Whilst making their way towards Urga across the Gobi Desert, the French Citreon Kegresse expedition found their way blocked by the army of Chinese Warlord Wei Phat Mac.
Unable to negotiate a peaceful solution to allow them to pass, the Expedition attacked this army to force passage. The Chinese bravely advanced to challenge the Expedition only to suffer heavy casualties due to moving slowly during their advance due to the failure of Wei Phat Mac to throw decent movement dice. Exposed in open terrain, the Chinese infantry were mowed down by the French machine guns on the Kegresses, Laffey White Armoured car and heavy machine gun of the Foreign Legion escort.
Both the Chinese field gun and the French Mountain gun failed to be effective as the Chinese armoured car attempted to support the infantry advance. A lucky shot from this latter armoured car took out one of the Kegresses, but it in turn was knocked out by a shot from the Laffey White.
Having hid behind a hill for most of the battle, the Chinese irregular cavalry made one last bid to change the course of the battle as the raced to take out the French Heavy Machine gun, only to get caught in a fire of the Foreign Legion and the remaining Kregresse.
The Chinese close order infantry managed to close with French Colonial scouts as did the Chinese Bandits, inflicting minor casualties. With loss mounting and without having committed his personal guard, Wei Phat Mac withdrew from the field, allowing the Expedition to continue its advance towards Urga.
This turn there’s a lot of forced marching going on and only one battle to be fought. The Chinese Warlord, Bolsheviks, British Museum Expedition and the Mad Baron have all decided that it’s far too cold to try to fight anyone else and have found a nice warm yurt to hole up in for the winter.
They will all be FORCE MARCHING in the general direction of Urga, with the outcome to be decided in due course by the D6 of doom.
The Japanese Flying Column and the French Expedition are, however, made of sterner stuff so will be battling it out to see if they can get ahead in the race to the campaign objective.
The French have ATTACKED the Japanese, so expect to see a fiendishly cunning defensive strategy deployed by the Japanese master of artful cunning himself, Colonel Kagemusha, who they can employ this turn as a Special Character.
We can now reveal the results of Turn One of the Back of Beyond campaign.
Brigadier (Retd.) Cholmondely Warner of the British Museum Expedition and Wei Phat Mac, the Chinese Warlord, both won their battles so will now advance one step closer to Urga and are, therefore, five steps away from the campaign objective.
Comrade Colonel Igor Tubugerov of the Bolshevik Shock Brigade and Colonel Sushi Miyagi of the Imperial Japanese Flying Column, both got a right thrashing from the aforementioned forces and so remain in their starting positions, six steps away from Urga.
Unfortunately, the Whites have had to withdraw from the campaign, so I have determined that they have retreated back to Sinkiang to fight another day. I’m hoping that they may pop back up again later in the campaign when they are able to take part once more, if only to join the big battle at the end.
As a result, their erstwhile opponents, the French Citroen Kegresse expedition of Commandant Lostagaine, won a victory by default, meaning that they are now five steps away from Urga. This seems a bit jammy but is also a sensible outcome, as the Whites vs. French battle wasn’t resolved.
The Mad Baron force marched this turn and so I rolled a D6 to find out what happened as a result. I rolled a 3, which means the Baron stays put where he is, six steps away from Urga. So, there are now three forces neck and neck in the lead and three forces bringing up the rear in a cloud of dust!
The recent cowardly and unprovoked attack by imperialist counter revolutionary forces on the Third Workers and Peasants Shock Brigade must not sway us from our duty to spread the message of proletarian revolution to the downtrodden masses of Mongolia!
It is a mere inconsequential set back that we face in our inevitable and irrepressible onward progress to Urga. There we will be able to provide fraternal support to our Mongolian brothers and sisters, as they struggle to overcome the decadent repressive bourgeois counter revolutionary forces of imperialist aggression that have so recently sabotaged our efforts.
It is clear that these saboteurs must have infiltrated our ranks and caused our tanks to blow up and our aircraft to crash in flames! Only such an underhand and cowardly wrecking can explain the outcome of our battle with the British Museum and it’s so called archaeological expedition, a shabby camouflage for an imperialist counter revolutionary intervention no less!
Fear not Comrades, for I have telegrammed a full report of this dastardly attack to our central party apparatus, in which I have requested armoured train reinforcements to replace our losses and to bring the full might of proletarian justice to bear on these capitalist agents of reactionary repression.
Onward to Victory!
Comrade Colonel Igor Tubugerov
(big words by People’s Commissar Nasti Tchestikov)
As previously reported by Wei Phat Mac himself no less, this was a decisive victory for the Chinese Warlord and his fanatically loyal rag tag army. It started well for the eponymous generalissimo, with a Special Character, the shady arms dealer Herbert Maximoff, providing a captured Red Army Austin armoured car as a temporary reinforcement for the Chinese.
This enabled the Chinese Warlord to deploy his army in a pincer formation, using the armoured cars to protect his flanks whilst advancing in the centre with his cavalry and infantry, holding the elite Dare to Die and Assault troops in reserve. The Japanese responded by deploying their infantry and cavalry in extended line using a combined arms approach, covered by an armoured car, supporting artillery and heavy machine guns.
In the initial turns, the centre ground became the scene of a hard fought fire fight, with the Japanese infantry and cavalry advancing to meet the Chinese forces. Both sides suffered crippling casualties in the exchange of rifle and machine gun fire, although the Japanese seemed to take the brunt of the damage. Before long the action descended in to a series of hand to hand melees, with the cavalry and infantry of both sides engaged in a slogging match to decide the day.
In the end, the hand to hand close combat took a massive toll on both the Chinese and the Japanese forces but the weight of fire from the Chinese armoured cars, the stubbornness of the Chinese foot troops in the melee and the cumulative losses on the Japanese side led to the Chinese sweeping the field. The Imperial Japanese commander, General Sushi Miyagi, ordered a fighting retreat and the disciplined remnants of his once proud army disengaged to fight another day.
A humdinger indeed and a great start to the campaign!
Governor Wei Phat Mac and his loyal troops today showed what a poorly armed but well led and motivated body of soldiers could achieve.
The chinese went forward on all fronts and attacked the Japanese at every opportunity, indeed they showed aggressiveness almost to the point of foolhardiness, using the japanese tactics against themselves and continuing to attack in waves of troops against supposedly professional soldiers.
With calvary and armoured cars on both flanks they crushed the enemy who continually moved his heavy ordnance to try and counter the pincer but ultimately got destroyed having inflicted minimal losses on the chinese.
Of special note was calvaryman Cho who single handedly swept around the enemy rear and only due to his tired horses stumble at the final moment of close quarter fighting with the japanese general did he lose his life as he fell on to the enemies blade, thus failing to deliver his own killing stroke.
These attacks were cheered on by Wei Phat Mac and his sword waving friend Eric Wong whose colleage knelt at his feet in awe of the troops bravery.
Tonite Wei and his closest aides and colleagues enjoy the fruit of their victory drinking good scotch whisky and enjoying the company of some Japanese concubines found in the enemy camp,