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Jackson Gamers' Russian Civil War Game
Red Sabres

A view looking through the confusion in Plivnik toward the red forces. The Horses in the extreme forground are on the road pulling the White supply wagons to the viewer's right - hopefully off the board and to safety. The wagons counted as victory points to the Reds but not the Whites. The village counted for the Whites but not the Reds. There were LOTS more supply wagons (20) than villages (1).

A disordered white cavalry unit stands between advancing Red cavalry and the supply train snaking endlessly along the road in the forground.

The white armored car with it's ahsmatic engine finally rolls out to challenge the Red cavalry. Alas, the Bolshevik horsemen just swept past it, accepting their losses.

Early in the game, the head of the supply column can be seen. Each turn it rolled 2 D6 to see how far it advanced. The average roll for the white players seemed to be about 4". The largest advance of the column was 7" and the smalles was 2". In the course of the game, only one vehicle exited the board.

White cavalry advancing vs. the Reds (gamer's hand shown is moving the Red forces). A Minifig supply lorry (on right) and an Irregular Miniatures truck (in center) form part of the column.

Badly out of focus, this photo gives a good idea of the overall battlefield. The blue streams were considered to be flowing in gullies and troops in the gullies were invisible unless they fired or moved out of them. Surprisingly the Bolsheviks did not use these as lines of approach, preferring speed over cover or stealth.

The White fighter (still in British markings) flies over a unit of Bolshevik cavalry hiding in the woods. This aircraft arrived on turn 5 and although it strafed furiously, it could not do enough damage to reverse the tide of history flowing in the Reds' favor.

The red aircraft, about to make a bombing run.

The White commanders; from left (standing) Tim Latham, Fred Diamond. Seated, are: Bryan Thompson, Bill Estes.

The Red aircraft enters the game on turn 2. It would have been able to refuel and rearm and return again on turn 5, but the pilot (Sean Pitts) made a poor landing die roll back air the airdrome and the resultant minor damage kept the plane from returning.

At the start of the game, the village of Plivnik is garrisoned by two infantry units with a machine gun. The units cannot leave the village without rolling a 3+ on a D6. The cavalry was a separate unit and charged out to meet the advancing Bolsheviks. The endless supply train can be seen winding it's way towards the village in the background.

Red Infantry advances along the railroad track. They beat off two cavalry attacks, emptying the White saddles, but were not otherwise engaged.

The Red commanders - Left to right: Colonel Semonova (Simpson Whitfield - in an approriately colored blouse), Jim Pitts (General General Boris Badunovich Kuropotkin), Sean Pitts (Captain Kalvan), Luke ...(Colonel Lukevitch), Robert Whitfield (Colonel Allenski).

White forces commanded by Bill Estes hide in a steam bed and then blaze away at Simpson Whitfield's Red cavalry. They were too far away to do much damage and eventually remounted, but the game ended before they could attack.

Dispatch - to Commissar for War Comrade Trotsky:

Comrade, all glory to the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army! In response to your orders, I moved with my Red Guards Cavalry Division, reinforced by a brigade of infantry (under Colonel Allenski) and supported by the 18th Fighter Section (commanded by Captain Kalvan), to interdict the Imperialist supply lines and destroy the supplies bound for their front lines. Advancing along the rail line with Colonel Allenski’s infantry brigade on my extreme left, then Colonel Lukevitch’s cavalry brigade, my cavalry brigade, and Colonel Semonova’s cavalry brigade and the armored car section on the right, we attacked a large White convoy.

Advancing under heavy machine-gun and artillery fire, Colonel Lukevitch’s and my cavalry brigades sacked and then burned at least two thirds or more [note: 15 out of 24 or so] of the White supply sections. Colonel Semonova’s cavalry brigade was unable to close on the rear of the convoy as she was slowed by a pesky tchanka machine-gun section. The white cavalry brigade that was supposed to be the rear guard cowered in a gully and never came out until after we began our planned withdrawal.

Colonel Allenski’s infantry brigade also never closed with the enemy, but they completely destroyed one enemy cavalry brigade by fire. Colonel Lukevitch’s cavalry brigade and my cavalry brigade defeated the enemy cavalry and infantry forces to our fronts, enabling us to reach the enemy supply column. Our attack was supported by one sortie of the 18th Fighter Section. Pilot Captain Kalvan machine gunned several White units, causing severe casualties. His aerial bombardment wiped out half of an enemy infantry unit, easing our assault on the supply column.

Unfortunately his airplane sustained some damage and it could not return to continue its support (Jim's note: Sean didn’t succeed in his "return to battle" die roll). The ineffective enemy air attack caused extremely light casualties and it was last seen flying away with smoke coming from its engine (Jim's note: Not really, but it sounds good.). Our attack was a complete success and we returned to our base with much loot from the supply train.

Yours respectfully, General Boris Badunovich Kuropotkin (Jim Pitts).

The "Black Baron" (Tim Latham) reaches to ajust the heroic White defenders of Plivnik. In vain!

White cavalry forces gallop along the rail line to slow Red infantry advancing towards Plivnik and the supply column's exit point from the game table. After the Red infantry and machine gun fire, only a shattered remnant of these White troopers made their way back.

Aha - you are ours! Red cavalry breaks up into individual stands, each taking posession of a wagon or truck. What could not be carried off was set ablaze.

the white aircraft commanded by "Captain Kalvan" (Sean Pitts) pulls up after dropping a bomb on Plivnik.

Red commander's notes: The Red cavalry force had three cavalry brigades, one of four and two each of three maneuver units, plus two tchankas (cart- mounted machine-guns) and a Putilov armored car. One infantry brigade of three maneuver units, plus a machine-gun section was also on the field, at our extreme left. We had one airplane with one and possibly two sorties over the battlefield. Our victory conditions were to capture or destroy the White supply train (3 points for each vehicle) and kill White combat units (various points ranging from 1 to 3 for enemy stands/combat vehicles killed).

We ended up with63 points, 45 from destroying or capturing 15 White supply vehicles and 16 from killing 16 White infantry or cavalry stands. The Whites ended up with 23 points, 17 from killing 17 Red cavalry stands (out of 40 cavalry, 12 infantry, and 3 machine-gun stands and the armored car) and 6 from "holding" the village (which the Reds weren’t after anyway). In addition to three cavalry brigades and one infantry brigade, the Whites had one artillery section limited to 10 shells for the entire game, one infantry machine-gun section, two tchankas, and a Rolls Royce armored car (which didn’t do as much damage as it could have - of course, neither did our armored car).

Jim’s comments on Red deployment and tactics: The infantry brigade was just too slow to close with the enemy in time to do anything. I deployed Simpson Whitfield’s cavalry brigade too far out on the right flank and she was also never able to close. Although she took heavy casualties, it could have been worse if the White rear guard cavalry brigade had been more audaciously deployed. The other two White cavalry brigades came out to meet us, but the maneuver units were committed piecemeal and were either destroyed or forced to fall back.

All in all it was a fun game, at least from the Red perspective. This was the first use of aircraft in our RCW games and they seemed to work out OK. We learned that when dropping bombs, one should aim at a large mass so if the bomb doesn’t fall true, then you at least have a chance of hitting something.

Due to computer problems some of this report remains to be published. It will be posted here as soon as I can upload it. - Jay Stribling

More to come.

The Rules we used for this game RED AND WHITE

Special rules for aircraft ADDITIONAL RULES

Go to our Russian Civil War Period Page

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