Late yesterday afternoon my good friend Brian gave me a call wanting to play a little game, I agreed and race down stairs too set up a North West Frontier game for the evening. Well it was not really a small game as I managed to use all the Afghans we had in our collection - seven regular infantry regiments, two warrior units, two skirmisher units, two artillery batteries and three cavalry regiments. Brian was then to place on the table - three regular Highlander units, six Indian infantry units, two Guide infantry units, two mountain gun batteries and three lancer armed cavalry units....a big game.
Again we used Andrew Parr's quick playing 'Breach Loader & Rifle' club house rules, which enabled us to played a fast playing, quick action game within two and half hours and finishing with a result. Our scenario was for the Imperial forces to break the siege of the town and force a way through the Afghan lines.
The terrain was set up too represent...hopefully the hilly terrain of Afghanistan or the frontier, well as best as we could with what I had in the cupboard. Brian did very well forcing the pass. He sent one of his columns up the nearest spur line to clear the Afghan regulars from the heights. Another two columns were sent up the valley in order to clear the pass and he left a few more troops to hold the town.
My Afghans were basically to hold the pass as best I could but also I hoped to attack the village and his rear with my cavalry.....All went well on my left flank, but it also went well for Brians' flank attack. His Highland Light infantry, with the Guides in support, stormed up the spur line and slowly pushed my Afghan regulars back, but he did take some very heavy causalities in the process.
Brian's middle columns did much the same but also taking heavy fire from well armed Afghan regulars. Brian's cavalry however did not fear as well and they were over run by swarms of mounted Afghan warriors. The village however after repeated attacks from my tribesmen held out for the duration of the game. Brian claimed victory for the Imperial forces but at a heavy cost.
An overview of the battlefield showing the village in the center of the table and Brians' main infantry force of three infantry columns at the bottom of the image.
Warriors and the Afghan Guards advance against the village
Two companies of Afghan regulars deploy
British mountain battery deploys placing well aimed salvos on to the Afghans on the slopes.
Brian's cavalry column - two units of Bengal Lancers and one British lancer unit
More warriors advance
My Afghan regulars defend the spur
Indian Guide units storm up the spur line in support of the Highland Light Infantry
The Highlanders charge and clear one ridge line but take heavy casualties and are forced back down the slope
The mountain maintains a constant barrage on to the heights, which enable the Guilds to take another ridge line.
The cavalry battle in the center of the table
Afghan tribesmen advance into the outskirts of the village
However the Indian units left behind to defend the village put up heroic defence and hold back the Afghans
Another view of the battle, which is about midway through
Again the cavalry charge each other and this time Brian's troops are driven from the field
The Guides rest after taking yet another ridge
The last charge of the Guides forces my Afghans back and off the ridge and Brian's troops also take the valley floor
My last desperate charge.
Lets just say my first warrior unit did not reach the guns.