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A Battle Without Valour – North West Frontier

It has been a long time between games but when working away from home for weeks at a time there is not much I can do about that. However when I get home I just have to make up for lost time and last night we did just that.  Both myself and Brian Buskell have been working on our Colonial collections for sometime and always try to play somewhere in the colonies at least once a month. This month we took the Imperial Armies back into Northern India where an incursion by a column of Afghan Regulars and local tribes have stirred up rather a spot of trouble for the local authorities.

So with myself and Dave on one side and Brian on the other and with 1200pt armies each we fought a rather hard and bloody battle over a two hour period with a mixed bag of results. The British objectives were naturally to defeat the enemy but also to take the village and push the Afghans back up the pass and away but to were they came from.

Thus with a very much Indian Army (eight companies of Indian troops and only two British) we slowly moved up the valley in a two battalion frontage. Dave’s first objective was to capture the village, which was strongly contested by three companies of Afghan Regulars. This he did but the village was soon recaptured again and by the end of the night it had changed hands several times but eventually ended up in our hands…good work Dave ‘Old Fruit’. Incidentally it was Dave’s lads who did most of the fighting and I only really had to contend with a bunch of unruly Afghan cavalry who were easily repulsed with well aimed volley fire and a dashing charged by the Bengal Lancers.

Dave’s two Highland companies however advanced well forward of the other supporting companies and after clearing a few skirmishers from a small ridge line just north of the village found themselves attacked and pushed back off the ridge by an overwhelming number of fanatical Afghan warriors. The two companies would eventually take 50% casualties from the encounter but still remained a a good front and held their ground after another charge.

By the end of the night the Imperial forces had only managed to take the village and did not have enough firepower or numbers to push the remaining Afghans from the valley. But the Afghan regulars had taken quite a battering in the fight for the village, the defending battalion took 75% casualties and had to withdraw from the fight. Afghan cavalry on the other flank were also effectively engaged and defended but their sacrifice was not in vain as the managed to hold the advance of the Imperial forces long enough to stop them effectively from supporting the attack on the village. So in the end with both sides taking numerous causalities we called the game a draw.

Afghan regulars in a secondary support position behind the main Afghan line

Three companies of Afghan Regulars fought in and around the village for much of the game…the goats were there too..

One of two artillery sections deployed on the Imperial side. This one is a nice Perry Miniatures mountain battery.

Ah the cream of the Army…Highlanders

The initial Afghan set up saw them occupy both the village sections

Afghan cavalry, two warrior  and one regular unit

Looking south from the rear of the Afghan position 

The first attack on the village goes in

and is successful 

The Afghan Army command stand. All the Afghan forces were painted by the talented Leroy Simpson.

The Afghan commander, Brian Buskell, looking over the battlefield with a rather sheepish smile on his face….planning his next move

A squadron of Bengal lancers advance up the road

My newly painted and based Indian Guides came under repeated charges from the Afghan cavalry and stood firm helping to hold them in check.

No! no! don’t shoot the goats….

Two fierce warrior bands prepare themselves to repel the non believers 

The highlanders advance well out of supporting range of the other units in their column and soon route the skirmishers from the ridge.

However on the other side stands the mighty Afghan horde 

Including artillery…nasty 

Afghan warriors charge and push the Highlanders back and retake the ridge.

Then finally in the second last turn the Afghan regulars are finally pushed out of the village….but at a blooding cost. 

16 thoughts on “A Battle Without Valour – North West Frontier”

  1. A visual feast. Those are among the nicest NW Frontier / Colonial figures I've ever seen, and some epic headgear there as well.
    I loved the little stand of goats, and was praying that they would get out of the way before the British artillery opened fire. 🙂
    Looking forward to the writeup.

  2. Thanks for the comments guys, I alway try to put on a good game with nicely painted figures and terrain, I think it helps to inspire us all into our great hobby.



  3. Thanks John still no AWI as yet I am sorry, our little group is still stuck in the late 19th century at the moment…but soon hopefully we will branch out a little more.

    All the best


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