What another game ! Well we wanted to squeeze another battle in before family commitments take over for the Christmas period. That’s not to say i won’t try and persuade my son to play a game of Command and Colors.
Anyway my random game generator picked a Back of Beyond encounter between the good old colonial British and a rag tag band of Renegade Russians who have hired support from the local Afghan tribes.
The action takes place at the small village of Dizbad in the north west of Afghanistan. The British have been scouting forward by railway but due to mechanical issues their train with supplies has broken down. Whilst a small force has been left to guard the train help has been sent for. The Local Russian warlord has convinced the neighbouring Afghan tribal leaders that an ambush is guaranteed to bring success and considerable plunder.
The battlefield. The scenario had a number of specific details….as follows. One British unit could be placed as the guard for the train awaiting their rescue, the Afghans could place three units anywhere on the table as long as they were out of sight of the defending unit these are the scouts looking to ambush the objective. We would then D6 for which table edge the main force of ambushers would arrive, only once this was done we would D6 to give an entry point for the relief force. The tribesmen shot as irregulars, but fight hand to hand on an equal par, they as have an increased movement as they are used to moving through the terrain. The rocky outcrops represent difficult ground, so slow movement they also provide cover for any troops on them. Finally for that potential twist, the afghans have not been paid sufficiently this means that any ‘Fubar’ results of a 1or 2 will not only see friendly fire but the unit will immediately chance sides. Although we both slightly lost sight of it the agreed objective at the start was the area of open ground around the road/rail junction (we ended up fighting over the building) All simple stuff really 😀
On to the action the British have left a contingent of Sikh infantry at the train. As luck would have it the Locals arrive from the direction of the water tower
And by chance the British relief force along the railway to the south.
Afghan scouts behind the building, but they are forced to take cover by a British support Plane armed with a Vickers machine gun
The enemy arrive, although their slightly lower morale means a bit of an annoying delay
The British support by two squads of 1st Indian Regiment fan out from their entry point.
Native cavalry allied with the Russians gallops forward and shoots from the saddle killing many of the Sikh defenders.
Given their greater mobility the Afghans are slow to deploy
The British have loaded a Vickers machine gun in the truck, but manage to jump out when it is set on fire by shooting from the cavalry, they soon get their revenge wiping them out.
Tribal forces continue to advance, you can’t see it but the British have sent a Rolls Royce Armoured car down the right flank
The scouts by the building can do little as they are pinned down
But the afghans now have the high ground overlooking the objective
The scouts are now cut off but make one final suicidal charge before dispersing into the hills
Puffs of smoke show where the afghans are shooting from the rocks. Just visible in the distance the British plane has been hit and is forced to leave the battlefield
We now entered a fierce period of the battle where the objective changed hands several times
Having dealt with the scouts the British are now moving in on the objective from all sides
But they are exposed and are taking losses and we are close to the end of the battle
It had to happen the unit on the hill, blunders, friendly fires on the unit defending the building ! and changes sides
Seeing the defenders weakened by the friendly fire, the Indian squad fixes bayonets and charges in, but they only hold the building for a moment
They too are charged by some Russian irregulars
But there are more British infantry closing in on the objective. At this point the battle ended, although my narrative and the final pictures don’t quite tell the story we gave it to the British, they are pretty much in control of the objective and in a commanding position, especially with one of the Afghan units changing sides, and they have cut off the enemy retreat with the armoured car.
Another enjoyable battle and nice to get this different and fun period on the table. I do wonder if I need some more Afghans though ?
This is probably the last battle before Christmas…but we will see.
Thanks as always 👍 Matt