Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Russo-Polish War 1919-20 playtesting

Recently I acquired 15mm Russian Civil War (RCW) painted and based miniatures and have been looking at using them for a game.  Before I acquired these miniatures I have had some interest in the RCW and also the Russo-Polish War of 1919-20.  Having just read a second book on the Russo-Polish War I was inspired to test out some WWI rules.  In the past I used the Big Table Little Men rules for a battle in WWI Palestine, but this time I wanted a different ruleset for the RCW and Russo-Polish War.

Here is the list of rules I have read through or playtested as options for Russo-Polish War:

  • Through the Mud and Blood
  • Trial by Fire
  • Great War Spearhead 2
  • If the Lord Spares Us
  • Red Actions! the Pygmy Wars Version
  • Return to the River Don
  • It Rolls for Ivan
  • Triumph of the will
  • Big Table Little Men
Rather than explain why I did not pick each ruleset, I'll just focus on the ruleset I picked.  I don't think any of these rulesets are bad.

I chose Trial by Fire by M Batuhan Tuncdemir.  I was not familiar with these rules, I think I just stumbled on it.  I was looking for a ruleset that was not complicated, uses my existing based miniatures, does not end up with a lot of markers on the table, games conclude in less than four hours, and of course is fun to play.  I will have to try out these rules for WWI Mesopotamia.  The free rules can be found on the official blog or Facebook page.

The scenario I have been testing has Polish infantry and cavalry defending a town against Russian infantry and cavalry.  Some field artillery is sprinkled in on both sides.  Below you can see what my playtest looks like.

Russians advancing on the Polish positions.

A good book on the history of the Russo-Polish War mainly from the military aspect is Warsaw 1920 by Adam Zamboyski.  It is an easy read that gives a good overview of the conflict.  There is not a lot of books on the war in English and this is a good addition that I recommend.  Do not be fooled by the title of the book, most of the book covers more than just the defense of Warsaw.

To get you in the era of the conflict, here are some good music to listen to:

Polish Patriotic songs