Tally Ho!

Sunday 20 August 2023

North West Frontier - Malakand Rising, week 4

In our last game of this series we looked at the actions of the 11th Bengal Lancers and Guides Cavalry as they tried to breakthrough Pathan lines and relive a fort. A simple setup with British getting points for units escaping and some bonus objectives along the way. 

Units of Pathans were spread across two valleys and a pass between them.  

Pathan Horse

The British spread our across the table and looked to both take the bonus objectives and wipe-out some Pathan units in the first valley. This was achieved but with heavy losses from Pathan shooting in the houses.

Bengal Lancers

The British were able to push a few units through the pass and into the second valley, capturing  a third bonus objective. Losses had been high though and the British attack was stalling, even with the addition of some reinforcements.   

The British managed to get a couple of units into the second valley and the guides made it to the river but were unable to make it to the bridge. In hindsight we should have reduced the shooting a little from the houses, perhaps giving them Low Ammo so they needed to pick their shots.    

Friday 11 August 2023

North West Frontier - Malakand Rising, week 3.


One of the most famous actions was the defence by Sikh troops of a signalling tower separated from the main Malakand fort, At one point the tower was cut off and so a rescue mission had to be mounted to relieve the defenders. This is based on Scenario H – A sigh if relief.

The defending Brits begin with 1/3 of their troops in and around the signal tower. The balance of their troops start in the fort ready to march out, with cover from some artillery.  

The Pathans have half their troops besieging the tower and the rest moving on from the east end of the table.

Fearing they could not hold out very long the defenders decided to abandon the tower and try to move towards the advancing relief column. As this involved moving across some open ground they took some significant casualties from Pathan and Russian shooting.  This left the locals free to advance quickly and capture the tower from the few defenders left behind. 

Seeing their comrades fleeing towards them the relief column become overcome by pessimism and so their advanced slowed to a crawl as they focused on not being attacked more than mounting a rescue.  Eventually they did mange to get a few units into a shooting position and take a few pot shots.

Sadly not all the Brits were able to escape and two units of the towers original defenders were destroyed as they tried to escape. So a clear win for the Pathans - the first of the rising on the main table.  

Saturday 5 August 2023

North West Frontier - Malakand Rising, week 2

Having weathered the initial attack the British set about recapturing various parts  of the camp overrun by Pathans. With the senior  officers still out of command it was left to various junior officers to launch local counter attacks. We model that here as the Brits seek to take and hold the Bazaar and Commissaries Offices. 

Table #1; 1vs1

On this table the British decided not to withdraw to the safety of the buildings but rather to form a defeasible line in some soft cover. 

This led to a period of manoeuvring by the Pathans as they sought to mass their forces ready for a bug push aimed at offering too many targets, When the attack came it was initially unsuccessful with several units getting pinned and the attack looking bogged down. 

The tide turned in a single move though with two British units getting pinned and the Pathans  seizing their chance to attack. Within 2 more turns the British were all but destroyed and forced to retreat from the table. So a sudden collapse leading to a  Pathan Win against the run of play.   

Table #2; 2 vs 2

On the larger table the British adopted more of mixed strategy, leaving some troops to delay the enemy while the rest made for the buildings. 

The Russians formed a firing line looking to inflict damage on the restreeting British while the Pathans  moved though cover looking for a way to close the range. They then switched approach and moved around the eastern flank. Not depicted was a brief death ride by some Cossacks who dissolved under heavy fire.   

The British on the east side found themselves overmatched as they faced all the Pathans and half the Russians. They were pushed out f the Commissary offices and the Bazaar, forcing them to fall back to the west in search of help from their colleagues. 

The game ended with both sides occupying one of the buildings but with the Pathans having slightly higher losses. Narrow British Win.