Friday, April 26, 2013

Battle of Liaoyang 1904 - A Russo Japanese War Scenario

Sunday night saw the first outing for the Russo - Japanese Project using the Too Fat Lardies, Mud & Blood rules.

The action takes place around a newly arrived Japanese battalion and their mission to clear a hill ready for the positioning of an artillery battery to support the assault on the Yentai Coal Mines.

Japanese Orders 
To: Lt Yosi Omura, 
Take your Company and prepare that hill and pass for my artillery. You mission should be straight forward but I stress the importance of my artillery being on that hill by lunchtime. I have promised high command that the Russians will be having a hot time of it this afternoon. 

Russian Orders 
To: Lt Bogdan Tankov,
Bogdan, The fate of Liaoyang is in your hands. Our spies have informed us that the Japanese are planning a push on Manjayuma Hill. Your comrades have spoken of the manner of which the Japanese throw themselves at your lines, you are determined to prove they can be stopped. You are not only to stop the Japanese dogs from taking your hill but to capture a Japanese Standard. 

Game Briefings 
You must take the top of the enemy hill to enable the deployment of siege artillery.
2 Sections of 10 men

You must defend the hill and stop the Japanese from getting a foot hold on it. 
Extra praise and rewards will be forthcoming should he be able to capture the Japanese colours. 
3 Sections of 10 men 

Victory conditions 
Excellent: Throw the Japanese back down the hill. Capture the Japanese Colours.
Good: Throw the Japanese back down the hill.
Bad: Let the Japanese take the hill.

The Japanese advance on blinds across a broad frontage, facing them an unknown number of Russian defenders and barb wire defences.

The Japanese are unmasked by a Russian section defending the lower ridge, the crafty Japs have opted for smaller 5 man sections to provide themselves with greater flexibility.

On the right flank a further Russian section is unmasked to pour fire in to the advancing Japanese.

The Russians poor quality forces them to fire early, with neligable effect on the advancing Japanese, however the Japanese return fire starts to add Shock to the Russian defenders.

Japanese troops push forward up the pass shielded from enemy fire, due to the steep walls of the ravine.

View from the ridge, the Russian defenders forced to split their fire between two advancing Japanese sections, with increasing shock and a poor leader they are unable to bring themselves back from mounting shock.

On the right flank the Russian Section pulls back as fresh Japanese troops crest the ridge.

To support the retiring Russian Section the second Russian defence line is unmasked.

A Russian HMG on the left flank sweeps the old Russian first line of defence, slowing the Japanese advance.

A view from the advancing Japanese position.

The view from the Russian lines, the Russian left is falling back whilst the left section is pinned by the fast moving Japanese sections.

With the ridge line suppressed by Russian HMG fire, the Russian section mass for a sweeping attack on the Japanese now holding the pass behind the wooden barricade, hoping to seize the initiative.

The first Russian section finally breaks and with double the shock head back up the pass.

The sweeping maneuver by the Russians is a disaster, with a large distance to cover and the Japanese defending the barricade the Russian's lose 2:1 and are forced to flee, joining their colleagues as they head to the hills.  

The Japanese push forward on multiple fronts awaiting the HMG fire which is sure to come from the Russian defenders. However having to bring the HMG in to arc, 50% of the firing dice are lost, inflicting minimal casualties and shock on the advancing Japanese.

Damn and blast the Saki card, allowing the Japanese to advance again flanking the Russian Gun position and charging into the Russian position.

As the game draws to a close, two of the Russian sections are falling back with significant amounts of shock, the right flank has been turned with the loss of the HMG team.

The first outing went to plan, the static Russians were performing OK in defence, but once the shock started to pile up, the Russian's were pinned and easily out flanked by the nibble Japanese.
The HMG forced a rethink on the Japanese command until sufficent forces could be brought to bear to out manover it.

As always comments welcome.

Back to the painting table for more reinforcements.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Too Fat Lardies - Shock Markers

Next weekend sees the first outing for the Russo - Japanese project a mere 5 months since the first purchase. I assumed that the Russians will be facing a barrage of Shock points so set about creating some more fancy Shock Markers. Is this is a Japanese bias???

One of the main mechanisms within most of the TooFatLardies rules sets is shock points, the impact of morale and how this affects the performance of the combat units, units accumulate "shock" points as a result of being under fire and engaging in Hand to Hand, up to a limit when it loses cohesion and they become ineffective and then run for cover "loose their bottle".

The rule system allows for Officers and NCOs (the Big Men) to act and prevent units from accumulating too many shock points, by spending actions or initiative points to restore the morale of the fighting units or playing a certain card that might reduce this number.

Players have to record Shock points against each section which usually involves placing a dice or counter behind the unit, however these can be knocked or picked up and used in the game, so I thought I would use some of the casualty figures to hold the dice and record the shock points and generally tidy up the table top.

Circular bases from Warbases with Dice and holders from Minibits. 

As shock increases and decreases as the game continues, I anticipate that each unit is likely to require at least 2 bases, so I wanted to add variety to each unit under fire, figures from Musketeer, Tsuba and even Foundry's Zulu Range.

WW1 Signals units from Musketeer, these mix in really well for the Russo Japanese War, whilst not technically a casualty, I thought it would represent a unit under pressure requiring resupply or calling in Artillery fire.

The latest casualty pack from Tsuba Miniatures, perfect for Mud & Blood.

My greatest concern now is which side to play next week :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wargaming the RJW 1904 - 1905 Russian Uniforms Part 2

Back in March I posted details of the 1st Russian unit,
The plan was to mix the uniform types for the Russians given the various dyes used by the Russians in the field.

This is this is the second unit, modeled on the 4th East Serbian Regiment, together with two Big Men needed for the Mud & Blood Rules by the Too Fat Lardies.
The bulk of the figures are by Tsuba Miniatures, sculpted by Paul Hicks, however the Officer on the far right is from Musketeer Miniatures WW1 range.

I also completed a casualty base to record shock points for the engaged units. I was a little unsure about the blue shoulder boards on the over coat, but I can always repaint if necessary.
Injured soldier from Tsuba, with the medic from Musketeer.

2 more units needed before the first play test next week.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Russian Officers and Big Men.

There is nothing like a deadline to get you motivated, having signed up to Market Larden at Wyvern Wargames Club on the 8th June, it struck me that it's only 8 weeks away.

Whilst I was awaiting on my latest order from Tsuba Miniatures, I thought I would catch up on the Officer Corps for the Russians needed for the on going Russo-Japanese Project.
I am a great fan of Platoon Forward campaign rules, the scenario's are varied and often call for NCO's such as senior officers and non-player characters so here's a bunch of them.

The Officers and NCO's are a mixture from Tsuba Miniatures and Musketeer's WW1 Russian range, they mix really well together, the WW1 Officers uniforms appear to have changed little over the ten years time difference and they fit my need for a senior command element within scenarios.

(LtoR Tsuba, Tusba, Musketeer, Musketeer)

Flag from Redoubt Body's Banner Range.

(LtoR Musketeer - Dismounted Cavalry Officer, Tsuba - Senior Sergeant 4th E. Serbian Infantry, Musketeer - Captain 4th E. Serbian Infantry, Musketeer - Auxiliary , Tsuba - Captain Infantry)

Next up more Russian Infantry.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Perry Miniatures - Russian Transport

The last of the purchases from WMMS show in March are off the paint table, which is great timing considering Salute in a fortnight.

I was looking for some supply elements for both sides, whilst opting for Chinese Coolies for the Japanese I figured the Russians would be more suited to wheeled transport and spotted this cossack wagon from Perry Miniatures taken from their Napoleonic range, I doubt  your average Russian peasant is unlikely to have changed over a couple of hundred years.

I omitted a number of the rein pieces as they were a little on the fiddly side and I doubted how much game play they would stand up to and had to file out a greater ledge for the driver to sit on, but I am happy with the results.
Last up Redoubts Rickshaw.
No real thoughts about how this is going to fit in , but I had a few pounds left in my pocket so why not... I guess it could be a diplomat or person of note, so is likely to work it's way into a couple of the scenarios.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Operation Market Larden 8th June 2013

Our Gaming Group, Wyvern Wargamers will be hosting a full day's gaming at our venue near Evesham, Worcestershire dedicated TOTALLY to rules written by Rich Clarke and the Too Fat Lardies on June 8th

The event will run from 9am until 6pm & there is adequate space for 24 players at £5 per head.
We are planning to "lay on" tables of IABSM, DUX, Mud & Blood, Sharpe Practice & a preview of the imminent Chain of Command rules for attendees to try their hand at.

Rich Clarke the author myself will be in attendance to answer any questions.

Players are welcome to bring their own collection to play on the day and for those who wish to join, there will also be the "debriefing" jaunt to a local curry-house & a few pints with Rich in the evening too! 

For more information drop us a line here