Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chapter 17: Situation Maps


Adapted from Jack Scruby's original by HistoriFigs.
Copies available here: Website =
Permission for use on this blog kindly granted by HistoriFigs.

South-central Mafrica.
--Southwest: Tokatu, Britannia's main base and access point into Mafrica.
--Southeast: Kismet, too vulnerable due to vulcanism to use as a main base.
--Center: Khyber [or Kyber] Pass.

Tactical Map.

08 September 1898/2008: Battle of Japura Singh at the western exit of The Khyber Pass. Location not named on the map. Exact location: under the letter E in Kyber Pass. (Chapter 2)

17 September 1898/2008: Battle of Tranjapour. (Chapter 7)

25 July 1899/2009: Battle of Kotar. (Chapters 12, 13 and 14)

Late August 1899/2009 Circumstances:
-- KHAN's Host at Bebara
-- The General and Chota fought at Kotar and are en-route to Bebara.
-- All Imperial forces at Fort Grant.
-- See Chapters 12-16
Closing Remarks:
1. Click on images to enlarge them.
2. Continental Map coloration is actual.
3. My computer changed coloration for The Regional Map.
4. The Tactical Map started as a black and white photocopy at 200% enlargement. Kotar, Fort Grant, the stream there and Tranjapour were hand-drawn by yours truly. The circular special effect came from my Kodak "EasyShare" program.
5. Maps will continue to be used as the story unfolds.
6. Elsewhere on Mafrica: French Foreign Legion Post, the hideaway of El Krobar and more. The latter are under development in the imaginations of regional friends raising Imperial and indigenous forces as did Jack Scruby some four decades ago.
7. YOU can do this too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chapter 16: LATE AUGUST 1899/2009

On The Mythical Continent of "Mafrica" created by Jack Scruby. Everything here is 100% fictional. It exists only here and nowhere else. Photographs may be agreeably enlarged by clicking on them.

In mid-July 1899/2009 Muljadhi launched his offensive. His goals were to disrupt reinforcements marching into Fort Grant and push back Imperial influence for hundreds of miles beyond (mythical) Surajistan and The Secret Valley. He divided his Host according to throwing 1D6 adding +1 for his charisma. Possible results could have been:

0 or Less: Guard all entrances into Surajistan. Defense only.*
1 or 2: Full scale attack on Fort Grant with entire Host.
3 or 4: Two bodies. Attack Fort Grant and one frontier village.
5 or 6: Three bodies. Attack Fort Grant and two frontier villages.
7 or 8: Four bodies. Attack Fort Grant and three frontier villages.

* Not possible unless charisma was -1.

"The General" inspects the final die result, (3 +1 Muljadhi's Charisma =4) saying, "Your Excellency! Fate decrees we divide the Host into two bodies."

Muljadhi replied: "Goooouud." We must not tempt fate acting differently. We march tomorrow."

"My General! --- You and Chota will attack the column of reinforcements as they arrive at Fort Grant. Demonstrate and create as much confusion as possible to delay General Pettygree leaving there. If you use cunning --- surprise will be on your side. You will be outnumbered. This does not matter. When you think it wise, retreat circuitously to Bebara. Do not interfere with anyone on the way to or from Bebara. No one! Let everyone pass you by."

[Editor's Note: Chapter's 12, 13 and 14 recorded the surprise attack by The General and Chota at Kotar Village adjacent to Fort Grant. Scroll down to review or read for the first time.]

"Kahn! --- You will attack Bebara allowing fugitives to flee to Fort Grant to report your presence. Await Pettygree's Imperials there. They will come. Build fortifications. I will be near with My Household and our allies led by --- El --- Krobar."

L to R: Khan (mounted), Army Standard Bearer, Muljadhi (seated), The Guru, his son Chota, The General and the Household Commander (mounted).

Muljadhi (Supreme Ldr. +1)
Guru (Spiritual Director +1)
Chota (Guru's son +2)
The General (+2)
KHAN (Adv. Gd. Leader +0)
Green Sash Muskets (36 -6 lost at Kotar =30)
Grey Sash Jezails (60 -27 lost at Kotar +4 Recovered = 37)

Green Sash Muskets = 3
Grey Sash Jezails = 12

Green Sash Muskets = 3
Grey Sash Jezails = 11

1D6 was thrown per casualty after The Battle of Kotar.
1-2 = KIA, 3-5 = Recovering and 6 = Recovered.
Those recovering will be thrown for again at 1D6/miniature on 1 September. Recovery is slightly harder compared to the Imperials. See Chapter 15.

Red Sash Rifles (60)
Red Sash Swords (72)
Red Sash Lt. Cavalry (48)
Lt. Smooth bore Cannon
Med. Smooth bore Cannon

Rifles (36)
Swords (36)
Horesemen (24)
Med. Smooth bore Cannon
Allies led by --- El --- Krobar
White Rifles (100)
White Horsemen (12)

Green Sash Muskets (84)
Green Sash Swordsmen (72)
Grey Sash Jezails (60)
Red Sash Rifles (60)
Red Sash Swordsmen (72)
Red Sash Lt. Cavalry (48)
Household Rifles (36)
Household Swords (36)
Household Horesemen (24)

AND --- El --- Krobar's Reinforcements:
White Rifles (100)
White Horsemen (12)

[Editor's Note: Forces training in The Secret Valley exist only on paper. These represent a way to make Muljadhi's Army twice as large without buying and painting more miniatures. It is a stratagem commonly used to recycle casualties as replacements and truly give the Imperials a lot of trouble. An easy way to create the necessary tension of being outnumbered in this genre.]
Miniatures Depicted:

1. Scale Creep offers two Gunga Din personality sets from Regiment Games; Heroes of and Villains of Gunga Din; a total of eight miniatures. The Guru, Chota and The General are from the villain set.
2. Civilians in the foreground are from Eureka in Australia.
3. Muljadhi is a 30mm Edward Suren Willie miniature.
4. Household mounted officer and flag bearer are Foundry.
5. KHAN = I don't remember! Willie probably.
6. Structures are from Miniature Building Authority.
7. Flag is from Flag Dude.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chapter 15: Fort Grant ORBAT Aug. 1899/2009

Maj. Gen. William Augustus Pettygree
ADC Maj. James Mitchell
Brig. Randall F. Smythe
1st Sikhs (87)
2nd. Sikhs (99)
Bombay Miners & Sappers (39-16 at Kotar+2 recovered = 25)
Brig. Blackiston (Blacky), ADC Maj. Grant-Forsythe III
9th Bengal Lancers (50)
10th Hussars (26)
66th Foot Berkshires (101)
72nd Seaforth Highlanders (63-16 at Kotar+4 recovered = 51)
1st Mountain Battery (2x2.5", 2x7Pdrs., 13 Crew)
Heavy Battery (2x15Pdrs., 1x12Pdr. S/B, 13 Crew)
Royal Engineers (3)
Heliograph (3 Sections, 13 Crew)
Medical (Dr. Watson)

Bombay Miners/Sappers: (-1/Kotar)
Seaforth Highlanders: (-1/Kotar)
1xD6/Casualty: 1 = KIA, 2,3,4,5 = In Hospital, 6 = Recovered)
Throw again on 1 Sept. for those still in hospital: 1 = Died of wounds, 2,3,4 = Remain in Hospital, 5, 6 = Recovered)

Bombay Miners/Sappers (2 Returned to duty, 13 remain in hospital)
Seaforth Highlanders (4 Returned to duty, 11 remain in hospital)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chapter 14: They WERE Serious And....?!

The conclusion of the surprise Battle of Kotar. Thank you for returning. When last you were here, the foe had surprised an important column of reinforcements marching through Kotar, adjacent to Fort Grant deep inside Imperial-controlled territory. We return now to the enemy rush and the Imperial reaction. Who will prevail? Larger images may be obtained by clicking on them.

An escort of 10th. Hussars struggle to follow Genearl Pettygree across the Kotar River and through panicking civilians and supply animals toward the sound and smoke of gunfire.

No time for error for either side! The inscrutable foe rushes in and at very close quarters. Rearmost soldiers of The Column fire first shots to stop them. Will they?

Left to Right: A company of Seaforths fire from the top of a building while the Bombay Miners and Sappers in extended order also give fire.

General Pettygree arrives on the scene without his escort. The latter are still making their way though the panic. The Seaforths however, calm and steady throughout, have about turned and are on their way to help. Hurry laddies!

The Tugs are closing in. Rifle fire intensifies.

The first Seaforths form close order to the left and atop an adjacent building. FIRE! Forward of them, their mates and the Bombay Miners and Sappers have taken heavy losses to stop the tide coming in.

Losses mount on each side. The Berkshires begin to arrive at the bottom center of the photo. Has the tide begun to turn?

The Imperial fighting line and the Berkshires returning to the village.

Suddenly the foe departs. They realize there is no way to win. Casualties are taken with them.

Some moments later the Imperials form outside Kotar.

Victors of The Battle of Kotar left to right: The Bombay Miners and Sappers and the Seaforth Highland Battalion.

Chota and The General salute them.

Closing Remarks:

  • Bombay Miners and Sappers lost 16.
  • Seaforth Highlanders lost 16.
  • The Imperials were unable to count enemy losses.
  • They lost 33.
  • Campaign rules allow for recovery of the wounded from hospital. To be determined.
  • You may remember from Chapter 13 that at the time of the attack, The Column was bisected by the Kotar River. The Berkshires and artillery battery had already crossed the river. Indeed, half of the Berkshires had already marched through the main gate of Fort Grant. The Seaforths were within seconds of fording the river when Chota and The General opened fire with a captured piece of ordnance.
  • Had they waited until the Seaforths were half way through the river, they might have won a surprise and stunning victory. I think one turn separated them from it.
  • Click on the word Comments below and leave your remarks, if you please. You may need to identify yourself as anonymous.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chapter 13: They CAN'T Be Serious!

The march into Fort Grant continues. See Chapter 12 for the beginning of this story posted 25 July 1899/2009. Enlarge photos by clicking on them.

Colonel Blackeney with his Berkshires, 66th. Foot, pass in review before General Pettygree, Lt. Colonel Preece, 10th. Hussars, and Major Mitchell, ADC to the general.

The Berkshires continue crossing the ford.

They begin entering Fort Grant's main gate. Rain begins to fall on the Imperials.

The Seaforth Highlanders approach the ford. The Seaforths are on loan from Der Alte Fritz.

Rear view of the column from the rise in ground crossed in Chapter 12.

Meanwhile far beyond the rise in ground the Column passed over, an inscrutable foe assembles in a depression below what was thought to be an unscaleable ridge.

Close up of the familiar foe.

On the far left is "The General" with Chota to his right brandishing his pick axe. Chota is son to "The Guru." The General: "Now is the time to attack Chota."

They rush toward Kotar Village and the Column's rear.

They begin to break through the trees and pass over the crest of the rise in ground. The ridge they descended is at the top of the photo, their assembly area in a depression immediately below.

Someone in the rear guard exclaims, "There, NOW DO YOU believe me? I thought I saw the glint of metal an hour ago on the ridge!"

Moments later the Bombay Miners and Sappers redeploy, bring back their own reserve and are joined by the Seaforth company previously assigned to screening duties - posting itself atop a building. (See previous chapter.)

And now...?

A Tug cannon fires and the charge begins! There will be trouble! The Column is bisected by the ford. The Berkshires and artillery have crossed the Kotar River. The Seaforths were about to cross. And....

Supply animals, handlers and bearers panic running to the ford. A wagon overturns, it's horse breaking free in a panic. The Scots stand firm like a rock at the seashore, allowing waves of frightened civilians to wash around them. General Pettygree spurs Express into and beyond the ford followed by his escort. As the general tries to interpenetrate routing people and animals, he shouts to the Seaforth Colonel. "They CAN'T be serious! March to the sound of gunfire Colonel -- and hurry!"

Confusion and disorder wash around the Imperials. The escort Troop of 10th. Hussars can't make progress following General Pettygree. The Scots about turn. What is happening in the distance? The smoke of gunfire tells part of the story. Return next time for the rest of the story.
  • The campaign has now begun. Thanks to Rob who suggested this kind of surprise.
  • See Chapter 12 posted 25 July for events of the same day but preceding the above action.
  • A dynamic of Colonial tabletop gaming is a different form of fun anxiety on the part of both sides. The foe moves fast and usually outnumbers the smaller Imperial force. Can modern weapons make up those differences? Sometimes. Colonial gaming offers a unique form of entertaining tension - for all sides.
  • The above was a solo game of two nights.
  • Comments welcome below. Click on Comments. You may need to identify yourself as anonymous before being able to write your remarks.