Friday, 8 March 2013

A Small Engagement On The North West Frontier


Somewhere on the North West Frontier 1897.

Due to recent hostile activity by some of the local tribes, letters were sent out for the surrender of the tribal leaders and a fine of 10,000 rupees. The deadline came and went without reply.

Orders were issued for the assembly of a small field force under the command of Major Mathias, 1st Battalion Gorden Highlanders. This consisted of the following:
1 x company Gordon Highlanders
1 x company Sepoy's - 45th Regt Bengal Infantry
1 x reinforced platoon Gurkha's
1 x 2.5" RML screw gun - 6th Bombay Mountain Artillery Battery

Punishment needed to be dealt out, sooner rather than later and the mud villages along the tribal territory were destroyed in retribution. The valley was inhospitable and barren, rugged and bare hills on either side and stifling heat, flies in plenty.


The Gurkha's were scouting ahead of the column and came upon a goat herders hut. Lieutenant Cavendish sent a Naik (corporal) and a couple of men ahead to check out the hut, whilst he ordered the rest of the platoon to man the wall and give covering fire.





Apart from some goats, the place was deserted. Cavendish didn't like it, it was just too quite and he had an uneasy feeling that they were being watched.




A short while later the rest of the column arrived. Lieutenant Cavendish updated Major Mathias and orders were issued to press on up the valley.




The spoils of war and curried goat for supper.


The column started to move out with Lieutenant Faversham's platoon leading the way for the company of Sepoy's.


The second platoon of Sepoy's, led by Lieutenant Fonthill and his second in command, Jemadar (2nd Lieutenant) Sharzad.


Close behind were the Gordon's.


The Khan (leader) raised his tulwar (sword) and sprang his trap on the invaders. The hills overlooking the valley erupted with gun smoke as they poured fire into the flank of the column.






The column turned to face the threat and the screw gun was hastily deployed to give supporting fire.




Lieutenants Faversham and Cavendish lead their platoons of Sepoy forward towards the shelter of a Nullah (dry watercourse or ravine) but on reaching the lip, were horrified by what lay in waiting..... The trap was well and truly sprung.






Meanwhile, Major Mathias and his company Sergeant Major got themselves into a better position to assess the situation. Things were not looking good, as from their elevated position they were able to see another Nullah West of their position, crammed with Pathans about to erupt over the lip and into the Gurkha's.




At the rear of the column, the company of Gordon Highlanders responded to the threat on their flank with superior firepower ( bolt action, magazine loaded .303inch Lee Metford rifles) and then rushed forward to clear the hillside.








Back at the ravine, the Sepoy's are in hand-to-hand combat with the Pathans. The Sepoy's have their discipline and the height advantage of the higher ground, whilst the tribesmen have the surprise, numbers and their natural ferocity in close quarter fighting.







Cavendish organised his platoon into a defensive line and the Gurkha's met the Pathan charge with equal ferocity.


Lieutenant Jennings-Bramley and his sergeant lead the Gordon's up into the hills in a bayonet charge.




Well, what would the outcome have been for this little engagement? I guess it would have been a close run thing and depended on the quality and stats you had given the units and of course what rules you were going to use.

Two sets of rules with a little adaption spring to mind, that I think would be suitable for this period and size of game. Too Fat Lardies 'Sharpe Practice' and also Dadi & Piombo 'Smooth & Rifled'.
 
 I recently painted some Sepoy's, so I thought this would be a good way of showing what I have done, along with experimenting with the terrain, trying to give it a more dry, barren look. The figures are mostly Wargames Foundry from their NWF range, Empress Miniatures 'Jazz-Age Imperialsim'  and Perry Miniatures British from their 'Sudan' range.

 I was also very lazy with the Pathan flags and used the sheets from the Perry Plastic Sudan box set. I thought they would do at a push for a tribal flag if I gave them a bit of a ragged look with battle damage and a few bends and folds in the flag.  They are still a bit too obvious and need to be wrapped around the pole more, so you can't make them out.

Hope you enjoyed the narritive, rather than just showing pictures of a bunch of figures and terrain.

Cheers,

Pat.

 










 

33 comments:

  1. FANTASTIC! I really like this one, the terrain is amazing, figures wonderful and the atmosphere really impressive! Great charges too...
    Phil.

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  2. Superb set-up, narrative and photos - a great collection to be very envious of!!!
    Simon.a

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  3. Beautiful work Pat! The Sepoys have come up looking fantastic. An enjoyable read too!

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  4. Beautiful!! What a great horde of Pathans you possess. The terrain looks great too.

    Frank
    http://adventuresinlead.blogspot.com.au/

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  5. I love coming to your blog...your stuff is like eye candy....nice work Pat

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  6. I have just bought most of these figures too from foundry if they come out half as good as yours I will be very happy

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  7. Great brushmanhip, you really do know how to work a wash. Love the bases on your figures, may I ask how you do it and what colours you use for the bases.
    Thanks.

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    1. Thanks very much chaps.
      Oldschool, The bases are either 1 or 2p coins. Once the figure is glued to the base I use Tile Grout (much better than plaster as dries really hard) to fill in the base and get rid of any lip or ridge. I then cover about 75% of the base with PVA glue and sand. When dry, I prime the whole figure and base white. I then paint the base with a mid earth colour, something like Games Workshop Graveyard Earth. This saves a lot of time doing this before you paint the figure as you can just slap it on and it doesn't matter if it goes over the feet and legs of the figure as you will paint over that when you start painting the actual figure. When the figure is finished and has been varnished, I then paint the base with Wargames Foundry Base Sand 10A heavy dry brush, 10B light dry brush and 10C with a VERY light dry brush. I then PVA glue some static grass onto the base and when dry I dry brush this with a brown or yellow ochre.
      I will on some figures use the fancy grass tufts which are very nice but too expensive to use on all my basing.
      Hope this helps,
      Pat.

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    2. Many thanks for that. Helps a lot.

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  8. Lovely work again Pat!

    Cheers
    Dave

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  9. Quality pics Pat! Love the one form behind the artillery firing.

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  10. Great looking stuff, as always. Brilliant.

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  11. Gadzooks man! thats simply breathtaking, the figures , the terrain. Love the Highlanders. Im going to have to spend some time poring over these pics to take it all in.

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  12. Fantastic figures, terrain and narrative Pat, another brilliant post!

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  13. Greate "AAR" Pat !!!!!!

    Lovely pictures, stunning minis and terrain !

    Love the story you told especialy the ambush:)

    about your organisation, 1 company = 2 platoons = 12 minis?

    I have read Sharpe Practice, havent had a chanse to test them yet, but as they are more or less as Dux Brit Ill supouse Ill lik them;)

    The Dadi & Piombo 'Smooth & Rifled I haven had a chanse to read or play, how are ty compared to Sharpe Practice?

    Thanks for a realy good blog post !!!

    Best regards Michael

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  14. Thanks again Chaps.
    Michael, As they are skirmish games I dont get too bogged down with organisation and will paint up whatever figures I have. For example, the Highlander Company has the CO and company Sergeant Major and two platoons, each consisting of nine men each with an officer and platoon NCO. Twenty figures in total. I could probably do with adding an extra platoon or making the existing platoons larger. The Sepoy's have two platoons, each twelve men strong with an European officer, and a native officer and NCO 2nd and 3rd in command. The Gurkhas are one reinforced platoon of 15 x figures with European officer, native officer and NCO.
    I am unable to comment on Dux Brit but Sharpe Practice I think would work really well with the card system for this period.
    Smooth and Rifled I have only recently obtained and not had the chance to try out yet but having read them they look good.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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  15. Impressive!!! All those painted miniatures and beautiful terrain!!!

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  16. Great stuff as always Pat.
    Cheers
    Stu

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  17. Your figures look even better on second viewing. That closeup pic of the Gordons charging is now my screen saver...stirring stuff.

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    1. Thanks Chaps.
      Ogilvie VC, very kind of you, I am honoured.
      Cheers,
      Pat.

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  18. Pat,

    Thank you for placing these beautiful figures and terrain up for us to drool over...fantastic

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  19. The versatility of all the terrain you have been making is paying off! Everything looks great!

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  20. Pat, I can't believe I missed this post of yours when you first put it up, and have just seen if for the very first time, thanks to the legendary "Tango" of TMP. I owe him one. Man, what a great photo-essay! Another set of rules you could have considered back in March, would be THE SWORD AND THE FLAME -- the leading colonial rules set here in the USA, and the rules I've been using variations of for my own colonial games since they were first published at the centenary of the Zulu War, back in 1979.

    My long-belated congrats and thanks for posting this when you did!

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  21. Hi MG and thanks for your praise. I have a copy of TSATF and they are a great set of rules.
    Happy New Year to you,
    Pat.

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  22. And a very Happy New Year back at you, Pat!!!

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  23. Without doubt one of the greatest wargaming scenes I have ever seen! The models are gorgeously painted! I am in awe!

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  24. Thanks WP, very kind of you to say and nice to see this page is still getting visits.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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  25. Where are the lovely Pathan gun crews from

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  26. Where are the lovely Pathan gun crews from

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    1. Hi JEFF, the crews are from Wargames Foundry.

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