12:21 PM

(0) Comments

Russo Polish Battle using Red Actions! Part One

Replay, Russo-Polish War Project, Four Man Battle Part One

As I've mentioned on this blog before, I'm working on building up a revolutionary Red army for RCW and Russo-Polish War games. We are using 20mm soldiers, mostly plastics but some IT figures and FAA as well. My friend John Kuprowski is working diligently on building up a Polish army from this period and the Markley brothers (David and Bruce) have been cajoled into building some Interventionist forces, so that will probably be the next phase of this project.

Last time John and I tried RED ACTIONS, we ended up a tad confused but we definitely found it playable. We decided to give RA another try with a slightly more realistic terrain set and four players. The resulting battle was chaotic, hugely diverting and tons of fun. Red Actions is definitely beginning to grow on me.

I forgot to pick up AA batteries for my camera, so had to resort taking these pictures with my dinky 1.3 megapixel camera on my Palm Pilot. They are not the greatest. I have adjusted the color somewhat and brightened them here and there, but also will include this handy map and key so the amorphous blobs in the pictures make a little more sense.


I see that Blogger has cut the right side of that map image off a bit, so you can click on this thumbnail to see the big kahuna.

Click on thumbnail to see full sized Map

To Conserve space and bandwidth, I've put the disposition of the forces pictures in slideshows. Someone commented that this reminds them of Ken Burns' Civil War, so hum along to the tune of Ashokan Farewell when you view these, if it makes you feel good.

The Red Army side, run by Walt on the left and Bruce on the right:

The Polish Army side, run by Dave on the right and John on the left:

How one keeps track of activations when you are too lazy to cut out cards

John won the initiative and started the Polish center moving forward, and prolonging his artillery piece. I countered by advancing my Naval Infantry to the edge of the Corn Field.

Deploying in skirmish order... John fires his artillery piece, sending my stalwart Naval Infantry falling back. A simple "retire" result

On my left on the Polish Right (commanded by Dave): he leads off with the best infantry the Polish have:

The Haller Legion (H2) advances! I had misread this one based on the terrain. I had expected them to shove their best up the center so had placed MY best (the naval inf or N1 and N2 on the map) there. We're not so lucky. This is going to be a battle with a strong right flanking action by the Poles. In response to the Hallers, I lead one of my best units, the Konarmiya cavalary, out to meet them head on. This would prove to be a mistake. Dave saw the advantage of my unit "moving, in open" for his fire modifiers and shot one of his mortars at me. I got a couple of terror markers and a PIN for my troubles.

I counterfired a mortar back at him and gave his mortar stand a terror marker all its own. Since fire resolution in Red Actions states that if you get one more terror marker than you have stands in the unit, your unit flees off the table, all it will take will be another hit on the mortar to make it bunker off. I'm tempted!

So Dave counters by bringing up more Haller Infantry (H1) and opening up on my poor exposed Konarmiya cavalry (KA2 on the map). I get another terror marker. Not something to panic about quite yet, really, as I haven't lost any stands, but I do feel as if I should try to rally from Terror next turn. Instead, I get convinced to take another pot shot at the mortar, which earns it another terror marker, destroying the stand. I try to move the Conscripts (CN1) up to cover the Konarmiya, but they will get hit with a mortar shell, causing a Retire result.

John responds by taking a pot shot at my artillery stand and though it isn't a DIRECT HIT (which is pretty devastating, it does effectively cause the crew to bunker off. This would be a good time to ask if Red Actions mentions anything about re-crewing a gun after the crew splits? We couldn't find anything on it. This pretty much sucks for me. Artillery was the big killer in the first game John and I played, and it was my most expensive single unit.

Dave gets cocky and moves out the Haller unit H3 in advance. My regulars shoulder past the conscripts with contempt and move up to the treeline to engage these guys. As you can barely make out in this picture, the regulars (RR1) have leapfrogged past the Conscripts (CN1) who had the retire result last time.

All the action was NOT on the left, by any means! Bruce moves the MG stand up to take post in one of the huts, and sprays the Polish Regular (Red Hat or PR) unit with fire. He gets a retire result. John fires on Bruce's Naval Infantry (NI2), causing it to fall back just like mine (NI1) did. Our NI is in the wheat fields, but the only benefit that gives is that we aren't "Moving, in the Open" as targets.

At some point, I did a rally from terror (but not pin) for KA2, succesfully. I saw the opportunity from Dave moving H3 out in the open like this, and decide to cavalry charge him with KA2, having to pass a morale check twice (one time to remove the pin, one time to steel our nerves to do the deed). Fortunately the Konarmiya are a pretty motivated unit of Reds. They charge in! The effect is pretty serious. Haller Unit 3 (H3) gets a thorough spanking in the melee, and retires with terror markers. I could certainly do better..

It's not all beer and skittles on the Right and Center flanks, either. John has regrouped his Polish Regulars (red hats or PR) and is moving them forward. Both Bruce and I move our Naval infantry through the wheat and blast away at them. This time THEY are moving in the open, and see how you like it! We provide some vigorous exercise for the Polish regulars, who get a fair sprinkling of Terror markers.

As for the Left Flank, I'm going Cavalry Charge crazy... I eyeball the distance to Haller unit 1 and decide to risk it. We can juuust make it, and the charge goes home. THIS charge would be devastating, causing H1 to literally cease to exist. I take two prisoners! Urrrah! For the Rodina!!!!

I know Dave's not going to stand for this, and he does what I would have tried to do: charge right back with the Poles, and pepper me with Infantry fire. The infantry fire from H2 is desultory and ineffective, but the charge from PC1 is succesful. I retreat, with 1 terror marker, leaving the prisoners behind.

At the end of all that melee and firing, this was the left flank. I'm not in a bad position, but it could be better... I'm a tad exposed so I bring the conscripts (CN) around in a left wheel to protect the extreme left, and bring the regulars (RR) through the woods to cover the retreat of KA2 if neccesary.

In the center, the PR polish regulars are still out in the field, and the somewhat pristine Naval Infantry (two units of them) are in great shape.

On the right flank, Bruce is hardly touched. His best troops on that flank, the Regulars, have hardly been under fire, and the Conscripts behave reasonably well. The Cossacks have done wonders for their size, though they have a few terror markers.

And that's where we ended PART ONE of this battle. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, so much so that we are going to complete the battle with a PART TWO sometime in the next week or two. So stand by! Hopefully the pictures will not be quite so murky for the next battle report.