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.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Maiwand Saturday @ COLONIAL BARRACKS (7 of 7)


Fresh Ghazis appear from Maiwand and advance to north edge of Mundabad Ravine, in preparation for charging the 66th Berkshires on the lip of the ravine above...

66th are arrayed in open order, to lessen damage from artillery and regular infantry volleys advancing towards them from the north...

Unfortunately for the Berkshires, a BLACK JOKER is pulled, enabling the Afghans to give a BONUS MOVE to any of their units on the table. The card was assigned to the newly-arrived Ghazis, who then managed to charge into contact with the 66th. After passing a morale check, the 66th were allowed to reform into close order. But they were still under attack by 61 Ghazi fanatics - led by Malalai of Khig - and even with their "+1" for defending in close order, to balance out the Ghazis' own "+1" for charging fanatics, the odds were not in their favor. They managed to win the melee, but emerged with only 6 fighting effectives out of their starting strength of 20...

The British artillery continued to retire south, across the Ravine, under cover of the baggage guard, all of which had now taken up positions in the buildings and walled gardens of Khig, including the cavalry, which had dismounted in order to add their carbines to the firing line. Baggage train itself and medical camp kept falling back to the South as well...

With multiple batteries of Afghan artillery and brigades of regular infantry closing in as the rest of the British force headed south towards the Ravine, the game was called, and a narrow victory awarded to the Afghans.

The British had managed to get all but one of their guns (Hector Maclaine's, which - just as in the real battle - was overrun by the Afghans) safely out of reach of the enemy, and with the baggage guard well-ensconced in the built-up area of Khig, had a good base around which to arrange defensive positions, from which their guns could do damage to the advancing enemy...

But with the 66th Regiment having taken such steep losses, there were probably not enough troops left to sustain such a defense for long, especially considering how little damage the British had managed to inflict on the Afghan artillery...

The British had engaged and destroyed almost all of the Afghan Tribal and Ghazi fanatic forces, but this still left twice their own number of regular infantry and cavalry, as well as near all the Afghan artillery, intact -- including the deadly battery of Armstrong Rifled Breech Loaders, which outranged their own guns.

The British fared better than they did on the original Maiwand Day, but were not able to "overthrow history" and pull out a surprise victory.


  1. Now that terrain looks fantastic,those causalties on the cammels also really look great!!

    Best wishes


  2. WOW!! What a feast for the eyes. Oh, my beating heart! Really nicely done, from miniatures to terrain, a real labor of love. Mad Guru would you share with us the source of those small shrubby tufts of "grass" scattered around your board please?


  3. Thank you, Willie, and thank you too, Frank!

    RE: the shrubby tufts of grass...

    It's funny, but that stuff always attracts interest and positive comments -- and it is by far the simplest, easiest, and least-expensive element of the terrain!

    It is plastic floral greenery from Michael's craft stores -- a chain here in the USA -- with the individual tufts pulled off and given a light wash of Delta Ceramcoat "Antique Gold" acrylic (an inexpensive line of craft paints), to tone-down the green.

    One long-stemmed bunch of it costs 3 or 4 US dollars, and provides a lot of the stuff. 2 or maybe 3 bunches was enough to spread out over most of my 12' x 6' table.

    I will take and posts some sample pics when I get a chance. The exact same plastic fauna may not be available overseas, but hopefully something similar is.

  4. Willie,

    You may well know this already, but the camel ambulances are from Castaway Arts. They come with figures wearing foreign service helmets. I bought three and did two sets of head-swap conversions -- one using wounded British heads from the Woodbine Design range WWI in the East rang, available from Gripping Beast, the other using Indian turban heads from Wargames Foundry.

    1. I will check them out MG just looking again at this great set up!

  5. Amazing photos. Figures and terrain all look so good.

  6. Thanks for the comment, Rodger, I appreciate it!

  7. Thanks Mad Guru would love a look at the whole "plant". Unfortunately Michaels does not exist in Oztralia and I hope to source something similiar!


  8. Hey this looks really great. I like the Afghan army.
    Is there a source for the Indian regiment with green turban?
    Haven't seen this uniform before.


  9. Hi, Uwe, and thanks for the compliment!

    The Indian regiment in green and red is the 30th Bombay Native Infantry, also known as "Jacob's Rifles."

  10. Re: their uniforms, I used a compilation of sources, including the W.Y. Carman book on Indian Infantry, Artillery & Engineer uniforms, as well as notes from various other sources, and some illustrations from earlier and later eras (unfortunately, I have yet to find a 2nd Afghan War picture showing a member or members of the Regiment). Off the top of my head, I believe I may have fabricated the green puttees, inspired by similar ones worn by the regiment closer to the turn of the 20th Century, as I preferred them to black, blue, brown, or khaki, and there was no definitive evidence in favor of any of those other, more common, colors.

  11. Wanted to thank you again for the game. Our group from Maine had a great time and look forward to doing it again. Great figs, great terrain, great game and most of all a great group of people.

  12. The pleasure was mine, Chris, and you are very welcome!

    Your Maine contingent was great -- banishing your buddy James to the British side of the battlefield at the very start of the proceedings! And you bided your time, then threw caution to the wind and did as any self-respecting, faithful Ghazi commander should do, and went all-in with your fanatic CHARGE! You tore into the enemy, took your lumps, and maintained a great attitude throughout -- despite getting clobbered! Of course, you did reduce the 66th Regt. from full strength of 20, to 7 men! If you look closely at a few of the later pics above, you can see how incredibly close the melee was -- with only 2 Brits remaining in the fighting line when the last of your Ghazis routed or was killed. The next pic shows the 5 British "fall-backs" returning to join their victorious comrades. 2 die rolls were all that kept you from smashing the 66th to smithereens. True, you did lose virtually your entire command of 61 Ghazis in the process, but in tactical terms, especially at Maiwand where the Afghans outnumber the Brits not just 3-1 but 4-1, trading 3 units of fanatic swordsmen for the best British unit on the table is pretty good deal for the Afghans.

    There's a funny pic in one of the previous posts -- probably post number 5 or 6 out of the 7 -- with a close-up of the figure James replaced his alter-ego mounted commander with after he dismounted his cavalry and had his entire Baggage Guard command occupy Khig village and its walled gardens: it's a British officer on foot, DRINKING. He looks like he's drinking tea, but I believe James said something about having spiked the cup with something stronger!

  13. What a great terrain, and I love those painted figures. They're very colorfull and well detailed. Also thanks for the historical background information. Love t.



  14. Thanks for the compliments, Peter, and also for signing up as a follower of this blog! I appreciate it!

  15. Hey Mad Guru,

    I have emailed you mate - again thanks - you are a real gentleman!


  16. Hi, Frank,

    It took awhile, but finally sent a small box filled with "tufts" off Down Under earlier today. Hopefully it will reach you soon. Not much damage that can be done to its resilient soft plastic contents, barring a steamroller driving over it!

  17. Many thanks Angry Expert want a glance at the entire "plant". Regrettably Michaels doesn't can be found within Oztralia as well as I really hope in order to supply some thing similiar!

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