Battle in Darkest Africa!

>> Tuesday 27 April 2010

Colonial game 24/4/2010
The game is set in darkest Africa in about 1880. A small British force is attempting to find and destroy a native raiding force allied to Arab slavers, thought to be guarding a river ford.

The African force was generated randomly by a ‘2-hour wargame’ system being used as a test. The British force consisted of 20 regular Sikh infantry,

and 40 mixed Askaris.

The game:
The 3 players each took a force of 20 infantry, Andy, a new player to this period decided to take the Sikhs, while the experienced players took the Askaris. Andy decided to lead his Sikhs in a skirmish line to sweep over a large hill, then through some woods,

while the Askaris were directed to move in the open across the river and engage any natives they met.

The Sikhs moved confidently into the wood while their officer and a few men skirted the wood to their right.

The Sikhs first sight of the enemy was when a shower of arrows fell amongst the Sikhs in the wood, wounding 2 of them. The Sikhs fired back forcing the enemy archers to withdraw.

The Sikhs British officer and his escorts were shot at with arrows at the same time, but took no damage. The Sikhs fired into the wood hitting some of the archers which caused them to fall back into the wood. Seeing their targets flee the Sikhs officer led his men toward the wood in pursuit, only for the archers, who were returning to the wood edge after their momentary panic, to shoot a volley of arrows at their pursuers. Over half the Sikhs in this party were killed or wounded, and their officer fell with 3 arrows in him.

Relieved of their less than inspiring officer, the Sikhs NCOs began to extricate themselves from their sticky situation. The Sikhs in the wood, having seen a large body of spearmen behind the archers, began to fall back through the wood, while the remaining Sikhs in the open fired at the archers, making them hide deeper in the wood.

The enemy spearmen in the wood, seeing the Sikhs facing them withdrawing, charged after them, and despite taking several casualties from fire managed to engage them. In short order numbers told and the Sikhs fell back through the wood, leaving several casualties behind.

The Sikhs in the open tried to come to their aid but were overwhelmed by the natives.

Soon all the Sikhs were fleeing toward a hill to their rear, but the natives, satisfied with their victory, remained in the wood.

Meanwhile, the Askaris, moving in a rough line encountered a large body of natives lurking in some rough ground on the far side of the river. The natives failed to charge, rightly fearful of the fire of the Imperial troops. One of the Askari groups impetuously charged toward the rough ground, firing, but were driven back with a couple of dead by a native countercharge.

Fortunately other Askaris charged the natives in flank as they followed up, while other Askaris fired at them.

The natives fell back to the rough ground licking their wounds. Once the Askaris got a proper firing line close to the rough ground, this group of natives, after standing bravely under fire for a time, disintegrated and fled.

However, another large party of natives appeared from further back in the rough ground, and, motivated by their chief tried to charge the Askaris.

The Imperial troops stood calmly and fired at the attacking natives, in one fearsome volley the chief, his second and half his bodyguard fell.

The natives, dismayed by their chiefs loss withdrew into the woods leaving the Imperial force victorious. In many ways this battle showed how inexperienced and impetuous officers, no matter how good their men can throw away certain victory by failing to use their massive fire! At least the officer in question had the decency to die in action rather than face the inevitable board of enquiry!

(Figures provided by Lawrence, Pictures by Lawrence and Richard, Rules -My own!)


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