Wednesday 28 December 2011

10mm Trenches

If you have read my previous postings you may have noticed that I am keen on the RJW

A common feature of the RJW is the trench ranging from the covered concrete constructions found around Port Arthur to the shallow ditches used by both sides from the Yalu to Mukden.

I had certain criteria to be met. I wanted ...
  • trenches that looked as though they had just been dug ie no time to fit planking or sandbags
  • the trenches to be narrow - my bases are 15mm deep so anything up to 20mm would be ok
  • variation ie straight sections, curved sections, t-juction
Using Google I spent a couple of weeks looking at the various trenches on offer.

Down at the Berkeley Vale club KiwiDave has a load of trenches from Ironclad Miniatures. They are meant to be 15mm but work well with his 10mm WW2 kit. They have loads of variation but were too neat and too wide (30mm) for me. I would recommend them for WW1 and later conflicts

I came across a link to Daft Casting who do a really lovely set of 10mm trenches. I especially liked the large footprint as this allowed for the ground to rise up to the trench naturally. The straight section has a couple of zigzags to give it variation. Although the sides of the trenches had been planked I was tempted to go with this range.

Another of the club members is Shaun. He runs Dreamholme which produces some very nice resin scenery. He had just painted some RJW Russians for me and I mentioned that I was looking for some trenches. A few weeks later he turns up with a set of trenches that ticks all of the boxes for me. So he managed to sneak some planks along the floor of the trench.

There are 4 types of trench - straight, curved, T and end section

The figures are all 10mm Pendraken RJW Japanese, They are based on 30mm x 15mm MDF stands which are 2mm high

The trench is very basic as I wanted it to represent hastily dug trenches

The trench is wide enough to fit 20mm bases.

The curved section is not quite 45 degrees but it allows the trench to zig-zag

Troops fit into it which is useful

The T junction works as a trench exit and as a link to a communications trench

Finally we have the end section

Here is a selection of the pieces put together

A very nice set of trench pieces suitable for a hasty defensive line.

I've just started painting them so will do another post when they are done

Shaun hasn't put these on his web-site yet and I'm not sure of the price so if you are interested then drop him an email at dreamholme at aol dot com for more information.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

FWC - Battle for Ystalyfers

From: CO, 148th PaxArc Combat Group, Ystalyfers
To: PaxArc High Command, Arcadia
Date: 21-12-12


It is my pleasure to report that the Tawe planet of Ystalyfers is now under the firm but enlightened control of PaxArc forces.

On 19-12-12 the 148th PaxArc Combat Group in conjuction with our allies, the Andaraydan Collective known as Shaun (AC/S), launched an attack on Tawe forces defending Ystalyfers

The 148th was allocated 3000 points for the operation and selected the following units

1 CO (CV9)
2 HQ (CV8)
3 FAO (CV8)
4 Recce - Buggies with Heavy Blaster
6 Regular Infantry
3 Conscript Infantry
3 Sniper Team
6 Thunderstrike SPGs
3 Thunderstrikes (Indirect mode)
2 Firemouths (Indirect mode)
1 Moridian Launcher (Indirect mode)
4 Piranha Gunships
3 Heavy Orbital Strikes

This selection was made on the basis of reports compiled by PaxArc Observers present at previous engagements involving Tawe forces.

Given the Tawe's propensity for bunkers, lazer wire, toxic ditches, water obstacles and removing every piece of cover together with their limited availability of Anti-Aircaft weapons it was decided that Piranha gunships, SPGs, Indirect artillery and Orbital Strikes from the PaxArc StarShip "FGR 3 Tamworth 0" would provide the main thrust of the attack

Our allies, the AC/S, comprised 2000 points

1 CO
2 HQ
1 Hubbries Recce
2 Andrayadas
1 Support Hubbries
1 DropPod
3 Varkator Gunships
2 Vira Gunships
6 Heavy Orbital strikes

The Tawe force of 1500 points included mortars, both direct and indirect artillery, infantry and 1 Anti-aircraft gun plus trenches, bunkers, lazer wire, normal wire and toxic ditches.

The Tawe had taken up a defensive position in the only piece of cover for several hundred miles. This region was covered in subtropical wetlands similiar to the Everglades on Terra and had been designated a Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the United Federation. Sadly the Tawe had vapourised everything apart from a small clump of trees leaving only swamp which they then turned into toxic ditches using Bugman's beer. The small clump of trees was converted into a fortess.

As part of our SOP the Tawe were given the opportunity to surrender which they declined.

Our attack started badly with only the command units, snipers, recce and gunships deploying. The slow moving infantry delayed the SPGs and both failed to deploy. All further attempts to deploy these force also met with failure.

Accurate mortar and artillery fire by the Tawe saw our recce units destroyed one by one. As the enemy were dug-in and concealed the snipers and FAOs were unable to target them.

Therefore the gunships were pushed forward to within spotting range which revealed the Tawe Anti-Aircraft unit. This shot down one of the gunships but was itself destroyed by the AC/S using target acquisition and auto-linked weapons.

Once the Tawe AA was neutralized our gunships proceeded to sit on top of the complex spotting the enemy for our indirect artillery and orbital strikes. The new Moridian Rocket Launcher is a wonder to behold.

The enemy position was quickly overrun with the total annihilation of troops in the fortress. Our only other loss being a sniper who was killed by walking into lazer wire.

PaxArc Eco-Recovery teams are being rushed to the area in order to save as much of the AONB as possible.

In conclusion we had a tough fight considering that the terrain and defences were extremely hostile to ground troops. With hindsight I would not have deployed the recce but would have employed our cargo helicopters to drop infantry into the fortress.

The Piranha gunships are seldom seen on the battle field but they won this one for us. When we face the Tawe on their home planet I will not hesitate to use them. I am putting forward Flight Leader Bovril for a commendation for his bravery in hunting out the enemy AA.

The 148th lost 4 Recce buggies, 1 Piranha gunship and 1 sniper.

Our allies, the AC/S, worked very well alongside us and took their fair share of casualties including recce and a gunship.

This ends my report

Group Leader F. Shedman
Commanding 148th PaxArc Combat Group

This battle was part of the War in The Berkeley Vale Galaxy - an FWC campaign run by Steve Price - I ran the PAxArc, Paul H ran the Tawe (Squats really) and the Andaraydan Collective known as Shaun was run by Shaun. Figures were mainly Dark Realm Miniatures and GW Epic

More and larger pictures can be found here

The photo of Flt Ldr Squiffy Bovril is probably copyrighted to Microsoft's Crimson Skies

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Nori & Sons Pest Control - Invoice No: 23-77A-09

Nori & Sons Pest Control
53 Lower Street

United Federation
The Arndale Centre

Description of job:

To provide annual service of Ancient Alien Artefact (AAA) at Grid Ref N18.05.98 E20.77.01 on the United Federation neutral planet of Compatia

The customer will be pleased to learn that the AAA was found to be in exactly the same condition as it was last year and for the previous millennia.

As in all other years the black shiny featureless surface has not incurred any erosion and all organic matter appears to wither and die within a 1 metre radius of the object.

Cleaning Operative Frank, the one with a metal plate in his head, again received transmissions from another galaxy when he stepped too close to the AAA.

We are sorry to bring it to the attention of the customer but whilst carrying out maintenance of said AAA the contractor found itself under attack from a race of cyborgs known as the Andrayada.

As per the normal terms and conditions we dug in around the AAA to await the attack. The on-site maintenance crew of 3 Warrior and 2 Berserkers teams formed a loose circle with the CO, FAO and an Anti-Aircraft battery in the centre.

The Andrayadans were surprised to find anyone else on the planet but decided to attack anyway with 4 infantry teams and a walker

As regular customers of Nori & Sons know our standard package always includes off-board artillery for those hard-to-reach places. The FAO put this to good use by killing 2 cyborg teams.

The Andrayadans pressed home their attack resulting in 2 warriors and the AA battery having their contracts terminated.

Under the contract these working conditions would normally result in Nori & Sons withdrawing off-planet but as customer satisfaction is paramount to us we decided to see it through.

Nori & Sons prides itself on having the right tools for the job and the right tool for removing
stubborn stains such as Andrayadan infantry is 2 teams of Berserkers working in concert.

Within minutes this fast acting solution had destroyed a cyborg team and the walker. At this point the remaining cyborg team fled behind a hill. There it hid in the hope that Nori & Sons would withdraw.

Due to circumstances beyond our control Nori & Sons were forced to withdraw leaving both the AAA and the planet in the hands of the Andrayadans

We look forward to continuing to do business with you.


Payment within 14 days from Date of Invoice or else
All materials remain the property of Nori & Sons until invoice is paid in full

Total Payment Due: 14,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Credits

This game was a minor affair in the Berkeley Vale 6mm FWC Campaign. KiwiDave ran the Andrayadans with 750 points. I ran the Squats as an NPC force with 500 points. I reached my break point of 3 units but managed to stay on the table by rolling my CO's CV until Turn 11. If I had stayed on til Turn 12 then the Andrayadans would have lost

More pictures from this and other games can be found here

Tuesday 15 November 2011

FWC - Squats v Andrayadans

There were two 6mm Future War Commander games at the club this week - Gordon and Mark did a Predator raid on the Tau Institute for Crater Research. They both like to push the FWC envelope so this may explain why there were only 4 units on the table and 3 of those were in the air.

I forgot to ask how it ended but I can imagine it was very messy.

I played alongside Paul with 4000 points of Squats against Shaun & Steve with an equal number of Andrayadans. We played down the table with the object of seeing who could capture 4 built-up areas and an Ancient Alien Artefact.

Paul went for the Landtrain, a Mark III Heavy tank, a few flamethrowing motorbikes, 8 IFVs carrying infantry, mortars and robots and a couple of airships. Shaun had several massive and not so massive walkers plus infantry. They also had air support and orbital strikes but I don't think they ever came into play.

Both sides used static deployment as the command values are not too good on either side. Static deployment allows a force to set up 20cm from it's baseline. Remember that distance - 20cm.

Paul's very first order of the game was for 4 IFVs and a trike to advance. This group is able to move 25cm per command. Remember that move - 25cm

In FWC a command unit has to roll equal or under its Command value with 2 dice to get the order carried out. In this case Paul had to roll 8 but instead he rolled double 6. Double 6s are command blunders and require 2 more dice to see what the blunder is

Paul rolled 10 which is "All units under command make one full move directly towards their own table baseline".

Do you remember those two numbers? The units move 25cm and the baseline is only 20cm away.

Several hundred points of Squats disappear off the table. At this point I thought the Andrayadans would be all over us but they suffer from low Command Values so although they can usually move or fire in the Initiative phase they are limited in getting orders in.

Paul still had the Landtrain and the Mark III tank and did sterling work shooting at the Andrayadan Walkers. One got too close to my flamethrowing trikes and got fried.

At Last Orders the game was still pretty even. The Squats had inflicted more damage but the Andraydans still had their massive walkers. The Ancient Alien Artefact is still up for grabs

Please note the photos of the Squat Command Blunder are an artist's impression of what actually happened. The retreat happened too quickly for the embedded reporter to get any actual footage.

More photos can be found here

Friday 4 November 2011

Berkeley Vale Galaxy Wars - Part 1

Steve P is currently running a Future War Commander campaign at the club.

Here are the first two games - Kiwi Dave's Andarayadans raiding Collective Theta 4 which belongs to Gordon M's Cybernetic species X31.

All I can say is keep an eye on your car when Gordon's around

Gordon let Dave's troops creep up to the base then blew them away

More photos can be found here

In the second game Paul H's Tawe Clan (Welsh Squats) invaded Gallifrey part of Mike S's Eldar empire. What Paul didn't know was that Mike is a member of the Stroud Alliance - a collection of sentient lifeforms from the 5 Valleys Nebula that share Not-Quite-Faster-Than-Light transport between Stroud and the Tudor Arms on club nights

Mike called on his allies - Shaun M's Andrayadans and my Pax Arcadians - to help bolster his defence which we did without hesitation.

The game consisted of a series of artillery duels and orbital bombardments mainly by the crew of the Pax Arcadian Battle Cruiser "Arlesey Town 2 Forest Green Rovers 1" with the Welsh Squats getting the worst of it.

More photos can be found at here

Saturday 29 October 2011

10mm RJW Solo game using Future War Commander

Last month I did an RJW solo game using Battles for Empire (BFE). Last week I played the same game using Contemptible Little Armies 2nd Edition (CLA). Last night I did the same scenario using Future War Commander (FWC).

FWC is a set of sci-fi from Specialist Military Publishing who also publish Blitzkrieg Commander for WW2 and Cold War Commander for modern warfare. All 3 sets are based on Games Workshop's Warmaster rules.

I imagine there are a few raised eyebrows at using a set of Sci-Fi rules to refight a battle from the early 20th century. However FWC is a very flexible if abstract set of rules so basically regard the two forces as very-very-low-tech armies.

I must admit I am a very big fan of FWC and will consider using for most periods involving firearms. I have used it previously for French vs Austrians in 1859. Our local club also runs an annual FWC Bootcamp

The scenario is played out on a 2 foot terrain tile with 3 Japanese Battalions assaulting a single entrenched Russian battalion. The Russians also have 2 HMGs and 2 Field guns on a low ridge behind the trench-line so that they can provide overhead fire support until the Japanese get too close

For those not familiar with FWC the key to the game is the Command Value of a Command unit. The Command Value (CV) is usually in the range 7 to 10 with 7 being bad and 10 being good

Command units give order to troops under them by rolling their CV or less on 2D6. If they roll their CV then the troops carry out the orders otherwise that's it for that turn. A Command Unit can continue issuing order in the same turn as long as it passes it's CV - once it fails then that Command unit has to wait until next turn. CVs are modified by -1 for each extra order given to a unit and by the distance from the Command unit to the troops being ordered

There are only 2 orders in this game - move or shoot

Troops have several statistics, movement, attack, assault, hits & save - all measurements are in cm

Attack is for ranged weapons and is shown as number of dice / range so 3/30 is 3D6 upto 30cm ,Assault is the number of dice used in Close Combat ,Hits is the number of hits a unit can take and Save is the score required to negate hits

Ranged Attacks can be ordered or can be carried out as opportunity or initiative fire. Opportunity fire takes place in an opponent's turn and can be used against any unit that moves or shoots, Initiative fire takes place at the start of your turn if enemy troops are within Initiative range - usually 20cm - basically it is a free order. A unit can also move with initiative. However if a unit opportunity fires or fires or moves in the Initiative phase then it is a -1 to the CV roll.

If a unit shoots then it rolls it's Attack dice and requires 4,5 or 6 to hit - this is modified by -1 for soft cover and -2 for trenches.

If there are any hits then the unit hit can roll to save each one - usually 6. If the number of unsaved hits equals or exceeds the unit's Hit value then it is destroyed otherwise the unit is marked as having that number of hits and has to roll a dice for each unsaved hit to see if it is Suppressed - this is the same number as required to hit. Suppressed means that a unit can't do anything until the end of it's turn.


The Russian stats are...

Quantity Troops Arm Move Attack Assault Hits Save Points Cost
CO (CV8) cmd
HQ (CV8) cmd
Infantry Unit (Regulars) inf
Support Unit (MG, Maxim) inf
Support Unit (IG, 76mm) inf

This gives a force of 640 points. The Russians have a Rigid Tactical Doctrine which reduces their Command & Initiative Range to 15cm but if all units are given the same order then it is  +1 to the CV. They are also classed as Stubborn which means that they drop a Suppression dice and won't retreat.

The Russians split their force into a Left wing under the CO and a Right Wing under the HQ with a gun & HMG supporting each wing.

The Japanese stats are ...

Quantity Troops Arm Move Attack Assault Hits Save Points Cost
CO (CV9) cmd
HQ (CV9) cmd
Infantry Unit (Regulars) inf

This gives a force of 1410 points. The Japanese have Normal Tactical Doctrine which gives them a Command & Initiative Range of 20cm. They are also classed as Assault Troops which means they must use initiative to assault the enemy and there is no command penalty for assaulting.

The CO took the 1st Battalion in the centre with the HQs taking 2nd Battalion on the Left and 3rd Battalion on the Right.

On with the game -  Turn 1 saw the Russians open up with their HMGs and Field guns killing 1 base from 3rd Btn and suppressing a base from 2nd Btn. This must have spurred on 3rd Btn because they rolled 4 orders ending up just in front of the Russian trenches and getting opportunity fire from the Russians. 1st and 2nd Battalions failed to move (ie rolled more than 9)

In Turn 2 the Russians fail to do anything because a) they had opportunity fired in Turn 1 and therefore could not do Initiative fire and then failed their command roll. The Japanese 3rd Btn had to initiative assault which involves moving the attackers one base at a time - the target base and any unsuppressed bases within 10cm and having line-of-sight can do defensive fire. Therefore each attacker was subject to 3 bases each having 3 dice (2+1 for half range). 3rd Btn lost 6 bases without getting into contact

In the normal Japanese move 2nd  Btn no doubt inspired by 3rd Btn advanced rapidly towards the Russian trenches. The Russians don't opportunity fire so that they can fire in the Initiative phase. 1st Btn again fails to move.

Turn 3 starts with both Russian wings doing Initiative fire on the 2nd & 3rd Btns. 3rd Btn gets off without any casualties. 2nd  Btn gets a few hits. The Russian Right Wing then roll 3 successive shoot orders against 2nd Btn which kills 4 bases and suppresses 3 more. The Russian Left wing fails to roll it's CV

The Japanese 2nd & 3rd Btns have to initiative assault again with all unsuppressed units which leaves 3rd Btn with no bases and 2nd with only 3 bases.

Finally the 1st Btn decides to move forward and advances on a broad front against the Russians.

Opportunity fire by the Russians kills 2 bases and suppresses 5 more. 1st Btn then charges in and manages to kill 1 Russian unit in close combat. However 1st Btn gets another 4 base killed.

Game over for the Japanese with 26 bases lost to 1 Russian base. The Japanese army would have broken with loss of the 18th base.

Well I didn't see that one coming. I had expected the Japanese to do a little better than they did. However an uncoordinated attack by all 3 Japanese battalions is only going to have one result. Little damage was done to the attackers in the advance - failed CV rolls slowing them down more than Russian firepower. The killer was the compulsory assault in the Initiative phase when the attackers have to go in one by one and defenders can fire several times over.

I would probably replace the Japanese Assault Troop classification with Elite which costs the same but only has the no command penalty for assaulting although the former is more in line with a "man should die as a shattered jewel rather than live as an intact tile".

Nevertheless another interesting game - sorry if I've gone on at length about FWC. My gripes about FWC would be clutter with the various markers ie hits, suppression, opportunity fire etc , the brutal assault rules (yes I know you should only assault if the enemy are suppressed) and the failed command rolls.

Well I've played the same scenario using 3 different rules - I'll have to have a think about which one is the most suitable.

Other photos of the game can be viewed here

Tuesday 25 October 2011

10mm RJW Solo game using Contemptible Little Armies

A few weeks ago I did an RJW solo game using Battles for Empire. I've now played the same game using Contemptible Little Armies 2nd Edition (CLA).

The scenario is played out on a 2 foot terrain tile with 3 Japanese Battalions assaulting a single entrenched Russian battalion. The Russians also have 2 HMGs and 2 Field guns on a low ridge behind the trench-line so that they can provide overhead fire support until the Japanese get too close

I've never played CLA before - it looks like a very simple set of rules - however I may have misread some of the rules so bear with me. I did send a couple of queries to the CLA yahoo group but did not get any replies as my posting required approval from the moderator (and I obviously didn't get it)

CLA uses individual figure basing with units of 8-18. My battalions are split into 4 companies each of 3 bases of 4 figures. Therefore I had the choice of either keep it the same and have units of 12 figures or use 1 CLA figures = 1 Base. I went for the individual figures option although I will also try the 1 CLA figures = 1 Base at some point.

CLA uses a You-move-a-unit-I-Move-A-Unit sequence followed by 3 fire phases; HMGs, Artillery & Small Arms then Melee and finally Morale. Units that move can not fire.

The ground that the Japanese have to cross is mainly open with a couple of small areas of difficult going that provides cover. Movement, in inches, is either 2 dice in good going or 1 dice in difficult.

Firing in each phase is simultaneous. To Kill requires a 4 or more on a d6 modified by -1 for over half range and soft cover, -2 for trenches

HMGs have a range of 40 inches and roll 6 dice, Artillery have a range of 80 inches and roll 1 dice and if it is a hit then roll a dice for every figure within 2 inches killing over 5+ with no modifiers, rifles have a range of 12 inches and roll 1 dice per figure.

Morale, in the context of the RJW ie no tanks, flamethrowers or gas, is based on 1 morale test per every 2 casualties received in a turn. If troops are ferocious (Japanese) or stubborn (Russians) then 1 morale test can be ignored.

A morale test involves rolling equal or under your morale value. However as both sides had a morale of 5 then only a 6 was a failure.

As the Russians are sitting in trenches they leave all of the movement to the Japanese. The Japanese have moved up through Kaoliang fields and are ready to assault.

As an aside the Kaoliang fields are made from 17mm Coir matting available on ebay. It is sold in multiples of 1 metre by 5cm  at £1.79 per unit post free. Not cheap if you want to carpet your living room but a bargain for edges of Kaoliang fields. The seller asked me if I realised that I was only buying a 5cm strip - I told him I was a wargamer.

As with the first game there isn't much of an AAR - the Japanese boldly advance and the Russians shoot them down.

These rules are very bloody - in the first turn a company of the 1st Battalion lost 8 figures whilst turn 2 and 3 saw Japanese companies disappearing under a hail of MG, Artillery and Rifle fire.

By Turn 4 on the Japanese side only 2 companies of the 12 companies managed to reach the Russian trenches, one was wiped out in the melee and the other had lost 2/3rds of it's strength at the end of the turn. Of the 48 figures in each Battalion the 1st had lost 45, the 2nd 37 and the 3rd 21. The Russians had lost 3 figures out of 48

This game was quite a bit different from the Battles For Empire where all of the Japanese had not only reached the trenches but pushed the Russians out. CLA would have required at least another 3 battalions to be thrown into the attack and even then success would not have been certain.

There were several areas of CLA that I didn't use - off-table artillery and the attacker requiring a plan that involves 1st and 2nd waves plus reserves.

To be honest when I first read these rules I wasn't keen on them for three reasons.

Firstly the book layout makes it challenging to find bits of the rules -  thank you to the kind person who put a QRS on the yahoo group I would not have used them without it.

Secondly the conversion from 1 figure to 4 figures on a base didn't work well as I had to keep track of overall casualties  and those caused this turn

Thirdly they didn't seem to have much period flavour given the simplistic nature of the rules.

Having played them then the first and second reasons still stands but flavour is in the eye of the beholder and I actually felt a certain amount of helplessness as the Japanese attack floundered and then disintegrated in front of the Russian trenches.

I think they do have a good feel for the period and I will certainly try them again with the 1 figure = 1 base conversion.

Other photos of the game can be viewed here

10mm RJW Solo game using Battles for Empire

I'm currently painting forces for the Russo-Japanese War 1904-905 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

Other photos of the game can be viewed here
Welcome to Two Marshals - my blog about wargaming the careers of Marshals François Achille Bazaine and Philippe Pétain which covers the period 1831 to 1945.

The title is from Philip Guedalla's book of the same name which is an excellent read

Bazaine's career cover the Conquest of Algeria, the Carlist & Crimean Wars, the Italian War of Independence,   Maximilian's Adventure in Mexico and the Franco-Prussian War

Petain's career covers both World Wars. 

I do game other periods - Future War Commander in 6mm, Field of Glory in 15mm and anything else that takes my fancy