Saturday 27 November 2021

1919 Third Afghan War AAR With SP2

 So Chris and I fancied a 1919 3rd Afghan War Game, first night back at the club for me and keen to try make something of this period.

Chris decided we would try amend Sharp Practice and see how that went, good game as it goes although changes required for next time.

The Imperial Forces were on a rescue mission, a plane has been shot down, the crew need rescueing and the plane destroying, typically they are at opposite ends of the table however.

The Imperial foces have 
3 8 man groups of British regulars, 
2 8 man groups of Gurkhas 
MG and crew.

41 figures
The terrain is pretty rugged funnelling any advance, the Imperial entry point is denoted by the Rolls Royce Armoured Car.

Afghan Forces are all Tribal Irregulars they have:

1 group of 6 Tribal Cavalry
4 groups of 6 skirmishers
2 groups of 12 Tribal levy with rifles
1 group of 12 Tribal Levy with swords
1 Maxim and crew with a regular Officer

71 Figures.

The British are massivley outnumbered but have a significant superiority in firepower as they do not need to re-load.

However using that superiority isnt so simple, you have two actions and can move or fire with them, so I can move once and fire once, move twice and not fire or stay still and fire once but I cant use the firepower and keep moving forward. Decisions, decisions.

Oh I was British and Indian and Chris had the Afghans. Figures a mix of both our collectons.
The Afghan entry point is denoted by a very nice Bactrian Camel, naturally they quickly start to make use of the available cover. We made any flat area no cover and everything else light cover. Houses would be heavy cover if anyone ever got near them.
I deploy the British regulars into a single 24 man formation supported by my MG and go for the Pilots, my Gurkhas (really a mix of Gurkhas and Indian Muslims) will set off in the opposite direction to try destroy the plane.

The MG has some interesting rules, for the British I can roll as many dice as I want, however the more 1's I roll the worse things can get. So if I roll too many dice and get loads of 1's the gun could be out of action all game.
As the British advance across the low ground, the Afghan skirmishers start climbing the high ground. The British were always sure to occupy the high ground before advancing anywhere a lesson I failed to take heed of.

After two moves my forces have advanced either side of a hilly area in the middle, to the front of my British regulars a small band of cavalry hoves into view.
They are not really in my arc of fire but two units of Afghan Skirmishers in the open are so I let rip with a 24 man volley and throw in extra cards to make it a crashing volley. Half of each of the units is hit and they both take 6 shock forcing one to retreat and the other to break and Chris is already down 2 on his force morale.

Chris opens up wiht his MG, the Afghans roll 3 D6 and the result is the number of dice he fire, chris gets double five and a six. 16 firing dice, he inflicts three casualties and 5 shock, it could have been worse, he then follows this up with a short range cavalry charge .
This works less well I take 3 more casualties but wipe out his cavalry entirely. His force morale does not suffer however and we press on.
Chris has his other skirmishers in the rocks and trees flanking my Gurkhas in the open and opens fire giving my guys a severe mauling.
The Gurkhas struggle to respond, they are in formation so have to either break formation or have to turn to face the Afghans or keep going and being shot from behind, I compromise and break formation sending one unit after the plane and the other turns to return fire. A bad mistake six Gurkhas in the open against 12 Afghan skirmishers in cover is not going to end well.
At this point a tribal levy of swordsmen breaks cover and begins to rush the Gurkhas, they are still a way off but my guys are in a very tight spot.

After a move of fatal dithering my Gurkhas turn to fire back at the Afghans in cover with little effect the return fire is withering and my Gurkhas are being cut down.

To my left my British send another crashing volley into the Tribal Levy and forcing them to retire, my machine gun fires with 14 dice and I get way too many 1's, I am jammed for 6 activations, at least 3 turns and only manage to hit two of the Afghan Machine gun crew. The return machine gun fire inflicts more losses on my regulars but the Afghan gun Jams too, needing three activations to unjam. a turn and a half.

My Gurkhas have turned their fire onto the Tribal swordsmen storming across the plain at them with devastating effect. However they are 1 shock short of having to retire and lose more force morale, meanwhile one of my units is shot to the last man and the other has only three left who are forced to flee, my force moral is damaged.
I am still a long way from my objective and nearly half my force is gone. The Afghans are in the same predicament, its something of a race to the bottom to see who loses the most quickest. If I can drive off the remaining Tribal Levy I might just force the whole of the Afghan force back, if I cant the skirmishers will cross the hills and rocks to my flank and eventually the machine gun will open up again and my remaining troops will be cut down.

Meanwhile its 10.30 and everyone else has gone home, Terry has kindly waited to lock up and has his coat on ready to go so whilst Chris insists its a narrow potential win for the British I am happy with a draw. Well fought Sir, we will see you again soon.

In terms of the game, I think keeping the activation of Sharp Practice works well, however using formations isnt really cutting it for me, these were no longer in use in the same way by 1919, so maybe chain of command for the moving and firing mechanics is a better fit. We will have a play around for the next game and see how we get on.

Cheers Chris.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

40mm Peninsular Update

 I am really enjoying these guys, the Rifles of course, being simple, are getting completed ahead of others but still good progress.

So this weeks progress has been 7 rifles and 3 French, all three French still being Voltigeurs. I am still a way of painting the line infantry so far.
The three French represent a degree of progress in that at least I am painting some French. 
I am keen that these remain pretty varied so three different trouser colours with these, the sleeved waistcoats are a slightly whiter white, I particularly like this head with the neck flap. Hard to think this is the same figure with the arm added by chum Chris and the different heads.
I particularly like this chap in the bonnet de police. The Spanish come with a bunch of these so I will mix the odd one into the French and possibly even the Hussars.
Four more firing rifles, I am adding some different shades to the trousers to give me some variety when I come to pick those that stay and those that go. It occured to me that I might slacken off on the quality when I didnt think figures would be used but the standard is still the same really and happy with these guys.
The next three add some variety the advancing figure in particular I have not used before. Trying a different colour handkerchief around the neck of the right hand two, orange, undecided if it has worked well, not enough contrast with the red collar really.

The box of painted 40mm is starting to look something like now. Still a lot more firing 60th than anything else though.
Before posting this I was also able to finish off some Spanish, a Priest, a Guerillero and the first of my Spanish regulars.
I'm really happy with these, the Guerillero's rakish hat looks great and sets him apart from the same figure I have painted with a Bicorne, the Priest has worked well too. The regular is of the Hibernia regiment of Irishmen. I like the colour combo but also the idea of using an Irish unit, which is straight out of Sharpe. These will be a fairly untidy bunch when I get stuck into them.

So again, happy with this progress, a bit more focus on the French skirmishers then I can start to get some line units started so we have rounded forces to play with.

Friday 19 November 2021

42nd Bengal Native Infantry Complete

 Another unit back from the basing department. Complete with a Brigade commander too.

This commander is actually a Perry Carlist Wars British officer but fits perfectly with the Sikh Wars figures. Its a particular favourite of mine.

I have mixed a few of the Perry Carlist War figures in, I think they fit really well, obviousley in style given they have the same sculpters, but also not too much bigger than the older stuff.
So to the 42nd, these fought in both Sikh Wars and start off a new Brigade for me, Pennys, I will need the 50th foot and the 48th BNI to support them at some point. Four different ranges on this command base. Front left another Perry Carlist Wars Officer, front right is Foundry Sikh Wars drummer, to the back at the left is actually a Perry Plastic British Napoleonic ensign with a Sikh Wars head swapped on and next to hm an Empress standard bearer.
There is some debate about whether the Sepoys had reversed colours for musicians, clearly these guys havnt and it may be that some units did and others not so a couple of my units will have reversed colours.

My light company are in green which is also debatable, the Sepoys were still moving to rifle companys with baker rifles and green uniforms at the start of the mutiny but I think it makes a nice addition.
The rank and file of this unit are a mix of Empress Mutiny Sepoys and Foundry Sikh Wars chaps, they fit quite nicely despite the disparity in age of the castings. I really like using the mix of manufacturers.
I think these guys came out ok, they will get their second outing at Partizan shortly for our demo game.

These chaps fought in all of the engagements of the First Sikh War, I beleive they were also at the Siege of Multan in the second Sikh war but dont seem to have fought in the other major engagements. Either way a very useful unit.

Happy with those, now whats next?

Saturday 13 November 2021

Sharp Practice 2 AWI Continentals and Hessians

 We had another SP2 game this evening with a slightly different mix of troops for a change. Interesting game.

A mainly Hessian force was to destroy a Patriot force holding a small farm.

The crown forces were better quality with solid level 2 leaders across the board they consisted of:

3 groups of 8 Heassian Fusiliers

1 group of 6 Jaegers

2 groups of 6 British Light Bobs

1 group of 6 British Legion cavalry 

The Rebels ... ahem, patriots had a more mixed force benefiting from deploying into the cover of the farm. Their overall commander was a level 3.

3 groups of 8 continentals level 3 leader

1 group of 6 rifles level 3 leader

2 groups of 6 militia skirmishers level 1 leaders

So 42 Loyalist foot would try to hold 42 Crown foot with 6 horse in support. The Crown had the edge in troop quality the Rebels the adavantage of cover and slightly better leaders.
True to form the Loyalist light s and cavalry bounded off to start harrassing the Rebels whilst the Hessians meandered aroudn the deploy ment point. The Patriots quickly ensonced themseleves inside the fences of the farm.

At a bit of a loss what to do with the cavalry with all the enemy behind fences, so I pushed toem behind a wood maybe an opportunity would present itslef.
Long range rifle fire saw casualties to both sides As the Hessians continued not to get their act together.
Chris decided to throw one unit of Milita skirmishers through the wood to harass me, before they could disapear my cavalry decided to try snaffle them u.
Unfortunately Chris wheeled on of his groups of regulars and the cavalry were hit by a volley from both sides and broke, so much for the British Legion.

My right hand light bobs have pressed forward and started firign into the flank of the Continentals, but they are taken heavy fire from the American rifles in the farmstead and quickly lose 2 of their number.
My lights and rifles have been ignorign the Patriot skirmishers and firign away at the continentals and now their line is startign to llok pretty badly damaed. The Hessians are finally rollign ponderousley forward down the middle.
However gnorign the skirmishers means they are takign a steady toll on my lights and we are quickly runnign out of skirmishers.
I get itno range only to recieve a devastating volley from the continentals leavign 6 dead and 11 shock.
My lights are now being pushed back by the enemy skirmishrs and close to breaking.
My Hessians at last throw avolley into the continentals and cause havoc amongst their ranks, one unit of 8 is completey goen an d the other two very badly mauled.
However in return I lose both my light infantry screens and my Jeagers are at half stregnth.
As we draw to a close the game is on a knife edhge, My Hessians are in reasonably good shape with a small contingent of Jaegers to support, however the Continentals are ont he edge breakign whilst the three skirmish screens for the Patriots are intact.
We need another 3 turns to decide it at least, we only have one andour rushed firing makes no impression.

A hard fought draw is declared.

Another enjoyable evening of Sharp Practice. We really need to start using force morales, I wonder how soon it might have ended if we had?