Thursday, May 8, 2008

Another Stab at "Great War Commander"

…or perhaps I should call it Russian Civil War Commander…

I wanted to try a couple of tweaks to Blitzkreig Commander/Cold War Commander I had been thinking about to make the game work for the Great War era.

We for the most part used CWC with the following principal changes:

Fixed Formations
We will use the fixed formation rules from CWC

Each attacking formation should be given a specific objective before the start of the game. When all units in the formation are being issued orders to move directly towards the objective the HQ or CO issuing the order gains a +1 CV bonus. (This is similar to the rigid tactical doctrine bonus in CWC…)

Command Post
A Command unit that is in a Command Post receives a +1 CV bonus. When in a command post a command unit may also ignore any distance penalties to on-table indirect fire units that are entrenched or to any entrenched subordinate units (though they won’t be used in this scenario)

Formation Orders
To issue an order to a group of units all units must be within 5cm of another unit in the formation being issued the order and no two units in the formation may be further than 20cm apart.

Artillery and Aircraft
All off-table artillery and aircraft will be scheduled – there will be no FAOs or FACs!
Aircraft should roll for scatter…? I’ll worry about that when I actually have a scenario using aircraft…

As I was using 28mm figures I increased all the distances by 1.5 – seemed to work okay. Though we should have been playing the length of my gaming table for the scenario and as there was a pile of stuff I couldn’t get cleaned off in time we played across… which made for a quick game and a particularly small deployment zone.

Southern Russian, 1919


A breakthrough has put the reds on the run! The White forces in the area must not let them get away and regroup!


The scenario we used was the Pursuit Scenario (#7) right out of the Cold War Commander book. As the table was proportionally shortened compared to the suggested table size by my scaling up all distances I reduced the turn limit to 7 turns.


White Russians

CO (CV 9) MV: 60, AT: -, HT: 6, SV: 6, Notes:

2x Infantry Regiments, each:
-1x HQ (CV 8) MV: 40, AT: -, HT: 4, SV: 6, Notes:
-12x Infantry Units MV: 10, AT: 3/30*, HT: 6, SV: -, Notes:
-1x MG Units MV: 10, AT: 3/50*, HT: 5, SV: -, Notes:

Cavalry Regiment
-HQ (CV 8) MV: 40, AT: -, HT: 4, SV: 6, Notes:
-8x Cossack Cavalry Units MV: 30, AT: 2/20*, HT: 5, SV: -, Notes: No command penalty for assaulting enemy and +1 attack in close assault

3x Off-table Field Artillery Units with 3 Assets each. Attacks: 2


CO (CV9)

2x Infantry Regiments, each:
-1x HQ (CV 8) MV: 40, AT: -, HT: 4, SV: 6, Notes:
-12x Infantry Units MV: 10, AT: 3/30*, HT: 6, SV: -, Notes:
-1x MG Units MV: 10, AT: 3/50*, HT: 5, SV: -, Notes:


Gary and the Other Tim came over this evening to help me out with the play-testing


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The table with deployment zones marked out. The hills, though they look like small dunes next to the figures, we counted as LOS blocking hills.

Mr. Miller (Colonel Millerov) played the Tsarist forces and Gary (Comerade Chappellski) played the Bolsheviks. This is an odd scenario as scheduled artillery has to be planned before figures are set on the table… but it isn’t until after the defender deploys that the attacker even decides which table edge he’s coming from…? So we had General Millerov plan out his artillery bombardments before Comrade Chappellski set out his forces – he simple referenced the artillery to his table edge whichever that happened to be – wasn’t really a problem as the terrain was all pretty open… could be a problem if the terrain was more varied…

Comerade Chappellski and his dashing budenovka.

Comerade Chappelski set up his forces dead center. General Millerov decided to come on the table edge facing them so Gary wouldn’t have to turn all his toys around (wasn’t that gentlemanly of him).



Scheduled artillery bombarded the center of the deployment zone catching the entire force less two stands of infantry. As they were all in the open I had visions of the entire force being suppressed. As it was, out of the 24 stands, 15 were hit, but only 6 suppressed. The CO and an HQ were also hit, but not suppressed.

The first and second infantry regiments failed to arrive on the first turn – could have been disastrous, in such a scenario where you have to catch up to a force that could potentially be moving the same speed as you…

Luckily the Cavalry charged on to the table and with their second move found themselves in a frontal assault on the Bolsheviks 1st Regiment! We quickly learned that this is not a successful tactic for cavalry. The Cossacks lost three stands to one Bolshevik infantry and one MG.

The situation after the dust settled after the cavalry’s first charge!


All three command elements failed to issue any orders. Everyone stood still. We always seem to neglect the initiative phase… Gary had a few unsuppressed infantry stands that could have shot up (or retired away from) the Cossacks… ah well…



As the frontal assault didn’t work out so good General Millerov had his Cossacks gallop around the flank – with considerably better results (though we seemed to have been ignoring opportunity fire as well… it’s been too long since we played CWC…). Three Bolshevik stands K.O.ed to a couple hits on the Cossacks.

Both of the Russian infantry regiments finally made it on to the table, though it took direct urging from the CO to get the 2nd regiment on. Both made two moves this turn.

Here they come!


Both Bolshevik regiments made one move.



Scheduled artillery caused a few hits and two suppressions.

The Cossacks rolled up the Bolsheviks flank – nearly wiping out the 1st battalion this turn!

Well, that’s what cavalry is meant to do! Right?

They just kept going…

…and going… 6 Bolshevik units wiped out!

Both infantry regiments made a single move. The second regiment rolled a command blunder on it’s second order attempt – CEASE FIRING! The HQ was suppressed and would suffer -1CV for it’s next turn

The general situation at the end of the Tsarists third turn.


The sole remaining unsuppressed unit in the 1st regiment made THREE moves! (yeah, I’d be running too!)

The 2nd Regiment made one move then rolled a command blunder. Another CEASE FIRING! Thought the HQ was hit, it wasn’t suppressed.

The general situation at the end of the Bolsheviks third turn



The infantry plodded forward while the Cossacks continued to roll up the Bolshevik line!

The Cossacks K.O.ed two and suppressed four at a loss of one of their own.

General situation at the end of the Tsarists fourth turn.


Comerade Shappellski manage to keep his force together – passing a Break Test at -2!

The last remaining element of the 1st Regiment made it off the table! HUZZAH!

The six unsuppressed units of the 2nd Regiment also made a dash for the table edge and made it off.

The general situation at the end of the Bolsheviks fourth turn.



The 1st regiment made one move. They weren’t going to be in this one…

The 2nd Regiment’s HQ failed it’s first attempt to issue orders. As General Millerov really wanted to have his infantry share in a bit of the glory he intervened and got the Regiment moving and then had then firing on the Bolsheviks causing five hits and a suppression on one unit. Then he stopped, not failed, stopped – so the cavalry could then go and mop things up.

The Tsarist infantry surges forward!

The action in the corner of the table!

The Cossacks rode down the last of the reds…

General situation at the end of the Tsarists fifth turn – all remaining Bolsheviks were wiped out!


Well, technically there were still a couple of command elements on the table… and one of the attackers victory conditions was breaking the defenders force so we had Gary make one last Break Test. At -6 he need to roll three or less… and he did…

So those (few) that did retire off the table did so in good order…


The Butchers Bill

19 units knocked out
7 retired off table

4 cavalry units lost

While the Tasrists did manage to cause 25% casualties (they did over 50% actually), they failed to break the Bolsheviks so they only scored a minor objective. The Bolsheviks did actually get 25% of their force off the table so they too scored a minor objective… a draw..?! I think I’d call it for the Tsarists.

A fun game. I thought it totally had the right flavour for the era. This would be a damn tough scenario if you didn’t have something fast moving. Next time I think we’ll try a western front trench assault… or maybe I’ll get John to bust out his Russo-Japanese war figures..!

1 comment:

  1. Nice looking game. The pictures have a real horse and musket era feel to them.