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"RJW Solo game in 10mm using Battles for Empire" Topic

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999 hits since 24 Sep 2011
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Shedman24 Sep 2011 5:18 p.m. PST

I'm currently painting forces for the RJW using Pendraken's 10mm ranges. As well their RJW range I've also used figures from the 1877 Russo-Turkish War, the RCW & WW1 and the 1879-1884 South American Pacific War.

I'm basing 4 infantry figures to a 30x15mm stand with 3 stands being a company and 12 stands being a battalion.

At present I have 4 battalions of Japanese infantry and 1 Russian battalion with a couple of Maxim MG (removed from their carriages) and 2 Putilov 76mm Artillery pieces.

I've been looking at shed loads of rules to see if any take my fancy. I've whittled it down to 3 sets which meet my criteria – simple, flexible and fun – Battles for Empire, Contemptible Little Armies and Future War Commander

I thought I would try all 3 sets using the same scenario – a Japanese assault on Russian trenches – to see which worked best.

First up is Chris Leach's Battles for Empire covering British Imperial Warfare 1870-1902 and therefore spot on for the RJW. I've used BFE for the Sudan and the Spanish American War and it works really well – certainly the best set of Colonial Rules I've played. Chris Salander had put up an RJW variant on the BFE yahoo group so I used that as well

As the forces were quite small I used a 2 foot terrain tile with a low ridge at one end occupied by the Russian artillery and Maxims with 4 companies of East Siberian infantry in trenches at the base of the ridge. This allowed the artillery and mgs to provide overhead fire support. I've not read any accounts of Maxims being deployed in the trenches other than at Port Arthur and even then they tended to be in the forts.

At the other end of the board were 3 battalions of Japanese just emerged from a field of kaoliang and in between a couple of pieces of rough ground.

BFE's game turn is Roll for initiative, winners decides who moves 1st or 2nd, once both sides have moved then comes simultaneous artillery shooting then simultaneous small arms shooting and finally close combat. Morale is combined with movement in a similar fashion to Fire & Fury

The first 3 turns were taken up with the Japanese advancing – initially by battalion (a group move) and then due to Russian artillery and MG fire by company as units became disordered or shaken and had to break off from the group.

I was surprised that the Japanese got to the trenches with very few casualties – they only lost 1 company – however they then stalled for 2 or 3 turns in front of them before charging in. I allowed the Japanese to do fanatic charges which helped them greatly – +1 to the dice. The close combat again lasted for 2 or 3 turns until the right-hand Russian company broke under a 2 company assault leaving the Japanese to roll up the trench line.

At the end the Russians had lost 2 companies plus the artillery and MG on the right flank – half their force – whilst the Japanese lost 4 companies out of 12.

I was expecting more Japanese companies to stop way before the trench line – Admittedly the Russians did have bad shooting and combat dice. However in Human Bullets by Sakurai in several instances the Japanese get really close to the Russian lines before getting pinned down by firepower and then eventually taking the position

The rules worked well and I'm tempted to say these are the ones for me but I'll try CLA & FWC. My only dislike was the number of markers used – disordered ,shaken and casualty markers do leave a lot of clutter – especially as I aiming to have at least 3 times more troops on the board

Photos of the game can be viewed here

Leon Pendraken Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Sep 2011 10:12 p.m. PST

Great stuff, very nice!

If you fancy popping it on our forum as well, that'd be fantastic? I think a lot of the members would be really interested in it as we don't often see much for the RJ War.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2011 10:48 p.m. PST

I picked up a copy of BFE second hand, and they do look interesting. I'm thinking about making them my colonial rules.

Desert Fox25 Sep 2011 8:20 a.m. PST

Any word on BFE II?

sausagescan Inactive Member25 Sep 2011 8:42 a.m. PST

Great report. Thanks. Regarding the markers (and I think this is true of any game) is to make the markers an aesthetic part of the game. So, for my large Zulu collection I made markers for disorder and shaken using Zulu shields (1 and 2 respectively). Kill markers are of course wounded and dead figures mounted on bases with the edges numbered 1-4.

Regarding BFE II, it has been completed for some time but the production side of things has been very slow and complicated. I had hoped to see it done for about a year now. All I can say is that the wheels do turn, albeit slowly and it will appear.

The new game will have rules for lower level representations (sections/platoons) and we use these for WWI. Might be useful for RJW.


Desert Fox25 Sep 2011 11:38 a.m. PST

Sounds good. Looking forward to its eventual release.

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