Yesterday a good friend of mine, David Lowe, and his brother dropped by in order to play a small but very fun game based on North West Frontier type skirmish. The scenario was I guess fairly standard for the NWF in that one of the local tribes was rebelling against Imperial British authority so a small but Elite force of British and Indian troops were sent out to quash the uprising.
Out Afghan force consisted of only three large warrior war bands, two jazail armed skirmish units, two warrior cavalry units and final an old but effective smooth bore artillery battery. Their mission was to stop the British at all costs or make them pay dearly. Our Anglo-Indian forced consisted of two companies of Highlanders, one company of British infantry, two companies of Indian Guides, one squadron of Indian lancers and one mountain gun section. Imperial mission - suppress the uprising and take back the village. Rules were our clubs unpublished 'Breachloader & Rifle' colonial rules, written by the great Andrew Parr.
The game proved quite hard for the Imperial forces, since the majority of the Afghans set up in the nicely finished hills I had recently completed....they were only accessible from the rear up the spur line (realistic I thought) and Dave (the Imperial player) fell in to a common error of spreading his troops too thinly on the ground. By not concentrating if forces the Afghans were able to concentrate their attacks on isolated units while the remainder of their forces either tied down or slowed the other Imperial troops.
After three hours of play the Imperial forces had lost heavily to the aggressive Afghan tribesmen. But the Afghans had also suffered very heavy loses and have suffered over %50 casualties to British firepower. However in the end the British were unable to take the final objective (the village) and were forced to withdraw into camp for the night.....Victory to the wildly Afghans...but only just - a pyrrhic victory at best.
Afghan smooth bore artillery exchange fire with the Imperial mountain gun. They eventually scored a direct hit and destroyed one of the guns.
A good view of the battlefield. The British objective is the village in the foreground.
There always has to be a market stall somewhere on the table when playing. I love this vignette from Eureka Miniatures.
One of the two Indian Guide companies, painted by Leroy Simpson
Two warrior cavalry units, also painted by Leroy Simpson
Highlanders trying to prior out some troublesome Afghan skirmishers
Warrior cavalry advance to attacked one of the isolated Guide companies.
The Guides are caught unawares by the rapid aggressive advance of the Afghan cavalry and prepare to receive cavalry
The Afghan artillery proved its worth in the game and manage to place effective fire on many of the Imperial troops
The Indian Lancers did not really play a major role in the game and would have been better on the Imperial right flank aiding the Guides.
A photo for Brian Buskell, who has left us for the American colonies for a year.
Afghan warriors offer stiff resistance and proved a hard nut to move from their hill positions
The mounted Afghans charge the Guides
One company is routed and half their number are slain
The Imperial forces get serious and soon reform to make a concentrated attack on the troublesome tribal warriors.
Again that Afghan artillery prove themselves worthy of praise.
Finally with the objective in sight the Highlanders advance forward.
But it is still strongly held by fierce Afghan warriors
One and a half Highland companies prepare to assault the village
Afghans put up a fierce resistance but are either shot down of fall to the British bayonets.
The final charge and then after a titanic struggle and fierce hand to hand combat the Highlanders a forced to withdraw.
Victory to the Afghans.