The Terrain of RCW Russia

How to get your games to resemble Russia of the Pygmy Wars.


Russia has a reputation of being flat, and this is true for most of it. However while there are some featureless parts – the various steppes – large amounts of it are more rolling than flat. Even the flat bits are often cut by deep ravines (balki) and braided rivers, not seen much in western Europe.

There's also a strong divide between the north and the south in terms of traditional building styles – the north having log cabins and the south having plastered white ones, as a rule of thumb. There are also some characteristics of the villages you don't see elsewhere, especially how they have gardens enclosed by walls/fences.

Gregory and Shave Excerpts

This is a pdf of an old geography book on the USSR. I have taken out only the bits that relate directly to the campaign areas in the Baltic, the Ukraine, South Russia and the west Siberian areas of the Czechs, KOMUCH and the Kolchak campaigns before the great retreat.

Prokudin-Gorskii Collection

Amazingly we have colour photographs of the period immediately before the RCW. There are over 2,500 photos which allow you to see what the countryside, villages, towns, railways, bridges etc looked like over a vast area of the old Russian empire.

Other Areas

Latvian Terrain

In the section on the Freikorps is my research into Latvia as it was in 1920.

Polish Landscape
Polish Buildings

Some notes on Poland of the time.