Monday, April 10, 2017

A Small Scrap on the NWF

Last weekend Myself, Brian Buskell and David Hancox played a great little North West Frontier game using The Sword & The Flame rules (but not based for the rules). The British forces were of course on the offensive, with their objective to seize and hold the mountain pass. The Afghan objective was to inflict as many casualties on the infidels as possible. All the figures were from my own, Brian's and Leroy Simpson's collections. However Leroy painted all the beautiful Afghans.

The layout of the battlefield from the Afghan side

An again from the British side

The British forces were made up for three columns. The first column consisted of four companies of Indians (two Guide units) and one British company. The second column consisted of three companies of Scottish Infantry, one company of Indians and one Gurkha company. The last column consisted of one squadron of British Lancers, one squadron of Bengal Lancers and an artillery battery of heavy guns.

British heavy artillery 

British Command

The Afghan forces consisted of two columns only. The first was all tribal warriors, with three large clans, two skirmish units, four artillery pieces (two camel mounted) and two mounted tribal units. The other column consisted of regular Afghan troops. Six companies of regular infantry, one Highland Guard company, a section of regular artillery and one squadron of regular cavalry

British troops muster into line and prepare to advance 

The Afghans deployment saw most of their troops deployed across the ridge line, well protected by the high ground and rough terrain. This ground would prove very hard to assault and would cost many casualties  on both sides.

A very strong position

With not much movement on the Afghan side other than minor adjustment in their lines, it was up to the British forces to advance and take the battle to the Afghans.

Tribal artillery fires many times but their fire proved very ineffective however, they still proved a deterrent for the British who gave them a wide berth.

The British right hand column advances with the cavalry in close support and covering their flank.

The British left hand column advances up to the base of the ridge, halts and fires a few volleys before scaling the steep slopes.

The Afghans put up a stiff fight raining a deadly and accurate fire onto the Infidels as the advance.

Before long the Afghan cavalry advance from their position in depth in order to cover the centre left of the Afghan line.

With the British left engaged the right now advances quickly across the open ground and to the base of the ridge line.

Pathan skirmishers engage the advancing British troops with very accurate fire from the jezail rifles. 

The battle rages back and forth with fierce hand to hand fighting but finally a company of Indian troops pushing back the tough Afghan warriors and in the first Imperial troops to reach the high ground (The company commander to receive a MC)

However the Afghan regulars put up a more determined fight and hold their ground for most of the day.

Before long supporting Indian troops follow up close behind the victorious first company and poor into the centre of the Afghan line. However the two companies of Guides are still locked in a fierce struggle with other tribal warriors.

Behind the Afghan line there are more troops in support

The British right hand column now at the base of the ridge line fire a few well directed volleys up into the Afghan regulars just above them.

Another two companies of Afghan regulars advance from the village and rush up into the fight.

The fight for the ridge line proves to be not as easy as the British commander first thought. Mounting casualties in the company commanders has slowed the advance. By two hours into the battle six company commanders out of ten have been either wounded or killed.

With some of the best troops in the British Army and on the field that day, the company of Gurkha Rifles charges up the hill.

But the Afghan Highland Guard proved better troops that day and turn back repeated charges from the fierce Gurkhas.

With the battle for the ridge line stalling the British commander decides to try his luck with the cavalry.

This proves better than he thought and the Afghan tribals horse are beaten back...but not defeated.

Caught in the open the Afghan Regular cavalry charge the nearest British company, who with just enough time to form a tight little square and shoot down a few riders....well done lads.

Three hours into the battle the fight is still hard fought with Afghans counter charging the brave Indians holding onto the ridge. 

The Tribal warriors still holding the high ground (only just) on the British left flank.

Another charge on the Afghan Guards is repulsed. 

The last of the Afghan mounted warriors put up a brave fight but are soon routed....they were no match for the lancers.

A British company reaches the other side of the ridge but are soon charged by a company of Afghan Regulars.

The British company stands it's ground and delivers volley after volley into the charging Afghans.

With four hours of battle and the sun starting to dip behind the high mountains in the distance both sides dig in for the night. Heavy casualties on both sides and and tough fighting has exhausted both the Afghans and the British troops, however neither side gained complete victory this day.


legatus hedlius said...

Really nice looking game!

Neil said...

Nicely done and truely inspirational!

Phil said... always!

A J said...

Spectacular! I look forward to the AAR.

NW Crew said...

Beautiful! Great setup and miniatures.

Jonathan Freitag said...

Wow! Gorgeous figures AND gorgeous terrain!

Michał Kucharski said...

Fantastic looking game!

Pat G said...

Stunning table and figures - well done!

Moiterei_1984 said...

It definitely does look like a bummer of a game with all those nicely painted miniatures and the excellent terrain.

Rodger said...

That looks absolutely stunning!

rross said...

Beautiful looking figures and terrain - a few Old Glory amongst your figures if I am not mistaken?

Vinnie said...

Thanks for the fantastic comments everyone and glad to read you liked the game. Sorry I have not been able to add the AAR as yet but I will get there soon.

All the best


Gordon Richards said...

The table and figs are just stunning! Great stuff!

Mad Guru said...

Vinnie, fantastic looking game, as is to be expected from you and your not-so-lonely colleagues!

Reading your comment re: slow-moving pace of TSATF card-generated move & fire system when used for a larger game such as the one above, I think you may want to look into, "800 FIGHTING ENGLISHMEN," which is the TSATF "Big Battle" rules variant.

Here's a link (which probably won't function and will need to be cut-&-pasted into your address bar in order to work) to a post I did a while ago re: combining the 800FE "fast play" approach to movement with the "old school" TSATF approach to fire and melee, for my own mash-up version of the rules, created to accomodate larger games, while retaining certain aspects of the original game system which I love. Might be of interest:

Again, AMAZING PICS of beautiful armies and terrain, THANKS for posting! (And I too look forward to reading the AAR!)

Matt Crump said...

Spectacular looking game 😀

Jason Sendjirdjian said...


Andrew Parr said...

Brilliant as usual Nate.

Captain Darling said...

Good looking game with cool figures and terrain, champion effort!

Vinnie said...

Thanks again for the great comments everyone. I will most definitely give the '800' Fighting men a crack next time we play.

All the best