The figures are mainly HaT 1/72 plastics with an assortment of odds and sods acquired via EBay.
My rules of choice for this period are Red Actions from The Perfect Captain website. If you haven't come across this site (although I'm guessing most people have) it's well worth checking out the range of rules on there and available for free. Red Actions is a very comprehensive set covering the Civil War and also the various Nationalist wars that followed. The only draw back is that it does require a fair amount of printing: the rules themselves are fairly brief but there are a host of counters and unit cards that go along with the game. Luckily my previous job gave me plenty of opportunities to print stuff cheaply!
The rules are written in a odd question and answer style ('Tell me comrade, how does shooting work?') which is mildly amusing for the first few pages and then becomes a bit irritating...that, combined with an erratic layout and lack of index means that the rulebook, although brief, can be hard to navigate. Despite this they are excellent and really suit the open nature of the RCW. Casualties are surprisingly light for a WW1 era game but units readily acquire 'Terror' markers which severely limit their fighting ability. It's also quite easy to remove these but it requires units to do nothing else for a turn, so games often take on a pattern of units engaging and then falling back to recover before going back into action...very fluid and dynamic.
I'd put together a straightforward scenario with both armies trying to occupy a railhead and some rolling stock in the centre of the table, no doubt containing vital supplies of caviar and vodka (I know...leave no stereotype unused!). I'd probably gone a bit overboard with the number of units on each side but it was the first time in years I'd had all the toys out! Both sides had a mix of infantry types and a cavalry unit. The Reds had brought along an Austin armoured car and an FT17 tank for support while the Whites were accompanied by a British unit who had also brought some support: in this case a Mark V and a Whippet. Both sides had some supports which would arrive on a dice throw...a plane for the Whites and an Armoured Train for the Reds! More on these later...
The fighting had now focused on the buildings (which was probably a mistake on my part). The Whippet and Austin slugged it out on the left flank, taking turns to drive each other off with close range MG fire before eventually the weight of fire forced my Austin crew to abandon their vehicle and run off!
The evil imperialist lackeys were then lucky with the dice throws and a fighter turned up: these only stay around for 3 turns but it caused mayhem in this time, routing one unit and causing terror markers to pile up on others. Simply being attacked by a plane or a tank is enough to cause a terror marker,even without a hit so this, couple with some lucky dice, meant my forces were taking a pounding...at least it didn't stay around indefinitely. And still no sign of my train...
|dakka, dakka, dakka....|
My brave revolutionary heroes were now looking a bit depleted and the Terror markers were coming in faster than I could remove them. All I was able to do was rally these off each turn, only to acquire another few next turn. This was forcing my troops to hunker down in cover or to pull back so, as the evening was also getting late, I conceded and left the White forces to enjoy their spoils of war. Of course we decided to give one last dice throw for reinforcements and what should turn up but Tomsk the Tank Engine to save the day...too late!
This was a great game...the evening had flown by and it has definitely renewed my interest if getting these armies out more often.