We have been working pretty hard on revising RED ACTIONS to make it a faster and more playable game experience for convention gamers. Dave and Bruce Markley, John Koprowski, and I met at Dave's house three weeks ago to come up with some ideas on how to streamline and improve RED ACTIONS so that it plays in a more rapid fashion, with less questions about the rules cropping up, and somehow addresses the problem of "indestructible companies" that can remove terror markers and jump right back into the fray. Our approach was thus:
1) We routinely game with full strength companies (six stands). We have dropped this down to five stand companies (uniformly) and less for elite companies like Naval, Chekist, etc.
2) We adjusted the Combat Results Table published in the original rules, essentially creating a new column for extremely low odds, shifting results one to the left across the table, and adding another "lose stand" result.
3) We also thought about tinkering with the morale rules and how terror markers get removed. We decided that to cange the CRT *AND* change the morale rules might be sheer overkill and lead to rapid decimation of both sides. Instead,we are going to conduct two test battles, one with changed morale rules (making it harder to remove terror and rally broken troops) and one with a more lethal table. This session that started last night was the lethal CRT session.
On the map, you can see the general layout of the battlefield. I do NOT have this OOB firmly in my head yet, this is just a general idea of what is where. Dave has the Red Army on the right, I have it on the left. John is commanding a mixed army of Poles (light blue) with a small contingent of Americans (green). Most of the Red Army is of the Regular or Miltia type. Both wings of the Red army have some elite troops-- Chekists for me (white) and Naval for John (also white). Overall commander positions at start are noted by a white #1 flag. Artillery pieces are placed as shown. Support weapons (mortars and MGs) are noted by the special "gun" symbol.
My Forces (the left wing of the Reds)
Col. Aksakov, +1, presiding over the battlefield from a small woody hill
Capt. Dubknow, +1, leading a platoon of Regular Red Army Types.
Capt. Ivanevko (0) leading some sad sack Militia in the Center.
The Hetman Meladze (+1) leading some regular Red Cavalry on the road
Major Proniakin (+2) is an inspiration of an officer, leading elite Chekists.
Lt. Yuzyk leads some Red Regular Infantry with a rather disappoint (0) bonus.
In general, I'm pleased with the leadership (no negatives, and one plus two!).
Due to the lateness of the hour we set up and could only play one true turn through. Our setup was 9 inches closer to each other on both sides. This proved to be a big difference. No longer were we spending two turns of trudging. I moved direclty into conflict and was under fire from turn one. We put John's unit in the center to flight, had my conscripts move up to the farm houses in the center and fall back, have my regs lose a platoon form mortar fire and have to run backwards. We caused terror markers galore and even destroyed the Polish gun the first time we shot at it.
It's just a start, but in the short time we played we seemed to be faster and accomplish quite a bit towards our objectives. I think it is a hopeful step in the right direction. More here as we play it through.