“The reason why the sun never sets on The British Empire is because God doesn’t trust the British in the dark. ”
This month our Colonial Adventures game takes place during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Dale hosted the game and provided all of the figures and terrain. This game was to be street to street fighting in the outskirts of Delhi. The British had blown the gates and were advancing toward the palace. We used the Muskets & Mohawks rules for this battle.
In this scenario, the Indians get to deploy into 1/3 of their side of the table, while the British must enter at their table edge. The Indians packed as many units as possible into the buildings in their deployment zone.
The British forces consisted of 2 companies. One company was made up of regulars from the East India Company and a unit of Sikhs supported by a section of EIC artillery. The second company, commanded by yours truly in the guise of Sir Otis “Old Odious” Smedley, was made up of platoons from the 8th & 61st regiments of foot and a platoon of the 95th Rifles supported by a section of Royal Artillery. The British activated first, so we could move onto the table. In the Indian activation, we received a surprise. The last time we played Muskets & Mohawks, the game was between two African tribes fought with spears and a few muskets. This time we discovered how lethal artillery is in Muskets & Mohawks. The Indian right section inflicted casualties on the 61st and killed all but one gunner on my left gun. The Indian center section inflicted casualties on the Sikh unit and killed 2 gunners on one of the EIC guns. The Indian infantry that wasn’t in buildings advanced into other buildings and wooded areas. It was obvious the Indians were much more interested in ambushing from buildings rather than committing to a “gentlemanly” open engagement.
The Indians won the activation roll and got to move again. Thank goodness the artillery pieces were being reloaded. The Indians continued to advance and occupy buildings and wooded areas. Only one large mob of units armed with only sticks and knives was interested in rushing down a street toward the EIC troops. During the British turn the British continued to advance over open ground. The EIC troops made it to the first group of buildings. Now it was time for “tit for tat”, the British artillery fired. The center guns fired at the mobs coming down the street inflicting casualties and forcing 2 units of mobs to retire. The ball from one of the guns bounced into the mosque killing a sepoy. The howitzer fired and hit the large building at the end of the street, but caused no casualties. The single gunner on the far left gun discharged his piece at the Indian gun that had killed his crew mates and inflicted 2 casualties on the Indian gun.
The next turn started out uneventful. Artillery on both sides was still reloading. Street mobs rallied. Indians continued to advance and occupy buildings. The British regulars advanced to the first set of buildings and snipers popped up. Sniper fire caused no casualties, but would have to be dealt with before advancing into the streets.
The Indians won the activation for the 4th turn. The guns on the Indian right had reloaded and opened fire on the British 8th. The 8th took casualties, but held firm. The snipers fired, but failed to inflict casualties or cause a reaction. In the British phase, the 1st EIC platoon volley fired at sepoys on a rooftop, but inflicted no casualties. An unit of the 2nd EIC platoon charged one of the mobs lurking in a building. The EIC received more casualties than they inflicted. The Sikhs charged into the building which had a sniper on the rooftop. The 95th advanced. An unit of the 61st shot a sniper dead & the 8th advanced.
The fifth turn, the British won the activation. The 1st unit of the 1st EIC fired at will at the Sepoys on the rooftop inflicting no casualties. The 2nd unit of the 1st EIC changed formation and passed through the first unit. The 1st unit of the 2nd EIC broke off melee and retired away from the building luring the mob inside to pursue. Once the mob was outside of the building, the 2nd unit of the 2nd EIC volley fired dropping 2 and forcing the mob to retire back into the building. The Sikhs charged onto the rooftop and killed the sniper, but not before he had killed one of theirs.
On the left, an unit of the 95th fired at Indians on the rooftop of a small building, inflicting a casualty, and causing the Indians to retire to the safety downstairs in the building. The other unit of the 95th fired at the Indians on the rooftop of the large building, inflicting one casualty also, but those chaps held firm. One unit of the 65th change formation and passed through the 95th, while the other unit of the 65th finished reloading. The 8th continued its cautious advance. My artillery continued to fumble reloading the guns.
The volley fire into the Indian mob attracted the attention of one of the Indian guns, the other gun was still reloading. A Sepoy unit advanced toward the 1st EIC. The gunner spotted the 2nd EIC unit retiring in a mass of bodies and fired decimating the EIC unit killing five. Seeing the bright red coats pass through the 95th, the Indians on top of the large building fire at the 65th, but cause no casualties and the 65th held.
The sixth turn had barely started when the game was called on account of time. The British were deemed the losers since we had failed in the objective to drive the Indians off of the board. Sir Smedley took the news calmly, but everyone knew that “Old Odious” would throw a tantrum later.
How would the game have finished? Clearly, the Indians were not going to come out of hiding. For the British to have won, the British would have had to silence the Indian guns, use the infantry to keep the rooftops clear, and then use the big guns to pound the buildings forcing the Indians to retire and run away. To assault the buildings would be a very costly affair.
We played the game at Area 51 in Grapevine. Dale was a magnificent host and GM. Pictures were taken on my iPad.