So the table was set out with the town of Boris-a-bad in the centre, held by Sikh irregulars. A mass of irregular cavalry held the right flank, guns were deployed en masse across the centre supported by two brigades of regulars, and the elite brigade of ‘Avitables’ were in reserve. A large hoard of Akali were on the Sikh right as were a few zambureks. More Sikh troops were off table. If the Sikhs were doing well they would be rewarded by reinforcements. If not, they’d get nothing. Every time a Sikh brigade was broken the CinC and the player controlling the broken brigade would have to take a break test. Pass and they’d carry on. Fail and they’d have to withdraw or flee off table, never to be seen again. The British were allowed to see the Sikh deployments as they were being fed intelligence by traitors in the Sikh army (probably the CinC).
|The battlefield. The SW corner is top left for orientation purposes.|
The main British force under Gough (Paul) and Hardinge (Neil) would advance from the SW quarter of the table. Both cavalry brigades and four troops of Bengal Horse Artillery (BHA) were alreday on the table. I commanded a second small column (Gen Littler) that would enter the battle from the SE corner near the "s****y dirty rat infested" village of Trumpapore, dependent time wise on how many ‘black marks’ I awarded to either side for anything resembling ungentlemanly conduct.
Turn one saw Richard unwittingly throw three moves, and his Gorchara horsemen swarmed forward, forcing the BHA to evade. One troop didn’t quite make it and had to fight their way out,
which amazingly they managed. On the other flank the Akali pushed forward and the ‘Avitables’
marched off to cover the left flank, suspecting that more British would at some point join in from that direction.
I will now in the time honoured fashion, allow the photos to tell the story.
|The Sikh army looking from the East. Conrad is on the phone to General Gough I suspect!|
|Troublesome Akalis advancing into the jungle.|
|Boris-a-bad garrisoned by Sikh irregulars|
|The aforementioned headlong rush by Richard's Gorchara. They hit one regiment of Bengal Light Cavalry (BLC) at the top of the picture and four troops of BHA, three of which got away.|
|The fourth BHA troop miraculously survived without having to take a test and it was the Gorchara who had to retreat.|
|The BLC counter charged and drove the Sikhs back before retiring.|
|More Sikhs threaten Neil's infantry, but they were seen off easily.|
|Neil's infantry didn't even need to open fire as the Sikhs were hit in the flank by a regiment of BLC.|
|The victorious BLC followed up but were forced to retreat after hitting a fresh unit of Gorchara.|
|Harry Flashman caught in the path of marauding Akali!|
|The Akali charged a battalion of BNI. The infantry broke and the Sikhs followed up into the next battalion, that was pushed back shaken. By this time the Akali were a spent force and pulled back.|
|Ian's Akali making high speed through the jungle towards Neil's troops.|
|The Akali charged the BNI but didn't break them immediately. The BNI closing fire was pathetic but so were the Akali hand to hand dice.|
|On the Sikh left (the east) the Avitabl'es and their supporting artillery are advancing slowly.|
|Conrad sent two battalions of irregulars from the safety of the town to support the 'Avitables'.|
|A rather impressive looking line of cannon in the Sikh centre.|
|The BNI fighting the Akali was dispersed and just in time Paul ordered a 'follow me' with the BNC and smashed into the Akali, forcing them to break.|
|Meanwhile in the centre Neil's brigade of infantry crossed the nullah and charged the Sikh guns. Mmmm? Actually not a bad idea but sadly it didn't quite work.|
|Sikh lancers attack the Bengal Europeans and are driven off in rout.|
|Looking down the table from the West.|
|The Governor Gebneral's Bodyguard and HM 16th Lancers on the British left. Flashman feels safe behind all those horsemen.|
|The Sikhs were then hit by a fresh battalion of Queen's infantry. Conrad was killed on his elephant (signified by the grim reaper figure).|
|The Sikh 'Avitable' brigade advances to box in my command.|
Great game I thought. I'm sure I've missed something or gone out of sequence but it was that kind of battle. The Sikhs did well early on but the tide turned once all their cavalry had been disposed off. BP continues to work well for this sort of game. They are a very marmite set of rules but they do it for me in big multi player games as well as smaller affairs. And there's no figure or base removal either which helps with packing up. Include plenty of period specific tweeks, play in a friendly and relaxed (!!!!) manner, and try to play the period and not the rules. Add to that playing in the Burrow and being fed copious amounts of tea, coffee, sandwiches and pizza and what's not to like!
I have just received some more photos from the official Sikh war correspondent, which I shall post separately (they were taken by Richard). Once I've fixed any battle damage I shall be returning these troops to barracks for a hard earned rest while I decide what to focus on next. Probably back to the War of the 1st Coalition.