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"Newbie Question: Which Front?" Topic

13 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2022 5:03 p.m. PST

I am a total newbie to the RCW. It's long been of back burner interest as my grandmother traveled from Kiev to San Francisco via the Tran Siberian Railway during the revolution. I recently bought over 300 painted 20mm metal figures, mostly B and B Miniatures. I am trying to figure out which front, or fronts, to focus on. The collection I bought was mostly Red army figures, so the front I choose will determine how I go about adding the White forces. I do have 10 painted Don Cossacks and 10 cavalry in the Adrian helmet(Czechs?). Do other period players specialize in one of the fronts or go for a general sprinkling of troops?

HMS Exeter11 Jan 2022 5:38 p.m. PST

You might also want to consider including some intervention troops as well, as WWI victor countries sent troops to oppose the Reds as well.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2022 6:15 p.m. PST

HMS Exeter, Thanks! I have some WW1 British in round caps, so that would mean the north or the south.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2022 6:45 p.m. PST

You could also do Poland, the commies pushed into Poland and there was lots of fighting. Some Polish troops were equipped with British uniforms and weapons so you could use your WW1 Brits.


Cuprum211 Jan 2022 9:42 p.m. PST

For all white armies (and for red ones – with minor alterations) on any fronts, you can use figures of the Imperial Russian Army from the period of the First World War in a grayish-green uniform. Also, on almost any front, there were many White Guard units, outfitted in British uniforms.
But if you are planning to create elite "colored" units (in colorful colored uniforms), then you will have to decide on the choice of the theater of military operations. Alternatively, you can create multiple colored units for each of the fronts.

To be objective, the Poles first invaded the territory that the Russians (including the Bolsheviks) considered theirs, and only then did the Bolsheviks retaliate.
Poles barely used British uniforms. Their main uniforms were the German uniform, the French (Blue Army), Austrian (common in the cavalry), and their own, introduced in 1919. A certain number of Cossacks also fought on their side.

Martin Rapier12 Jan 2022 12:29 a.m. PST

"Do other period players specialize in one of the fronts or go for a general Do other period players specialize in one of the fronts or go for a general sprinkling"

All the RCW armies I've seen and played with just have a mixture.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 2:22 a.m. PST

The various conflicts in the Ukraine offers the widest range of options from more formal battles down to local squabbles between the many forces involved. Personally I avoid the foreign interventions, the Russian bits are far more interesting.

Cuprum212 Jan 2022 4:03 a.m. PST

In Ukraine (South of Russia), foreign contingents took part in battles with the Bolsheviks: Romanians, Greeks, Germans, French, Poles (as part of the Russian Volunteer Army – Zheligovsky's division), small contingents of British tankers and pilots.
"Nationalists – separatists" and others: Ukrainian People's Republic (Petliurists), Makhno's Insurrectionary Army (periodically – on the side of the Bolsheviks), detachments of Ataman Grigoriev (periodically – on the side of the Bolsheviks), former Polish corps as part of the troops of the Russian Republic (under the Provisional Government) … This is not counting the Caucasus …

You can get acquainted with the armies of the East of Russia (Komuch, Ufa Directory, Siberian government, Kolchak and others) here (use automatic translation):


I advise you to look at this site:

Something about red, white, nationalists and all the rest you will find on my forum: link

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2022 12:28 p.m. PST

The RCW is one of my "probably never get to" projects. I sorta envision generic Red and White forces, as well as Poles, with a sprinkling of other stuff.

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jan 2022 9:57 a.m. PST

I'd recommend the Southern front with Deniken, the Cossacks and the Don. The Reds you can use on any front. White uniforms are a bit all over the place. The British supplied large amounts of clothing and equipment, so you could use WW1 Brits on most fronts as Russians although most people like the caps and other Russian headgear. The Kornilov shock troops wore the Adrian helmet, as did other units most likely. If you want Interventionists then they're only really on the ground as infantry in the North. They drive tanks, armoured cars and fly planes elsewhere, especially in the South.

Mark Plant17 Jan 2022 1:33 p.m. PST

My suggestion is that you choose which front you want on the basis of what style of gaming you want. Your figures, as others have noted, can be made to fit the theatre with minor fixes.

The South has the most colourful uniforms for the Whites, and the most variety of troop types for all sides. It also was the one that lasted the longest time. Generally it is safest and easiest.

The NorthWest (Iudenich) is more heavily infantry, but has the most closed terrain. It is good if you have limited table size -- fighting with RCW cavalry does require them room to move.

The East allows you to field Czechs in the early period, facing some of the most bizarre Red armies. I find it the most amusing, but it is a niche period.

Kolchak's forces don't really give you anything that the South doesn't already give.

The Poles had the biggest battles, but that's more about higher level games than 20mm tabletop.

People have mentioned Intervention forces. They generally did not fight alongside White troops. Actually, mostly they didn't fight, except up North as Trebian says.

My usual advice is if you want games where both sides have planes and tanks, then play WWI. The 1920 Poles had far and away the most planes. They and the Whites in the South the most tanks. Generally only used in set piece battles though.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2022 6:08 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the suggestions! It looks like the South is the one that best suits my interest and my collection. I can live without tanks and aircraft.

Mark Plant18 Jan 2022 1:08 a.m. PST

You can have aircraft in the South for both sides, just not large numbers like the Poles had.

Generally they were used for reconnaissance, messages and transport of commanders -- but sometimes also for strafing and bombing.

The Southern Whites had English tanks. They were used for prepared assaults (Tsaritsyn, Kakhovka, Perekop).

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