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    Avatar phototrev

    Hi all,

    I played a game of October Hammer before Christmas and have one planned for tomorrow to test out the rules again.  We’ve tried several rules sets for this period but while all had good points they have struggled for pace as the game size has grown.  Our games are probably a bit bigger than usual for October Hammer but the rules are simple and worked well, so I’m hopeful they will stretch.

    I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or rules for large vehicles such as trains or ships?  I’ve got the expansion and WWI rules but I don’t remember seeing anything in there.  I’m thinking that I will count them as composite vehicles, with multiple areas for targetting but all moving together on a single order for the engine/wheelhouse.  It will take a lot of orders to operate such a large vehicle but it will probably be a command all its own, possibly with a few carried troops.

    I have some aircraft too if anyone has any thoughts on those but I haven’t painted them yet.

    This is the armoured train

    This is the ship

    You can see more pictures and details of my troops here https://thebitsbox.blogspot.com/

    I’ve also done some cards, shamelessly copied from Jozi’s excellent designs.  I’ll put them online when I’m happy with them, so anyone else can use them.


    Long live the revolution!

    Avatar photoMike

    Thanks for joining and posting!

    Avatar photokyoteblue

    Cool !!!!!

    Avatar photoTony S

    How odd is that?  Just read October Hammer last night as I’m in the middle of adding some specific RCW types to my WW1 Russian Army to allow me to indulge in some Revolutionary games.   But I’m jealous of your armoured train and boat; they look tremendous!

    Haven’t really settled on a set of RCW rules yet, but October Hammer is looking quite attractive.    Speaking of “attractive”, I was also really impressed with the scenery and figures in the games you have in your blog.   Had a great time browsing through your blog; thanks for sharing!

    I hadn’t thought of using TMWWBK either.

    I’d be interested in those OH cards. Please let us know when you do make them available for download.

    Avatar phototrev

    Thanks for the welcome guys and glad you liked the blog Tony.  The buildings and terrain are from my club in Southend.  The Reds and Siberians are mine and the other whites were done my club mates.  My poor reds are badly outnumbered now.

    Settling on rules for the RCW has been a quandry.  I think I have tried about four sets now and own several others.  All were fun but maybe not perfect.  The card based systems proved a bit slow for big games but worked nicely for smaller games.  TMWWBK worked okay but became a bit focused on shooting at buildings in our test games.

    I’ll definitely post up the cards when I’ve done tinkering with them.  I think I’ll have to try winging it for the vehicles tonight but I’ll report back afterwards.

    Avatar photoJim Jackaman

    A fascinating period and a great blog too!

    Avatar photoTony S

    My poor reds are badly outnumbered now.

    That sounds like defeatist thinking to me comrade.  😉

    If you don’t mind me asking, what rules have you considered?   For me, the short list is Square Bashing, October Hammer, Triumph of the Will, Return to the River Don and Red Actions.   Although I admit that possibly adapting AK47 to the RCW and/or creating a Frankensteinian mash up of Return to the River Don and the Portable Wargame is running through my head too.

    And of course your idea of The Man Who Would Be Tsar based solely on the title.

    I should add that my Russians are 15mm based multiple figures on a stand, so might be more suitable for larger actions.  Although our colonials are also the same scale and basing, and they work perfectly well for TMWWBK, so maybe I should consider skirmishy style rules too.

    Avatar phototrev

    That sounds like defeatist thinking to me comrade. 😉

    My apologies commissar,  I only meant we now have the advantage of interior lines. 😉

    On rules, I think we’re coming at this from different sides as my miniatures are 28mm and on skimish basing.  Also my concept was for a light character-based big skirmish approach rather than worrying too much about modelling the reality of the RCW.  Flavour and fun over depth I suppose.  So take the following in that light.

    Square bashing and Return to the River Don I am aware of but haven’t read.  Red Actions looks great but didn’t suit the style I imagined.  Triumph of the Will had some nice concepts but I wasn’t keen on the core mechanic of unit size by quality, as it would give big elite units vs small rabble, which seemed wrong.  Roger at the GaPa blog uses them and likes them IIRC.


    Using TMWWBK was an idea I stole from Doc Pahalanx’ blog and the game report by Widow’s son on LAF.  We’d used them for colonial games too.



    Widow’s son kindly provided his unit cards and some other bits, which are great.  We tried a few games with these and they were fun but the battles seemed to bog down into troops in buildings trading shots until one ran away.  Maybe realistic but not so great for gameplay.

    The first set we tried were Setting the East Ablaze.  These are definitely in the boys’ own vein I imagined and the books are fantastic as resources.  Plus Steve is a member on LAF, a good egg and very helpful/supportive.  Sadly, much as wanted to like them, the rules themselves I was less keen on.  They have lots of flavour and good things but I couldn’t get my head around some aspects.  The unit morale and levels just jarred with me for some reason.  Maybe the reverse numbering?  I’m not sure why, and anyway some others bits weren’t to my taste either.  e.g. the random unit card system for turn order I’ve never been a fan of as it leaves too many players out of the action.  I think I’m probably just fussy, so maybe it’s me not the rules, it’s me.  🙂

    Next we tried Fistful of Lead Bigger Battles.  Thes are a great little set I really like.  Definitely Hollywood over History and understandably generic with special rule tailoring but lots of fun and have a better card driven mechanic.  We tried them a few times and had a blast but they start to struggle a bit if you use too many troops, which we always end up doing.  You could tweak them, use bigger groups on a card, change the turn sequence a bit maybe but them you’re re-inventing the wheel.  I’d use these again for small games but I wanted a set that would work for big games as we’d done so many figures by this point.

    So now we’re at October Hammer.   We played again last night.  We didn’t use the train or cossacks  in the end as one player couldn’t make it.  So we ended up with four players and me as umpire but that quickly broke down into two games either side of the bridge objective and river line.  The Whites using the Volunteer army list as a basis attacked and had a slight advantage in quality versus the Red Army’s slight advantage in numbers but most troops were using standard stats.

    On the east bank the Whites maneuvred impressively to form a powerful attack that was horribly gunned down by maxim fire.  Brutal!  On the west bank the Whites advanced in better cover and with an armoured car in support and took out most of the Red Rifle units and MGs in the centre.  Neither side really got any cavalry into action and the Armoured Cars seemed rather dominating but we made lots of mistakes so I’ve no idea if that’s a fair judgement.  I like the mechanics generally although they’re taking a bit of getting used to.  The shooting seems quite variable with units sometimes wiped away in very short order and at others clinging on for ages.  Not very attritional or predictable.  The order choices make a big difference and are seldom obvious making the gameplay fun but luck a heavy element.  Some parts need a bit more defining I think.  e.g. With artillery we were unsure if they could move and fire or withdraw/redeploy and at what rates and with what effects from terrain.  Also, I think we might force shooting at the closest target as some of the ganging up seemed gamey.  We used half speed in bad going instead of -2″ as it was more intuitive.  We might tweak the stats a bit when we know the rules better to reflect unit quality and special RCW circumstances.  e.g. RCW MGs were often short of ammo and either unreliable or badly manned, so universal -2 on the hit number is maybe too good.  Although, several were knocked out in our game, so that might not be necessary.  On ranges we used 24″ for rifles 36″ for MGs and 60″ for field guns as the maximum.  We were playing on roughly 8’x6′ each side of the river, so it made sense.  We also only used the leader casualites within 12″ but mostly forgot to roll anyway.

    So, on balance a good fun game and we’ll keep going with OH for now.  On a more general note, I liked the ideas and the rules are good value for what you get.  So even if we don’t ultimately stick with these long term I’m glad I tried them out.

    Avatar phototrev

    A fascinating period and a great blog too!

    Cheers Jim.  For those that haven’t checked out Jim’s blog there’s loads of good stuff there.  His train project inspired mine.

    Avatar photoJozisTinMan

    Flattered you’d use some of my cards, I shall follow this closely!


    Avatar phototrev

    Hi Jozi,

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 🙂

    Whites attack

    Here, finally, are the cards I did ages ago and didn’t get around to posting.

    In PDF


    and SVG format.


    I made them using Inkscape


    Avatar photoMike

    Thanks for the Inkscape link, I will look into that.

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