Well it took a while for us to all get our schedules aligned, but Victor, Steve and I finally managed to sit down for our first Back of Beyond game. In this scenario, remnants of the Czech Legion and the French Expeditionary Force are in retreat from the Bolsheviks. Cut off from a coastal evacuation, they have been forced to make their way overland through western China, hoping to eventually reach British India. Harassed by bandits and the local warlord, they have decided to go on the offensive and launch an assault on the local outpost of Nyima.
The Europeans have encircled the outpost, which is guarded by infantry and a few units of cavalry.
The Chinese mortar team on the temple roof misses its target, but the cavalry units come roaring across the plains. A unit of Chinese regulars slams into the Czech infantry, with each side taking a few casualties. Tibetan irregulars just reach the French marines, but inflict minimal injuries.
Fighting continues between the cavalry and infantry units, while French Foreign Legion, Senegalese and Basmachi troops start their march towards the outpost. The Chinese troops are waiting at the windows for them, but everyone remains out of rifle range for the moment.
The Chinese cavalry and Czech infantry continue to battle, with neither side showing signs of breaking. Czech artillery rains down fire on the outpost, killing the Chinese mortar team. French cavalry races towards the Tibetans, but the Tibetans manage to slaughter most of the marines first.
The Chinese and Czechs manage to spill a fair amount of each others blood, while the Tibetans destroy the French cavalry.
The Chinese Cavalry attempt to mop of the last of this Czech unit, while the Tibetans destroy the French heavy machine gun. Meanwhile as the French get closer to the outpost, Chinese "Dare to Die" fanatics begin to emerge from the buildings. Some of these are killed by the Czech mortar team.
The cavalry units attempt to complete their mopping up actions, while the Czechs continue to bombard the outpost. As the French close in, the Chinese open fire. However, their skills as marksmen are lacking.
Both the Czechs and the marines eliminate the last of the Chinese cavalry, while the French begin their assault. However, none of the French bombs manage to make it through the windows. The Czechs secure the perimeter around the back of the outpost.
This time the French meet with better success, killing all the occupants inside one building. While the Czechs watch helplessly, the Chinese fanatics come swarming down the hill, catching the Foreign Legion from behind.
The Basmachi join the fray, and it devolves into a bloody melee. However, by this time the attackers are out of turns without having taken possession of the outpost. The Europeans are forced to retreat and what remains of the Chinese forces are left to fight another day.
Overall it was a fun game, though we definitely need to get more familiar with the rules. We were also working with a mix of 2nd 3rd editions of "Contemptible Little Armies" which only added to our confusion. However, with a little time and perhaps some home brew modifications, I think we'll be able to get a lot of fun games out of this.
Note: The video clip is intended to mimic the sensationalist newsreels of the early 20th century and contains period wording not in line with modern sensibilities. I do not condone racism.