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Saturday 27 July 2019

The Perils of Command

Today, at Rhys's request, we did another colonial game, as he missed the one we had last time!
This game (The last club game before September, as we have our summer break) - we did an attack on a town occupied by Slavers, but instead of a company of regulars, we had some Sikhs, supported with a mixed bag of Askaris.
Rhys ended up being in charge of our force (Dice!) - and chose the Sikhs, Lawrence had the regular British Askaris, while Phil and I had Police.

The Town
The view from the British arrival point. 
The buildings in the town were guarded by 60 or so warriors. 
The Slave Master (booo-hiss!) and his guards. 
  In front of the town, the Slavers lined the dried river with riflemen.
...including some tough mercenaries. 

Phil, on our left, was ordered to 'Assault the large hill to his front' 
The Sikhs (Rhys) - and Askaris (Lawrence) were to attack down the centre. 
My Police were to 'take and hold' the hill to my front occupied by the enemy.  
 So...off we trundled.
Phil's men were aware of the enemy on the flank of their axis of attack... 
...and advanced slowly to allow our centre to clear the enemy along the dry river.  
 Rhys probed forward with his Sikhs.
 A group of natives opened fire on Lawrence's Askaris as they broke cover. 
One of his men was wounded. 
My Police were advancing on the natives, but were slowed by the Wadi. 
 Lawrence returned fire on the natives.
 ...and managed to reduce their numbers with some accurate rifle fire.
The Sikhs continued to advance...
...as did Phil. 
 The natives held their position.
My Police were almost on the hill facing my objective. 
 Lawrence's Askaris halted at the Wadi to engage the native rifles.
 Rhys began to engage them too.
Phil was nearing his objective hill. 
The natives holding it spotted him, and fired... 
 Unwilling to expose themselves to the enemy along the Wadi on their flank, (who were unaware of them), his Police hunkered down without firing back.
 One of Lawrence's Askaris was wounded by a lucky native shot.
 One of my Police units now began to shoot at the natives opposite. 
 My other unit was distracted, as they had seen the mercenaries on the Wadi edge.
My Police fired at the mercenaries... 
...hitting one of them.
Lawrence's Askaris combined their fire with mine...
...more of the enemy were wounded. 
 Not surprisingly, the survivors fled.
 Phil was continuing to take fire from the hill. 
 His men continued to hide, and fortunately were not hit. 
The Sikhs also fired at them.
 The mercenaries were badly shot up. 
 As more of them fell, they failed to return any effective fire. 
 Eventually, the few survivors broke and ran.
 The massed Askaris advanced slowly, firing...
...a unit of riflemen coming up to support the mercenaries was now shredded by their fire. 
The riflemen retired to safety in haste!
Phil, the threat to his flank removed, now advanced on his objective hill. 
 ...several of the defenders were injured.
One of Phil's Policemen was wounded twice and disabled. 
One of my Police units now advanced against orders! 
 My other unit took my objective!
Phil's Police advanced, killing more of the natives.
 One of the Police units charged the natives on the hill, but were driven off.
 The retreating riflemen on the Wadi edge fired at Phil's attacking Police...
...but accidentally hit one of their own men as they counter-attacked! 
 Despite being under heavy fire, the enemy in the town fired on my headstrong policemen...
... and killed one!
 'Allahu Akbar!'
Phil's police now attacked again, firing. 
 The other unit finished of the stragglers!

 Rhys's Sikhs advanced in a sort of square!?
 ...and destroyed the surviving riflemen along the Wadi.
 Lawrence's Askaris began engaging the enemy in the town... 
 ...and managed to kill and wound several.
The other building's defenders fired back. 
 ...and killed one of Phil's policemen. 
The brave Policemen stormed the hill again.
Eventually, the lone survivor of the natives was taken alive. 
In the centre, the Askaris were still shooting out the towns defenders.
Their return fire was overwhelmed by the massed British fire. 
On the other side of town, the defenders were engaging the Sikhs. 
 One of them was killed.
The Askaris now shifted fire in their support... 
 ...but not before the Sergeant, Tjinder Singh, was killed as well by a lucky shot! 

My right wing unit continued firing at the building opposite...  
...the defender continued to hold despite continuing casualties.
Phil's men, having lost an NCO in the battle for their hill, now stayed in cover.
 My Police now merged on top of my objective, firing at the few defenders left on the building opposite. 
 They killed one, and wounded the other, who made good his escape!
The Askaris and some of the Sikhs engaged the other building. 
The defenders lost several of their number...
 ...but they still managed to shoot and wound several more of the Sergeant's Sikhs in the open.
 The other unit on the building fired at the Sikhs in the Askari line...
...and killed another one. 
 The Sikhs fired back, with the Askaris... 
 ...and succeeded in whittling down the defenders.
The defenders continued firing, though... 
...another wound on the  Sergeant's Sikhs was enough for them, they routed disgracefully!
 The Askari line repositioned themselves...
...a final volley hit several of the defenders... 
...who routed. The rest of the defenders now fled too. 
The Askaris advanced towards the town. 
My officer, having completed his orders to take the hill now asked the Commander if he could join the Askaris! 
Like Phil, our orders did not permit a move beyond our objective hills! 
I think this is an object lesson in orders, limited objectives and micro-management are often not the most effective way of running a battle. Giving competent sub commanders a degree of latitude often pays dividends!


  1. Really like the way your rules seem to work.

    Great job on the after-action-report !

    1. Thanks for that, we are happy the way the rules work too!

  2. But did the slave-master escape??

    1. Yes, he apparently shimmied out of the back of the building he was in using a rope, with the help of his bodyguards!
      We were only aware of the swordsmen leaving by the gate.!!!