Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Empire Strikes Back - Colonial BatRep

Gathering at Kevin's, a day of colonial campaigning was planned.  Saturday's action would see a continuation of a series of running conflicts pitting Pasha Mohammed against the might of the British empire.  

After repulsing Pasha Mohammed's attack out of the desert the last time the colonial campaign turned to Egypt (see Pasha Goes to Port), the British gathered a combined force to strike back at the Pasha's fortified stronghold further up the coast.
Turks garrison the fortress
The British plan was to launch a two-pronged attack against Pasha's formidable position.  One attack would be from the sea in an amphibious invasion with naval fire support.  
View of harbor and town
The second prong of the attack would be launched down the valley to the fortress in an overland advance.  The approaches to the port from the overland route were protected by rocky outcroppings and sheer cliffs; many of which were lined with natives itching for a fight.
Port town
Pasha's fortress
Much of the rough outcroppings were defended by the Pasha's tribesmen.  The British overland attack would likely meet strong resistance and be susceptible to ambushes from until the town was reached.
Tribesmen defending the high ground
One of many native cavalry units
Baluchi tribesmen among the cliffs **
British gunships slipped into the harbor and began bombarding the citadel prompting return fire from the fortress guns.  The lead gunship took heavy casualties

British gunships pass within range of the fortress
while the overland expedition marched into the valley. 
British advance into valley
British columns reach the narrow defile
Once in the defile, heavy fire from tribesmen on the the cliff caused casualties to the British columns.  Slowing the advance, British were forced to neutralize the threat.  One battalion turned to face the tribesmen while the Gurkas, the sole light infantry contingent, scrambled up onto the rocks in an effort to silence their foe.
British columns under fire
Native cavalry blocked the approaches to the town and readied themselves for battle.  In the impending showdown between cavalry, native horse outnumbered their British counterparts but the English should possess more discipline.

Native cavalry in the defile
Native cavalry in the rocks
Native horse guarding the town
The British dragoons attacked down the valley to clear the way for the infantry.
British cavalry attack!
British dragoons close with the enemy
In a series of attacks and counterattacks, he who attacked found himself attacked.  When the melee cleared, two native units were destroyed with little loss to the British.
Attack and Counterattack
While the cavalry clash swirled at the head of the defile, a third native horse unit threatened the advancing columns.  After the British cavalry victory at the head of the defile, the dragoons returned back into the valley to counter native threats upon the column.
British cavalry return to lend support
British stand firm
In the harbor, British landing boats were dropped from the gunships and marines began rowing to shore.  As the marines hit the beach, the town erupted in fire to repulse the landing.  Marine took heavy but they remained steady as they sought cover among the rocks along the harbor.  From these positions, British marines harassed the enemy and more importantly drew fire away from the valley. 
View down valley towards harbor
With attention diverted, the British overland expedition formed line and prepared to assault the town and clear the outcroppings.  On the cliffs, the Gurkas scattered the tribesmen and the valley was cleared of opposition save for one band of roaming horsemen.
British prepare for assault
Fighting is heavy in and around the town as Pasha's troops are attacked from two directions.  Reluctantly and with great loss, the Arabs withdrew from the town and headed for the safety of the fortress.
City fighting as British advance on fortress
Despite resistance, the town was cleared of enemy combatants.  With one British gunship lost and fortress defenses deemed too formidable to assault with forces at hand, the continuation of the assault was halted. 
British occupy town
Thus ended the days' action.  Will British reinforcements arrive to justify a second attempt at taking the fortress?  With the town lost and the harbor occupied by British forces, will Pasha opt to withdraw under cover of darkness?  The answers to those questions must await the next episode.   

** One of Dylan's sons commanded the British naval contingent on this day.  When the Baluchi tribesmen were deployed upon the cliffs, he thought these men were the "Blue Cheese" warriors.  Of course, this misunderstanding launched a salvo of bad puns. 


  1. Marvelous looking figures and terrain, Jonathan. A period I haven't played enough of but, certainly of interest. Best, Dean

    1. Thanks, Dean! The figures and terrain are all Kevin's. Kevin especially enjoys building terrain and his basement has the stuff stacked everywhere!

  2. Very nice looking game, and my kind of Colonials... almost no Khaki in sight! :-)

    1. Peter, these games are set in the 1840-1860 period which pre-date the predominance of khaki. Doesn't everyone prefer their Redcoats to be in the Home Service redcoat? I do like khaki on the NWF, though!

  3. A super looking game Jonathan! One day I'll try out colonial era gaming and will do it in big battle format like this.


    1. Thank you, Christopher! I am fortunate in that two of our gaming buddies specialize in colonial gaming. Therefore, a colonial game is often an option.

  4. Very exciting, you have a wonderful collection.

    1. The figures on display in this one are all Kevin and his brother's. I have a couple of colonial units but they did not partake in the day's festivities. Maybe next time?

  5. A brilliant piece of action, more please to this quality

    1. Thanks, David, for stopping by! I will what I can do to accommodate.

  6. Looks like I missed an exciting game.

    1. Jake! You did miss a good game. I am sure Kevin will be wanting to host a follow up game to see if the British can wrest control of the fortress from the tenacious Turks.