With the rain lashing the windows and the temperature dropping close to zero why not add to the British Bank Holiday traditions by having a wargame on Bank holiday Monday. I have, in previous Mays, put on large games in my garage but having had people close to being treated for exposure on a number of occasions I have now abandoned that idea.
After a month or so playing with Spain's domestic troubles it was time to return to the Russian equivalent with a reworking of "Return to the River Don". The Phoenix group in Glasgow took up these rules on Phil's recommendation as they were looking to refight the Bolshevik invasion of Poland. They made a number of changes to speed up the game which looked interesting and in retrospect obvious so I adopted some of those as well as changing the melee rules (which I have always hated as they were lifted almost word for word from a commercial set) by introducing a variant of those in "Send Not To Know".
I had four players, one of whom hadn't played RTTRD before, but had played SNTK a couple of times. In the initial briefing he wondered why I needed two different sets of rules for two wars that were "essentially the same". This is one of my pet hates. Osprey are publishing a set of inter-war rules in their new rules series that claim to cover both, and whilst it is true that the weaponry is similar the conduct of the wars is different. For example in RTTRD recalcitrant units can be coerced into obeying orders, but at some cost. In SNTK the challenge is to make differing units on the same side co-operate with each other.
The Whites had to capture the line. They had an Officer regiment, a regular battalion and a brigade of cossacks plus a couple of Austin Peerless armoured cars.
The Whites started with push through the woods on the Red right with their Officer Regiments and then a general advance along the line, as I struggled to remember the nuances of the rules system. The Red artillery put some well directed fire into the centre White infantry regiment which caused their conscript battalion to have second thoughts about advancing off their hill.
Fortunately for me I had a couple of battalions in reserve, and supported by an armoured car was able to launch an immediate counter charge and recapture it.
Much fun was had by all, I think. I certainly enjoyed myself, and it was nice to get out some different toys after a long run of SCW.