Through Mud and Blood - Rule Amendments - The Japanese Army in the Russo - Japanese War 1904 - 1905

I have long been a fan of the Too Fat Lardies WW1 rule Through Mud & Blood and thought that with a few tweaks they could be used for the Russo - Japanese War, these are the in house rules under by our club Wyvern Wargamers.

The Japanese Military machine had changed greatly following the Meiju Restoration a conscript army had been formed but the sense of self discipline and the spirit of sacrifice for the emperor remained their skills had been honed in the Civil War of 1877, a war with Chinese and the Boxer Rebellion, based on the German military doctrine Foreign observers rated the quality of the Japanese infantry close to European standard. 

The army whilst small compared to the Russian Army approx 400,000 bayonets had the advantage of a well led educated Officer Corp with a spirit of self sacrifice and discipline.
When war broke out Russia had to face a Japanese army, that was well trained, well equipped, well led and highly motivated. 

Troop Quality.
Japanese Infantry will generally be of Regular quality, although they may field units of Veteran status.

Artillery and HMG teams are likely to be Regular.

Japanese morale is likely to be Good or Reasonable.

All Japanese Infantry are Aggressive in close combat.

The Cards

Within Mud & Blood outside of the usual cards (sentry, Blinds, end of Turn (in our games SAKE) the following cards are assigned to the Japanese Commander.
Big Man Cards one per Section.
I have added the Status of each Big Man, their influence range and their Experience and Morale, together with the weapons within the section to make referring to the rule book during play a little easier.

Support Unit Cards
These can be any type of support weapons that are allocated to the field force. This can range from pre-planned artillery support, SOS artillery support, Off Shore Naval fire, heavy machine guns, or a sniper. I have added the Weapon details to each card.
The RJW was the first war were modern machine guns were widely used, the Japanese had adopted the light Hotchkiss machine gun.

This was easier to move than the Russian equivalent to represent this, the Japanese HMG team my deploy on a single action before being able to fire.

Given the early use of the Machine Gun, HMG's unjam on 6 rather than a 5 and a 6 as stated in the rules.

Command Initiative Cards
Given the quality of the average Russian Force during the RJW I have assigned the following ruling
For every Two Big Men add one Command Initiative card, the first being Status I, the second Status II and so on, up to the highest Status Big Man present. Once you get to that point begin again with Status I.

Rally Card
To represent the endurance, self-discipline of the average Japanese Soldier each Japanese field force will include a rally card in the deck. On it being dealt the relevant player may remove one point of Shock from a single unit.

Hesitant Troops
The Japanese recruited units of Honghuzi or Chinese bandits to harass the Russian Army, this card represents lower quality units that are inclined to sit tight and fire rather than take the battle to their opponent. once this card is dealt it is noted and if the next card is a Japanese Big Man in control of a Honghuzi unit he may not use his initiative to move any Groups; they may only fire, spot or take cover.

Heroic Leader
One Big Man may attempt something absurdly heroic, with his chances of success being agreed upon by the players or assessed by the umpire. Once this card has been used it will be removed from the deck.

Dynamic Commander
A Big Man of the player’s choice may personally take a bonus move, whether he has already moved or not. This is restricted to his figure moving using two Action Dice. He may not be accompanied by any troops, and he is restricted to moving only.

Ammunition Shortage
This may be included in the deck for any force that is running short of ammunition. It may be in the deck from the start, or be added at a point during the game as specified by the scenario. If this card is dealt immediately after a Group or Groups of that nation have fired, then they are declared to be running short of ammunition. They may then only fire at close range for the rest of the game or until resupplied.
In our games we will often include a Supply wagon or Pack Mule to each opposing force, once a unit reaches the supply unit they are deemed as resupplied, alternatively a unit may send a runner who must reach the supply unit and return to his unit, before the unit can be deemed as resupplied.
Ideally only the player affected by this will be informed of this ruling.

National Characteristic Cards

These cards will be included in the deck to represent the strengths and weaknesses of a force. For every 2 units fielded one of the following cards can be selected to maximum of three cards in any game.

Should the majority of the Japanese Force be of Veteran status then an additional card my be taken, should the majority of the force be of poor quality then one card is removed.

Banzi (2 per deck)
A single group or Blind of the player’s choice may take a bonus move, over an above their normal activation in the turn. They may only move. They may not fire, take cover or spot, however they may enter close combat with enemy infantry or physically attack a bunker.

For the Emperor
Any Group or Formation within 8" of a standard may remove 1D6 Points of Shock.

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