Sunday, January 29, 2023

Back of Beyond Campaign - Spring 1918

The war rages on into the spring of 1918! 

In addition to some secret negotiations, a few Proclamations were issued throughout the diplomacy phase - the first from Baron Lytton, Governor of Greater Bakunin:

I, Baron Yevgeny Lytton, expouse with virility and grandiloquence the utmost need for all civilized citizens of the world to join together and stop the locusts to humanity, the armies of Bolshevism.  I am not of complete with fanfaronade to obtusely ignore the blinding hatred they have to our noble kind, and I am confident the men under my men under my command shall these common thugs off from the protectorate, but when they tire of these cities, they shall show no preference or mercy to the rest of the nobles, honorable soldiers, and native leaders alike.  

The Bolsheviks are so brazen with their rotomontade that they have overextended their tenuous reach with the region.  While I would much prefer many of the cities to return under caring wing of safety and felicity of the Tsarist rule, I have read a French book once, and will concede the governance of others is far superior to the god-killing, mind-erasing creed of the Bolsheviks.  

I am again implore you to to join this crusade, for the sake of all our people, and we can establish   pieces   peace in this great region,

With respect,

Baron Lytton

Servant to the Tsar

Governor of Greater Bakunin

The second came from LGenP. Arbuthnot-Worcester-Gruntfuttock-Smith, commander of the 14th Allied Expeditionary Army

Citizens of Siberia, Mongolia, Manchuria, and Northern China:

For far too long has your corner of the world been racked by war, revolution, uncertainty, and criminal lawlessness. Now that the Kaiser has been removed as a threat to the peace-loving people of the world, the noble leaders of the West have heard your cries for help, and have sent the fine soldiers of the 14th Allied Expeditionary Army to rescue you from your plight.

We are not interested in parochial disputes, we only act for the betterment of the common man, and relief from the despots that have for so long ravaged your homes. We want to establish free trade and the rule of law for all. If you are a responsible leader who believes in justice and opportunity for all, then you have nothing to fear. If your people cry out under the heel of oppression and cry out for the chance to earn an honest wage, then tremble!

P. Arbuthnot-Worcester-Gruntfuttock-Smith



14th Allied Expeditionary Army

And then the armies started marching... or... just staying where they were... 

Moves for Spring 1918

The Second Battle of Stlojia

Hedwig Markus von Eggenberg, Margrave of Grosswardein spent little time resting upon his return to Gura. East Asia Cavalry Division stayed only long enough to replenish as many of the lost horses as they could and load up with more ammunition, before they galloped back down the valley of the White River to Stlojia again....

East of Stlojia, on two prominent hills overlooking the road to Gura, that wound along beside the White River, Lieutenant General Sir Percy Arbuthnot-Worcester-Gruntfuttock-Smythe had two of his battalions encamped watching for a return of the Tsarist East Asia Cavalry Division, while the 14th Allied Eastern Expeditionary Army prepared to move themselves. 

Before they were prepared to depart, the East Asia Cavalry Division returned, with Hedwig Markus von Eggenberg, Margrave of Grosswardein, at the fore! 

The Tsarist and Mongol Cavalry galloped right past the Canadians position, causing the 3rd Battalion, Winnipeg Grenadiers to leave their entrenchments to deal with them. 

Canadian reinforcements arrived (2nd Battalion, Regina Rifles and 37th Field Artillery). A protracted firefight ensued between the Canadians and the remains of the Mongol cavalry and the surviving elements of the 337th Infantry Regiment.

The Winnipeg Grenadiers were pinned in a brutal crossfire and eventually had to give up their position and retreat back to Stlojia. 

The Margrave, at the head of the surviving elements of the 38th Hussars has positioned his unit in the saddle between the two hills to bring fire on the flank of the entrenched 105th Canadian Fusiliers. 

More Canadian reinforcements arrived from the south (5th Battalion, Cape Breton Highlanders and the 8th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles)

A firefight continued throughout the day. The Tsarists caused considerable casualties among the Canadians ranks, given their depleted numbers. 

There just weren't enough of them to continue the battle. At the end, only the Hussars remained, taking pot shots at the Canadian Mounted Rifles, while the hills were, once again securely in the hands of the Canadians. The Margrave had little choice but to retire back to Gura with what remained of his force. 

By the time the last stragglers returned to Gura, it was clear the East Asian Cavalry Division had lost 2/3 of their original number since the outbreak of hostilities the previous fall. 

The Canadians took care of their wounded and tried to figure out where to inter the great many prisoners they had taken. Perhaps they would continue their march in the Summer... 

Siege of Bashkent

Altan Baatar Kahn sent an emissary to the town and let them know if they surrender they will be welcomed as brothers and be exalted as his new capital of the restored Mongolian empire.  If they did not, the Kahn would assume they were all traitors and the city will be razed, the men killed, the women sold, and the children driven into the wilderness by wild dogs!  

Some panicked as news of the proclamation spread through the city. Many tried to flee the city. Some were killed by the Warlord of Bahskent's men. Others were killed by the besieging Chinese. 

The siege wore on into the summer as the remaining defenders were invigorated by the Kahn's threats, knowing that failure was simply not an option! 

The Second Battle of Englesk

Tsarist Guard of the White King was preparing to march from the recently relived Englesk and relieve the siege at Kroptkand, when the recently vacated Ist Babushka Army Corps returned!?

Before the battle, Commissar-General Leon Runstein issued the following proclaimation to his troops:

"Comrades of the  Baboushka Army Corps of Workers -

The  Workers' Revolution against the Capitalist and Feudal slavemasters is not to be won in a day.  Abolished is your slavery to serfdom; eradicated your servitude of debt; excised your enthralldom to Capitalist overlords, whether urban or rural. But to make good upon this abolition will require determination, firmness of will, belief in our Cause, and to give all it takes to complete the task. There will be setbacks on the way.  We have experienced one such. They merely serve to test our strength of fortitude. They can not keep us back forever.

Once more we shall march to liberate the city of Englesk as our first task of eliminating the Tsarist slavemasters that lurk in Bukunin.  Our comrades of Ipatiev House in Kubassa have already laid under siege the nest of Tsarist vipers, Kroptkand.  The inhabitants of that city and the whole region of Bakhurin yearn to cast off the shackles of servitude.

The Transuralian Peoples' Collective remains under the protection of the armed Baboushka Corps against counter-revolutionary elements within and without the cities of Baboushka, Engelsk, and Vlodkask.  People who wish to volunteer for such great work are welcome to register for enlistment at:

The Peoples' Army Office,

Ulitsa Vladimir Ulyanov


- and similar offices in Vlodkask and Borshka.

Remember: Workers of the World Unite: You have Nothing to lose but your Chains!


Leon Runstein, Commissar-General"

Bolshevik Cavalry, scouting ahead of the column, spied a Tsarist battalion (1st Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment) entrenched by the road, just beyond a strategic hill south east of Englesk. 

Bolsheviks unleashed a devastating barrage on the entrenched tsarists. 

Bolshevik Cavalry scouted ahead to the top of the hill, but were cut down by the entrenched infantry. For a brief time it is quiet... 

(Seriously, the scenario started wit one unit of each on the table and then the rest was random deployment - a die roll of 4+ at the beginning of each turn meant a unit arrived - and for three turns the Tsarists sat there in their trenches waiting for others to show up!?)

The 32nd Cossack Cavalry Regiment finally arrived, just as the leading Bolshevik Infantry came into view up the road. 

The bolshevik artillery arrived behind their 1st infantry battalion and began pounding the Tsarist infantry and cavalry. Then the tsarist  2nd Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment.

1st Battalion, 231st Infantry Regiment arrived and more Bolshevik Infantry. 

After taking fire from Bolshevik infantry and artillery, the Cossacks gave up the hill. 

Eventually the two forces were fully engages. The 2nd Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment try to seize the high ground, but were cut to pieces by the Bolshevik artillery 

Two battalions of Bolsheviks sweep over the hill, but were unable to hold on to their gains. 

In the end all that was left were the 1st Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment, the 245th Artillery Regiment and the tattered remains of a single Bolshevik Battalion. Supported by the Artillery, the Tsarists abandoned their trenches to sweep the last of the Bolsheviks from the hill! 

The Bosheviks were again forced to retreat from Engelsk... 

(ANOTHER nail-biter at Engelsk! This one was fought to the very bitter end with the Tsarist only just retaking the hill - the objective - on the very last turn of the game! For a few turns in the middle I thought for sure the Bolsheviks would carry the day after a few very lucky rolls from the Bolshevik artillery swept most of the Tsarist infantry away - then the Tsarist Artillery finally silenced the Bolshevik artillery and started concentrating on the Bolshevik infantry. Artillery has played a huge roll in these games - as it should, really)

The Siege of Kroptkand

With no sign of relief coming, and a bout of influenza ravaging the city, the garrison gave up to the besieging Bolsheviks. Many prisoners were marched back to Kubassa where they were interred in "re-education camps". A few were tried as criminals and executed. 

Once a provisionary governing collective was set up, the Bolsheviks prepared to march again... but would they march on the Tsarist regional capital at Bakunin, or face the Tsarist army head on and march on Engelsk?!


Win-Cao Lo-Fat, The Most Illustrious Beacon of Celestial Light and Commander of the Arm of Earthly Might lead The Illustrious Arm of the Nine Illuminated Terrestrial Immortals from Ulaan-Goom to Ching-ho. 

The state of things at the end of Spring 1918


  • Commander of the Field Army: Lieutenant General Sir Percy Arbuthnot-Worcester-Gruntfuttock-Smythe
  • Faction: Western Interventionists
  • Army: 14th Allied Eastern Expeditionary Army
  • Base of Operations: Canadar 
  • Other Cities: Canuckand, Molsensk, Stlojia
  • Field Army:
  • 3rd Battalion, Winnipeg Grenadiers (10)
  • 5th Battalion, Cape Breton Highlanders  (7)
  • 2nd Battalion, Regina Rifles  (11)
  • 105th Canadian Fusiliers - Heavy Infantry Battalion (15)
  • 8th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles - Cavalry (12)
  • 37th Field Artillery (15)


  • Commander of the Field Army: Hedwig Markus von Eggenberg, Margrave of Grosswardein
  • Faction: Tsarist
  • Army: East Asia Cavalry Division 
  • Base of Operations: Gura
  • Other Cities:  Driutsek 
  • Field Army:
  • 1st Battalion, 337th Infantry Regiment (Heavy) (8)
  • 2nd Battalion, 337th Infantry Regiment (6)
  • 1st Battalion, 369th Infantry Regiment (6)
  • 2nd Battalion, 369th Infantry Regiment (5)
  • Mongolian Cavalry (1)
  • 38th Hussars Cavalry (4)


  • Commander of the Field Army: Altan Baatar Kahn
  • Faction: Warlord Chinese
  • Army: The Red Horde
  • Base of Operations: Lung-Hu
  • Other Cities: Wurumchi, Sui-Pei
  • Field Army:
  • Heavy Infantry Battalion (12)
  • Infantry Battalion (13)
  • Infantry Battalion (9)
  • Infantry Battalion (13)
  • Cavalry (5)
  • Artillery (12)


  • Commander of the Field Army: Win-Cao Lo-Fat, The Most Illustrious Beacon of Celestial Light and Commander of the Arm of Earthly Might
  • Faction: Warlord Chinese
  • Army: The Illustrious Arm of the Nine Illuminated Terrestrial Immortals 
  • Base of Operations: Wei-Li
  • Other Cities: Ching-ho, Ulaan-Goom,  
  • Field Army:
  • 1st Heavy Infantry Battalion (12)
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion (12)
  • 3rd Infantry Battalion (12)
  • 4th Infantry Battalion (12)
  • Cavalry Regiment (12)
  • Artillery Regiment (12)


  • Commander of the Field Army: Kombrig Mahat Mikhan
  • Faction: Bolshevik
  • Army: Ist Guard Regiment, Ipatiev House
  • Base of Operations: Kubassa
  • Other Cities: Kropotkand, Pyrohy, Holopchi
  • Field Army:
  • 1st Infantry Battalion (Heavy )(15)
  • 2nd Infantry Battalion (15)
  • 3rd Infantry Battalion (11)
  • 4th Infantry Battalion (11)
  • 5th Cavalry Regiment (15)
  • 6th Artillery Regiment (8)


  • Commander of the Field Army: Baron Yevgeny Lytton
  • Faction: Tsarist
  • Army: Gvardiya Belykh Koroley (Guard of the White King’s)
  • Base of Operations: Bakunin
  • Other Cities: Engelsk
  • Field Army:
  • 1st Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment (Heavy) (12)
  • 2nd Battalion, 437th Infantry Regiment (12)
  • 1st Battalion, 231st Infantry Regiment (11)
  • 2nd Battalion, 231st Infantry Regimen (9)
  • 32nd Cossack Cavalry Regiment (11)
  • 245th Artillery Regiment(14)

RED (of course) 

  • Commander of the Field Army: Commissar-General Lev (Leon) Davidovitch Runstein
  • Faction: Bolshevik
  • Army: Первый Бабушка Армейский корпус (Ist Babushka Army Corps)
  • Base of Operations: Baboushka
  • Other Cities: Borschka, Vlodkask
  • Field Army:
  • 1st Transuralian Peoples Infantry Battalion (Heavy)  (4)
  • 2nd Transuralian Peoples Battalion (8)
  • 3rd Transuralian Peoples Battalion (8)
  • 4th Transuralian Peoples Battalion (10)
  • 1st Babushka Cavalry Regiment (5)
  • 1st Borschka Artillery Regiment (10)


  1. "The Tsarist and Mongol Cavalry galloped right past the Canadians position..." I saw this and wondered what kind of gestures the cavalry was making to the infantry as they rode past! I have been around lots of soldiers and all of those images flashed through my mind!

  2. H'mmm. A couple of armies there are looking a bit tattered on it.... Some exciting action going, then!

    1. They are indeed! I'm starting to wonder if the Winter 1917 turn was a good idea. Not sure if some of the armies will make it to Winter 1918!? I'm thinking if I ran this again I might skip the Winter 1917 turn and start with Spring 1918, saying the winter was spent consolidating the starting territory, minor skirmishes and raising troops?

      Of course... it IS a war game... someone's got to get knocked out eventually or we'll just go on for ever and ever...?

  3. Another exciting round of the contest, the people of Englesk definitely need liberating from the Whopite oppressors though....the People's Army will have to make a third attempt I think!

  4. You could add a choice where the general chooses to do nothing but recruiting instead of moving and invading. That would increase their numbers but a new unit would be of poor quality or, if the recruits are added to existing units, their quality goes down. Maybe give a bonus number of recruits if you do it in your home territory.

    1. I like some of this. I'm not sure it would work at all in One-Hour Wargames as there is no "quality". There are only four troop types; Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery. I guess a quality element could be added. "Low quality" troops have -1 when attacking?

      They might need to be limited in how much they could recruit - only replacing lost troops, not building new units - otherwise I could see someone just sitting back building and building while other players are fighting each other and then just rolling over everyone (like people used to do with Australia in Risk, back in the day...)

      This does kind of remind me of an idea Bob Barnetson had suggested, years ago (when we were playing Hordes of the Things), was if a defending army had less than 12 elements (for a standard game of DBA or HotT armies always have 12 elements, they only ever have less in a campaign game), that they gain the balance they are missing in Horde elements. Horde are the lowest quality of troop... but they're troops on the battlefield taking up space. I thought it was a really elegant solution to the Snowballing effect of losing and then being chased back into your own territory and having to defend it with less troops than the attacker. There were some practical issues with it - you would have to have a BUNCH of Horde elements for EVERY army... but I liked the idea...

      I thought of doing something similar for the English Civil War campaign - if a defending force was below a certain size, they could have a unit or two (or three!?) of "Clubmen" come out and join them - just angry citizens with torches and pitchforks (and the occasional antiquated musket or blunderbuss?).

      I think I'm actually okay with how things are going. If a player gets knocked out... that's fine. SOMEONE has to eventually, otherwise the game could just go on forever!?

    2. The solution for someone sitting back and doing nothing but recruiting is to add in some desertion by the "experienced" troops on subsequent recruiting seasons. Since you don't have money in your campaign, your equivilent currency is battles. And if a general isn't paying troops with "plunder", the troops will go join an army that is fighting.

      Effectively, recruiting would be the "hordes" put into effect and you'd still have problems winning, but at least you'd have a chance.

    3. There is money, kind of. During the winter turn there is taxation and resource gathering and recruiting replacements. For the first year only, I made the winter a regular campaigning year and I'm feeling like that was a mistake.... should have just started with Spring 1918... Ah, well..

  5. An entertaining slice of the civil war!
    Best Iain