Sunday, October 14, 2012

Action in Wascanastan

End of the action, Bengal Lancers and Indian Mountain gun cover the retiring baggage train.

We had my colonials on the table for the first time in at least 10 years with the CS Grant ambush scenario.  Curt took the Natives and Sylvain the Imperial British.  As is typically with colonials, the key is the balance given the disparity of abilities.  Given memories of many Imperial victories in past games, I may have erred on the side of making the Natives too strong.  More precisely, Curt would have had trouble getting more troops to the fore but an extra unit of Imperial infantry would have really helped Sylvain a lot.  However, we had a good game which walked the knife balance of Imperial Triumph against the odds and Imperial disaster!

Forces were as follows

  • A unit of 12 British Infantry (Rosshire Buffs)
  • A unit of 12 Ghurkas
  • A unit of 12 Sikhs
  • A mountain gun in pack
  • 4 baggage train of 4 camels and civilians (2 nuns)
  • A unit of 6 Bengal Lancers

  • 4 units of 12 irregular tribesman
  • 1 unit of 16 native regulars
  • 1 unit of 9 irregular cavalry

Curt was his typical aggressive self and positioned his cavalry closest to the enemy and charged with everything as soon as possible.  As a result, the Imperial column was boxed in and unable to deploy properly.  Even worse, both the dice and the card sequence were against Sylvain.  The local Iman must have out prayed the Sisters!

Having withstood multiple charges (and seen off half the native forces), the Imperial infantry finally cracked and routed off board.  The Bengal lancers (the column's rear guard) arrived just in time to rescue the Nuns.    We ruled that the Lancers and mountain gun could get the camels back to camp, with the Natives being too weak to follow.  A tactical victory for the Natives, but a strategic draw.

Native horse (RAFM) charge Gurkhas and Scots (Minifigs)

The infantry turn to face, but are not able to fire.

Volley fire!

Natives close in on the imperial force.

Natives advancing in mob.

The british leave a gap in the line, which the natives exploit

The hole in the wall.

The Bengal Lancers counter charge to save the Sisters' Honour.



  1. Thanks for organizing the game, it was great fun. I think the opposing forces were well balanced. Curt's plan to impede my deployment in the corner was cunning. If the British have had a chance to deploy they would have driven away the natives. One suggestion: the scenario could start with the British convoy stretched over the road. I found a little awkward the fact that my Bengal lancers could not just ride around the troops and the camels to rescue the avant-garde.
    I really liked the cachet of the period and I would play again any time.


    1. Sylvain

      I made a typically Imperial mistake of under estimating the Natives' cunning. Every other time I've played this scenario, that is exactly what took place. It was maybe a little beardy of Curt to both place the Cavalry up front and box you into an artificial corner. The easiest fix would be to move the imperial entry point further away from the Native deployment zone by extending the table size (which we clearly had the room for).

      And yes there is a lot of charm and flavour to the colonial games.

      Next time.


    2. Beardy? Beardy! I cry foul! Native cavalry with an Infadel column strung out on the road in front of it? Waaay too good to pass up.

      I agree with you if the scenario's intent was to have the column ambushed in the center of the table, or near the bridge, then it should have been designed to create that result - otherwise there were several Native deployment zones that were too tantalizingly close to the Imperial entry point. As Sylvain suggests perhaps the remainder of the column could have had the option to enter the table from off the road, with a warning to the Native player to what he would see on the 'horizon'. Otherwise my gambit was a calculated risk of being defeated in-detail as my Native infantry had to cross a good portion of the tabletop frontage to make it into combat piecemeal (I was very lucky in my out-of-command die rolls). Besides it was Wascanastan - we're supposed to have beards... ;)

      It was a fun game! Thanks very much for putting it on, Peter!

    3. I agree that the fault was with the Gm, and we should have just cleared the space to let Sylvain deploy the rest of his column behind the two infantry units. I also agree that you were damn lucky with your die rolls, while Sylvain must have run over a nun that night (to quote you) given his dice!

      Also if Sylvain had taken my advice and used the Lancers as an advance guard one turn in advance of his column, then things would have gone differently.

      Next time we'll have the Natives hijack the 9am local on the Great Wascanastan Railway!
      And you are the most beardy of our group (I for one couldn't grow one if my life depended on it)!



    4. Yes, the lancers to the fore would have been a good idea as they eat Native irregulars like tea biscuits.

      And it is true, I am by far the most facially hirsute of our group...


    5. Curt

      The last time the colonials hit the table, they were lead by an even harrier dude - Roger the mad mullah, a wild bearded cleric with a fanatical hatred of the English (he refused to ever play them on the table, regardless of the era). He was a Lutheran pastor of Celtic descent and he also gave the Queen's boys a beating.


  2. Looks like a fun and exciting game, thanks for sharing the aar!


  3. What a tremendous looking game, definitely my cup of tea! ;)

  4. A good looking game - I hope the Widow of Windsor's boys do better next time.

  5. I like the look of the Minifig highlanders but I'm afraid it was probably the hats wot done it. If the Rosshires had been wearing their feather bonnets, they'd have never broken!

    IIR the victory conditions are designed to discourage this sort of assault before the Brits eneter the valley since a retreat of the convoy is a draw. The Natives have to capture all of the convoy to win. Can't just scare 'em away.

    Sounds like a good game.

    1. Ross

      Dress requirements noted! While the Minifigs look woefully out of date in a one to one comparison with Perry's and the like, they paint up nicely and look great as a unit.


    2. Victory conditions? Pishaw. I think the Natives will be more than sated in the fact that they could not get to the rest of the convoy due to the stacked dead of Ghurkas and Highlanders (feathers or not). ;)