Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Battle of Chillianwalla

Here is a refight of the left flank attack at Chillianwalla, 13 January 1849.

This Lasalle game started with the British attacking, so they began to move one brigade at a time. I started with the cavalry brigade closest and finished with the infantry brigade on the right.

British order of battle :

Cavalry Brigadier White      Brig. Hogan          Brig. P'Cuick           Brig. Penny
3rd Light Dragoons              61st Foot              24th Foot                 15th BNI
5th Bengal Light Cavalry      6th   BNI              25th BNI                  20th BNI
8th Bengal Light Cavalry      36th BNI              45th BNI                  69th BNI                     
                                           46th BNI


The game starts with Reactions to enemy maneuvers, including counter charges and firing. Then you Resolve Combat, first the Fire combat then Melee. Then there is an Activity phase, movement of brigades and recovery from disorder. Finally, there is a Status phase where you remove smoke/firing markers, do engineering etc., and take  morale; figuring end of game math.

Because this was the first turn, we started with Activity; this game sequence reminds me of Principles of War. So, the British moved, if any units wanted to maneuver, they needed to pass a discipline test, a 4+ on a d6.

The Sikh Army then moved as well. However, they started at the beginning of the sequence with Reactions to what the British had accomplished. The Sikhs have a heavy gun battery on the far left of the battle field (the center of the actual field of battle; we're fighting the British left flank) which DID unlimber ( range 22 base widths/ 44 inches).
Due to the poorer quality of some troops not all units passed from the assembly tables to the main table.

TURN  2 

The British reacted to the advancing Sikh cavalry, by unlimbering the BHA just shy of cannister range. As the limbers moved away, the 3rd Dragoons shook out into line. The BNC moved into support of the BHA.

Brigadier Hogan's infantry negotiated some sandy hillocks of scrub as his supporting battery of RA unlimbered, ready to fire. Brigadiers P'cuick and Penny advanced quickly and took position in mid table. Penny's right most infantry battalion took fire from the heavy artillery, but the long range and sand scrub saw the shot pass harmlessly by the unit.

The Sikh commander Raja Lal Singh was disappointed by the effect of the heavy bombardment, he ordered the remaining Sikh Irregulars to change face and march to the left of the battery.
Meantime the unruly Ghorchurras blundered on through the scrub, anxious to get to grips with the enemy.
The remaining Sikh infantry Brigades (composed of 4 infantry paltans, some poorly trained) advanced with their guns, which unlimbered at the end of their move.


The British reacted to the Sikh cavalry maneuvers by firing cannister from the BHA and shot from Hogan's RA battery.  The result caused two disorders (5-8 hits: 4+ on d6) for the regular Sikh Dragoons amd 1 disorder to a Ghorchurra regiment. With the discomfort of the enemy obvious to all, the 3rd Dragoons charged the Ghorchurras as the 5th BLC  slammed into the reeling Sikh dragoons.

Not sure what outcome the cavalry melee would present, the 6th BNI formed square; the rest of Brig. Hogan's infantry took up positions on the scrub covered hillock.

P'Cuick and Penny continued their advance to the next line of hillocks, the 20th to fire from the heavy guns and was disordered ( two hits ).

The Sikh cavalry continued their advance, supports coming up from the back table. The remaining Ghorchurras moved to close with the 3rd Dragoons, bringing up the camel guns in support.

More of the irregulars pass their discipline tests and move off to cover the heavy gun battery. The battery scores hits and disorder on the British mention above. The Sikh infantry guns unlimber and form battery in the table center; watched over by Raja Lal Singh!

( To Be Continued)


Well, after a long struggle to keep my 91 year-old dad healthy and in his home, I'm back; and happily so is my dad.

The battle continues with the attack through the scrub by the 3rd Dragoons.

The Sikh cavalry commander sends in the last of the Ghorchurras and the Dragoons.

The Bengal Light Cavalry on the Dragoons left mix it up with the Ghorchurras.

In the center, the infantry and guns continue their slow advance against the Sikh lines.

The Sikh, for their part, rise to the occasion and begin their own counter moves.

The advance of the cavalry brigade into the scrub had left a hole in the left flank of the line. The sepoy battalions were order to take ground to their left. Hogan realized he lacked the strength to complete the task and asked for a reserve battalion to come over from the center to support him.

The reserve battalion could be seen in the distance moving to Brigadier Hogan's assistance. 

Again the Sikh Paltans maneuvered to the attack!

As the 3rd Dragoons began to turn the line, the Sikh infantry began to formed squares!

Would it be enough to save them? The Bengal Horse artillery made sure it was not!

So, as the game came to an end the 3rd Dragoon had turned the line. The horse artillery made it possible for the second regiment of Bengal Light cavalry, seen on the right, top of the picture, to penetrate deep into the disordered groups of Sikh infantry. The casualties inflicted by the cavalry brigade allowed the Sikhs to reach their Breakpoint of greater than one-third losses.  Lasalle gave a very good game, one that mimicked the events in the actual battle.

Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Painting Old Glory's Sikh Irregulars ( ASW-17 )

Recently I purchased the Sikh Irregulars from Old Glory. The bag contains 30 figures, most are dressed as Mohammedans, but there are 12 figures that pass very well for 1820-40's Sikh Irregulars. The following images shows them arranged on their painting blocks in primer.

Here is an image of the painted Mohammedans.

I added a Foundry standard bearer and Britannia leader seen in the rear, right element.
So now I'll begin adding some paint to the Sikhs. I'll use this image as a color pattern.

I'll change the dastar color from orange to pale blue and the shawl from yellow to a mid green.

You can see the progress of color application. I show the figures front then backs. I'll be using a "dip" technique to finish them: so, the colors need to be bright and a shade lighter to offset the dirtying effect of the urethane sealer.

I really like the effect I get with MinWax, it is easily ordered from my local TruValue hardware store. I usually get a six-pack of pint cans. I keep the lid on between dippings as I don't really dip the figures. Instead, I brush it on and blow-off the extra, then treat the remaining small pools with a brush damp with mineral spirits. Keeping the lid on as much as possible helps to prevent hardening of the urethane sealer.

Here they are freshly "dipped", the initial shock of covering your hard work with black goop is repaid by the wonderful finish you get in just a few hours.

Being sure the ventilation is adequate, I brush off the pooling of excess liquid and then give the figs a good "blowing" to settle the bubbles.

So, here they are finally done. The MinWax English Tudor gloss doesn't yellow, won't react with skin oil/moisture, and unlike other water-based products, like floor waxes, won't need touching up. The method work equally well on plastic 20mm figures.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. I'll finish up the other bases and add the unit to the Sikh Army roster later this month.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First battle using Lasalle rules.

British lines looking from the left. Two infantry brigades and one cavalry brigade.

The Sikhs arrayed with three infantry brigades; two of regulars and one of irregular Akalis.

The British line moves first, the artillery has fired it's initial salvos.

The British finish their advance.

The Sikh heavy guns fire for little effect (too many 1's) and their infantry advance towards the British lines.

The Sikhs finish their movements and the British guns announce the arrival of their cavalry.

Finally, the Sikh heavy battery begins to mark the British line with disorder.

On the British right, lancers advance. will the British form their squares in time?

The British cavalry, eager as always, beats the Sikh lancers to the punch and charges the dragoons.

The British cavalry a bested by the Sikh dragoon. luckily, the squares form in time
 to preserve the right side of the line.

Coming on again, the fire is telling upon the cavalry's line.

Meanwhile, the first square rolled miserably vs. the lancers and now they are bearing down on their second unit.
Lasalle has the cavalry advance after combat success while taking one disorder to show fatigue. The square having been decisively defeated, breaks and is no more!

With the help of their horse artillery, pounding the enemy's square, the British 
Dragoons are sweeping all before them.
Luckily the fire from behind the stone wall (rolling 1's and 2's not the 4+ needed)
isn't all that severe. Off screen to the left the heavy battery on the hill has been forced 
to limber up, giving the British left a much needed respite from shot and shell.

Now the Sikhs manage to form square and repulse the British dragoons.
Lasalle halves your cavalry's attack dice vs a square.

The Sikhs mass for a valiant charge against the horse and foot artillery in the center.
To the rear right, the victorious Sepoys have sent off the lancers from their square.
The Akalis have just charged the right side of the line, accurate musketry from the town 
has kept their supporting cavalry at bay.

Almost too successful, the dragoons have come up short, in front of the enemy's guns!

Thanks to some miserably manufactured canister rounds (rolling less than a 4+) 
the dragoons survive to send off the artillery battery. The battery from the hill has 
redeployed to give fire to the dragoons flank! The jig is up!

Meanwhile, the second dragoon regiment has assisted the infantry in a combined arms attack 
on the Sikh infantry square. The commander is trying to direct fresh troops to aid the square.

On the right center the Akalis have brought up some regular infantry support. 
Could it be the Gulab Singh is trying to rid himself of both the British and the pesky fanatics as well?

The Sikh infantry square is gone! It mauled the dragoons only to be cut up 
by the bayonets of the stalwart British infantry.
The far left of the line can be seen turning the right flank of the hill fort.
This gives the British control of the game objective. 

As can be seen, the Sikh center has taken a beating. The British lines are advancing as 
the infantry recover from their squares. The remaining dragoon regiment passes 
to the rear for some much needed recovery.

Although the Sikh left still looks strong the left and center are destroyed. 
The bugle calls sound retreat for the Khalsa's warriors.

I thought the game played very well. The rules are well laid out and the game lasted about 12 turns. The recommended game length is 16 turns but the little fellows were just not up to that much fighting.

I think the next fight will be from an actual battle and I hope to field 4-5 brigades per side.