Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2019, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

My first taste of Back of Beyond

On Thursday evening, James and I had a break from the norm and he introduced me to the Back of Beyond using the Setting the East Ablaze rules.

James has rather an extensive collection for this so all I had to do was turn up and play my part. I was a British officer, Bailey, who after some spying on the Reds was now exiting Turkmenistan accompanied by a turned Red and his new wife who were attempting to escape into Persia accompanied by a section of White Russian cavalry and a section of Indian scouts and guides.

The Reds were looking to put paid to Baileys adventures and were keen that the information he had would not get away. I had to evade pursuit, find a crossing place and escape into Persia.

Action at the ford
James laid out the table, there was a river running the whole length that I had to cross, a ford was manned by a section of Red infantry while another section would be hidden on the table 12" from the river. A fort was manned by a section of Red cavalry while James had a machine-gun team that he could either place in the sandbagged area guarding the ford or in the fort. A Red armoured car would also arrive from a board edge of James choosing.

Also, my troops were low on weapons, the section of White cavalry had three obsolete rifles, while the Indian cavalry had three modern rifles.

Unless crossing at the designated ford, I would only be able to discover a river crossing on a 4+

After James had noted where the hidden section, the machine gun and the armoured car were I chose a spot on the table edge to arrive. I took the gamble of going for the ford and placed all my troops there. Of course, the machine-gun was plonked down opposite me but I had avoided the armoured car. The section of infantry were pretty central.

We whipped our horses and went hell-for leather at the troops manning the sandbags, making the most of the time they were sorting themselves out. However, the machine-gun soon started up and my cavalrymen started dying. Eventually the White cavalry were dismounted and traded some ineffectual fire with the Reds but all to naught. However, the Indians had much better plans, advancing to close range they dismounted their horses and loosed a volley at the machine-gun causing a crew casualty. Next turn they attempted to charge it but fell well short and were cut down to only a couple men by the fire. However by this time my turned Red had found a crossing point and the fire of the White cavalry started to tell and the machine-gun fell silent.
Just before the machine-gun took its toll

As my remaining men streamed across the crossing point the Communist Commissar launched his cavalry at the remaining pair of Indians who were swiftly cut down, but it was too late, my remaining troops were across the river and into Persia, although a parting shot by some of the Red infantry did kill all but one of my remaining White cavalry.

I had escaped with my three characters and a single cavalryman, this was enough for me to attain a minor victory in the scenario.

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