I wanted to switch gears and play something a little different. I am totally enamored with Hordes of the Things and it’s flexibility and the ease to which it can be adapted to just about any period.
I have a lot of Great War Era figures and I found a copy of the “Hordes in the Trenches” variant and thought I’d give it a go. While providing much inspiration I tweaked it a bit further – simplifying a few things.
I wanted to try out a simple scenario with just a few element types to see how well it worked (Rifles, cavalry, machineguns and field guns) If it works out, with each game I will add some new elements (trenches, barrages, wire, gas, tanks, armoured cars, aircraft, etc, etc..)
Some of the tweaks were changes in what “Quick-kills” what – mostly bringing it back in line with regular HOTT – generally everything is as it is in HOTT – only some distance shooting ranges have changed.. I’m going to make some changes as to how the trenches work. I was also considering limited recoils – like Bruce MacFarlane has used in his WW2 and Modern versions of HOTT – stands have a limited number of recoils before they are lost, depending on their Morale or effectiveness value – Concript = 2 Recoils, Regular = 3 Recoils, Veteran = 4 Recoils, Elite = 5 Recoils.
Bashkabad, June 1918
The Red and White forces have been fighting back and forth across the desolate region of Derkaderkastan. The city of Bashkabad has recently been lost to the enemy – it is a critical supply point and must be retaken!
This will be a pretty standard HOTT scenario. The players will dice to see who is the attacker, The Defender will set up the terrain, the attacker will determine which side he would most like to attack from and then dice for it. Once determined which side the attacker is coming from, the defender will set up his “stronghold” (the city of Bashkabad) and deploy his forces before it. The attacker will then set up his forces opposite. The defender then takes the first turn.
The game will be won when one side breaks the other (by eliminating half their force – or destroying their General and more elements than they have lost…) or the city (stronghold) is captured.
5th “General Bronovich” Rifle Regiment
1x Rifle (Shooter) General - Regular
6x Rifle Companies (Shooters) - 3 battalions of 2 stands each - Conscript
1x Machingun Company (Artillery) - Regular
1x Field Battery (Artillery) - Regular
2nd Timashenko Cossack Regiment – attached
3x Cavalry (Riders) – Regular
3rd Regiment Derkaderka Brigade
1x Rifle General (Shooter) – Regular
9x Rifle Companies (Shooters) – Conscript
2x Machinegun Companies (Artillery) - Regular
Rick and Jackson arrived first and decided to square off against each other. It was decided that Rick should play the Bolsheviks and Jackson took the Tsarists.
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
The Bolsheviks would be defending first so Rick set up his forces before the city of Bashkabad. Not wanting to be pounded by the Tsarists artillery he immediately set off to meet them!
General Jacksonev marshals his troops and marches on Bashkabad – the Cossacks break off and advance ahead of the main line.
The Cossacks charge the Bolshevik’s right
The Cossacks crash into the Bolshevik’s line!
One company of Bolsheviks break and run, another repulses the Cossack’s charge, the third is locked in a confused melee!
Bolshevik’s are shifted from the center of the line to help fight off the Cossacks. One Squadron is flanked and in danger of being anahilated.
But the ferocious Cossacks set another company of Bolsheviks to flight and push back those on their flank!
The main line of the Tsarists advance to find the center of the Bolshevik’s line has crumbled. All that remains are skirmished on the flanks.
There is a sharp infantry engagement on what was the left of the Bolshevik’s line.
The Bolshevik’s last reserves are committed to the engagement on their left.
It is too late. The Cossacks sweep up the last that remains on the right, there are too few remaining on the left. The city is lost!
Gary showed up to watch and John and I had a go. It was now the Bolshevik’s turn to try and re-take the city!
After the execution of Comrade Rickovich, Comrade Brownovich is brought in to try and retake the city…
Unfotunately for Brownovich, General Bertolovski, who started his career as the top ranking student to ever pass through the Imperial Military Academy in St. Petersburg, who started the Russo-Japanese war as a platoon commander and by the end commander a regiment, who was one of the most distinguished commanders to fight the Germans on the Eastern front… Was brought in to defend Bashkabad…
Brownovich was trained as a cavalry officer (well… okay he was a stable boy for a cavalry officer before the revolution elevated him to the rank of regimental commander…) and so he tried to execute a daring flanking maneuver with a column of infantry. Something that really ought to be done by horses… Perhaps he figures his troops were dumb as mules… and mules are sort of like horses… so…
The flanking column of two battalions marches off under the watchful eye of Comrade Brownovich. “Shoot any that come back this way!” he commanded as they marched off!
His Third battalion along with the Regiments Machineguns deployed to try and hold the Tsarist line in place while the flanking column whisked by them. Of course he deployed the holding force far enough away that they couldn’t be menaced by the Tarists artillery battery… and at that range the Bolsheviks weren’t much of a threat…
As the column marches towards the Tsarists flank General Bertolovski redeloys his guns and sets one of his understrength battalions up on a hill to block them.
The guns catch the column before it can get into the cover of the hill and the column is broken up!
The lines redeploy on the flank.
The Bolshevik holding force was in fact SO far away the Cossacks galloped across the front of the Tsarist lines to support the other flank without any worry.
The Bolshevik line straightens out before assauting the hill – would they make it to the high ground before the cavalry!?
The two lines straddled the hill and battle back and forth on it briefly.
Eventually the Bolsheviks were pushed off the hill and routed.
In his report Comrade Brownovich claimed that this flanking maneuver was really just a “feint” the real assault was to be executed on the OTHER flank with the remaining battalion after the entire Tsarist line was redeployed to deal with the “feint”.
The Tsarists clear off the last of the two-battalion flanking column.
The remaining battalion bravely charged the Tsarists line but was beaten off. The morale of the Bolshevik’s was shattered and they gave up the assault.
Comrade Brownovich narrowly escaped the the firing squad himself by preemptively executing several of his subordinates and claimed it was THEIR incompetence and lack of dedication to the revolution that caused his cunning and subtle plan to fail. The Red Army Command Thought this showed "potential" and decided to spare him... this time...
A totally fun game! Everyone had a great time. The action played out VERY quickly. The limited recoils added an interesting new dimension and helped with speeding up the play. WE’ll definitely be playing this again!!