This Friday was supposed to be the next play test of the revised Return to the River Don rules, where I explored further the amended command and control sequence intended to speed the game up.
This hasn't quite gone as planned. The re-writing was supposed to be done during the week, but it never was. Then we thought we were playing at the Vicarage, but the Vicar was away, then it was supposed to be a multi-player game but the snow caused a few people to drop out.
So it ended up with me and Phil in my dining room with everything thrown together at the last minute.
And we played the original rules.
In this instance I can't blame the weather. Honestly round here we've had about 2cms maximum. No, I'm afraid to say that we have had medical issues with both of my parents. Nothing life threatening, but my father is in hospital for an extended stay and my mother had to have minor surgery. Consequently I've been doing the 40 mile round trip most evenings to visit both of them, so I didn't get to re-write anything. Didn't get any painting done either.
However I did give myself Friday evening off for the game.
So, surprisingly I actually got to play in my own game for once because there was only two of us. And it seems that the original game actually goes quickly enough if it's just played as a two player game. So in my quest for improved game time I just need to reduce my number of players. Hence my confusion as it was designed as a multi-player game.
As ever each game play prompts minor changes here and there, - this time something to do with non-moving units, plus I do need to look at the reserve fire rules.
And exactly how I classify the Garford's main cannon, and can it fire both main gun and maxims at the same time.
Anyway, to the game itself. We had a couple of White Regiments (5 battalions in total) with an armoured car section of three vehicles attacking 4 battalions of fairly rough quality Red infantry (apart from some sailors) and some artillery dug in behind wire.
Commanded by Phil the White's main effort was to throw their Officer battalions at the Red conscript battalion on their right whilst pinning the Red right wing with the armoured cars. You can see the Garford Putilov and an Austin Peerless armoured car pressing forwards, with some volunteer units in the background.
This was going quite well when we had to bring the game to an end, partly because the over-zealous Red commissar had succeeded in provoking a mutiny amongst the worker battalion.
On the positive side one of the White officer units was looking a bit worse for wear having been caught in the open by the artillery. They're heading for two hits per base, which is quite bad news, all things considered.
However, as you can see the Reds were also looking a bit ragged, - with a liberal spread of casualty rings and a number of adverse status markers. The hole at the end of the line has arisen as one of the artillery batteries has already packed its bags and left, thumbing its collective noses at the Cheka on the way out.
We finished about half eleven and chatted over what we'd done with a cup of tea or coffee, before Phil departed into the thickly falling snow about midnight (all pretty much gone by the morning).
So I tidied up and listened to the first few overs of the cricket. Enough to hear captain Strauss get himself out. At least it was better news in the morning.