Friday, October 17, 2014

Indian Summer: 25mm Minifigs Mauryan Indian Army

Ellis Con in Danielson, CT (link to Facebook Event Page) is only a little over 4 weeks away now (Saturday, November 15th  so if I am going to run my games of Legio Quaternarius successfully, it is past time to get on with shaking the preparations out!  As part of that process, I dug out my vintage 25mm Minifigs Mauryan Indian army, which will be one of the four armies to be played.

Shot of the entire Indian army deployed; 24 units plus the General. I hope to give these veteran troops (painted back in Medical school circa 1979) an application of Magic Wash before the convention. 

A more general overview shot of the army from behind...

and one from the front (note the vintage "bookcase" games in the background!) 

Right flank of the Army from the right side

Next the center

Then the left flank of the army.

Left Flank from the rear.

and the center

and the right flank.

Left flank from the front

and the center

and finally the Left flank.

Here's my own "Army List" for this army for Legio Quaternarius:

#3 Mauryan India     (350 - 200 BC)

Unit Description
Unit Type
Indian Elephants
Heavy Chariots
Light Cavalry
Medium Cavalry
Indian Archers
MI*2H,B, No Sh
Indian Javelinmen
MI*J, 2H, Sh
Indian Spearmen
LI*B,2H, No Sh
Light Bolt Throwers
Special Rules:
All Indian Elephants are+15 on Morale and +10 in Combat
All Indian Infantry is -10 on Morale
Indian Cavalry and Chariots never suffer disorganization due to the proximity of Elephants

The Army has a total of 96 Infantry, 20 Cavalry, 2 Four-horse Chariots, 6 Elephants (I've borrowed two from my Sassanid army), 2 bolt throwers with 4 crew figures, plus the General; 

Years ago, I had made a square grid using 2 x 3 foot sheets of Masonite, painted green, and then drew on a 3" grid with a wide black  magic marker. That worked well but was heavy to store, and over time, the boards gradually warped in storage (a flood or two in the basement didn't help - we now have a sump pump and a generator! 

A number of years ago, while we were driving back from a Historicon in Lancaster, Joe and I were shooting the war games breeze as usual. We had seen the gorgeous little terrain layout for the National Flames of War Tournament laid out in the auditorium. Although he disavows any recollection of these events "Mission; Impossible!" style, as I was thinking out loud about lightweight grids for use in tabletop gaming, Joe gave me the idea of using the heavy duty brown paper that can be purchased in large rolls for very little at Home Depot and similar DIY stores. A trip thereto revealed that it came in 30" wide rolls - so I cut two equal lengths, and used wide masking tape to join them together. That yielded a surface almost 72 inches across and 64 inches deep. 

I sprayed a mottled light green pattern on top of the already light brown paper, and it actually looked pretty good. I then drew a 4" grid onto it using a black ball point pen and a yardstick. The resultant grid was 14 x 14 squares, with some space to spare on all sides. For this game, I think I am going to use that extra space to add another row of squares to all four sides, increasing the grid to 16 x 16 (256 squares), so as to not have the flanks  be too secure; no unit may start more than three squares on to the table, and units may not start in the 2 rows of squares to either flank, either.

We had a light frost overnight on Sunday morning of Columbus Day weekend, followed by a gloriously bright, clear and warm day with many more that followed, thus meeting at least some of the definitions for Indian Summer. That inspired me to take some Fall pictures of our area, a bit before the elusive "peak color" for this year. This shot was taken on the border between Bridgewater, where I live, and New Milford where my office and Hospital are located. This is looking more or lees South from CT Route 67. The tall mound in the midground is Lover's Leap, now a State Park. Apropos to my last musings about the role of population density, it can be seen that although I live in the Northeast of the US, in my area, the population density is not that high@!  In fairness, there are actually quiet a lot of houses that are obscured by all the trees of our area, but still, you get the idea!

Lover's Leap (in true summer), overlooks the e gorge on the Housantonic River where the daughter of Chief Waramaug, Princess Lillinonah, is said to have met her death in the (then) treacherous rapids, along with her lover who leaped into the water in an attempt to save her, but tragically drowned in the attempt himself. Such at least is the legend!  Bald Eagles nest in this area, and are often seen gliding in the skies above. We'll continue of a brief Fall Tour of New Milford, the largest town geographically in the state of Connecticut. 

New Milford Hospital, where I have admitted and treated patients for 30 years. It is located less than 100 yards from the Green..

Located on the tall hill overlooking the center of  the Town of New Milford, is this unusual Masonic Hall, St. Peter's Masonic Temple. 

The interior of the Hall is notable for the stained glass windows and checkered linoleum floor, without much other ornamentation being seen when it is used for non Masonic events.

Interior of the Temple, from the Lodge's website

Hiking further up the rather steep Hill (which continues up to the private Canterbury School located atop it) gives a nice view down upon the center of Town. Little wonder our area sees heavy motor vehicle traffic "leaf peeping" in mid October!

Looking from the top of the Green; if it was earlier in the day there would have been a busy farmer's Market on the green, selling local produce, most of it organically grown. New Milford has the longest Town Green in the state; at least that's our claim, and we're sticking to it!

The First Congregational Church of New Milford, established circa 1716 (the present building on the Green was dedicated in 1833). The church's carillon plays every half hour during the day; as I was taking this shot, it was the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's wonderful 9th Symphony. Entirely fitting!

St. John's Episcopal Church, also on the Green. Established in 1746. Most New England towns of any size have a Congregational Church (descended from the original Puritan churches, although now very progressive, in colonial times and for decades thereafter, it was required to establish such a church before an application for incorporation as a town could be approved), and an Episcopal church (aka the Church of England prior to the Revolution) right in the center of town. 

Further South on the Green, the red brick building is Town Hall, and was built on the site of Roger Sherman's homestead. He lived bin New Milford from 1743 to 1760, and was an active member of the Congregational Church. He later moved to New Haven, where he later became the city's first Mayor. Roger Sherman (b. 1721 , d 1793) "served on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and was also a representative and senator in the new republic. He was the only person to sign all four great state papers of the U.S.: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson said of him: "That is Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, a man who never said a foolish thing in his life." [citation from Wikipedia]. Mr. Sherman was the originator of the "Connecticut Compromise", which resulted in the representation of each State being according to its population  in the House, but equal in the Senate. The neighboring town of Sherman, Connecticut (originally a part of New Milford itself, as indeed was Bridgewater as well) is named in his honor. 

View from New Milford Hospital towards East street. The ridge in the background is known as Second Hill. 

Another view of Second hill, this one being from the parking lot of my office. 

I hope you haven't found this limited Autumn tour of my area too boring! Let me conclude by celebrating a gorgeous Fall day with the words of the Hymn to Joy, words by Henry van Dyke and set to Beethoven's music:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Henry Hyde, Haiku and Hobby Hubris

Last month, Jonathan Freitag ran his second anniversary blog contest, and as part of that several generous prizes were offered. The contestants were asked to submit one or more haiku addressing two themes put for by Jon, as out lined in in the preceding link. The "grand prize" was a hard copy of Henry Hyde's recently published tome, The Wargaming Compendium.

Image from

As it turned out, in a hard fought, amiable contest of words, my offering came in first by a broken bayonet. This is actually the second time I have been a beneficiary of Jon's largess, receiving a copy of  the excellent"Eagles over the Alps" in last year's contest.  Thanks again, Jon! My copy arrived on time direct form Amazon a few days ago. I had considered purchasing this book several times in the past on my own, but concluded that the needs of the lead arms race took priority! The was good timing as my wife was away for a few days to assist my daughter. I have thus read the first 3 chapters already, which form a very agreeable introduction to wargaming as a hobby. Nothing too much I didn't know already, which is hardly surprising nor indeed a flaw in any way. This is a massive, beautifully and heavily illustrated book, that is obviously a true labor of love!

My only minor quibble thus far is with the chapter on the history of wargaming. As Mr. Hyde himself points out, it is far from exhaustive, and limited by the space available. Still, I found the degree to which it was focused on the British scene, while entirely understandable, becoming mildly annoying by the end of the chapter. Only Jack Scruby and Joe Morschauser come in for brief mention among Americans. Even Gary Gygax is referred to in passing with regard to Dungeons and Dragons (only), and many other major American contributors and contributions to the field such as Bob Coggins, Jim Getz, Scotty Bowden, Duke Siegfried, Bob Jones, Arty Conliffe, Sam Mustafa, Terry Gore, Buck Surdu, Frank Chadwick, Old Glory (among manufacturers),  Napoleon's Battles, Tactica, Fire and Fury, The Courier (hands down my vote for the best wargames magazine of all time - thanks, Dick Bryant!), The Midwest Wargamer's Association Newsletter (MWAN - thanks likewise to Hal Thinglum)), and so on. Of course, our European friends come off even worse, with Impetus, Dadi e Piombo, and Vae Victus being rather glaring omissions. In fairness to the author once again, he acknowledges that there are as many omissions as inclusions, and that some are bound to be annoyed by same, for which he offers an apology in advance.

All this does raise a rather intriguing question, which I am certainly not the first to ask. Why is it that the United Kingdom seems to have a much higher number of Historical wargamers (and manufacturers) per capita than any other country (recognizing that our perceptions of non English speaking countries are inevitably skewed downward)?  The US has 5 times as many citizens, but I'd estimate roughly the same total number of historical wargamers, and those are spread out over a vastly greater area. We in the U.S. are also unable to support even  a single Historical Wargames magazine in the modern era, and yet the UK supports two or three! Certainly the much higher population density makes access to other nearby wargamers much more likely, but the population of France is similar, and her population density of the same general order of magnitude, and yet Historical Miniature Wargaming certainly seems  is a far less popular hobby there. Similarly, from the standpoint of exposure to history, while the UK has been the scene of recorded battles back to at least Roman times, the same can be said even more so of France.  The US leads the world in per capita income (admittedly, increasingly unevenly distributed), so lack of funds is an unlikely rationale. Discussion?

Some comparative national statistics, from Wikipedia:
Total Population, Population Density, and GDP (purchasing power adjusted) per capita::

United Kingdom:  64 Million  255/km2    $38,711

France:  66 Million, 116/km2    $36,537

United States of America:  320 Million, 34/km2   $53,000

Canada:  35.5 Million, 3.4/km2   $44,656

Australia:  23.6 Million  2.8/km2   $44,346

New Zealand:  4.5 Million, 16.5/km2 , ,  $30,493

India:   1,210 Million, 380/km2  $5,777

India would seem to be one good long term market for the growth of our hobby...


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Of Dice and (Tin) Men: The House of War

My plan all along was to return to Connecticut after I finished my Residency training. I figured that I would join an existing medical group. My wife (also from Connecticut) and I had pretty much decided that we wanted to settle either along the shore East of New Haven, or in the hills of Litchfield county. Rather unexpectedly, I wound up assuming the practice of an older physician who was relocating. Pretty much day 1 of my practice, I was admitting patients to the hospital, and using the full scope of my training (aside form obstetrics). I was also on call 24/7, seven days a week. That lead to very  little gaming or painting taking place for several years (although the condo we rented had a full basement and I had a ping pong table for gaming). One of the early viistors to the practice (on a social call, rather than medical!) was my old wargames freind from UConn and beyond, Joe Fish.

The newspaper covering the center of the ping pong table on this somewhat faded photo means that it was taken in the living room of the 4 bedroom condo I shared with three other students during my last three years of medical school; most likely in 1983 We didn't use the living room of the condo at all and had virtually no furniture in it, so I kept the table folded up in the corner, and took it down only for games. The opponent was likely either Joe Fish or Dave Sweet. 

A shot of my Minifigs Danes from circa 1983 deployed non the kitchen table of our appartment in NJ on one of the hex gridded 2 x 3 foot panels of Masonite with the self adhesive hex grid sheets (sold for use with the  Frappe! rules back in the early 1970's). 

    Within a few years we had added two daughters and moved to a house, and I finally had a call group to ease the workload some.  A full basement for gaming was of course an essential requirement for the house! My in-laws contributed a second, no longer used, ping pong table. In my down time I then constructed an unnecessarily massive tabletop to go over the ping pong tables and also raise the table height up another 5" to a more comfortable height for use while standing (I am 6'4" tall!). In  the process I also accommodated one inconveniently situated support column for the house.The final table was (and is) 20 feet long by 6 feet wide.

Probably one of the first wargames played in the basement of our new home, using the original (hex gridded) version of Legio Quarternarius. The back of the picture reads "Battle of the Adopted Dunes, March 16, 1985". Note the many red "death shrouds"!  The Adopted reference is probably to my friend Charlie and his wife having adopted their first child. Armies are Mauryan Indian and Carthage, I think.

Now having a 20 foot long wargames table, I did a "Grand Parade" of my entire Napoleonic Collection. Sadly, the pictures came out way too dark. Digital photography is much easier - you see the shots right away and re-do them if they come out poorly! 

Lots of troops even then!

Another shot, Allies to the left, French and their satelites to the right. 

Troops stretch as far as the eye can see, and beyond!  This was circa 1988.

This was the age of GeoHex (introduced circa 1984, I believe, and produced through circa 2003), so I gradually acquired almost all of the sets, and made some awesome looking miniature battlefields - the base level of the table was painted medium blue to use with the Geohex (streams/rivers/shoreline), as well as for Naval games.

Some of the many pieces in a GeoHex set

For those of you unfamiliar with GeoHex, it is based upon large rigid Styrofoam Hexagons, 12" across parallel sides, some with roads printed onto them geographically. The slope side pieces gave 1,2,3,4,5, or 6 vertices of the hexagon shape, with an additional long thin piece. Anyway, it is possible to make some really wonderful tabletops with this stuff. It is however, rather time consuming to plan out and execute a layout, especially when also using the supplemental sets that straighten the table edges, add steep slopes, and so on. 

My original Renaissance armies on GeoHex terrain.

Swiss pikes on the hill.

Two Spanish Tercios with supporting Organ guns.

Better shot of the Swiss.

Mounted crossbowmen and Arquebusiers; walls from the Hovels "Spanish Village" set. 

Artillery and foot Arquebusiers.

    Once we had the basement and table set, my house became the site for the 3 to four games a year that I could coordinate with the other 3 guys of my original warganes group all of whom were within about an hour's drive in various directions. We played a lot of Legio Quarternarius, including some round robin very informal tournament type actions, using various early (Assyria - Republican Rome - Macedonian - Carthage - Mauryan Indian)  or late (Sassanid Persia - Palmyra - Byzantium - Teutonic Knights) army groupings. 

    We continued to play Napoleonics, and tried out some of the "new" wargames rules, including Napoleon's Battles by Bob Coggins and Craig Taylor. While I liked some of the ideas in NB, overall it wasn't my cup of tea. Charlie liked the rules a lot, however. Since the table and almost all of the figures were mine, you can guess whose opinion won out! I had the pleasure of sitting opposite Bob Coggins and alongside Jim Getz (Empire, Napoleonique) and his wife at a Chevaliers de Neptune ("Don't ask!!") dinner hosted by Bob Jones at Historicon in  (Lancaster, PA) in 2003.  Quite lively conversation, most of it having little to do with either wargaming... or the Napoleonic Wars!

The original version of Napoleon's Battles (1st edition published 1989), the first attempt at really widespread marketing of a miniature wargame, distributed by The Avalon Hill Game Company, the giant of the military board games industry.  Sadly Craig passed away in 2012, and Bob passed away suddenly a few months ago. (Image from Boardgame Geek).

Meanwhile, we continued with our ever changing house Napoleonic wargames rules, which I termed "Code Napoleon". Those reached their final evolution with two developments. One was the publication of Don Featherstone's "new" wargames book, Featherstone's Complete Wargaming in 1989, and an article by Brent Oman in the Midewst Wargamer's Association Newsletter at about the same time.

This book of Don's holds an honored place in my collection, (along with several others), also published in 1989. Those only familiar with Don's much earlier rules will be surprised to see the evolution of his ideas in this one! I also had the pleasure of meeting Don in person at Historicon ? 2008, courtesy of an intro by Jim, Getz. At age 88

 From Don's chapter on the Napoleonic Wars came the idea of replacing many of the traditional modifiers for combat with a grid based upon the formations of the attacker and defender, one each for fire and one for melee, and rolling a D10 to determine the outcome. From Brent's article came the idea of using different Polyhedral dice for different troop quality - the bigger the die type, the better the troops... so Militia types would roll a D6, Conscripts/Raw troops a D8,  Regulars a D10, Crack troops a D12 and Guards a D20!  I'll present those rules, which I named Code Napoleon, in the next post of this series.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Russian Civil War: Trans-Siberian Orchestrations

Following up on a promise made after our meeting at FoB games at Historicon this past July, I drove down to Tarrytown for a game that Jared hosted, introducing five of his friends to Field of Battle, as modified by Tim Couper for World War 1, with some neat further tweaks for the Russian Civil War by Jared. We used his 15mm figures, and had six players, three per side.  There were about 30 units a side, with 2-3 commands per player. The Reds rolled up a substantial edge in AMP (Army Morale Points).

Here's Jared's explanation of the scenario:
"The battle was hypothetical, but based on historical circumstances. In the spring of 1919, Admiral Kolchak took his troops out of Siberia, along the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and marched West towards the city of Ufa, which he eventually took. However, he outran his supplies, and by that point the Czechs were more or less done fighting. Most of the time they marched with him him, but guarded the rail line. Kolchak's army was so strung out that by the time the Reds were organized and trained, they were able to push him back. His army was broken and he himself was eventually executed."  If I recall correctly, in the pre-game setup, the Whites were able to get one of their commands in an advanced position in a woods, while the Reds had a higher level of motivation and thus had a slightly better sequence deck and more AMP's. One of the Red commands had lagged behind, and thus was not optimally positioned. the onus was on the Whites to attack!

Red Army: CinC Mikhailovich LD10
Total Units= 19 INF, 3 ART, 3 MG, 1 TCH, 1 AC, 3 CAV= 30 Units
Morale Points: 38 Sequence Deck: Average
1 Regular Artillery D6/D10

Cmd 1: Pavolvski LD12
1 Elite Infantry (Sailors) DD10/DD12
1 Crack Infantry DD8/CD10
1 Crack Infantry DD8/CD10
1 Crack MG DD8/CD10

Cmd 2: Gregor LD10
1 Crack Infantry (bolstered) DD8/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Artillery DD6/CD10

Cmd 3: Zemak LD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DDF6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular MG DD6/CD10

Cmd 4: Rukomov LD10
1 Regular Infantry (bolstered conscripts) DD6/CD10
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD10
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8

Cmd 5: Ilyriovich-II D10
1 Regular Infantry (bolstered conscripts) DD6/CD10
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Raw Artillery DD4/CD10

Cmd 6: Arkus LD8
1 Regular Infantry (bolstered conscripts) DD6/CD10
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Regular MG DD6C/D10

Cmd 7: Kirigizov D10
1 Regular Cavalry DD6 CD12
1 Regular Cavalry DD6 CD12
1 Regular Cavalry DD6 CD12
1 Regular Tchanka DD6 CD10
1 Crack Armored Car DD8/CD10


White Army: CinC Admiral Semenov LD10
Total Unis: 17 INF, 3 ART, 3 MG, 4 CAV= 27 Units
Morale Points: 31 Sequence Deck: Poor
1 Regular Artillery D6/D10

The Czech Legion:

Cmd 1: Balichuck LD8
1 Crack Infantry DD8/CD12
1 Crack Infantry DD8/CD12
1 Crack Infantry DD8/CD10
1 Crack MG DD8/CD10

Cmd 2: Demitra LD8
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Cavalry DD6 CD12

Former Tsarists

Cmd 3: Valieri LD10
1 Elite Infantry (Tsar’s Guards) DD10/CD12
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10
1 Regular Infantry DD6/CD10

Cmd 4: Martov LD10
1 Crack Infantry (Regs bolstered with officers) DD8/CD10
1 Crack Infantry (Regs bolstered with officers) DD8/CD10
1 Crack Infantry (Regs bolstered with officers) DD8/CD10
1 Regular Artillery D6/D10

Cmd 5: Alexievski LD10
1 Elite Cavalry DD10/CD12
1 Regular Cavalry DD6 CD12
1 Regular Cavalry DD6 CD12
1 Regular MG DD6 CD10

Press Gangs and Conscripts

Cmd 6: Ilyriovich LD10
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Raw Infantry DD4/CD8
1 Regular MG DD6/CD10

Cmd 7: Arkus LD8
1 Raw Infantry D4/D8
1 Raw Infantry D4/D8
1 Regular Artillery D6/D10

Overview of the setup, looking from the South to the North (marked by Brian at the top of the picture). the white slips are the command listings, and will be relocated once play begins). 
For the Whites (right side of the picture, commands near to far ,  - Brian, Peter, and Gerard
For the Reds (left side of the picture, commands near to far) - Raegan, Dan, and John

Left Flank of the Whites - Brian's fanatic Tsarists (#4, Martov) are in the woods with  Battery on the hill to the far flank in support.  while my good command (#3, Valieri is to their right. The (former) Tsar's guards have the yellow and Black (?Romnaov) flag.  Close to the table edge is Brian's rabble command (#7, Arkus), which includes another artillery battery on a hill. Not seen is a Reserve Howitzer battery under the C-in-C.

Center of the Whites:  My rabble command (#6, Ilyriovich) is in the woods, including a barely seen Machine Gun company at the wood's edge. 

Blurry Pic from the Red Right flank - Raegan's Elite command (#1, Pavlovsky, including the Sailors, who would cover themselves with Glory on the day) is near the hill, while her supporting command, (#2,  including an artillery battery, is at near the table edge still. I brought my Nikon digital camera to the game, but forgot to put the memory card in (duh!), so we have to settle for these less than great pics from my i-phone.

Red Center. Dan's commands include a brigade of Regulars (#3, Zemak, with MG) to the front, a brigade of conscripts (#4 Rukomov) to their rear, and another brigade of conscripts (#5,  Ilyriovich-2, with attached Artillery battery). 

The Red Left Flank: John's Cavalry brigade (#7, Kirigizov, with attached armored car and horse drawn machine gun cart [!], evidently called a Tchanka - a sort of peasant Tank, I suppose). with supporting conscript brigade (#6, Arjkus). Opposite can be seen the 2 brigades of Gerard's Czech Legion (31 Balichuk and #2 Demitra), and the cavalry brigade (#5, Alexievski, including the Sacred Band cavalry, composed entirely of former Tsarist officers!)

Close up of the Red Cavalry,  Armored Car,  and Tchanka,. Gotta love the cart - reminds me a bit of a Hussite War Wagon!

Opening moves on the White left flank. First blood to the Bolsheviks! 

On the White right flank, Gerard, evidently unimpressed with the mobile machine gun platforms of the enemy, throws his cavalry brigade forward in the attack!

The Czech Legion also moves forward. They are not at all enthusiastic supporters of the White cause. Their objective is to get back to Prague with as few losses as possible! Meanwhile the commander of my Conscript brigade rolls a "1", and the conscripts decided that a nice cozy woods is a good place to be on a cool Siberian day!

Another view of the White center - one of my units has crested the hill in the center of the battlefield. This is a Bad Thing as they immediately take rifle fire from THREE red infantry units as they crest the hill (note the three white "smoke balls" at the top of the picture). 

Result - 2 UI lost, and a ROUT result!  As it turns out, these troops never will rally for the rest of the game. "We already did Godunov, Borris!"

The machine guns of the armored car chatter... and fail to do discernible damage to the charging White cavalry!  "What do you think we're fighting, Alexi - the Napoleonic wars, perhaps?"

Each army wins one combat and routs the opposition in the process!

Blurry picture of an exchange of fire between my ex-Tsarists and Dan's Regulars - smoke balls galore!  One Red infantry unit is hard hit (each brown casualty marker = 1 UI lost)...

and one of my Tsarists infantry is pummeled, losing 3 Unit Integrity!

"Let us show you bourgeois bastards the Dictatorship of the Proletariat up close and personal!"  A battered unit of Red infantry charges an even more battered unit of Whites, as their supporting Machine gun jams.

Gerard's Czech Legion continues its reluctant advance in the White right center.  My Conscripts are enjoying roasting some quail in the woods, and decline to support them (Their Commander rolled another "1"!). 

Left to right: Reagan, Dan, John, and GM Jared.

Brian has decided that he must take the hill to his front, held by the elite Red Sailors. One unit of ex-Tsarists charges... 

and is soundly thrashed, so another climbs the hill to assault the sailors. It will also be repulsed with heavy losses!  This prompts Brian to hurl a third unit at the Seamen. "Friend Brian Robertovich", I say, "perhaps zey should with their rifles shootski first?. Brian declines the unasked for advice. After all, it was Surovov himself who said "The bullet is a mad thing; only the bayonet knows what it is about!" The third unit is duly replused by the jubilant Sailors!

The Czech Legion blasts a unit of reds, routing them! Speaking of Routs, Jared has added 2 Kommissar Cards to the Red Sequence Deck. When it is turned, any Red units that are routing make an opposed die roll,. If they pass, they rally from rout but lose a UI (but no Morale Points), as the Kommissar shoots those most fleet of foot as treacherous reactionaries, "pour encourager les autres". If the unit fails the roll, the unit fails to rally and the Kommissar card is removed from the deck, and some kind of Bad Things may happen as well. (The Kommissar in question is presumably escorted off this mortal coil as well by the bullets of his erstwhile comrades!)

Cavalry action on the White Right/Red Left flank.

Czech Legion attacks in the Center, finally with a modicum of support from my Conscript brigade. It seems that all the game in the woods has been consumed, so now they need to find some Vodka with which to wash down their repast!

Czechs are victorious. "Screw these Bolshevik bastards; all we want is to see Bohemia again before we die!"

Meanwhile, the men of Brian's Tsarist brigade are seized with loathing for their social inferiors, and charge forth in a frenzy, not once but twice (the brigade is subject to Fanatic Action, and turns both Fanatic Action cards in the deck back to back). They sweep the Red infantry of their right flank before them. It seems that perhaps Surovov was right after all!

Overview of the Center of the battlefield from the Red side.

View from the Red right flank, looking at Brian and his commands.  "Friend Brian Robertovich", I say. "perhaps we should combine the shots of your 2 artillery batteries and your howitzer battery upon those Seamen, so as to eject them from the hill?"  "The moment has not yet come", he observes. 

Left to right - Gerard and Brian;  I am the empty chair :-) 

The White cavalry is gradually gaining the upper hand. On the bright side for the Reds, their armored car has not yet broken down as they are wont to do (passed their Mechanical checks). 

View from the White Center - note my conscript unit on the hill with three UI lost - units with a  lowly D4 Defense Die type are always prime targets for enemy fire!

Overview of the final stage of the battle, looking North. Note the many white "smoke balls!" The Whites turn an Artillery Firepower card, and having started loaded already Brian can place up to six shots on the hill crest Seamen. Even though they did have a D10 Defense Die Type (!), it was more than mortal flesh can stand, and they dribbled down the hillside towards safety. 

At this point, the Whites had 9 Morale points and The Reds have been at zero for quite some time. Their left flank is being turned by the Whites and the left center penetrated by the Czechs. The Reds concede and quit the field. A check of their sequence deck revealed that their top card was... Army Morale! The game took less than 4 hrs to play, including Jared explaining the rules to the other players, none of whom had played or even seen the rules previously.

The venue  for the game was Jared's Middle School classroom. The campus, neighborhood, and facilities are beautiful! Jared teaches History there, and also sponsors the student gaming club at the school.  It would make a great site for a mini convention, IMHO, being centrally  located near the Tappan Zee Bridge, just off  I-287.  It is almost exactly an hour's drive away from my home, and a gorgeous drive it was, with the beginnings of the colors of Autumn suffusing the trees, and the mercury hitting 85 degrees in Danbury at 5 PM! I had a great time playing a handsome looking,  fun game, and meeting new friends. I'll be back before long, and of course the lot of you are invited for a future game date at my home in Bridgewater, CT!