Wargames Scenarios

Triumph of the Will Scenarios

The very kind Richard Clarke has sent me three of his scenarios for this period. I have not played them, but they are all firmly based on historical actions and look great fun. Naturally they are written for his rules, Triumph of the Will, but any Red Actions! players will need to make only minor adjustments.

Guards to Poltava

Ukraine late 1919, AFSR Whites vs Reds

A series of linked encounters based on the engagements witnessed by Brigadier H.N.H. Williamson.

Ritt Nach den Osten

Latvia, July 1919, Freikorps vs Estonians/Latvians during the Battle of Cēsis

A smallish scenario based on the fighting at Cēsis (refered as the Battle of Wenden by Richard, using the German name for the city).

Red Petrograd

Russia, October 1919, Yudenich Whites versus Reds

A scenario based around the fighting right on the edge of Petrograd, as Yudenich's drive neared its goal.

My Scenarios

All my scenarios, below, have been played at least once (though not necessarily by me) – hopefully meaning that any glaring problems have been spotted. However, this does not mean that they can be considered “balanced”: each side has a chance of succeeding in its objectives, but that does not imply by any means that they have an equal chance.

They are all written for the manoeuvre element being a company or depleted battalion.


Poland, 31 August 1920, Polish uhlans vs Budënny's cavalry near Zamość

The most famous engagement of the Soviet-Polish War: the day's combat contains several potential scenarios, both Kriegsspiel and normal. I have written up the early morning encounter for the tabletop, but the famous charge of the Soviet cavalry later in the day is equally possible.


Latvia, 2 July 1919, Iron Division (Freikorps) vs Estonians outside Riga following the Battle of Cēsis

A smallish fairly simple scenario: the first one I played by e-mail kriegsspiel.


Poland, 14 August 1920, Poles vs Soviets north of Warsaw as the Soviets closed in on that city

The Borkowo scenario requires quite a few figures, but is fun and simple to play, either as a kriegsspiel or a normal game. Steve Turn has also worked up a parallel scenario for nearby Nasielsk, and there are a couple of other actions on the following day that could worked up fairly easily.


Latvia, 22 June 1919, Baltic Landeswehr (Freikorps) vs Estonians during the Battle of Cēsis

This one was a lot of work to umpire as a kriegsspiel and took a lot more moves than the others to get a resolution, despite it not being terribly big. The transcript of the time I gamed it is included.


Russia, January 1918, Red Guards vs Cossacks in a generic scenario for the Railway War period

A very small, quick scenario. I played it on the table, and a report of that is attached, but it would also make a simple kriegsspiel game.


Russia, 1919, North-Western Army (Iudenich) vs Soviets in a generic scenario

A large game I played against a friend on a big table.


Belarussia, 1920, surprise attack by Poles (Bułak-Bałachowic) on Soviets in the Pripet Marshes

A smallish convention game.


Ukraine, 1919, AFSR (Markovs) vs Soviet 1st Horse Army in a generic scenario

A smallish convention game.

Other Scenarios

I have further scenarios, but of course once I have posted them I cannot game them, since the players will have access to way too much information: so expect this page to be added to only slowly. People interested in using an unpublished one for a kriegsspiel (or similar) can contact me.

Other sources of scenarios

Three extremely wargameable scenarios for the historical operations of the British Army in Transcaspia, written for Principles of War but easily converted, can be found at the RCW Yahoo Group in the files section.

Tom Hillman's book on the Trans-Dnepr Operation contains eight very playable scenarios and is an excellent source for many more (quite apart from its merit as an excellent study of a fascinating operation). See the books for sale.

Richard Clarke (in his pre-Lardy days) wrote two very nice scenarios for Wargames Illustrated. In issue #167 there was the quite excellent "The Red Verdun", for Wrangel's attack on Tsaritsyn. About that time he also did one on the Ice March.

The Jackson Gamers' site has several scenarios.

I don't do skirmish gaming, and I'm not really sure that the regular campaigns of the Pygmy Wars are greatly suited to it, but I have seen a scenario booklet published in the "Skirmish Elite" series for the early Russo-Polish War (when the warfare was certainly very low level with fluid lines and small forces). I had the chance to flick through it and it seemed quite good, though expensive.

Scenarios with Tanks

I don't do tank scenarios, sorry. The realistic effect of tanks in the Pygmy Wars is to crush all before them, right up to the moment they are neutralised (or more likely, break down). To me, that makes for poor games.

You could try playing WWII, I hear that there are lots of scenarios involving tanks in that!

More realistically ...

The Red Verdun article in Wargames Illustrated mentioned above has tanks in some sectors.

The attack on Kakhovka in Tom Hillman's Trans-Dnepr Operation relate to the historical use of tanks.

The Shinkarenko article in this site's history section also contains a battle that could be easily adapted. Unusually for the RCW, this involves tanks in the open, rather than the assault of a fortified position.

The Battle of Warsaw saw the Poles use FT-17's a few times.

The French used them a couple of times in Odessa too, and How Odessa Became Red relates some of these.