Why Jozi's Tin Man? This has caused a little confusion. It is in reference to a Savage Worlds game I played with my wife, Jozi, where she played a flying monkey and I was a Tin Man. Hence Jozi's (possessive) Tin Man.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ruritanian-Elbonian War of 1925: Battle 1

As a side project, and to test out basing schemes for 1/600 scale for my Korean War project, I decided to wargame the little known 1925 war between Ruritanian and Elbonia.  Think of it as "Warfare During the Age of Poirot."

Mostly it was an excuse to do an interwar Imaginations campaign that I could use to play battles from CS Grant's Scenarios for Wargames and paint up some FT-17's.

I will post details on the armies, but here are some possible points of interest:

  • I fielded both armies together for <$40 from Pico Armor's WW1 French and Russian ranges.  The armies are based on 40mm x 20mm ovals and at full strength, each consists of:
    • Ruritania (French WW1)
      • 1 x HQ
      • 12 x Infantry Companies (bases)
      • 4 x Machine Gun Companies
      • 4 x Field Artillery
      • 2 x Armored car companies
      • 4 x FT-17 Tank Companies
      • 7 x Trucks
      • 2 x SPAD 13's
    • Elbonia (Russian WW1)
      • 1 x HQ
      • 14 x Infantry Companies
      • 4 x Machine Gun Companies
      • 4 x Field Artillery
      • 3 x Armored car companies
      • 1 x FT-17 Company
      • 4 x Cavalry Squadrons
      • 2 x SPAD 13's
  • I have a new base supplier!!!! Our Laser Cuts
    • Check them out, they are half the price of other base suppliers and do the pill shape I prefer for 20th century + gaming.  No matter what shape you want, they are great, ship fast and have free shipping in the US!
  • Rules
    • I am of course experimenting with my own but...
I will eventually get pictures of the army posted, and will play these games irregularly as the mood strikes.  There is something liberating about imaginations, though.

Now on with the show...

Recent History of Ruritania

Since the end of the Great War, Ruritania has recovered fairly quickly, not having been racked by civil war as Germany has.  As a minor member of the Central Powers, Ruritania was treated leniently by the Allies in the Treaty of Versailles.  France, in particular, sees the benefit in having a friendly, stable nation in central Europe, and Ruritania has traditional ties to France going back to the War of the Spanish Succession.

As a result, the Royal Ruritanian Army is equipped primarily with French surplus equipment as the current King has sought to modernize in the face of growing threats, including FT-17 Tanks.  The King is the titular head of the armed forces, but while he is a gifted diplomat, field command of the army falls to his Brother the Duke of Streslau, who commanded the Ruritanian Expeditionary Force (REF) during the Great War and served on the staff of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria.

The primary security concerns of Ruritania are the bellicose pronouncements by the neighboring People’s Republic of Elbonia and fear of internal communist insurrection.   Recent liberalization and the increase in the power of the Diet has diffused some of the latter, but recent border incidents have increased fear of the former.  More conservative elements of the Ruritanian aristocracy have even called for stamping out the Red Menace on their borders.

Recent History of Elbonia

The Elbonians have been one of the many small minority groups that made up the Austro-Hungarian Empire since their absorption by the Hapsburgs after the Seven Year’s War.  The breakup of the Empire at the end of the war has finally allowed the Elbonians to assert their independence, under the flag of a worker’s revolution.  

Elbonia is primarily an agricultural economy.  The People's Army is equipped with former Austro-Hungarian small arms and weapons funneled from their fraternal comrades in the USSR.  Officers and Commissars are trained by the Red Army and the troops are thoroughly politically indoctrinated.  The Elbonians have traditionally been strong horsemen, and as a result, still field a cavalry force, which was used to great effect in the Elbonian Civil War.

Currently, the Politburo in Volksburg is increasing its military readiness, both from fear of attack by the reactionary Ruritanians and a desire to free the workers of Ruritania (and Ruritanian factories and mineral resources.)  Recent border clashes with the Enemies Of The People, have led to heightened readiness.

First Blood: Elbonian Attack on the Ruritanian Border

This game was based loosely on scenario 1 from Scenarios for Wargames.  the forces are:

Ruritania (Defending)
  • 4 x Infantry Companies
  • 2 x Machine Gun Companies
  • 2 x artillery batteries
Elbonia (Attacking)
  • 6 x Infantry Companies
  • 1 x Armored car company
  • 2 x Cavalry Squadrons
  • 2 x Artillery Batteries
Here is the terrain

The Elbonians attack from the bottom of the picture

 Over the first few turns, the Elbonians attack and clear the wood on the flank, but with casualties
 They then launch their first assault on the town.
It is beaten back byartillery and machine guns, the Elbonians then bombard the town

 The defending machine gun company has finally been destroyed, but the town is still garrisoned by an infantry company, about to be reinforced by another one.  The Elbonians launch another attack.
Despite attempts by the Cavalry to intervene, the Elbonian infantry is cut to ribbons by the Ruritanian artillery.  The Elbonian Commisar arrests the Brigade commander and calls off the attack.

There are a few rules tweaks I want to make, but it was a pretty fun game.  Playing on hexes greatly sped play.  I expect more dispatched from the war to arrive at irregular intervals, stay tuned!

Until next time, good gaming!

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019 Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

There is nothing more irritating than having silly things like jobs interfere with the main purpose of life, which is playing with toy soldiers. But, alas, for the last month or so I have been doing some consulting in the evenings, and unfortunately it does not include wargaming.  Hopefully I will be able to restore balance soon.

Meanwhile in my professional life, I subscribe to Eisenhower’s maxim that “The plan isn’t important, the planning is.”  In that spirit, I have decided to set my priorities and set some specific hobby goals for this year.  And I am going to take a variation of “the pledge” and will not start any new projects until these are done.

The Great War with Trench Hammer

  1. Rework my Great War resources page
  2. Create and post video tutorials for the rules
  3. Finish painting the remaining 10mm troops, odds and ends
  4. Play at least 8 games of Trench Hammer based on scenarios from the TFL book
The Ruritanian-Elbonian War of 1925 (Imagi-nations)
  1. These troops are painted and ready for the table! Pictures will follow
  2. Create site with background info and post my rules based on The Portable Wargame
  3. Play at least 12 scenarios during the year from CS Grants Scenarios for Wargames
6mm AWI skirmish with Patriots and Rebels
  1. Finish painting forces for the campaign in the Carolinas
  2. Play at least 6 games 
Korean War
  1. Paint the pucoarmor forces I already bought
  2. Start playing Hammer of Democracy 
  3. As a stretch goal, paint up the aircraft I have for some air gaming
WW2 East Front with Tank on Tank board game rules
  1. I have recently bought the game and want to convert it to picocarmor on big bases.
Ok that ought to hold me for 2019!  I will update this weekend and add a checklist to the sidebar.