Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chapter 26: March Into Bebara And....

Date: 15 September 1899/2009
Location: Bebara.
Situation: Entering Bebara

The battle ended yesterday. And now....

Next day's march into Bebara.

10th. Hussars lead the way.

Followed by the Rajah of Bebara.

Very few Bebarians remained in the village.

Honours to enter next were given to the 72nd. Seaforth Highlanders for winning the battle. Colonel Archibald Sinclair (riding brown horse) and General Pettygree lead them in.

The Berkshires, 66th Foot, are next.

Followed by the 1st. Sikhs.

And the train of artillery. The 1st. Mountain battery leads the heavy elephant battery.

Not much ammunition is left. The 9th. Bengal Lancers guard the rear of the procession.

Tomorrow tents will be set-up in the plain to the left. Meanwhile we temporarily leave Bebara to allow the army to rest and recover.

At Start Combatants = 371
Casualties: 102 = 27.5%
KIA = 10
In Hospital = 67
Returned to duty = 25
New Effective Strength = 294
Those in hospital will have a chance to recover - or not - later on.
4 General Staff (no casualties)
3 Royal Engineers (no casualties)
101 Berkshires: (45 casualties)
5 KIA, 30 Hospital, 10 incl. Cpt. Nightingale return to duty
Effective Strength = 66
87 First Sikhs: (29 casualties)
1 KIA, 19 Hospital, 9 return to duty
Effective Strength = 67
55 Seaforths: (15 casualties)
2 KIA, 11 Hospital, 2 return to duty
Effective Strength = 42
33 Ninth Bengal Lancers: (1 casualty)
1 Hospital
Effective Strength = 32
26 Tenth Hussars: (9 casualties incl. Maj. Trevelyan, Sgt. Bourne)
2 KIA, 4 Hospital, 3 return to duty incl. Trevelian and Bourne
Effective Strength = 22
13 First Mtn. Battery: (1 casualty)
1 Hospital
Effective Strength = 12 crew, 2x2.5" Screw Guns
12 Elephant Battery: (2 casualties)
1 Hospital, 1 return to duty
Effective Strength = 11, 2x15 Pdrs., 1xOld 12 Pdr. Smoothbore
8 Heliographers: (no losses)
Guarding The Camp (no losses)
29 Bombay Miners/Sappers
Baggage/Animal Handlers
Medical Services
99 Second Sikhs
6 Seaforths (recovered from wounds)
5 Bombay Miners/Sappers (recovered from wounds)
2x7 Pdr. Mountain Guns

01 Leader (no casualty)
46 Green Sash Swords: (17 casualties)
53 Green Sash Muskets: (15 casualties)
05 Arty. Crew: (4 casualties, 2xCannons destroyed)
40 Grey Sash Jezails: (31 casualties)
5 Bebarian Arquibusiers (5 casualties)
06 Leaders: (1 casualty "Chota, The Guru's son)
36 Household Rifles: (26 casualties)
36 Household Swords: (19 casualties)
24 Household Horsemen: (15 casualties)
09 Household Arty. Crew: (2 casualties)
60 Red Sash Rifles (30 casualties)
72 Red Sash Swords (67 casualties)
48 Red Sash Horsemen (5 casualties)
30 Allied Spears: (no casualties)
60 Allied Swords (no casualties)
11 Allied Rifles (no casualties)
At Start Combatants = (542)
Casualties = 237 or 43.7% and -2 cannons
D6s were thrown for KIAs, those remaining wounded and for those recovering.
This will remain shrouded in mystery.
Suffice to say, Muljadhe has a substantial force left back in The Secret Valley.
Click on the word comments immediately below here. Your remarks are welcome.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chapter 25: Battle Of Bebara Ends

Date: 14 September 1899/2009
Location: Bebara.
Situation: The Battle Ends
If Needed: See Chapters 22-24, for earlier viewing.
"Clicked" Images Agreeably Fill Viewing Screens

When last you were here, the crisis of the battle was at hand. Did the furious charge of the Red Sash Sword Infantry and Horsemen overwhelm the Seaforths? Let's find out.

Rapid fire volleys and shelling from artillery tore through the ranks of the Red Sash Swordsmen. They started with 72. Even with devastating losses, they bravely carried on into the bayonets of the Seaforths. A little farther away Red Sash Horsemen also carried through a wall of bullets into the Highlanders.

The Red Sash Swordsmen lost more men and fell back 6" However, the Red sash cavalry won their combat. (The Seaforths lost more miniatures.) However the Scots morale test was good. The rules allow the horsemen to remain in place, return to a melee next turn or leave right now at the trot or canter.

Realizing the moment for victory passed, the horsemen immediately withdrew (top of photo). This was not a rout or morale failure. Twas simply the age old cavalry device of leaving if the infantry does not break.

General Pettygree rode forward to speak with Seaforth Colonel Archibald Sinclair (foreground).

Pettygree: "Sinclair! That was well done. If not for your initiative and timing we'd have been overwhelmed by the Guru's ruse de l'guerre."

Sinclair: "Routine Sir. Thank you General."

Pettygree: "Give my utmost compliments and thanks to your men.

Sinclair: "Aye General. I will."

Concurrently Lt. Col. James Lawford spurs the 9th Bengal Lancers forward. Lawford: "BUGLERS! --- SOUND THE PURSUIT!"

They quickly increase from a trot to a canter.

And will soon be at the gallop pursuing the remnant of the Red Sash Swordsmen. If the latter make it off the table, they gain safety. The table edge was only inches away. Next turn they drew a card to move before the lancers and got away. Imperial infantry moved forward too.

Do you remember the cunning arrival of one hundred allies of Muljadhe? Some can be seen in the corner of the village. Their leader "El Gep Fer" threw 1D6 to decide to stay or retire. The die chose wisely; departure. As a result, the Guru's Army could not hope to hold Bebara and force a siege. All began to withdraw. The village was evacuated and distance significantly gained away from the battered Imperial Field Force.


Chuck: "Let me start off by saying this game was a blast. I've had an interest in Colonial gaming for some time but have actually only played a couple of games. I have played in Bills SYW games using the same rules [modified for colonials] so I was pretty familiar with them. Overall my goal was to blunt the British attack while still preserving as much of my force as possible for the next campaign game.
Things looked pretty rough for me at the end of the first session with most of the British gun line within spitting distance of the village with only a hand full of [natives] defending. Things got better once my reserves showed up at the beginning of the second session. Bill had to do a bit of reorganizing to account for the mass of Tugs that appeared on his flank.
By the end of the second session, the British had begun to pull back [in] disorder. The game was still very much in the balance. Then things went to pot for the natives [in session 3]. Some dithering on my part along with the British getting eight move/fire cards in a row, allowed the British to reorder and form a solid line of firepower that I just couldn't crack. Had I not been so tentative, I possibly could have charged a turn or two sooner before the Brits. had a chance to form up.
Oh well, there's always next time. In the end, the natives pulled out ... and fled to The Secret Valley to lick their wounds. I did manage to bloody up the [Imperials] though. I'm looking forward to the next game ."
Bill: "Thank YOU Chuck! You're a formidable opponent. The Imperials were "on the ropes" as the saying goes, until almost the very end of session #3. Very well done!"
Please return in a few days for the march into Bebara including casualty summaries, etc. Your comments are welcome -- below.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chapter 24: Crisis Of Battle!

Date: 14 September 1899/2009
Location: Bebara.
Situation: Crisis Of The Battle
By The By: See Chapters 22-23, for earlier viewing, if needed.
Images Fill Screens If "Clicked"

Viewers will recall the cunning Guru launched a surprise attack against the weak Imperial right flank. And now...let us return there from the native perspective.

Left to Right: Red Sash Rifles fire at the 1st Sikhs screening the Seaforth Highlanders. The Seaforths spent the turn forming an L-shaped line to maximize firepower in the next turn. That is, if the Seaforths are able to remove disorder from clambering over obstacles without restoring order and racing here for the last few turns to shore up the Imperial right flank!

Left to Right: The same Red Sash Rifles (left) plus Red Sash Swordsmen to their right; 72 of 'em! (Mostly unseen: there are 60 Red Sash Riflemen to the left and right of the Red Sash Swordsmen)

Farther to the right: Red Sash Horsemen (48) walk forward supported by Household Rifles in white.

Right To Left: Red Sash Horsemen increase speed from a walk to a canter. The Imperials realize a massive charge is coming in! A diminished body of Household Horsemen add their numbers too but they have suffered grievous 2/3 losses.

Right to Left: Another body of Red Sash Rifles fire on the Imperials whilst the Red Sash Swordsmen creep closer for a charge next turn.

View from the Imperial side.

Upper Left: Native horsemen mentioned earlier.
Upper Right: Red Sash Rifles and Swordsmen
Imperial Line Left to Right: Berkshires, Seaforths and Mountain Guns.

Imperial Reserve: 10th Hussars (left) 9th Bengal Lancers (right).
General Pettygree is centered between the two bodies of cavalry.

THE CHARGE IS NOT STOPPED. Red Sash Swordsmen and Cavalry breached the hail of rapid fire volleys and mountain gun salvos to melee the Seaforths. It is now up to each Highlander and his mates to beat back the furious charge with muscle and a bayonet. It is the crisis of the battle! Will the line hold or break?
1. Return soon for the conclusion.
2. Sorry to keep you in suspense, but that is the nature of a serialized presentation like this.
3. Comments welcome just below - here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chapter 23: The Guru's SURPRISE!

Date: 14 September 1899/2009
Location: Bebara.
Situation: The Battle Continues
By The By: See Chapter 22 for the start of the battle, if needed.

Clicked Images Will Fill Your Screen
And now....

Multitude: "Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl jah dee, Moohl...."

The seated Muljadeh's raised hand silences his followers. On his right the Guru speaks.

Guru: "You hear the battle raging my brothers. The khakis came as I foresaw. Now complete my vision. You are the hammer with which the khakis will be smashed on The KHAN'S anvil at Bebara. In silence go to your secret positions and on my given 'sig ah nahl', rise and attack. Go straight at them and you will prevail! Attack the enemy's right flank and do your duty. Now goooooohh!"

And they did. Household footmen and horse arise from nowhere near Bebara going straight at the Imperial right flank.

Upper Right: Muljadeh's Household. The Imperial cavalry screen fell back in disorder to escape their galling rifle fire. 2nd. Squadron 10th. Hussars particularly suffered and Major Trevelian was hit. In the lower right you see three companies of 1st Sikhs assume a firing position behind a slight rise of ground facing a different direction because....

Red Sash rifle and swordsmen arise on a different side of the Imperial right flank. The Sikhs in the distance are covering the cavalry withdrawal with fire.

The cavalry withdraws. Official language will call it a rally back. Critics might say a flight. You decide.

Back to the Household. The Imperial line is trying to stabilize.

While the Household horse faces the Berkshires in the Imperial center.

In reserve a large body of native horsemen wait for an opportunity.

The Household's galloper from the previous century moves forward to give fire on the Imperial center.

Closer to Bebara, Khan's garrison presses forward.

This was the high water mark of the Imperial assault on Bebara. The Sikhs and Berkshires will soon pull back. The Seaforths under Col. Sinclair's initiative have left the center and are moving to shore up the army's right flank. Will they arrive in time? They did not even wait to reorder after clambering over the sandbag works. Hurry laddies. There's not a moment to lose! Faster!!!!!!!

The Sikhs pour "rapid volley" rifle fire into the Red Sashes consuming a lot of ammunition. Will this be enough? Will the Seaforths behind them arrive to save the day? Will Imperial horsemen reorganize and add further strength?

A closer view. Note the "L" shaped bend in the line at the right of the photo. The Berkshire's two flags in the distance mark the Imperial center facing Bebara.

Upper Left: Imperial left flank and center.
Upper Right: Right flank bend in the line.
Upper Center: Seaforths hurrying to shore up the right flank.
Middle Left: Cavalry stopping to reorganize.
Middle Right: 1st. Squadron, 10th. Hussars joining the other cavalry.
Bottom: 1st Mountain Battery mules and handlers getting out of the way.

Closer view behind the Imperial right flank.

The left of the line guarded by three companies of 1st Sikhs.The center held by more than half of the Berkshires. Other Berkshire companies moved to the right flank to prevent a collapse there earlier.

The right flank and the bend in it's line. Thrown back and taking devastating fire, the Imperials are trying to close up for what they assume will be the final assault. Farther away and unseen more than one hundred allies of Muljadeh have cunningly sneaked into Bebara. The crisis of battle is near. The hammer is striking the anvil.

1. The third session resumes Monday 16 November.
2. Muljadeh and The Guru hid the major portion of the native host somewhere beyond Bebara. They waited to attack until the Imperials were committed close in at Bebara. The scenario allowed The Guru (Chuck) to place these warriors no closer than 36" to any Imperial force once the Imperials started their final advance on the village. Chuck chose to attack the weakest portion of the Imperial Army, its right flank. An excellent choice. This simulated the sudden appearance of native forces seemingly popping up out of the ground as occurred in The Sudan. However, this also has the feel of Maiwand.

(101) Berkshires started with 101 miniatures.
First # = Session 1 Losses, Second # = Session 2 Losses
N/A = Not Applicable in game #1; not present.

General Staff (3): -0, -0 = -0

Berkshires (101): -15, -24 = -39
1st Sikhs (87): -0, -9 = -9
Seaforths (55): -0, -0 = 0
9th. Bengal Lancers (33): -0, -1 = -1
10th. Hussars (26): -3, -6 = -9 (Major Trevelian was hit)
1st Mtn. Battery(13): -0, -0 = 0
Elephant Battery (12): -0, -1 = -1
Heliographers (8): -0, -0, = -0
Bombay Miners/Sappers (29): N/A, N/A =-0
Total (367): -18, -41 = -59

Leaders (7), -0, -0 = -0
Green Sash Swords (46): -14, -3 = -17
Green Sash Muskets (53): -7, -8 = -15
Arty. Crew (5): -2, -2 = -4 (Two cannons destroyed)
Grey Sash Jezails (40): -26, -5 = -31
Bebarian Arquibusiers (5): -5, -0 = -5

Units below first appeared in game #2.
Household Rifles (36): N/A, -7 = -7
Household Swords (36): N/A, - 19 = -19
Household Horsemen (24): N/A, -3 = -3
Household Arty. (9): N/A, -2 = -2
Red Sash Rifles (60): N/A, -15 = -15
Red Sash Swords (72): N/A, - 0 = -0
Red Sash Horsemen (48): N/A, -0 = -0
Allied Spears (30): N/A, -0 = -0
Allied Swords (60): N/A, -0 = -0
Allied Rifles (11): N/A, -0 = -0

Grand Total (542): -54, -64 = -118 and -2 cannons
PS I am reminded of the scene in ZULU where Bromhead and Chard discuss upsetting civilians back home at their breakfasts reading about Lord Chelmsford's disaster. Yours truly hopes his readers will not suffer similar indigestion. Come back next week to find out.

What similarity is there between the historical Battle of Maiwand and our Battle of Bebara?
Answers, comments, remarks, praise and indignations are welcomed immediately below, if you please.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chapter 22: Battle of Bebara Starts

Date: 14 September 1899/2009
Location: Bebara.
Situation: The Battle Commences
Click On Images To Fill Your Screen
And now....

The Rajah of Bebara returns to reclaim his village.

As seen from Bebara.

The Rajah is off screen to your left.
Imperial Left Flank: The elephant battery arrives.

And commences fire. Below three companies of 1st Sikhs are descending the ridge.

Imperial Center: The Berkshires (66th Foot) and the other half of the 1st Sikh's arrive.

Imperial Right Flank: Lt. Col. James Lawford leads two squadrons of the 9th Bengal Lancers screened by 2nd. Squadron, 10th Hussars.

The Berkshires are followed by the Seaforth Highlanders, 72nd. Foot. General Pettygree is beside the Rajah.

The 1st Mountain Battery deploys left of the lancers.

The battle line is formed.


We turn around to see the action from Bebara. After several rounds the foe leaves his forward defenses.

The Berkshires view the foe's second line of defense; a small rise with vegetation brought there to provide extra cover. Meanwhile look at the Green Sash swordsmen facing the mountain guns.

Surprise! They charged and took the guns; the crew evaded.

The charge continued into the Berkshires! The Imperials commence rapid fire but this does not stop their opponents. Both sides lose four in hand-to hand combat. A tie. However, at this point the Green Sashes have now lost more than 75%, must check morale because of this and thereafter flee.

KHAN (Chuck) commanded the natives. It may be dawning on the Imperials, the defense was light. And...?
1. The game lasted three hours; perhaps ten turns.
2. We may need three sessions. Session #2 should be on the 12th. instant.
3. Imperial Losses:
Berkshires (-15) and 10th Hussars (-3).
4. KHAN's Losses:
Green Sash Swords (-14), Green Sash Muskets (-7), Arty. Crew (-2), Grey Sash Jezails (-26), Bebarian Arquibusiers conscripted into the Grey Sash Jezails (-5).
5. Tents and Seaforths kindly on loan from Der Alte Fritz.
6. A few extra photos are below though images above tell the story well enough.

Bebara braces for attack.

The highest point overlooks the arrival of the Imperial Army. The heliograph team is in sight of the baggage and medical camp a mile plus to the rear.

The baggage and medical camp.

Close up of that camp. One company of 1st. Sikhs and the remnant of the 27th. Bombay Miners and Sappers guard the camp. The 27th previously took heavy losses. See Chapters 13-14.

Another view of the early battle line formed to attack the foe's first line of defense. There was no intention to stop the Imperials at this stage. Slowing their advance and causing attrition was the plan.
Comments welcome below. Click on the word comments, if you please.