Monday, July 16, 2012

Two Battles in Two Days

 Two battles completed after a weekend of gaming progress! The first has a British punitive column attacking a Pathan held village in a valley flanked by rough hills.
Pathans mass on the hillsides

Sikhs prepare to assault the village while Bengal lancers screen the river bank

Punjab infantry assault the Pathans on the right flank

Highlanders and a field gun move to support the Sikhs hard pressed by rifle fire from the village and a fierce charge of Pathan cavalry

Punjabis crest the hill

The British are forced to withdraw taking heavy losses

The British start positions at the foot of the pass
 I managed a second battle after the kids were off to today's summer activities and before I had to head off to teach my afternoon classes. This time the British attempt to force a Pathan held pass. This time the hills I constructed yesterday really come into play and made for a bit of scenic goodness. (lighting this morning affects the colors in these pics)

 The British were deployed first in a way I thought would be balanced and the Pathans deployment was then randomized and then played as is. I deployed the Pathans anywhere up to six rows in from the table edge except for a unit of 4 stands deployed holding the crest of the pass.
Pathan position on the pass

The British advance
At this point in the game I added a road for some color. I'm still "sketching in" the terrain and figuring out what will work or what has to be improved. 
The Ghurkas assault the pass after some shellfire softens up the defenders.

Pathans make a deep flanking movement with a series of high initiative rolls

the struggle for the pass

Pathan cavalry make a last ditch attempt to throw back the Ghurka assault

...but ultimately the Pathans hit their army break point (I'm currently using a 2/3 of total stands lost as a game ending break point to keep things looking right casualty-wise)—with the British sustaining only a 25% loss in units (good for this sort of game and much better than their first outing)
I'm getting a much better hang of the rules and a better understanding of how to take time to get an assault rolling with lots of units instead of sending units in piecemeal. I thought artillery was a bit weak in the first game but it was pretty effective this time out so I think if the Brits can get a few mountain guns painted up the British will be a bit more formidable and I can then add some more Pathans. I've also got a Russian force (converted from Egyptians and Russo-Japanese War Jacklex figures and a Krupp gun) waiting for basing to make for more intriguing colonial struggles on the Afghan plains. With battles being completed in an hour or less, a solo campaign becomes feasible even for a busy guy with kids and a if I can just camouflage the game equipment on our dining table to look like an elegant four piece table setting, I can leave it set up without my dear wife being the wiser!    "Baby, could you please pass the dice I mean the potatoes...!"


Prufrock said...

An enjoyable read. It almost makes me want to buy some appropriate figures... I like the upright sections for your cork hills, too. Simple but effective.

Fitz-Badger said...

Another excellent report (or reports).

tidders2 said...

neat little games, innovative scenery (especially the hills).

-- Allan

PatG said...

Thanks for the reports they are inspirational.

Keith Flint said...

Thanks for this. Both different and interesting. It's great to have access to the ideas of innovative wargamers willing to try something different.

And a very interesting idea for the hills.

Cheers, keith.

Mark Dudley said...

Very interesting - A SCW variant would look good as well.