Sunday, 11 February 2018

Russian Dragoons for GNW

Here is the start of my Russian Dragoons for the army of Peter the Great.  I have no particular plans for them as yet; just a vague idea that they could be used for Pikeman's Lament or similar skirmish level gaming.

I took advantage of a rare sunny winter morning to take a few shots with natural light.  I particularly like the horse holder - definitely adds some character to the dragoons to emphasise their ability to deploy mounted or on foot!

Action on the North West Frontier

On Saturday, we managed to get in a game of The Men Who Would Be Kings set in 1880-ish North West Frontier.  A small village near the border between Afghanistan and British India.  The British government in Peshawar heard reports that the Afghan government had occupied a village in territory claimed by Her Majesty, and sent out two small expeditionary forces to investigate.  Their orders were to inspect a number of map locations and report back with the strength of the Afghan presence.

The Afghan commander of course had moved his unit of the Afghan army into the small village that had been part of Afghanistan since time immemorial.  He had summoned the local chiefs to attend him in the village, and they were on their way when the British forces intruded onto the scene!

Jim and Doug each commanded a British brigade consisting of one unit of British regular infantry (66th Foot for Doug and Gordon Highlanders for Jim), plus two Indian army infantry units (Guides and Gurkhas for Doug and Sikhs and Guides for Jim).  Each British force also had a field gun - RA for Doug and an Indian mountain gun for Jim.  Peter took the Afghan Army detachment of two regular infantry, one militia infantry, one militia cavalry and one artillery piece.  I brought a collection of tribesmen including two units of Ghazis, three groups of tribesmen with firearms and a single mountain gun.

Here is a shot of the village, with the hinterland to the rear.  Doug's force is mustering in the foreground.  The row of low bush to the rear represents a shallow waterway.

The British forces were to inspect 6 different locations:
1.  Collection of fish and other foodstuffs inside the compound

2.  Herd of goats adjacent to the village

3.  Mule caravan on route to the village

4.  Herd of sheep in the hills outside the village
Not shown are 5.  the cart or 6. The Queen and the cotton bales.

Jim's field force - all Foundry figures

Doug's field force.  The casualty figures were used as pinned markers.

My Afghan tribesmen
Peter's Afghan Army
Initial deployment for the Afghan tribes.  Ghazis had hidden deployment.

My lovely Afghan mountain gun.  It won't feature again in this report - Jim's mountain gun blew it away in the first turn of the game!

Afghan regulars in the village.

If you look carefully you might see a couple of anachronistic AK-47s.  Didn't help their shooting, however!

Doug's field force deploys...

As does Jim's.
Forces advance to contact in the village.

Here's what's left of the Ghazis after they charged the Gordons.  It was a classic ambush followed by a fierce charge, but the Gordons were ferocious fighters and saw off the Ghazis in savage hand to hand combat!
More battling between tribesmen and Indian Army.
While Jim's forces were making steady progress against the tribesmen outside of town, the Afghan Army in the village were holding off Doug's force rather effectively.

Gurkhas failed to live up to their reputation...
But at least one objective was achieved!  Number 5, the cart.

Cannon's eye view of the action, shortly before the crew were all killed.

Afghan regulars occupy the market.
Guides pushed back from the market.
But things going better for the British outside of town where the tribesmen were steadily suppressed and pushed back.
Sikh firing line
Afghan militia cavalry in the orchard.

In the end we called it off.  Jim's force cleared away the tribesmen in the hills outside of town but Doug's force wasn't able to occupy the village.  Our plan is to revisit the action when we get another chance.  Jim will lead the attack on the village, hopefully with reinforcements.  Meanwhile Peter's Afghan commander will summon the clans to see off the invaders!