Monday, May 3, 2010

Chapter 36: The Next Day

Date: 17 October 1899
Location: Two Miles From The Abandoned Escarpment Camp
Situation: Day After Yesterday's Two Battles
Click or Double Click Images Filling Your Screens With 'Em
Two battles were fought on 16 October, 1899. KHAN attacked The Escarpment Camp at dawn withdrawing to a fixed position behind a stream and ridge two miles away. General Pettygree gave chase fighting a second battle there in the mid-late afternoon holding the field at the end thanks to the arrival of a Relief Column appearing on KHAN's left rear flank. The next day, on 17 October....

The Imperial Army retired to the baggage forming a large three-sided square. One face remained open. From there....

General Pettygree observed....

The arrival of Lt. Col. Savory's Relief Column. His infantry will be posted along the open face of the square. Seen are: 2nd. Sikh Battalion, 3/9th Bengal Lancers and a 7" Howitzer belonging to our familiar 1st Indian Mountain Battery. To the right elephants are drinking at the creek.

Lt. Colonel Savory (2nd. Sikh Commanding Officer) leads The Relief Column in. Waiting from left to right are Times Correspondent Mr. H. Pearson taking notes for his readers and Major J. Mitchell, ADC to General Pettygree in the center.

Better view of the square as The Relief Column's approaches. Within the square are:

Facing You:
2/10th Hussars. Seaforth Highlanders, Bombay Miners and Sappers and 2.5" Mountain Guns {Highlanders kindly on loan from the collection of Der Alte Fritz}

Facing To The Right:
1st Sikh Battalion

Facing Away (Top of image): Berkshires 66th Foot and 2/9th Bengal Lancers

Center of Square: Baggage

Approaching From The Left: The Relief Column previously identified.

Not Shown:
1/9th Bengal Lancers: Off screen upper right.
Lt. Gills Troop of 9th Bengal Lancers: Off screen lower left.
1/10th Hussars: Off screen lower right.

The General on the grey takes it all in. The enemy has vanished.

1. Chuck's Remarks:
"My initial plan for this game was to keep most of my troops hidden beyond the river [and behind a long ridge] with a couple of units on the British side of the river to snipe and harass the British as they advanced. I left one unit of swordsmen the British left flank and a unit of rifle men in the center. My plan was to draw the British across the river then hit them with the bulk of my troops. As the British advanced, the hail of fire became too great and I pulled the advance troops back over to the native side of the river."

"About this time one of the special events occurred and 120+ allied fuzzy wuzzies appeared behind my lines. This was great boon to my force and as the game wore on they proved to be one of the best units of the game. They marched clear across the table, under a hail of rifle and cannon fire, saw off a unit of lancers, and assulted and nearly broke the main British [dog-leg line]. The Britsh managed to spot some of my hidden troops beyond the river and halted their advance. This forced me to deviate from my plan as I now didn't think the British would advance across the river. I sent a large portion of my troops across the river so they would have time to organize before the foe advanced any closer."

"I left a large cavalry unit and a unit of Household rifles hidden to the rear and I'm glad I did. The last special event card came up planting a large British force on my left flank behind my lines. If I hadn't had those hidden troops I would have been in real trouble. As it turned out the British relief force didn't advance much beyond its starting point and we just ended up trading pot shots at each other for the game."

"My advance across the river was a bit of a surprise and did quite a bit of damage to the British force. [Ed note: No kidding!!] The outcome of the game came down to a couple of close combat fights. The fuzzies on the British right side and some swordsmen in the center. The fuzzies fared well in combat but had suffered a lot of casualties on the way in and just couldn't break the British right flank. The swordsmen in the center managed to push the British back and were close to breaking them until General Pettygree himself intervened using his leadership to hold his troops in place."

"Bill and I agreed to call the game at this time as both sides had suffered a lot of casualties. The British had won the battle but due to the heavy losses they lost the campaign of 1899; at least for the time being. This was a lot of fun to play and Bill is an excellent opponent. I'm looking forward to the next instalment."

2. It is not possible to gather friends for weekend games as much as all of us would like; a natural thing. So the decision was made last year to have short session games on occasional weeknights. If a couple of evenings are needed, all the better. This battle was one of these between Chuck and myself who lives a short two town distance away; ten miles I suppose.

3. The game was played in three sessions on weeknights. The third session was only one turn wherein General Pettygree held the line as miraculously explained in the previous chapter. All three sessions were nail biters! A good thing for colonial gaming.

4. Viewers/readers, your remarks are always welcome. Click on the word "comments" below.



ColCampbell50 said...


A cracking good yarn with plenty of suspense!


Fitz-Badger said...

And always inspiring!

Nice to hear from the "enemy", too. :)

Furt said...

Great stuff! I agree with Fitz-Badger it is refreshing to hear the vile enemies thoughts and strategies.

Bluebear Jeff said...

"Won the battle but lost the campaign".

It seems to me that then the honours go to both commanders. Congratulations!

-- Jeff

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the battle reports. Keep them coming. Well done on both sides.