Monday 20 March 2023

Sikh Wars AAR

Its been ages since we had this collection on table and whilst I am still hunting for rules, Black Powder works ok so we got a wee game on.

Chris and Chris took the Sikhs, 8 battalions of regulars, supported by 2 regiments of regular horse and 2 guns. 8 battalions of irregulars supported by 2 guns and 8 regiments of irregular horse.

Steve and I had the Company troops. 10 Battalions of foot in three Brigades and 4 of Cavalry in one Brigade, these supported by a field gun, horsegun and rocket. 

The Sikhs would be defending the crossroads with troops coming on at different times so we British needed to get forward and try beat them early.
I took the cavalry brigade on the left with an infantry brigade to my right, Steve then took the other two foot brigades for our right flank. The Majority of the Sikh Cavalry also deployed facingmy horse.

Steve is able to push forward quickly on our right with no opposition, that will change fairly soon though.
The British Generals discuss which map is the right one and argue about where the Sikhs are coming from whilst the troops struggle to overcome the ferocious Sikhs.
A fair old lump of armoured Sikh cavalry rolls forward to take on my horse with two regiments of irregulars supporting.
The First Brigade of sikh foot deploys in the middle of the table blocking our route to the crossroads with a large battery of guns in their middle.
The British Cavalry have taken some time to deploy with some poor orders but finally get themselves moving forward.
Steve occupies the hill on our right flank and deploys his rocket battery. This quickly inflicts casualties on the Sikh regular cavalry, rockets on target for a change, which promptly charges him.
Chris's Sikh Regular Cavalry charges and gets enough distance to over run and wipe out the rocket battery, they then get a sweepign advance intot he foot at the rear but are seen off with casualties.
On the left the Sikh Cavalry also charges and is counter charged by the Light dragoons. The Sikhs are seen off but the Dragoons have too many casualties to follow up.
On the left my Bengal Light cavalry advance on the Sikh Cavalry for another engagement which they win ut not quite convincingly enough to make a difference.
In the centre Chris has advanced his Sikh regulars on my brigade and shuffled two regiment of irregulars over to support the guns.
On the righ the next brigade of Sikh regulars closes with Steve and a further brigade of irregulars arrives ont eh extreme right to support Chris F.

There is a fine dust up on the right and the Sikhs begin to get the advantage.
On the left I have seen off the Sikh Cavalry but my leading troops are in no condition to follow up, the supporting Lancers remain unable to advance and add their steel to the battle. 

In the centre the British battalion has been forced to retire after a hard fought melee with the Sikh regulars but the Sikh regular unit has also had to move back leaving honours even.

On the hill to our right Steves British are finally forced to retreat by Chris F's regulars and a gap opens in our lines, so whilst Steve is able to push forward where our forces meet the risk of doing so is too great as it opens a hole in our centre.
There is still plenty of game left to play but the Sikhs have effectively held the British foot. The horse could potentially still hook around the left but its taken too long and we would need to re-organise ourselves significantly before having another go,  

In the end the tenacious Sikhs have stopped the British in their tracks and we must admit to having been thwarted for today.

Despite not being our favourite set of rules this ended up being a really fun and hard fought game which had a feel for Sikh Wars. Still looking for the perfect set but in the meantime we know Black Powder can give us a fun game.

Thanks for the game fellas, hope you enjoyed reading folks. See you again soon.


  1. A great tussle. The Khalsa did sterling work holding the Anglo-Indian army back and counterattacking where we could. Fabulous figures :-) cheers Chris C

  2. Beautiful looking battle 👍

  3. I enjoyed that. A colourful engagement indeed. It's an era that intrigues me [early Victorian] though my troops are more based on the Carlist War. I'm also in search of a ruleset but for now mostly use Sharp practice 2 and have smaller engagements rather than the bigger battle displayed here. I hope we see this collection on the table again sometime.
    all the best

    1. Cheers Stephen, there are some Carlist War British mixed into some of these units as it happens. I also used them for Sharp Practice whilst I was getting enough for larger engagements, Rules still to be finalised.

  4. Looks really good Roger but I wonder if Black Powder has enough nuance? The challenge with his era is having the British/EIC troops significantly outnumbered, but with the odds still being on them to win....they really need some specific rules to make that work out. If the Sikhs, or other native troops, are just treated like another army of similar training and discipline, you don't really get the right feel.

    1. I couldnt agree more, we used Black Powder in the absence of a different set that we like. I am hoping that the forthcoming second edition Mad Dogs and Englishmen will fit the bill, designed for Colonial and with a specific section as I understand for Sikh Wars in the new rules. Watch this space for the results.

  5. Excellent, really enjoyed read8ng through this, great pics too 😎👍

  6. Lovely stuff. Your Sikh Wars collection is inspirational.

  7. Can only dream of gaming the Sikh Wars one day..looks amazing
    Will you be my friend and invite me over please?
    Great stuff as always Roger

    1. Haha cheers, maybe join in a big show game in future.

  8. Have a peek at Age of Tigers - it's a free download on the AgeofEagles website. So you only have to invest time - not money

    1. Thank you, my only concern was whether I needed to re-base as thats not a task I plan to under take.

  9. Hi Roger,
    I have re-fought the Sikh Wars and the Mutiny with 28mm figures using Warfare in the Age of Reason Rules. Though they are designed for the Seven Years War they already have rules covering Indian armies plus I class the Queen’s and HIPEIC European Troops as Elite or Guard, which enables them to take on Indian or Sikh troops with some advantage. Enfield Rifles for the Mutiny simply have a longer effective and long ranges so British or HEIC Troops so armed can shoot up the Mutineers from a good range.

    1. I have played these rules years ago and used to have a copy, would never have occured to me to use them for India. Do you feel like they can give the flavour of India with all the irregulars etc?