Tally Ho!

Saturday 29 July 2023

North West Frontier - Malakand Rising 1897, week 1

 Having enjoyed the previous NWF games we've decided to carry on the theme and try another short campaign. This one is set in 1897 and concerns an uprising in Malakand. In game one the British are camped in an extinct volcano when they come under attack from two directions by Pathans. As before  we've included some Russians in the mix.   

The British start with 3/4 of their units on the table while the locals attack from the south and east.

Game 1 - small table (1 vs 1)

The Brits deployed with one unit guarding the east flank and two in the centre. Cavalry waited off table to reinforce. The Pathans deployed with shooters to the south and tribal to the east. More tribal waited to reinforce the south. 

In a key move the Pathans were able to get some shooters onto a small hill overlooking the British position. These were able to pin a few Imperial units and so enable the tribals to sneak-up through the cover.   

A series of short-range charges took-out the British and blunted the attack of the Cavalry. The game ended with all the British units routed or destroyed. A bad day at the office for the defenders. 

Game 2 - 3 vs 2

A similar set-up to Game 1 with a single unit guarding the flank and some infantry and artillery holding a central hill. Cavalry and more infantry waited off table. 

The Pathans pushed their Russian allies up the centre with support from some shooters. A large tribal force looked to assault the east side. 

The attack began with the Russians inflicting heavy damage on the British holding the central hill, eventually forcing them off the crest and allowing the Pathans to contest it. They also probed towards the house but a gun on the top prevent them getting too close.   

A series of attacks was made against the eastern defences, which were overrun. The Pathans could not however keep their units there unpinned due to supporting British fire.   

The final result was a British win as the Pathans lacked the numbers to hold any of the objectives despite causing plenty of damage to the Imperials. Perhaps this larger game may have been closer with the Brits only getting 18 points a side?


Sunday 23 July 2023

The accidental Swedes

Some projects are planned and some just happen, and this is definitely the later. Some years ago I acquired some leftover 18th century figures and for some reason decided to paint them Swedes. They had few outings in Christmas games of Beneath the Lilly Banners. 

Earlier this year I got some surplus cavalry and made them up to two squadrons worth. I've not been tempted to expand the force into a full brigade of infantry and one of cavalry.  The figures are a mixed bag with some Warlord plastics, some Front Rank and some I can nt be sure of. The older infantry uniforms will do for the provincial regiments and there is one more to paint, making it four in total.

I have a battalion gun and a heavy gun to be painted 

There are also two squadrons of horse with plans at least for a second regiment.

I may look to add some light infantry as intriguingly the Swedes fielded a company dressed as Hussars but armed with Rifles.


Saturday 15 July 2023

North West Frontier - week 3, Action at Maidan

This weeks game saw a familiar theme with the British once again launching a punitive raid against the Pathans. In this case trying to destroy not capture some Pathan villages. The houses could be destroyed either by melee or artillery fire. Once again we did a small game (1 village) and a large game (2 villages and some sangers).

The small game (1 vs 1)

With only one village to attack the British deployment was pretty simple - the artillery set-up to hit the village and the infantry prepared to attack up the middle. The Pathans deployed all their shooters around the village with the fighters coming from the base edge.  

As the British moved-off the Pathans pushed forward some of their shooters so they could fire on the artillery. The British focused on movement which meant the artillery was routed in two turns, making it much harder to destroy the village. 

The British advanced into Pathan fire and were unable to prevent themselves being flanked on their left side. A couple of fierce Pathan charges from cover left them reeling back and the village unmolested. A tricky day for the Imperial forcers with all units routed. So a Pathan Win.   

The Large Game (2 vs 3)

A larger table meant more choices for attacker and defender. The Pathans put most of their shooters in the defences and split their Russian allies between the two villages. This left their fighters and some shooters to reinforce the position.    
Western village


Eastern village

The British put 1/3 of their infantry and both their guns against the western village looking to bombard that into submission. The balance of the infantry and a single cavalry unit deployed to attack the eastern village with only a small screen opposite the centre. 

The initial attacks from the British went well with heavy damage to the western village and damage to the defenders in the eastern one. In both cases the defending artillery was quickly eliminated by the Brits. In response the Pathans put most of the fighters around the side of the eastern village hoping to out flank the British.    

Eastern village

The midgame was more tricky for the British. In the east they needed to relocate their guns to seek new targets but a mixture of threats from the Pathans and poor activation led to several crucial turns of inactivity. In the east the Pathans manage to work around the flanks and launch a series of attacks that pushed the Imperial forces back onto the defensive.  
Western village

Eastern village

The British eventually got their artillery deployed and tried to move forces to attack the weakly defended sangers position on a hill between the two villages. The attack quickly bogged down as the Russians in the western village hit the advancing Brits with fire.    

Western village

The game ended with the Brits having mostly destroyed one village but for the loss of 3 units and so it was a Pathan Win.  The scenario scoring meant though that if they has been able to completely destroy the village and take out one of the sangers (without losing any additional units) they would have won narrowly. 


Sunday 9 July 2023

North West Frontier - week 2, action at Kotaki

In this weeks game the British were on the attack seeking to capture the village of Kotaki and the near-by high ground. The British had a 1/3 points advantage in this scenario, which was based on Take the high road. We played large version (3 vs 3) and a small version (1 vs 1)

Large table 

The Pathans deployed the bulk of their units in and around the village, with the Russians occupying the high ground and the sanger that formed the objective there.  The British were fearful of the Russian shooting so deployed 2/3 of their troops to attack the village and 1/3 to work around the hill through the cover.  

Russians holding the hill top

British flanking force

The British advanced on the village fairly unhindered by the Pathans, while the Russians waited for the British flanking force. First to break cover on the flank were some cavalry who were no doubt surprised by the strength of the Russian fire which quickly reduced them to 1 figure.    

British main effort

As the British approached the village a few well timed Pathan charges badly mauled one unit and forced the others to spend time clearing out the surrounds of the village. The flanking force became bogged down by the rough terrain and Russian artillery fire and so caused little threat to the hill top. 

British close in

On the crucial action of the game the British were in position on the edge of the village with 2 turns left and decided to charge a unit of pinned Pathans in the objective-holding house. Some good rolls from the defenders left them losing the combat 6-2 and so snuffed out the British main hope of victory. so a Pathan win with them holding both objectives and fairly light casualties.     

Small table

With only a single objective on this table the Pathans chose to deploy a mix of troops in the building and on the hill with cavalry on one flank. The British opted to go straight up the middle with support from the artillery.        

The British advanced cautiously engaging Pathan targets as they appeared and causing heavy damage to the native forces. This game too saw the British approaching the house with about 2 turns left. On this table they opted to shoot but were unable to shift the stubborn Pathans. This too was a Pathan win but a close one due to the casualty imbalance