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Tsaritsyn: AAR of Red Actions Game

Tsaritsyn: an AAR of Red Actions

At my request, Peter Bogdasarian has punched up his AAR of Red Actions, which he gave me permission to repost here (primarily for my gaming group).
(Mister Nizz) asked if I could do an AAR for the Red Actions game, so I slapped one together...

Tsaritsyn After Action Report

As envisioned by the game master, our game represented an engagement from the fighting in 1919 around the outskirts of the city. A rail embankment capable of giving cover ran across the board and there were two clumps of woods along the bank of the Volga river. The Reds possessed a large hill and a clump of buildings at their end of the board and had supplemented these with some crude field works.

The Whites fielded 2 battalions of Cossack cavalry, a battalion of Plastoon infantry, three 76.2mm field guns, a Tachanka, some machinegun & mortar detachments and a reserve of Plastoon infantry and Cadets.

The Reds opposed us with a large force of conscript infantry, mortars & machineguns, a field gun and a 105mm howitzer. Over the course of the scenario, they would be reinforced by a significant amount of cavalry and an armored train.

The White Reserve could not advance until it received fire or the main advance neared the rail embankment and so it was placed on the far left in the hope that it would draw fire. The main infantry component of the White force went next to it and then the two Cossack battalions. Getting around the woods to the White front would create something of a traffic jam, so the infantry deployed in columns rather than lines to minimize frontage.

The scenario gave the Reds the first activation each turn (something of a mistake in my opinion) and they began by aiming their first shot right at the White reserves! Yes, the very first shell released them from their restrictions. The Communist artillery also fired at our field guns, but we’d emplaced them in cover and the crews refused to retire. Indeed, they placed a hot fire on the hated foe and blew the foe’s 76.2mm gun apart with a well-aimed shot.

The Reds armored train appeared right at the start of the second turn and it came on shooting, though it managed little effect for its pains. The White artillery continued its rampage on the second turn, knocking out the Red howitzer and damaging the gun car at the front of the train. The train parked itself in the center of the Red line, allowing the Reds to shorten their lines to defend its flanks.

Over the next few turns, the Whites advanced while their artillery pounded down the mortars and machineguns opposite the left flank. By turn 5, they’d managed to shoot the gun car on the train to pieces, silencing its field piece. Attempts to suppress the Red infantry holding down the embankment with small arms ended when we discovered they were partisans and received two shifts on the fire table, making them essentially invulnerable to long range fire.

In the end, two attacks were put in on the Red line. One on the left, using combined arms, and another with all cavalry delivered to the Red right. The latter attack was fairly impetuous and disintegrated in a wall of superbly aimed rifle and machinegun fire. (two or three attack rolls of 10+ in a row) The Reds had positioned themselves well here, detailing a company to the woods to create a crossfire before their positions.

The other White push went rather better and would have been decisive if the pursuit rules had been used properly. (we wondered why cavalry against infantry seemed so light in penalty) Counterattacks by the Red cavalry were rebuffed and the Red infantry abandoned the rail embankment to make a new stand at the village line.

We ran out of time at this point, having played about 10 turns in 6 hours. The Whites were certainly breaking through on the left, though infantry had been drawn off to stiffen the other flank. Given another two or three hours, I think the main attack could have broken through – the Reds simply lacked the firepower to hold it back once the machineguns and mortars reached the front lines.

Overall, I enjoyed the scenario. The balance felt a little dicey – if the Reds had gotten the good artillery rolls and knocked out the White guns, they could have shelled us for the entire length of the board, which would have been awful frustrating – but that didn’t happen here and so I can’t complain about it. The long time it took the Whites to move down the board meant that the final clashes at the end possessed great significance, which kept players in the game – also, everyone had enough force assigned to them to survive the initial casualties and stay interested in the game.


Set up for the Whites, set up for the Reds, the armored train, and finally, the White Counterattack in the center

Thank you once again, Peter, for sharing your experience with your fellow RCW geeks!