TBC Gallery of Games Past

4/21/2006

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CTL: Back of Beyond
  This time with many unpleasant surprises for Capitaine Ouest LeBoeuf, and just one unpleasant surprise for Major Weenie. Major Weenie's obligatory, and now traditional, grumbling that the "Contemptible Little Armies rules really weren't designed for 28mm figures, and that they really did seem to be better suited for 15mm stuff" was shouted down, and gaming commenced. The Game Master had conceived a particularly cunning scenario in which four independent forces approached each other from the four corners of a relatively small gaming table. This would insure a game that developed quickly, and that would compensate for that great club tradition of starting the game too late. Victory points were to be granted based upon seizure of 4 terrain features spread about the table in such a fashion so that each force had 2 targets located temptingly nearby. Players would thus have to decide whether to split their forces in an effort to grab 2 features, or throw everything at just one, and hope that no other player managed to grab anything worth a point. Top right, a close up of The Heroic Red Cavalry, or villainous communists depending upon one's persuasion. Colonel Rimsky Korsakoff maneuvered his unusually balanced command (2 units of mere riflemen, 1 MG, 1 field gun, and 1 unit of cavalry) so that his rear and flanks were protected by the riflemen supported by heavy firepower. Meanwhile his enthusiastic cavalry rushed forward and, much to the surprise of his nearest Chinese-bandit opponent, seized the ruined buildings on the West side of the table, which counted as a victory condition.   game1004.jpg
 
  Much to the surprise of Bandit leader 'Twang' the Red cavalry establishes itself in the ruined village. Twang had based his plan on the assumption that cavalry would not be able to enter the rough terrain of the village, but he hadn't taken account of the fact that in this rules system, as in many others, when cavalry dismounts... They become... Infantry. Now Twang would have to winkle the Reds out of what he considered to be his village.   game1005.jpg
 
  The cavalry of Chinese Governor Mu (portrayed by the soon to be very unfortunate Capitaine Ouest LeBoeuf) moves forward to confront the mounted troops of Colonel Ungen Stergen. The member portraying the erratic Colonel US is perhaps the club's most 'dice proficient' player (i.e. he's very good at rolling the 1D6). So this was a pretty gutsy move on the part of Capitaine Ouest LeBoeuf, but as he explained at the time his opponents had an unbalanced force composed mostly of irregular cavalry that would probably wilt under modern small arms fire.   game1003.jpg
 
  Governor Mu's infantry move up to a firing position in support of their cavalry.   game1002.jpg
 
  Governor Mu's cavalry and Ungen Stergen's irregular Tibetan horsemen charge each other in the middle of the 'Rubber Oasis,.' a geographic feature so named because it actually is constructed out of painted rubber. The wild Tibetans gradually pushed back the Chinese regular cavalry, with high casualties on both sides.   game1007.jpg
 
  Bandit Leader Twang brings up his tank to eject the Reds from his village. (Now comes the sad bit for your humble correspondent, who portrayed the bandit leader.) The umpire had cautioned that, "No one had actually played with tanks before, and we didn't quite know how they'd work out." The general consensus was that they'd be either much more powerful than their point value indicated, or something of a disappointment. Twang certainly was disappointed when he discovered that the rules forbad his driving a tank into rough terrain. He was equally disappointed upon discovering that infantry in hard cover were completely impervious to shells fired from guns mounted on a tank. He was even more disappointed to discover that tanks were immediately destroyed by the first hit from a field gun. Consequently Twang's tank spend most of the game 'threatening' the Russian infantry ensconced in the village which largely ignored him.   game1006.jpg
 
  After frittering away most of the game Twang decided to have the tank rush around the flank of the village, and try to overrun the Russian artillery hoping that Rimsky Korsakoff would roll badly and not make the 4,5, or 6 on a D6 needed to knock out the (largely useless) tank. To Twang's delight Korsakoff blew the dice roll! However, Governor Mu's field gun 'shot Twang in the back' and destroyed the tank from across the table.   game1001.jpg
 
  After grinding through Governor Mu's regular cavalry Ungen Stergen's Tibetan enter a section of open plain. The Chinese bring up infantry to riddle the irregulars with rapid fire from their modern small arms, only to be informed by the umpire that in this rules set infantry can not both move and fire. The "Mad Russian" whips his irregular horsemen into a hurried charge on the hapless infantry, decimating them at first contact.   game1009.jpg
 
  An even closer view of the 'soon to disappear' Chinese infantry. The well painted Tibetans eradicate the first infantry unit before them, then sweep on and catch a second infantry unit in column of march. Ungen Stergen's cavalry continues across the field, rolling 6's on a D6, exterminating Chinese units, and closing in on the increasingly nervous Governor Mu. By the end of the game the shell shocked Capitaine Ouest LeBoeuf only has two units left; his figure of Governor Mu, and the 'Evil' field gun which he then uses to 'shoot Twang in the back' destroying his tank. A week after the game LeBoeuf confided that out of 70 figures on the table he had lost 67 to enemy cavalry action, and he had inflicted a paltry 2 casualties on the Tibetans. It was, in his own words, "The worst defeat in his entire history of wargaming." It should come as no surprise to the reader that Ungen Stergen won the game, with the other three players achieving varying degrees of loser status. Twang seized the village, but only after Korsakoff was forced to pull out his forces to protect himself from more of the rampaging Tibetan cavalrymen. For the Russians the most frustrating part of the game appeared to be the heavy casualties inflicted by one of Twang's units of spear armed fanatics. Even on this flank the guys with the old fashioned weapons seemed to do best.   game1008.jpg
 
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