Whites vs. Reds: The Back of Beyond

Rob brought down his 28mm Back of Beyond armies to the community centre on Friday 8 October. We played a Russian Civil War clash between the Bolsheviks (Reds) and the counter-revolutionary White Russians, with Rob umpiring using his own set of rules.

Both Bolsheviks and the newly-painted White miniatures looked great; the different coloured uniforms and flags of the latter looking fantastic on the table.

I was on the White side together with Doug, Mal, and Patrick. Phil, Theo and Jonathan were on the Red team. Using fewer figures than last time, we each controlled a brigade, and no cavalry was used. The scenario required the Whites to take two villages garrisoned by the Reds, in a bid to seize supplies. The Reds had slightly more troops, with terrain in their favour, but the White forces were of superior quality.

While the Whites failed to seize the villages, my right wing managed to clear the majority of Theo’s units from the table, including some from his village, despite sustaining heavy casualties from Theo's armoured car and infantry, Phil’s artillery, as well as a successful air attack by the Reds. Elsewhere on the table, Mal destroyed much of Jonathan’s brigade, whereas Doug faced stiffer opposition in the form of Bolshevik naval infantry defending a wood. Patrick's White tank and armoured car were reasonably effective on the White right flank, but might have been more decisive in the centre against Phil's artillery.

With Rob’s assistance we managed to assimilate more of the rules on this occasion, and we swapped ideas for possible alterations, though most seemed satisfied with them as they stand. Rob may apply further tweaks at his discretion, as well as produce playsheets with the essential core rules for ease of reference.

All in all a fun game with fine figures and much period flavour. Rob is putting together army lists for the period, while I will be assembling information on commanders, a chronology, list of battles, and maps, for a possible joint sourcebook project. The Back of Beyond is indeed bewildering and beguiling in equal measure, with something for all tastes.