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"Yesterday during the battle of the 17th instant, when we captured Dongolo, several of its great cannons were withdrawn by the retreating enemy.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.


Furt said...

Great report as usual. Would you be so kind as to tell me the origins of your guru miniature and his guard please Sir?


Gallia said...

Hi Furt,
Thank you and Pulp Figures in Canada.

Dai said...

Thoroughly enjoy these wonderfully written and illustrated (by photo) reports.

Everso entertaining, thankyou.

tidders2 said...

very enjoyable battle report - looking forward to more ..

-- Allan

Anonymous said...

The battle is joined. It's nice to see the Guides have survived "seeing the elephant", though at least at this point they have not had to fight one. C. W. can be proud of their first effort, though Chick probably has mixed feelings about his efforts to get them on the table. I look forward to the battles conclusion. Earl

Phil said...

Great looking report with wonderful close-up!