allied intervention, the Whites and the Czechs is however much more detailed than I have read before.

The prolonged agony of retreat is detailed well and tallies with all the other versions I have read/seen. The Legion certainly did not get treated well either by its Allied overseers (Gen.Janin) or its nominal comrades in arms the Whites. It held on to the end, defending Kolchak and the bullion, before evacuation. However Gen.Janin comes out as the unfortunate middleman, damned if he did, damned if he didn’t. Kolchak’s light wanes further with more witnesses commenting on his dissolute regime.

The book covers not just the legion but the RCW in general. Sadly, I wish it had stuck just the legion. T The text also suffers from repetition of phrases such as various towns being repeatedly described as “…began to resemble Omsk…”. It also jumps around the timeline too much, so you do have to have a very thorough grounding in the RCW and in particular events in Siberia to keep a track of what is going on. There are many details of what the Legion did behind the lines (esp its organisation). There is a paucity of information as to its military activity, uniforms, equipment and front line engagements. This is more a social and political history.

Overall, it is a valuable addition to an RCW library, however, it is really only for those with a thorough grounding in events in Siberia and not for wargamers interested solely in military Orbats.

As you can see from my picture (scan) of the book, it has lots of great items of info that I have marked so I hope this doesn’t come across as a negative review. Rather this is a book for the serious RCW enthusiast.

RCW/BoB: LK II…the second…

The second LKII fitted with an HMG as the Swedes did when they rebuilt these little tanks:

LK II assembled

Pinned on Sunday, finished yesterday evening – a bit quicker than the two weeks it took me for the first one !

LK II with HMG

Next to the first one with its poxy little 37mm cannon.

LK II both models

As you can see there is some light spackle on the first one, not very visible to the naked eye, and probably not bad enough to warrant a re-paint.

Rivet Counting ! And why you should not use too many vehicles

Ok, as you can see my transport pool is expanding, something others have noticed before:

Mort: Giles, you have too many tanks !

Whilst he was looking at my AVBCW collection of Vickers Medium tanks at a game in Tring. I wasn’t fielding them all they were just in the box

Its an oft repeated joke that more model King Tigers are used in WW2 games than were built during WW2. The same goes for AVBCW and RCW. Especially in 28mm large skirmish games. No mater they are comparatively pathetic, they can dominate a game too easily as in both periods anti-tank weapons were equally rare (and pathetic).

But we all like eye candy.

A German Erhart captured by the Russians – by the use of the Triangle and circle markings, it was being used by the Don Cossacks. This one was also upgunned with a 37mm cannon.

Here’s a really useful site that lists how many of each type of Armoured Car was built during WW1 and into 1920.

If you click through the links half way down the page, you get to some real obscure photographs I’ve not seen before and are very interesting. A very useful resource site. It correlates well with the the books I have on A/Cs in the RCW.

So in wargaming terms:

  • None of the armies of RCW/BoB standardised their vehicles, so you can mix and match and still adhere to historical accuracy.
  • The numbers of vehicles were tiny.
  • So limit the number of vehicles on the game board…for the size of games we play no more than one armoured car per player, unless you modify the scenario.
  • Don’t forget they’d have been unreliable due to few spare parts, little fuel, and little support in terms of supply chain and support crews,

Several players at the BoB Big Game I ran, did comment favourably that limiting the A/Cs made for a different but still enjoyable game. You also need to limit the number of field guns, HMGs, and LMGs similarly.

Many of the points above apply also to AVBCW. In or ear the cities and ports you could justify A/Cs, in the country and remote locations start cutting down on the number of vehicles or insist on Heath-Robinson contraptions made by the local blacksmith after one pint too many.