Tuesday, June 08, 2010


The British armoured column grinds to a halt as Lt Col Sir John Napier holds up his right hand. Dusty and weary from four days skirmishing along roads barely visible in the barren landscape, the British officer’s eyes are still clear and alert. Glancing back along the line, he can see that his men are tired and the lack of sleep is beginning to take its toll. The Sikh’s in particular, marching on foot, are beginning to look worn down.
James Cartwright jumps down from a truck and jogs to the side of Napier’s tank. Following him is his local guide.
“What is it general?” the civilian asks.
Sir John indicates an approaching duct cloud on the road ahead with a jerk of his chin. “We’re finally leaving the mountains” he adds. Cartwright shields his eyes from the unforgiving sunlight and squints at the approaching vehicle. After a minute or so he realises it is the Morris truck driven by the American. “Mansfield!”
“With luck they’ll have found the road to the mine” Sir John replies.

“We haven’t found a road” Mansfield begins, “but we have found a railway!”
“A railway?” Sir John produces his map and spreads it on the burning hot hood of the Morris.
“It must be the line that runs to the mine” Cartwright says. What else could it be?”
“It can’t be” the general replies. “That’s to the north of us. Here. Show me on this map”.
Daniel Mansfield regards the map for a moment and then points. “Here. In this long thin valley”
They all look at the map in confusion. The indicated valley moves to the south, away from where the railway is marked, and away from the mine.
“What do you sir?” Lt Leftbridge-Smythe asks. Sir John straightens up, his spine popping audibly.
“I think we need to rest. We’ll move to this valley and find a spot to hide the group. From there, we can scout out the terrain and find out where this railway leads to. If it’s a dead end, then we’ve lost a day, but the men will be rested. Come on. Let’s get cracking!”

Several hours later, as the sun begins to slide down the sky, the British finally reach the railway. A single, wide gauged track leads along a barren and largely infertile valley, a dry river bed largely obscured in the distance. Sir John peers along its curving path. There hasn’t been any sight of the Bolsheviks now for over a day. As he stands by the rails, Daniel Mansfield joins him.
“My God this is a desolate place”
Mansfield nods and kicks a rail softly with his boot. The rail is polished a dull silver along its upper surface.
“We’ll blow the rails here,” Sir John decides. “...and if any one tries to come along it, we’ll give them what for. There’s some sort of a small valley over there, we’ll hide the group there whilst you scout along the rails and see where they lead.”
That shouldn’t take too long” Mansfield replies. Are you sure you need to set camp?”
“Yes. The men need to rest”.
“Very well then” Mansfield grins and motions to George Macarthur who immediately begins to rummage about in the back of the Morris.

Strapped to the Project Meteor rocket once again, Daniel Mansfield turns to salute the men watching him. He see’s Sir John lift a farewell hand as he presses the ignition button and with a heaving jolt leaps up into the sky. He climbs higher than usual and turns in a lazy arc, levelling out until he can see the tracks below. Then he opens up the throttle and lets the rockets roar louder and faster than ever before. The landscape rushes below him and his head shivers as the air passes by the rudder on his helmet. It takes mere minutes to reach the far end of the long winding valley, and there, to his surprise are buildings. As he climbs higher to get a better view, he sees an entire town huddled in the foothills of the lower valley. Mine head towers, cranes and gantries poke up between dark slag heaps and factory chimneys. As he passes over the settlement, he sees people running to and fro, heavy K4 tanks in rows, and a rail shunting yard. This is no mere mine. It is a secret industrial base.
“Crikey!” he mutters as a black puff of smoke erupts in the air above him. The people on the ground have begun firing an anti aircraft gun at him, but his speed and agility keep him safe. A last stolen glance however and he is off again, heading north with all possible haste.

As he flies back towards the others, he becomes aware of a plume of smoke on the distant horizon. A train is approaching from the head of the valley. He keys his radio transmitter...



The British start with all their vehicle elements hidden out of sight in the crater shaped valley.

The Bolsheviks start on board the train.


Player one; Rasmus

George Macarthur

’Mad Dog’ Mitchell

One Morris C4 15-CWT Light Truck

5 Squadron; 17/21st Lancers & RAA;

Any vehicles which survived Chapt 3

Players two; Palle
Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Napier
Mister James Cartwright (Civilian Advisor)
Any vehicles which survived Chapt 3
3 Squadron; 17/21st Lancers;
Any vehicles which survived Chapt 3
A Company; 17/21st Lancers;
3rd Platoon (Mechanised)
Any troops which survived Chapt 3
C Company; Royal Army Service Corps;
Any vehicles which survived Chapt 3
D Company; 8th Royal Dragoon Guards;
Engineering Section;
Any vehicles which survived Chapt 3

Player Three; Jan
Lt. Leftbridge-Smythe
4 Squadron; 17/21st Lancers;
Any vehicles which survived Chapt 3
B Company; 3rd Lahore Division;
3rd Platoon;
Any troops which survived Chapt 3


Player four; Goeg
Comrade Sgt Nagovitsin

1st Company; 122nd Guards Rifle Red Banner Order of Termez Regiment;

2nd Squad;

Fire Team A (5 rifles & 1 LMG)

Fire Team B (5 rifles & 1 LMG)

Fire Team C (1 HMG)

Player five; Oleg
Comrade Major Kapustin

Comrade Captain Yankov; Radio Signals Officer

Comrade Sgt Timorov; Sniper

6th Company; ONB-7 Independent Special-Purpose Rifle Corps;

Any troops which survived Chapt 1

ONB-7 Armoured Train ’Destroyer’

One Armoured Locomotive (No weapons)

Two Gun Carriages (4 76.2mm guns & 4 HMGs)

One Unarmoured Passenger Carriage (No weapons)

Player Six; Tracey
Olga (Uighur Bandit Queen & unscrupulous weapons dealer)
Bandits & Anarchists
Nikolai Dargomyzhsky; Anarchist Hero
Silent Wu; Explosives expert
Any troops which survived Chapt 1



All terrain is Difficult


Victory conditions

The British win by capturing the train. In order to do this, they must defeat at least one of the gun carriages and take possession of the carriage.

The Bolsheviks win by preventing the British, or by defeating four armoured vehicles.

Or, either side can gain a technical victory by destroying two thirds of the enemy infantry elements, or both enemy command elements.


Special notes

The train is held together by armoured couplings, but there is enough space for one standard infantry element to move between wagons.
The Carriage gives +2 protection to any one using it as effective cover.
The train is comprised of one unarmed locomotive, one carriage and two gun carriages. The gun carriages can hold four additional infantry, in this case, Black Guard Riflemen.

Grenades. All players receive one grenade counter for every four infantry elements.

Rocketman has three hero points in this game.


RM6.4 was played on Thursday 13th May. 2010
Players were Palle, Jan, Goeg and Oleg .

The morning after we played this game, I was unfortunate enough to tear off the surface of my cornea. Subsequently the write up got forgotten and now, several weeks later I am no longer certain of the sequence of events. Here is an account of the game to the best of recollection.

The game began as planned with the train stuck on the tracks and under fire from the Sikh's. The British armour was still inside the dome shaped valley and this allowed the Bolsheviks to deploy to cover.

As the British began to crawl forward, opening fire from within the valley against the rear gun carriage, Rocketman immediately went on the offensive and flew forward to take cover behind the locomotive. This spawned a discussion as to whether or not the people on the far side of the locomotive could toss grenades over at him, and if they could, what sort of penalties they might encounter. Since I was playing Rocketman, I was opposed to his being blasted with grenades without a penalty for accuracy and the tricky nature of getting a grenade to roll over the top of the locomotive and fall down on top of Rocketman. In the end it all came to naught.

Encouraged by having advanced so easily, Rocketman now attempted to come to grips with some of the Bolsheviks who were attempting to out flank the Sihk's... at least I think thats what they were trying to do. Rocketman engaged them in hand to hand combat, but soon foundhimself being swarmed by several Reds and with one unscrupulous Chinese bandit lurking above him with a grenade.

The rear gun carriage proved quite difficult to destroy, not least once it began to return fire. Unable to bring more than one other gun to bear, it had a difficult time destroying the British armour, but it did manage to take out the last of the British Mk VI's before it was itself finally destroyed. I'm a little unsure as to the sequence of events at this point, but once the rear gun carriage was downed the British armour advanced as fast as possible to engage the forward gun carriage.

Rocketman survived his fisticuffs, and thanks to his rockets, manage to break away before he was overwhelmed. . After a brief pause to gather his wits he flew over the train and landed under cover of some rocks behind the Bolsheviks. Kapustin and his men immediately went on the attack but Rocketman was relentless. Tossing a grenade he bounded over and past the confused Russians and their Asian allies and broke his way into the carriage. Despite using all three hero points, the grenade didn't have much effect, alas, but Rocketman didn't have time to worry about that!

Goeg got adventurous but it was too late in the game. He rallied his men for a desperate charge against the Sihks on the ridgeline, several of whom were suppressed by the foreward gun carriage.

Mitchell had also gotten adventurous and had run up to support the Sihk's. A blast from the gun carriage knocked him senseless (thus fulfilling a Rocketman tradition as Mitchell nearly always gets downed).

Rocketman penetrated the carriage and began to clear it. The Bolsheviks tried to stop him, with several running into beat him up, but despite their best effots Daniel Mansfield held his ground. With time running out he beat each and every Bolshie sensless until 11 o'clock put a stop to the game and there was still one Bolshevik left standing in the carriage. Thus, by the narrowest of margins, the Bolsheviks won the game having prevented the British from capturing the train.

The game was mostly fun, but I think I made it too structured. There weren't that many chances for the Bolsheviks to move out of cover and perhaps they could have had reinforcements or something. Having said that, the game did run its course and we did finish in time and with a reasonable result. Another five minutes would have seen a British victory I think, but such is the whim of fortune!


Tervlon said...

Great intro and campaign skirmish! Maybe I skipped over it, but were the tracks indeed blown? I'm assuming this forced the train to stop and fight the Brits and Sikhs?

I hope your eye is recovering.

moif said...

Yes, and it has. Thank you. =)