Friday 16 September 2022

Assault on the Trans Siberian RCW AAR

We had planned a big Russian Civil War game at Chris Flowers place for some time, the completion of a Red armoured Train by Chris Charlton and a whole bunch of extra reds and whites by Dave and Si meant the game was even bigger than initially anticipated.

We use Triumph of The Will and The rules work on the premise of a units will to press on, hence the title Triumph of the Will. This is mainly expressed by the number of figures in a unit. The larger the unit the more willing to press on. The level of training (Regular, Drilled, Militia) represents their fighting ability and how easily their will is eroded by losing figures. Unusualy most dice rolls require you to roll low, just as well when I am rolling.

In our game a town and its nearby railway station is being besieged by the Whites supported by an armoured train. Getting wind of Red reinforcements on the way the Whites launch an attack to try and take the town before it can be relieved. Deploying at the far end of 13 feet of table the Reds have a lot of road to travel to save their besieged comrades.
The whites in our game had generally slightly better troops and more of the modern gear with aircraft available more often, slightly higher numbers of MG's and guns and a train from move one. This reflects the increased availability of this gear to the whites through the support of the International great powers. The reds however had trenches and would eventually have the edge in numbers.

White Order of battle:

Attack force Under Richard C
One armoured Car
6 units of 9 Storm Troops, Aggressive Regulars
4 Units of 8 Cossacks, Aggressive Regulars
2 Units of 8 Drilled
1 Armoured Car
1 MG

Supporting Force Richard L

1 MG Drilled
2 Field Guns Drilled
1 Armoured train with Field Gun
4 Units 8 White Infantry Drilled

Right Wing John

2 units of 6 Asiatic Cossacks Aggressive Regulars
4 Units 8 White Infantry Drilled
1 Field Gun Drilled
1 MG Drilled

Reserve John

4 Units White Infantry Drilled
3 Units Cossacks Aggressive Regulars
1 Tchanka MG Cart

The Whites would have  apre-programmed bombing Run from a Sopwith 1 1/2 strutter and a Spad on a roll of a 6 each turn.

The Reds had more of a mixed bag.

Town Defence Force Steve

1 MG Drilled
1 Field Gun Drilled
4 x 7 Militia
4 x 8 Drilled

Station Defence Chris F

1 MG
1 Field Gun
3 x 7 Militia Cavalry
2 x 8 Siberian Rifles Regular
2 x 10 Sailors Aggressive Regulars

Reinforcements from move 2 Dave and Chris C

1 armoured train
4 Units 10 Sailors Aggressive Regulars
8 Units 8 Red Infantry Drilled
5 Units 8 Cavalry Drilled
1 Tchanka MG Cart

1 Unit 6 Partisans in Ambush
Red Sopwith Camel on a roll of a 6.

Move one and the Whites launch their Assault on the POW's and Militia holding the town, the left unit here are ex Austro Hungarian POW's who did quite  a bit of fighting  after some ideological recruiting in prison camps and months march away from home with no food.

They get lucky with the roll of a 6 and a Spad fighter comes on and attacks the town. They have also pre-programmed a bombing run on the Red Militia Cavalry which quickly destroys one unit of the reds.

Richards White armoured car trundles forward without its supports and along with the massed white guns begins to take a heavy toll of the defenders whilst John starts to push the White cavalry of the reserve forward on the left.

The reserve infantry from Si's collection also start to push forward on the white left wing.
Meanwhile the red infantry suPports are arriving, lovely figures from Daves Collection. They do have a long way to go though.
The overpowering firepower of the White artillery coupled with the elan of the white officer storm units is causing Steve severe problems, he has quickly lost both MG and Gun alongside multiple infantry casualties.

The whites storm the first trench lines and see off the militia with minimal casualties.
Richards units defending the White trenches set off in support and the train begins to move around to the right flank to support John.
John has meanwhile got stuck in on the right flank as Chris and Dave arrive with large numbers of red reinforcements and an armoured train crammed with their best troops, red sailors.

The reds get a fighter on the roll of a six, unfortunately they take it in turns to roll anything but a six all day and the red Sopwith never leaves the box.
Rich L's cossack brigade launches itself at the right hand side of the town held by two units of drilled red infantry.This front unit is one of my favourites painted as Ossetians.
Meanwhile the reds are pushed further back in the town and begin to concentrate their remaining troops in the bombed out factory.

A unit of Siberian Cossacks reaches the reds in the trench on the flanks of the town, the first unit of red infantry is cut down but the Cossacks take horrendous casualties with only 3 out of 8 remaining.
The whites get another Spad and the plain decimates yet another Sotnia of red cavalry whilst Johns troops press forward to prevent the reds relieving the town.
The next three units of Richards Cossacks close with the remaining red infantry in the forward trenches, in the back ground we see the white armoured train arriving on the right flank to support John.
Johns artillery fire has been deadly and both the Red MG and Field gun have been destroyed but the veteran red Siberian rifles make a stand and start to punish the white infantry advancing across the open ground.

The whites advance in a determined manner but two units are practically destroyed by the Siberian rifles and the supports from Dave and Chris. In the back ground we see Asiatic Cossacks dealing with a band of Partisans which ambushed them from the forest.
A close up for Shaun and Mark. These are from Studio Siberia painted as Siberian Cossacks, lovely figures but rather delicate swords.
Chris F  has pushed a unit of sailors to the edge of town to give some much needed support to Steve. The other unit pulls back however as the Cossacks are closing and they dont want to be caught by those sashka sabres in the open.
The battle for the bombed out factory is becoming desperate, Rich L's artillery is taking a toll whilst his Cossacks move in on one flank and Rich C's infantry have control of the rest of town and prepare to close in on the other flank supported by the armoured car.
Dave's lovely figures and Chris's fantastic train were just starting to reach the area of action when we ended the game as we ran out of time. Sorry guys.
The game effectively ended with a draw, the Whites were close to capturing the Town but were nowhere near capturing the station and with reinforcements already reaching both, the White advance was likely to stall.

I need to apologise to Chris and Dave who got very little fighting in having to march right across the table. My bad I thought you would be able to get there quicker chaps.

The rules are a bit clunky but do give a feel for Russian Civil War so we will probably amend them slightly to make them a little more playable before using them again. Another game of this planned for September. Mongolia is supposed to be nice in the Autumn!

Thanks everyone for taking part. 


  1. Great stuff Roj. Beautiful collectionS in evidence. Photos make me feel that it is worthwhile painting the train track. Cheers, Chris

  2. A fantastic looking game! Coincidentally, my mate and I played a much smaller RCW affair last night, using Great Escape Games 1914 rules, I will do an AAR over the weekend. We have often had a similar issue with games played length wise along a 4m table...the side advancing spends all day doing so, and takes virtually no part in the fighting.

    1. Yeah. definately my bad, if i had thought about it more lots of things I could have done to get them more involved.

  3. Great looking game gaming thisperiod. You nailed it.

    1. Thanks very much, another game to come very soon.

  4. Spectacular game, wonderful paintjobs. Our own group has done that very thing though - start some forces too far away to really make it into the game in sufficient time. So you're not the only one.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing, a lovely battle and you have stirred me up to get some more troops painted up……and I still need a train 🤔

  6. Awesome, do it....and the choo choo