EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RCW - Take 3

Here are the amended rules following a proper play test on Sunday. The hex sheet was replaced by one of my mottled cloths and the troops were all flocked but not yet snowed on. The small isolated village was replaced by a wood and the village composed of 3 huts. All else was as for the first game. An airplane had been authorized for White (since he had one) but in the heat of the action the GM/Red cavalry commander forgot it and the White commander didn't pull it out to show until after the game. Such is war(gaming).   No pictures were taken unfortunately.  I'll post the rules again but I also have the actual .doc file if any one wants it to muck about with.

The Red infantry under Les were all deployed in and about the main town with no outposts. The Whites under Jerry  bombarded the town and attacked up through the wood on their right with 1/2 the infantry while holding back the cavalry, armoured car and remaining infantry. A Red MG dug in to the left front of the village, with amazing accuracy, mowed down everything in range, cover or not, including a rather forward Forward Observer. A brief pause ensued while the guns relocated and opened direct fire on the pesky thing while the cavalry began their flanking manoever on the White left. Once the brave MG was finally silenced, the White infantry rushed forward. In the nick of time the Red Cavalry appeared and a massive cavalry melee broke out ending in the complete destruction of the Cossacks. The Red artillery galloped to the right, deployed and caught the White infantry in the open threatening to break up the assault.enough Whites survived to move up and assault the  town however and the Red conscripts proved no match in hand to hand combat. Luckily the battalion commander was made of sterner (luckier) stuff and held the left hand redoubt single handed while until the last Red platoons rushed forward to support him. It was a close run thing but although the armoured car finally came forward, their infantry was pinned in the open and their Battalion HQ shot down. With the Red cavalry bearing down on the flank of the gun line, it was all up.

Some observations on the game:

1. The switch to saving throw vs accumulated hits meant that even 1 lucky hit matched with an unlucky hit could be deadly while even seemingly overpowering fire could be survived if the dice so dictated. This felt closer to Morschauser and added tension to the game which I liked.

2. Attacking over the open against MG's and artillery  is deadly and usually futile.

3. Entrenched infantry can be softened with a bombardment but eventually you need to send your own infantry in.

4. Don't rely on conscripts. They panic easily under fire and are hard to rally.

5. Like most dice dependent games, a run of bad/good luck can  twist things  but it usually evens out. In this case, early on the Whites couldn't make a saving throw to save their lives (literally) and later had trouble rallying (even their elite troops who only needed 2+ with HQ attached) .  In the middle however the Reds suddenly couldn't hit and or make the saving throws for their conscripts.  In the end I am fairly sure that the piece meal attacks were more decisive than the die rolling.

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Ross’s RCW game inspired by Joe Morschauser
20 July 2010

1.     UNITS: Each stand is a unit. Mine are composed of several 1/72nd troops mounted on a 40mm x 40mm base. Most units are average training and morale but units may be designated Elite or Conscript. The following units are defined:

UNIT
MOVE
RANGE
SHOOTING DICE
ASSAULT
DICE
SPECIAL/NOTES
HQ/FAO
6”


1

Infantry
6”
12”
1
2

MG
6”
18”
2
1

Mortar
6”
18”
2
1

Cavalry
12”
12”
1
2

Artillery
12” (limbered)
36”
2
1

Armoured Car
12”
18”
2
2
Armoured
Tank
6”
18”
2
2
Armoured
Wagon
6”
0
0
0

Armoured Train
18”



Armoured, each car fights as artillery or A/C depending on armament.

3.     Sequence of Play: Players take turns. During a player's turn he may activate his units 1 at a time. When all of a player's units have been activated, his turn is over.
4.     Actions: All units may carry out 2 actions each turn when activated. When a unit is activated, declare which actions that the unit is being ordered to carry out. (example move twice, move once then shoot once etc)  An Action is:
a.     Move (artillery, machine guns and mortars must be limbered/packed except to pivot in place)
b.     Shoot (artillery, machine guns, mortars must be unlimbered/deployed)
or Direct Fire
c.      Limber/unlimber, Pack/Deploy, set up telephone.
d.     Rally (attempt to remove pin)
e.      Close Assault (must be within 1”)
5.     Command. All units must be assigned to the command of an HQ. There is also an overall Force HQ. If, at the start of it’s side’s turn, a unit is not within 6” of its HQ  or of the overall Force HQ, then it must roll 4,5 or 6 on a die if ordered to move or close assault. +1 if elite, -1 if conscripts. A unit only checks once per turn, if it fails then it may shoot instead.
6.     Movement. A unit may move in any direction and end up facing as desired as long as no part of the base exceeds its movement allowance. Some troops types need to limber/pack etc before being moved. A unit may not come closer than 1” to an enemy during movement.
7.     Hits. If shooting or melee die hits on a 4,5,6 if a target is in the open, on a 5 or 6 if the target is obscured or on a 6 if the target is entrenched or armoured.  For each hit roll 1 die to save: on a 4,5,6 the unit is only pinned otherwise it is destroyed. +1 if elite or an HQ, -1 if conscripts. Armoured targets are rolled for as normal if hit by artillery or tanks carrying artillery. If hit by other fire then an armoured unit which fails its save is only pinned and one which makes its save is unaffected.  Units which are destroyed are assumed to be suffering from a combination of heavy casualties and panic.
8.     Pinned. A pinned unit may not move, shoot or close assault until it is rallied. A unit rallies on a roll of 4,5 or 6. +1 to the die if an HQ is touching the unit, +1 if elite, -1 if conscript.
9.     Entrenched. Only infantry, MG’s, mortars and HQ may be entrenched. Infantry and MG's defending a village count as entrenched.
10. Concealed. A unit in woods or a village may only be seen and shot at if it moves or fires or the enemy is within 1” of it. Once spotted it remains on the table.
11. Line of Fire: In order to fire a unit must be able to trace an unobstructed line of fire from the center of its front to the target, within an arc of 45 degrees either side of straight ahead. Units, of either side, hills, woods and villages all block the line of fire. The only exception to this is that mortars and artillery firing a bombardment may fire over head.  Mortars and artillery firing a bombardment may trace a line of fire from an observer instead. Only a FAO with a radio or a telephone connection may direct artillery, only a unit’s HQ within 6” may direct a mortar. Range is still traced from the firing unit.
12. Bombardment: Artillery may fire an indirect bombardment instead of firing direct. Nominate a target spot and then roll 1d6 to hit and another for deviation in inches (ie a roll of 4=4”). You may use a scatter die in which case bullseyes indicate a direct hit and an arrow indicates the direction of deviation or you may roll needing 5,6 to hit dead on and a spinner or other means to determine the distance of deviation. Place a 4” circle over the hit point and roll 1 die against each unit of either side that is at least ½ inside the circle. One FAO may direct the fire of as many artillery units as are available but he may only engage 1 target per turn.  
13. Close Assault. Only infantry, cavalry and tanks may initiate close assault. To close assault, the target must be within 1”of the target and the target must be directly to its front. The assaulting unit must not be pinned. Move the attacker into contact with the closest face of the enemy unit. A unit may not move past 1 enemy unit to attack a different one. A unit may only assault 1 enemy unit but a unit may be assaulted by 1 enemy in front, 1 on each flank and 1 in rear. Both sides roll simultaneously. A unit will roll dice as per the chart and inflict 1 hit for  each score of 4,5,6 Modify dice: -1 if pinned, -1 if attacked in flank or rear. Make saves as normal but armoured targets may be destroyed by infantry. After removing any destroyed units, if the attacker is pinned, and any enemy remains within 1”, then the assault is over, move the attacker back 1”. If the attacker is not pinned and the defender is still alive then roll again. If the attacker is not pinned but the defender is destroyed then the attacker may get a free action to occupy the defenders position or assault another enemy with 1”.
14.  Terrain: Infantry, MG’s and Mortars are not slowed by terrain. Cavalry move ½ if they enter woods, swamp or rough ground. Tanks may not enter woods or swamp or move off road through a village but may move ½ across rough ground and cross obstacles. Artillery, armoured cars, trains and wagons may not enter woods or swamps or cross obstacles, and are assumed to be on a road if in a village.  Artillery may not deploy in a village. Armoured trains may only run on rails and are not affected by terrain that the rails pass through. Other terrain effects may be established before a game. 
15. Air Support. If a plane shows up to provide ground support, the controlling player may select a target any where on the board, then roll for deviation and hits as if it were a bombardment. The plane will remain over the target and may be fired at during the enemy’s turn, needing 6’s to hit. If it fails a save it will leave the table for the rest of the game, a pin result will cause it to immediately fly off to a safe place until it rallies.
16. Additional, Optional and Special scenario Rules. Feel free to add any additional complexities that take your fancy.

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