Tuesday, 25 June 2013

15mm Russo-Japanese War Batrep and Rules Testing...............

........for "The Tsar and the Emperor".

The Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) was the first great war of the 20th century. It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liadong Peninsula and Mukden; and the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.
Russia sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean, for their navy as well as for maritime trade. Vladivostok was only operational during the summer season, but Port Arthur would be operational all year. From the end of the  First Sino-Japanese War (August 1894-April 1895) and 1903, negotiations between Russia and Japan had proved impractical. Japan offered to recognize Russian dominance in Manchuria in exchange for recognition of Korea as a Japanese sphere of influence. Russia refused this, so Japan chose war to counter the Russian aggression in Asia. After discussions broke down in 1904, the Japanese Navy attacked the Russian eastern fleet at Port Arthur, a naval base in the Liaotung province leased to Russia by China, which led to war. The Russians were poorly organized and the Japanese defeated them in a series of battles on land and at sea.
The resulting campaigns, in which the Japanese military attained victory over the Russian forces arrayed against them, were unexpected by world observers. Over time, the consequences of these battles would transform the balance of power in East Asia, resulting in a reassessment of Japan's recent entry onto the world stage.

Postie (Stuart) invited myself and Ray over to the test his new home bodged rules for his 15mm Russo-Japanese period (The Tsar and the Emperor), the figures are all done and from what I saw he is working on about 2 miles of trench works (it was bleeding everywhere around the house). I loved the sound of this period as I have always liked the Japanese period right up to this era.

Both sides are at division strength, the Japanese have more artillery (3:2) and more machine guns (4:1), the Japanese have better command radius (nearly twice the distance of the Russians) and better morale than their poor Siberian counterparts, guess who ended up with the fecking Russians?, I later received a note from Postie saying that the Russians couldn't fire anything at long range and all firing dice would be halved because they were Siberian!


Initial set up, two divisions about to unexpectedly meet up on a road through a valley....

Some of the Emperor's finest..........

Japanese cavalry lead the way.......

My Serbian boys advancing behind their cavalry......

The distinctive white uniform from the period, there were also green uniform as well but the white looks good.....

A closer look of a regiment and flag.......

These would have the most success.......

The thin white line.......

The enemy...........and Ray........

I spot Japanese cavalry......... 

....and wallop! I would cause a retreat and hit them again and cause another retreat but eventually a bad morale roll would send them off the table.........

The road gave extra movement but was still a log jam........

This was the fecking note the evil shite Postie gave me soon after the opening turns......
"Russian infantry battalions may only fire at close or effective range NOT LONG. Due to poor firing our dice total will be halved, Ha Ha ha Ha Ha, sorry, not really"

Japanese columns reach the top of the hill......

I start to push off the road to allow more movement......

The battle turned into a war of rifle, artillery and machine gun fire, very bloody rules......

We had to call a halt as Ray had to go on an errand (I heard a whip crack) and Postie called a draw but only because Ray started crying but an enjoyable game in a new period I've never played and the rules were quite good too........



Will comment and answer questions later tonight or tomorrow morning, going to see World War Z!!!!!!!

100 comments:

  1. Great Batrep mate. One of the advantages of unemployment, you get to play games while the rest of us are slaving away at work!

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  2. Cool report! Love the paint job on the russkies.

    Looking forward to your War Z review!

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  3. Ray's not the enemy?
    Nice setup. Thanks for the history lesson. Don't think we learned much about that war in school.

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    1. They only tell you the well known bits, maybe in a class in Japan?

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  4. a battle you just cannot refuse...

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  5. The Siberians acquited themselves nicely, in the end.

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    1. The snow and ice make them tough but not too bright?

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  6. Four things leap out from this report. 1, Ray is p*ssy whipped! 2, White uniforms do look better than green ones. 3 The game may have started too far apart! 4 Postie is evil....but he does it with panache!

    As a taster of things to come the whole set up looks grand! I look forward to more.

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    1. Pussy whipped indeed!!! The kids needed picking up from school!

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    2. You're doing the school runs. Hahahahaha.

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    3. I had to walk 2.5 miles each way to and from school. You got as free bus pass if more than 3 miles away. So I had to walk as my parents could not afford a bus ticket each way.

      So "Picking up the kids from school" does not wash as an excuse to me!

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    4. I did to Clint and I had to wear a dress and somehow keep it and my legs from getting dirty. By the time I got to school, I was covered in filth and my hair was a rats nest from the rain.

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    5. I have never seen so many kids dropped off at schools by parents in cars these days, I walked or got a bus when I was younger and no matter what the weather was doing.

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  7. Marvelous looking troops, movement and battlefield. Tough break on the range of your Russians. They look great though, as well as Postie's Japanese. I do love the early-war blue uniform over the khaki. It conveys the Turn of the Century look best. Amazing looking game for a period I also have much interest in. Best, Dean

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  8. The war between Russians and the Japanese was always very intriguing to me, Fran. Love the figures, especially the mounted ones!
    Speaking of Russians, there's a naked Russian lady waiting for you and Ray over at my place :)

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  9. Enemy and Ray, so Ray is a whole other threat? lol

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  10. Per Field Artillery and Firepower by Maj. Gen J.B.A. Bailey

    The Russian's did know how to fire indirectly, they were one of the early proponents of it. But at the field level, they initially preferred to take the traditional commanding height approach and were thus shot to pieces. Their guns were superior, but the level of crew training was not equal to the Japanese. They tended to hold too many guns in reserve. As time went on both sides came to use more indirect fire, and this method dominated the actions. On August 28, 1904 General Kuropatkin order all Russians artillery to fire from concealed positions: which started the trend toward a WW1 no-mans-land type of action. As the depth of the war zone increased, much like WW1, shrapnel came to be seen as less useful. HE came to dominate. The author goes on but it basically just trends with what happened in WW1.

    Almost universally observers choose to downplay the lessons.

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    1. That's interesting because the Russian artillery is considered better in range but equal in all other respects in the rules and in the amount of duds!

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    2. The Russians did have better guns. The Japanese 2.95" Ariska FG and their mountain guns of the same caliber only had a range of 5,000m. So they were forced to drag their mountain guns up into the battle zone, at a high cost, to support their infantry. Counter battery fire came to be viewed as both critical and devastating, with concealment being of utmost importance. A footnote describes the Japanese copying some captured Russian guns (probably the carriage/mounting) and using the copies only weeks after the capture. He also notes that the Japanese did not have high quality horses, so they often were not able to effectively haul their heavier pieces. Further their cavalry lacked horse artillery, so that arm lacked the support to exploit successes.

      The Russian artillery was often so devastating in defense, that their infantry did not even man the trenches, succeeding with artillery alone. "During the day, artillery governed the battle, whilst the infantry acted chiefly at night." At Ta-Shih-Chiao the Russian First Corp. held its front all day with just six batteries, and the Japanese were unable to approach within 3,000m. At the same battle a different footnote tells that the two sides were 3km apart and neither side felt inclined to send the infantry forward until the artillery duel had been won. The artillery became so important, that at one point the Russians thought of assigning dedicated infantry to their guns, rather than other way around.

      Obviously, you are already getting into the deep battle zone of WW1, not the open, but relatively shallow battle zones of the late 19th century. Of course war is a complex beast, so you still had close in fighting, infantry overrunning guns, cavalry actions, etc.

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  11. Two nice looking armies. Must admit not a period I know much about but seems a good game

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  12. Cool report! Love the paint job Francis , Great battle.
    Cheers

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  13. Nice historical background Fran. Had it not been for the draw you'd likely have pummeled the weasel Rousell. He claims he was doing the school run, but we all know he's just a whipped man.

    Enjoy the movie and give us a review of it!

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    1. You're right Anne and no problem on the movie.

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  14. Great batrep for a great period Fran, very nice pics!

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  15. Very cool looking game. I stumbled upon a book you may like.

    Degtyarev, Captain A. 2003. NOTES UPON COMPANY AND BATTALION TACTICS AND THE EMPLOYMENT OF ARTILLERY IN BATTLE BASED ON THE EXPERIENCES OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR OF 1904-5. Russo-Japanese War Research Society. http://www.russojapanesewar.com/lesser-3.html

    Found this while researching Russian Tactics for WWI. Interesting stuff.

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    1. That sounds excellent, I'll speak to Postie.

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  16. Nice looking battle. I like the look of those...interesting sounding period..one I haven´t paid any Attention to..I´m off to Google it.

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  17. Great looking table. Interesting challenges for the Russian player. I've not gamed this war yet.

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    1. The Russian European divisions were larger, that would help!

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  18. Like everyone else, it's not a period I have paid much attention to and have certainly never seen it gamed. A good battle report, you certainly had your work cut out for you, so it was probably better that Ray left early...

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  19. Great report and great game. This sounds like an interesting period to start some research on.

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  20. Nice report and lovely pics.

    So, despite all the disadvantages TEP (The Evil Postie) subjected you to, you still beat Ray (until TEP called it a draw)?

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  21. Great looking game Francis, always wanted to know more about this period. Can't wait to hear about WWZ!

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  22. Very nice...my shed envy continues...

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  23. This really was exciting. I could feel a certain urgency... oh wait... nope that was a bathroom call, after all. Hey what happens when troops need to go? Just asking. Enjoy wwz.

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  24. Great looking game and period. Interesting to see how the rules work, it is always good to have a 15mm alternative to FOW.

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  25. Nice AAR !!!

    Greate looking game !

    best regards Michael

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  26. General: It is good to see you in the Command Room again.

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  27. Great looking game. Not a period I know much about... interestingly(?) the next FoW supplement is about the Japs in Manchuria just pre WWII... must admit it still doesnt grab me much though ...

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    1. I must admit I've tried WW2 Japanese but it never bit!

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  28. Good looking game Fran. I hope World War Z is good. I enjoyed the book over my holiday. Of course I forgot to review it on the blog.

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  29. Looks like a great game. The Russian firing restrictions must have bit donkey balls. Excellent era though (which I am just beginning to appreciate).

    Enjoy the movie!

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    1. Thanks Chris, good donkey reference by the way!

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  30. Great looking game and an interesting period to game! I like the white uniforms!

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    1. You don't see it too often unless you like Austrians!

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  31. I recently have dabbled in reading on this conflict. My initial observation is the Russians had material and manpower while the Japanese had training and leaders. The Russian leadership( can't call them poor really) seemed stuck in past forms of warfare and what worked. The Japanese were more fluid and intuitive in battle planning. The Russian navy was smashed by the Japanese, so the Japanese had great supply lines and superb logistics. They couldn't replace field losses and Russian trains and population gave them the decided edge in a war of attrition.
    I can say from initial outing, you are a superior general to what the Russians had at the start!

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  32. What a great AAR Fran and super looking table to boot!

    Christopher

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  33. That looked like a really good game and the figures and table are excellent. Poor old Russkies - they got quite a shellacking in that war - you wouldn't like to be the Russians in any naval battle either! The Japanese were outclassed only in cavalry - they couldn't out-scout the cossacks - not that it mattered much as the cossacks were feckin useless manning a trench. The Japs were also quite prepared to suffer horrendous losses in frontal assaults on entrenched Russians - they won the war but still managed a massive 'butcher's bill'. And if the Empress (She Who Must Be Obeyed) ordered one of her generals to abandon the field and pick up the kids from school, then who can blame a Russian general from giving him some stick for it, eh?

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  34. The Tsar and the Emperor, what a great title!

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    1. I helped with the title as it needed work.

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    2. Postie said
      "Fran 's help is about as much use as a wet tissue!"

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  35. Great report and photos Fran!

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  36. I love the little white hats. So cute. Though I understand I am not supposed to say they are cute. But they are.

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  37. You're expecting me to comment on the flags because that's what I *always* comment on. Not this time, Fran. Not this time. I want to know about World War Z. Should I go see it? Was it like the book? C'mon, man!! Spill it!!!

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    1. Not like the book that much but worth a watch.

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  38. Franciscoska Leevonovitch, it seems you did very well with the rather stinky cabbage roll that you were given. You've earned an extra vodka ration with your efforts. Well done!

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  39. The Master was against you, I think...
    Very nice game, with fantastic figures.

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  40. Great looking game there and if you ask me you won

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  41. This game looks a lot like the one my brother and I would play with plastic army men on the living room floor. As I recall it was a heck of a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy WWZ :)

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  42. Sounds like you had fun. I really like how the board looks with those pieces!

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  43. Great looking figures and terrain, an interesting conflict to game Fran

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  44. Ain't white such a magnificently martial colour, though? Such a pity the game was called off at the point it did; it had hardly begun. It was as though White had just played an Allgaier Gambit and then the two sides shook hands over the point. Draw, just as things are starting to get exciting. Great looking table, though: simply functional terrain that gives a fine sense of place (the middle of nowhere in particular always looks a bit like that); nicely uniformed soldiery.
    Cheers,
    Ion

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