Being a mostly visual diary of the creation of high quality, historically accurate 25mm/28mm scale terrain
for a refight of the battle waged by the British and Afghans on July 27th, 1880,
in time for its recent 130th anniversary on Tuesday, July 27th, 2010.
Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
"Bala Hissar or Bust!" player briefing...
AFGHAN PLAYERS BRIEFING:
The Infidel Army is about to attempt to fight their way from their camp to the Bala Hissar fortress, currently occupied by a regiment of their Indian lackeys. As they will be abandoning their camp, they will be forced to bring their baggage, womenfolk, and camp-followers with them, draping a blessed burden around the necks of our enemies.
Destroy all the cursed Infidels en route to the walls of our city, and if their lackeys venture forth from the safety of the ancient fortress, destroy them as well, and the resulting PURE VICTORY will gain you endless honor and glory, praise from the Faithful, and blessings from Allah, the Compassionate and Merciful!
Destroy half of them while preventing the remainder from reaching the fortress, and the resulting MODEST VICTORY will allow your praise to be sung.
Achieve less than that and the resulting DEFEAT will leave your followers looking for new chiefs... and your wives for new husbands.
ANGLO-INDIAN PLAYERS BRIEFING:
Food stocks in the Cantonments have reached a critically low level, but an abundance of supplies sits in the storehouses of the Bala Hissar, which remains garrisoned by a stalwart unit of the Regiment of Guides. Their orders will allow them to sally out to aid you in reaching the safety of the ancient fortress only after the first of your troops have reached Kabul, which will require you to enter through one or both of the gates in the South wall of the city.
It is of the utmost importance to reach the Bala Hissar with your supply train of ammunition and valuable personal belongings (of the officer class) intact, and without suffering casualties of more than 50% amongst your large number of civilian camp-followers along the way. Do so and if your army survives the coming Winter behind the walls of the fortress, the resulting PURE VICTORY will earn a Knighthood!
Reach the safety of Bala Hissar fortress with at least half of your fighting troops still standing, and despite whatever losses you may suffer, the resulting MODEST VICTORY will earn you a promotion.
Fail to do that, and the resulting DEFEAT will leave you blackballed by your fellow officers, laughed at by your men, and scorned by the Empire in general.
GENERAL GAME BRIEFING:
We'll use the 20th Anniversary The Sword And The Flame rules straight from the book.
I will add BLACK & RED JOKERS to the deck. If the RED JOKER or EITHER RED JACK is flipped, the British player will have to move or "Fire" (wastefully, without any effect) one of their FOUR UNITS OF CAMP FOLLOWERS (12,000 of whom were with the Anglo-Indian army, which added a great deal of chaos to the British withdrawal.)
If the BLACK JOKER is flipped, the Afghan Player will get to move the Camp Followers as they see fit.
So 3 problematic cards for red, and 1 potentially disastrous one.
Streamlining the historical OB for game purposes, the British will command the following TSATF basic units:
1 British Inf. (20 figs) 3 Indian Inf. (60 figs)
(+5 added Infantry command) 2 Indian Cav. (24 +1 added command = 25 figs) 1 British Horse Artillery Gun (4 figs) 2 Indian Mountain Guns (8 figs)
British Grand Total: 122 figures
Plus a large number of CIVILIAN CAMP FOLLOWERS.
Occupying various strongpoints between the British starting position and objective, as well as the ramparts of the walled city, will be close to twice their number of Afghans, in the following units: