Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chapter 58: The First Wave

Date: 18 July 1900
Location: Captured Tug Village of Dongolo
Situation: The Tug First Wave

See Previous Chapter 57: Here They Come! Posted 21 January 2013


"The Tug Vanguard moved toward us all along our eastern front. Yet efforts aimed at our left were light because they chose to press us more forcefully elsewhere. My remarks commence on our left."


"Yesterday during the battle of the 17th instant, when we captured Dongolo, several of its great cannons were withdrawn by the retreating enemy. Now they were being urged forward to discomfort us."

"The Lion Gun commenced firing without much effect. I thought it would make a singular display in the Britannian Museum."

"The 1st Sikhs (upper right) advanced to a rise of ground on our left flank to fire at approaching Tug foot. The enemy then cleverly maneuvered a large body of Red Sash Swordsmen (center) onto the flank of the Sikhs and...."


"The Sikhs vollied, meleed and were unable to stand the onslaught. Half the battalion routed to the rear. Fortunately the foe did not pursue. (A D6 throw disallowed it.) Fortunately the 27th Bombay Miners and Sappers were in position to shore up the line."

"The line was restored by the remaining 1st Sikhs with the 27th flanking them."

"Within Dongolo the Seaforth Highlanders moved to the eastern wall to lend support whilst the Sikhs who had run, clambered over the wall discombobulating Lt. Caddy RE's efforts to rebuild part of the north wall."

"The Rocket Section continued to launch missiles. One landed on the massed enemy cavalry (upper center) as the Seaforths continued to move into the eastern portion of the village."

"Thereafter, the left flank was made secure by the sudden departure of the swordsmen unable to withstand more volley fire."


"The first remarkable event in the center was a column of enemy horsemen aimed at an open space south of the village. My thoughts turned to February 1807 when Murat launched the greatest cavalry column charge in history during The Battle of Eylau."

"Our Rocket Section scored a hit amongst them."

"Our Guides Cavalry prepared to meet them."

"Enemy skirmishers fired at our horse but then evaded exposing...."

"A body of native swordsmen. Colonel Coote slowed to fire carbines with the first rank."

"Then eagerly charged home."

"Moments later the forgotten enemy column of horse charged into our sowars who had flanked the enemy infantry. Our men there were wiped out. The rest did horrible execution on the enemy infantry. The latter held its ground. With the mass of enemy riders near, Col. Coote sounded the retreat and...."

"Rallied back with his surviving horsemen."

"Reforming southwest of Dongolo as the 10th Hussars crossed the stream in support."

"Had the enemy cavalry column pressed forward, the 2nd. Sikhs would have fired into them. They did not come forward."

(A side table 2.5' wide)

"In the south our right flank became emboldened, left the small habitation and advanced to meet the foe."

"The distance between us narrowed."

"We gave fire first."

"Then their Green Sash Swordsmen charged."

"Fought bravely but routed behind their skirmishers."

"We pressed them with more fire."

"The 9th Bengal Lancers wheeled left to face the main battlefield. They had to because that column of enemy horsemen mentioned earlier could have swept onto our right flank."


"Their first wave beat upon our shore and retreated but...."

"In the distance the dust clouds seen earlier erupted into near view opposite our left."

"Opposite our center and right flank a cloud of enemy reinforcements poured into the arena."

"The Guru now occupying the abandoned eastern tower seemed to wave at me...."

"In my tower within the village. It was time to dispatch an urgent message to the rear guard still a days march back. It would be a close run thing. We needed them."


1) The Battle of Dongolo has spanned three week night sessions in as many weeks. A fourth is scheduled a few days hence. Each session starts at approximately 7pm and ends at approximately 9:30pm.

2) Chuck L. commanded the Tugs. John B. and I commanded the Surajistan Field Force but also helped Chuck move and fight with the Tugs.

3) Rules are an adaptation from BAR; Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763. It's easy with an Excel program to modify Quick Reference charts for the Northwest Frontier including the Sudan.

4) My remarks about BAR may be found here   and also here   Actually General Pettygree's 10th Hussars troopers Ham and Corey lead a group of miniatures from the 18th and 19th centuries through several scenes with conversation, humor and some mayhem to explain key concepts of BAR.

5) Colonel Coote rallied back his Guides Cavalry because after the melee he was allowed to make up his own mind to stay and melee more or to immediately retire at the trot or canter. He logically chose to rally back in the same turn to avoid overwhelming trouble. This is what cavalry did historically. The rules allow this without a die throw. As a result there is an ebb and flow to BAR cavalry engagements that sweeps across great distances.

6) Casualties so far: Imperials 72. Tugs 151. This is within Colonial game design specifications. After the battle, every miniature will have a D6 thrown for it to determine if KIA, remains wounded or returns to duty.
Result 1 = KIA. Result 2-5 = Remain in hospital. 6 = Return to duty.
Exception. Tugs are KIA on a 1 or 2 given worse medical care.

7) The Lion Cannon and crew are from Indus Miniatures

8) Thank you for looking in. We welcome your remarks below at this time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chapter 57: Here They Come!

Date: 18 July 1900
Location: Captured Tug Village of Dongolo
Situation: Tug Army Attacks
See Previous Chapter 56 First Contact Posted 12 January 2013


"Torches illuminating the eastern ridge last night were confirmed to be the Tug Army vanguard en-route to give battle. The entire Surajistan Field Force therefore spent a sleepless night deploying and preparing to receive an attack at first light."

"Near dawn I returned to the village tower and saw nothing."

"However, as more light opened the sky, our foe appeared in the distance. They formed at the base of the eastern ridge for perhaps one hour before coming toward us."

"Infantry approached our left."

"Whilst enemy senior commanders observed and waved directions from the ridge top."

"More infantrymen advanced toward our center. Some were armed with swords and others with combinations of firearms. Cannon were being pushed forward as well. For the moment it looked as if our dispositions made during the night were proper. For example on our...."

"Left Flank the 27th Bombay Miners and Sappers stood ahead with the 1st Sikhs in reserve."

"Our Rocket Section was near atop a building whilst in the...."

"Center the 2nd. Sikhs maned the eastern wall and behind our overturned supply wagons."

"We had two central reserves; 72nd Seaforth Highlanders in the village and...."

"The 10th Hussars outside the western gate."

"South of the village and the 2nd. Sikhs - the Guides Cavalry were posted."

"Our Right Flank was considered to be an independent command. In a small unnamed habitation were three squadrons of the 9th Bengal Lancers and the Berkshires; 66th. Foot. In front was...."

"The First Mountain Battery."

"Our Journalist, Mr. Pearson, would no doubt record the story here."

"Captain Gill's 1/9th Bengal Lancers were posted to the rear."

"One of three Heliograph Sections was placed on the roof of the tallest structure to communicate with...."

"Another Heliograph Section and me atop the village tower."

"Dongolo's walls were a shambles due to a recent earthquake. There was barely time for Lieutenant Caddy's Royal Engineers to effect repairs. Most of the villagers had vanished when we took possession of the town."


"The foe came toward our left flank without great numbers or vigor. The 1st Sikhs went forward to meet them with volley fire."

"Their design was different opposite our center." There they were more numerous and crossed the ground between us quickly. They soon...."

"Came abreast of the eastern tower."

"While just to the south of the tower (off image to the left) even more of the enemy surged forward. Our rockets landed harmlessly. (See the upper left explosion.)"

"On they came rushing toward the...."

"2nd. Sikhs waiting to give fire."

"Off to the south on the Right Flank, they came forward with a screen of riflemen. They appeared tentative after the First Mountain Battery landed several shells amidst them. I noticed the Berkshires moving out to meet them."

"All along the line of battle things were well in hand. Indeed, I doubted the foe had the numbers to succeed anywhere. All was going well. What could go wrong?"

"It was at that moment of optimism our attention was suddenly diverted to the largest dust clouds we had yet seen to the east!"


1) The Battle of Dongolo is being fought on several weeknights. The first game posted on 12 January 2013 showed the Imperial arrival and attack on Dongolo. The second is this post where you have just observed  Imperial deployment and initial native movements. Weeknight sessions commence at 7 pm and end at 9:30 pm approximately.

2) The third session is planned for 23 January. A report will follow.

3) From left to right Chuck L and Keith were our native commanders whilst John B, my son Tyler and I commanded the Surajistan Field Force.

4) Remarks welcome below, if you please.