Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Imagi-Nations...

.....



I always enjoys others' remarks on Imagi-Nations. This posting is my own take, inspired by other blog articles on the topic of Imagi-Nations or imaginary worlds.  Check out these;

Wargames MiscellanyWargames Miscellany - British Dammalia

My own tend to stay pretty close to history are are more like alternative histories rather than inserted ones. My Trockenbeeren-Auslese looks very Austrian, quite deliberately so, all the Imperial units based upon real ones, including their Inhaber. So my Trauttmannsdorf, Birkenfeldt and Anhalt-Zerbst Cuirassiers are based upon and paint as the real ones of the 7YW.

By and large, I don't like to dilate too much upon the internal societies and structures of my nations, apart from putting together what I hope to be sensible maps. The maps provide a strategic structure to the campaigns.

I do find a lot of fun with naming places and, especially, characters. My Archduke Piccolo was a sort of steal from Young and Lawford's Archduke Guitar. It didn't take long to arrive at Empress Harmonica (based on Maria Theresa), Emperor Violoncello (her father), Archduchess Viola (a rather wayward younger sister), and generals Baron Glockenspiel, Graf Tympani, Lord Kettledrum (an English volunteer), and Generals Zither and Sax.  I forget to mention the Irish Wild Goose General Brian O'Carina.

The capital of Trockenbeeren-Auslese is Schnitzel, lying on the southern bank of the Ister River.

If I want to do a fictitious campaign in a Napoleonic context, e.g. and Allied invasion of mainland Naples in 1809, the world of alcoholic beverages come to my aid. The Anglo-everyone contingent is led by Sir Arthur Whitbread; the Austrian Corps by Graf von Carlsberg, and the French (this was too good NOT to steal from Charles Grant) General Dubonnet (later to become a Marshal of France).

 

I think I mentioned elsewhere my Ionian Empire, based upon the Byzantine around the turn of the first millenium, presided over by Emperor Dementius, its armies led (if not by the Emperor himself) by George Maniaces (a real character from history), Demetrius Krazius and Michael Psychopathes. I seem to recall a Norman mercenary hight Roussel de Bolluxe, as well.


My 19th Chromatic Wars feature nations named for colours; Ruberia (RED), Azuria (BLUE) - with a side order of Turkowaz (TURQUOISE) - and possible additions of Grauheim (GREY) and Porphyria (PURPLE). 
.......
My more recent foray into a fictitious South American War of Independence features the attempt of Gatonegro from the Empire of De La Reina. The name of the Bolivarian nation derives from the black cat 'passant guardant' on the flags of the rebel (Patriots). The army used is in fact that of the Landgravate of Jotun-Erbsten, itself an imagi-nation.... 

Unfortunately I never did get very far with my Latin Wars, between rival South American states. This was really just WW2 in a fictitious setting, with Orotina the 'Germans', Pan-Andean People's Republic the 'Russians', and Gran Bolivaria the 'British'. There could be a 'United States of Amazonia, but, not having an American WW2 army, it will remain merely a map location.


Naval Projects...

In the wake of recent postings of simple naval wargames for battleships, I have been reviewing my 20th Century warships, and was reminded that I had some years ago begun laying down some destroyers, more or less, roughly and around about to scale.  Approximately.  I hadn't progressed very far: only one haing anything more than the hulls done.

Over the last couple of evenings I made further progress on them.  They're pretty crude, as the pictures will reveal...
There you go.  Four destroyers of the WW2 German Richard Beitzen type, made from cardboard, balsa, plastic tube, pins and assorted junk.  The hulls were made from thick cardboard, not the best material to use for that purpose.  They have my own numbering: Z91, Z94, Z97 and Z99.  Just because.



The little chappy alongside the four is from an actual kit (Tamiya, or Hasegawa, possibly). It came with a submarine and a four-engined US bomber. It's a Japanese submarine chaser of WW2.  Compared with the destroyers, it is way over-scale, so will probably count in my navies as a very small, lightly armed destroyer.

In the distance is a Matchbox kitset destroyer from which I modelled the smaller versions.  Alongside it is the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen (Airfix, I think), a fine looking vessel, but hard to figure out a use for at the moment...

The question now is, whether the destroyers can be slotted in to the simple naval rules already laid down, or perhaps a new set needs be created.  At that I still need to put together a destroyer or two to go with the Yamato battleships and the Iowa.  The odd cruiser wouldn't go amiss, neither...

One rules idea that has crossed my mind is to play the wargames on the points (corners) of the hexes, rather than the areas, but adding the centre points of the grid areas so as to form a kind of smaller grained grid area.  It will require modifying my board to include the centre points of each hex.  Might have to play test this idea.

Mesofluvian Incident - afterword.

It occurred to me this morning, reading over the latest comment, that I ought to have identified the figures used in this action.  They were:


  • Redcoats and Sepoys - Zulu Wars and Khyber Pass, ESCI
  • Gatling Guns and crews, HaT
  • Mountain guns - modified Napoleonic artillery - Airfix carriage and trail, ESCI wheels, modified Airfix ACW artillery gun barrel.
  • Mounted Turkowaz - Mamelukes, HaT
  • Turkowaz artillery - Souvenir piece from the Tower of London, the crew is just on of my Bashi-Bazouk command stands.
  • Bashi-Bazouks, Strelets-R

Foot Bashi-Bazouks from Strelets-R.  Still work needed
on them, but they look promising.







Rather than using my Azuria (French Foreign Legion) figures as Turkowaz, I'm looking for something more closely resembling Turks of the 1870s.  Strelets-R provides just the thing: 1877 Russo-Turkish War Turks.  Unfortunately finding figures available is not proving easy.  I think I was lucky to get the foot Bashi-Bazouks.  I just need one box each of Regular Turkish foot and horse, mounted Bashi-Bazouks and the Turkish Artillery (with Krupp guns).  And there would be my army.  Who would do a one-box run?

Although the Plastic Soldier review is not exactly fulsome in praise of the Strelets-R figures, I'm rather taken with them.  They paint up nicely, and, if the details are a little exaggerated, that goes to clarity of detail, and to the character of the figures.  In 'character', Strelets-R takes rather after Airfix, but in my view the Streletz figures - what I've seen of them so far - are better quality.

In the distance, some Mamelukes that masqueraded
as Turkowaz horse in recent battles.

Meanwhile, I have been reading Bob Cordery/ Eric Knowles's Madasahatta Campaign, and looking forward to seeing Paul 'Jacko' Jackson's campaign based upon a similar concept and premise.   I thought I was pretty creative coming up with names for people and places, but in the late Mr Knowles, I acknowledge a master.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Mesofluvian Incident ...

The distant Ruberians encounter Turkowaz tribesmen
at Oasis Nadine, commanded by Sheikh Rahtlin Rohl
himself.

A couple or so nights back, Paul 'Jacko' Jackson and I got together for a bit of a stoush and chinwag. I showed him what I had made so far of my Bashi-Bazouks; he lent me his copy of The Madasahatta Campaign for a read.  We played one Memoir '44 game, which he ought to have won by walking a tank unit to the exit point, but forgot and tried to eliminate a unit instead.
The Turkowaz, lined up in a long, straggly defence line.


But this posting isn't about them.  It's about the action that started our day, this 'Mesofluvian Incident'.

The depredations of the wild and wily Sheikh Rahtlin Rohl and his Wikid tribesmen upon the southwest fringes of the Rajistan Empire had lately become more than a little irksome.  The Ruberian Governor General, after giving vent to divers expletives and fulminations, summoned Brigadier Sir Roderick Redbone.

'The insolent and shifty Sheikh must be chastised,' quoth the Governor General.  'Take, sir, a suitable force of chastisement unto the Sheikh's lair at, I believe, the Oasis Djonibigud, and thereto administer some chastising.  As soon as may be would be a good time to set out...'


Oasis Nadine
The Brigadier scraped up what troops he could at moment's notice ('As I had already worked out the forces involved, 'Jacko' was given no choice.  That might not have been such a good idea). These comprised as follow:

Ruberian Expeditionary Force:

Commander: Brig. Sir Roderick Redbone .... 6SP
83rd Woppington Light Infantry (WLI, known as 'the Wollies'),
      2 Companies (stands) each 4SP ..... 8SP (Elite, rifle armed)
1st Slittigutti Sepoy Infantry, 2 Companies each 4SP ..... 8SP (Average, rifle armed)
Squadron, 2nd Ballygood Erinland Dragoons, ..... 3SP (Elite)
Squadron, 16th Stickituem Lancers .... 3SP (Average)
2 Batteries, Royal Horse Artillery Gatling Guns @2SP
     2 horsed traction teams @1SP .....6SP (Average)
2 Batteries, Royal Artillery Mountain Guns @ 2SP ..... 
     2 horsed traction teams @1SP .....6SP (Average)

Totals: 
15 units (counting the transports separately):
40 Strength Points; Exhaustion point: -14

Ruberians advance rapidly on their right.  Enthusiastic
Turkowaz sipahis and tribesman, masked by a low ridge
close quickly onto the Ruberian left.
The wily Sheikh being, as reputed, full of wile (not to say, guile), was not one to be surprised by retaliatory moves by anyone he had robbed, assaulted or otherwise caused to rue the Sheikh's very existence. Anticipating the likely approach of any Ruberian force bent on avenging the wrong done them - treasures looted, farm steadings burned, the occasional massacre, kidnap, and other dastardly deed - he gathered together such tribesmen as were not otherwise engaged in his behalf on lifting as much wealth as might be had from Rajistan, the Settee Empire, or the trading roads emerging from the dominions of Cathay.

They comprised:

Wild, Wikid Tribesmen:

Led by: Sheikh Rahtlin Rohl - Gotta keep in trim, eh? .....6SP
10 Tribal Foot War Bands (1 stand apiece) @4SP ..... 40SP (Poor, musket armed)
3 Tribal Sipahis (1 stand apiece) @ 3SP ..... 9SP (Average) 
1 Medium Smoothbore Cannon battery @ 2SP
     1 Horsed traction team @ 1SP ..... 3 SP (Average)
Totals:
16 units (counting the traction team separately):
58 Strength points.

Action becomes general along the whole Ruberian front.
Close quarter fighting on the left half of the Ruberian line.
Rather than await the Ruberian onslaught, the Sheikh and his army 'marched' (Turkowazian for 'wandered', 'strolled' or 'sauntered') to Oasis Nadine, not far from the desert's edge, and athwart the likely enemy approach march. There he waited along a line of hills and small palm plantations flanking the Oasis itself. For this action, I offered 'Jacko' the choice of army; he chose the Ruberians.

Now, one of the reasons for putting together this scenario - apart from 'blooding' my new Bashi-Bazouks - was to test the extent to which qualitative superiority might counterbalance a disparity in strength. 58SP vs 40SP was not to be sneezed at - call it 3:2, when you leave the transports out of the equation. But all the Wikid foot war bands were classed 'poor', and were armed with muskets; the Ruberians had 3 stands classed 'elite', and all four infantry stands were armed with longer ranged rifles. And don't forget the dreaded Gatling guns.  We should see.

The terrain we just plonked down more or less at random, except for the oasis 'Jacko' wanted in the middle of the table. It made a suitable immediate objective for the Ruberian Punitive Force.
Ruberians reluctant to close on the right - relying on the 
superior firepower of rifles, Gatlings and mountain guns.
The action opened with a rather cautious advance by the Ruberians. Now, Sheikh Rahtlin Rohl is (I am) not made for patient defence, really he's (I'm) not. So it was here. At once, (almost) without his (my) volition, the sipahis on the right, together with the warbands in the same sector surged forward. The low ridge to their front rather masked the 'denizens of the desert' from the Ruberian riflemen. Over and around the ridge surged the Sheikh's Wikid tribesmen, hastening to close with the loathed redcoats.
From his position at the Oasis Nadine, the Sheikh watches
with satisfaction the fight being taken to the invading
Ruberians.
The close combat quickly spread from the Ruberian left to the centre, with a considerable blood-letting on both sides. Un combat acharnĂ©, in the best tradition of Baron de Marbot, in which butt and bayonet, sword and scimitar, pistol and poniard were given free exercise. The elite Dragoons were swiftly enough overwhelmed, but the rest of the Ruberian line, though bent and buckled, would not break.
Though the Sipahis have taken heavy losses, the close
quarter fighting continues with unabated ferocity.
On the other flank, the long ranged Wikid cannon opened an ineffectual fire against the approaching Woppington Light Infantry, before they were masked by rather over-enthusiastic Wikid tribesmen. These gentry closed the range to bring their muskets to bear, but were thrown back by the steady rifle fire of the redcoats. The battle devolved here into a to-and-fro firefight in which neither side seemed able to shift the other (On this flank, the Turkowaz lost 7SP, the Ruberians 6 - a close fight.
Close of the action: the exhausted Ruberians with relief
watch the fierce Turkowaz attacks fade away.  But they
won't be visiting Oasis Djonibigud this trip.


But the close action on the Ruberian left was where the battle would be decided, though in the event, possibly 'decided' is a little too definite for accuracy.  True, the Ruberians reached their exhaustion point first. Brigadier Redbone's later report spoke of  'the Thin Red Line' (actually buff-coloured and blue) ...'stood firm against the frantic surging assaults of the enemy...'  Counter-attack was out of the question (Exhaustion Point rule). But it was only a turn or two before the Turkowaz tribesmen themselves reached their exhaustion point, and the attacks faded away.

Of course, the punitive expedition had been stopped cold. There was no question at all of pushing on to Oasis Djonibigud (even Oasis Nadine has been denied them). The Wikid Sheikh's chastisement would have to await another day. Of course, as was the usual Ruberian habit, they were inclined to extract as much from the events to paint a narrative of victory against overwhelming odds...

After the battle, 'Jacko' allowed that possibly the Ruberians had too high a proportion of artillery and machine guns.  He would have preferred just one battery each of mountain guns and Gatlings, and a couple of extra infantry or cavalry units instead.  From the point of view of assembling a balanced force, I agree. But I reckon that, though the qualitative superiority and firepower of the Ruberians didn't quite balance the disparity in numbers (Strength Points) they came pretty close. The Ruberians lost 17SPs, the Turkowaz, 20 - a close fought encounter.

The figures pictured are:
Redcoats and Sepoys - Zulu Wars and Khyber Pass, ESCI
Gatling Guns, HaT
Mountain guns - modified Airfix Napoleonic artillery
Mounted Turkowaz - Mamelukes, HaT
Bashi-Bazouks, Strelets-R
Turkowaz artillery - Souvenir piece from the Tower of London.



Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Ultra Simple Naval Games.

The following was inspired by KEV. Robertson's TOY Battleship NAVAL Rules, published on his blog spot back in August.  They really were very very simple, and, modified to a hex grid and amended to 'fit' my own toy navies, quite playable. I have posted two battles using these ideas already.



Archduke Piccolo's Ultra Simple Naval Rules - for toy battleships on hex grids.  Version 1.0

1.0 Sequence, for each Turn (1):

  • Sides toss for first move: Player A then player B, high roller going first
  • Player A moves
  • Player B moves
  • Player A shoots
  • Player B shoots
  • Both sides record damage

2.0 Movement (2):

  • All warships can move 1-2 hex grid areas (hexes) per Turn
  • Ships may face a hex side or hex angle (corner or point).  The facing should be made clear, even if the vessel is slightly offset from the centre (see diagrams infra).
  • Ships may make ONE course alteration of 30 or 60 degrees per Turn, at no movement cost
Picture showing orientation towards hex-sides (distant
squadron), and towards the hex points.  The slight offset
of the latter indicate which hexes are being moved along,
without turning or course changes.

3.0 Shooting:

  • Only main guns are considered in these rules (3)
  • Roll 1D6 per gun barrel firing PLUS or MINUS 10% per 1-inch difference from 15-inch guns (4).
  • Range: 1-2 hexes: D6 score 4-6 to hit
  •             3-4 hexes: D6 score 5-6 to hit
  •             5-6 hexes: D6 score 6 only to hit

4.0 Damage:

  • Each hit causes 1 'point' of damage upon the target battleship.
  • The number of 'points' of damage a battleship can take before sinking is determined by the vessel's tonnage, divided by 4000, and rounded (5).

5.0 Notes:

1.Though IGoUGo, in effect each side's moves and firing are treated as simultaneous.

2. The original rule set is on a 'free' (ungridded) table, with movement and ranges expressed in 1 foot increments.  I have translated 1foot into 2 hexes.  It might work better with 3 hexes to the foot, given the space.

3. Secondary armament is 'below the grain' of this rule set.

4. Examples of Shooting:
     (a) The default calibre of the main guns is 15-inch
     (b) The full broadside of 10 x 14-inch guns of HMS Prince of Wales is reduced by 10% of 10 to 9.  So 9 D6s will be rolled for it.
     (c) The HMS Prince of Wales's forward batteries comprise 6 guns (4 in A turret, 2 in B).  When firing, these would be represented by 6 - 10% of 6 = 6 - 0.6 = 5.4 := 5 x D6.
     (d) HMS Nelson's full broadside comprises 9 x 16-inch guns.  These would be represented by 9 + 10% of 9 = 9 + 0.9 = 9.9 := 10 x D6.
     (e) HMS Nelson may fire just 6 guns in the forward arc.  This is represented by 6 + 10% of 6 = 6 + 0.6 = 6.6 = 7 x D6.

5. Examples of 'Protection':
     (a) The default Battleship tonnage is 40,000 tons.  Divided by 4000, the ship has 10 'Flotation' or 'Protection' points.
     (b) At 34,000 tons, HMS Nelson's 'Protection' is calculated to be:
          34,000/4000 = 8.5 := 9.
     (c) At 65,000 tons, IJN Yamato's 'Protection' is calculated to be :
          65,000/4000 = 16.25 := 16.  A formidable vessel!

6.0 Battery angles:


Following diagrams show the angles of fire from ships' batteries, depending upon the ships' alignment within a hex.

Ships facing hex side:
Red outlined stars show the forward batteries' arc of fire
Blue interior stars show the aft batteries' arc of fire
The red-outlined, blue interior stars show the full broadside.
Midships mounted guns that have neither forward nor aft arc of fire (E.g. HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney 'C' Turret) can fire only in the 'full broadside' arc

Gunnery angles for ships oriented towards hex sides.


Ships facing hex angle:
Gunnery angles for ships oriented towards hex angles.
Note the offset - it does not affect the range, but makes
it clear which hex the ship will enter if it
maintains its present course.

7.0 Some afterthoughts:

  • I have reconsidered the 'Belt armour' question.  I am tempted to add, for each 4 inches (rounded) for maximum belt armour 1 'Point' of protection.  IJN Yamato's 'Protection' would go up to 20; Bismarck  to 14, and HMS Prince of Wales also to 14.  The jury is still out on this one.
  • If going this route, in instances in which dividing tonnage by 4000, and maximum belt armour by 4, both yield exact 'half' remainders, then one will round up, the other round down.  E.g. HMS Nelson at 34,000 tons and 14" belt comes out at 8.5 + 3.5 = 9 + 3 = 12 for 'Protection'.
  • This rule set might work better if moves were up to 3 hexes, and ranges calculated in 3 hex increments.  There is no reason not to do this given a large enough hex field.  I don't think mine is.
  • The 3-hex idea led to the idea for a little extra 'chrome', namely, different movement rates for 'ordinary' and 'fast' battleships.  The cut-off point was to be 26+ knot speed as 'fast'; 25- as 'ordinary'.  I have not tested this idea.
  • I still have to add the air element and carriers to this overall rule set
My thanks go to Kev Robertson for his original idea.

Opening situation of the Battle of the Omez Strait.

At some point I will follow this up with the 'Battle of Kantsi Strait', pitting 4 Yamatos against 4 Bismarcks and 2 Washingtons.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Long Live the Revolution - Return to the Station (2)

366 Sqn Spitfires strafing rebels in the town.
As the Government Army, facing the dawn, surged forward from their start lines, the first salvoes of an entire 25-pounder field regiment thundered out, concentrating their pounding upon the BARF positions on the western edge of the Maibad Station. The soldiers of the  22nd Punjajoodi Battalion cheered and were cheered by a flight of 366 Squadron Spitfires, snarling overhead to strafe the rebels occupying the southwestern quarter of the town.
Strafing run by A Flt/ 366 Sqn.  The arrowheads show the
Revolutionaries' positions attacked.

Before resuming the narrative of the ground troops' assault, I will relate here the flight of the A Flt/366 Sqn.  The map showing the flight path will tell you how the the strafing runs were managed.  As a single seater fighter, the Spitfire travels at 12 hexes the turn, reduced by 1 hex for each strafing.  When turning, the aircraft may turn one 'angle' (60-degrees) only, and then only after moving at least one hex in a straight line.  The map indicates the minimum turning circle, and overall how the whole flight was carried out.  Allocating activations of flights and 4 batteries of artillery did rather mean that the Government attack developed fairly slowly, and in a more piecemeal fashion than I would have preferred, but that is the nature of this type of solo play.  Contributing to uncertainty contributes to interest.

The first strafing run, into the town, was reasonably successful, the aircraft's machine guns and cannon scoring one hit (3 dice, 1 '6' rolled), resulting in A Coy, 2nd BARF Infantry taking a SP loss. The aircraft then fetched a wide sweep, circling around to attack on Move 3 the 6-pounder anti-tank battery on their portees.
South front: Daimler armoured cars probing Revolutionary
positions. Both sides have taken hits...
Those guns had been emplaced in a field redoubt whence they had let fly at a probing squadron of Daimler armoured cars. Both sides inflicted damage, but the guns were induced to abandon their position. Manhandled out of the redoubts, they were loaded up onto their portees, whence they resumed their duel, aided by the nearby mortars, against the armoured cars.
...but it is the anti-tank battery that abandons the position.

An unsuccessful strafing run - at a prime target!
In the open, placed vulnerably upon their truck portees as they were, the 6-pounder battery might well have been destroyed right there. The aircraft let rip... 

Wherever the bullets went, it was not aboard the portees. Not a single hit!

(Aside, here:  the rule set called for 3xD6 for each machine gun, but as the minimum armament for any Spitfire was 4 MGs or cannon,  I could scarcely imagine that 12 D6s (or 18, or 24) ought to be rolled for effect. Even with just 3 dice, the statistical expectation would have been for one hit, and that at better than two to one on. Actually, re-reading the rule set, Bob explicitly allocates 4 MGs to single-seaters, which indicates that I should have rolled 12 dice for each strafing run. Wow! At a statistical expectation, that could have been very damaging!)

The next point of aim was to be the mortar battery in the redoubt at the northeastern corner of the town. That required the flight to make a circle over the town before making their strafing run. Once again this proved ineffective, the protection offered by the field works serving to reduce the chances of injury to the battery. For the purposes of this game, I allowed just the three strafing runs for this flight, whereupon it could leave the battlefield (still requiring activation to do do) with no cost to the Army's Strength Points. So it did at Move 5. The results had been moderately disappointing.

Tank duel.  Outnumbered and outgunned, yet it is the
Revolutionary armour that score the first blood -
and the second!
Meanwhile the Government main thrust developed in the left, intended to force its way through, over or around the obstacles and fortified line stretching northward from the town. As also on the south side, the line was angled back from the town's western edge, the whole defence line forming a shallow, blunt, arrow head. As the tanks closed in upon the open flank, the Revolutionaries' own armour raced forward to meet them. As a brisk tank fight developed, it became quickly apparent that the Government armour had become too bunched up. Squadrons C and D both took damaging hits (partly due to retreat being impossible) before so much as scratching the paint on the lighter armour facing them. 

The infantry defenders driven out of their field
works, A Sqn 6th Armoured Rgt occupies the redoubt.
Possibly this was also partly due to at least one armoured squadron joining the Humber armoured cars in machine-gunning a company of the 'Sons of Revolution', reduced to platoon strength, out of their field works. As the survivors fled, A Squadron drove into the position and joined in the tank fight. By this time, both C and D Squadrons were down to one-third strength. The Grants of the 'Scimitar' Regiment had taken some loss but still retained more than half their numbers.

Apart from the disaster at Nawabisbad, the Revolutionaries' armour, outgunned and out-armoured as it was, had given throughout the campaign a very good account of itself against their Government counterparts. So it was proving here, somewhat to General Lord Redford's concern. On the other hand, even after taking 4 losses to one, reducing the numbers to equality, the Government still retained a qualitative superiority. He ordered the tank fight to continue.

Gunfire has caused the Revolutionaries to abandon part of their
defence line.

In the town, the Revolutionaries were finding it difficult to withstand the heavy gunfire the Government was laying down upon their positions. Twice already, A Coy of 2nd 'Volunteers' had been forced from their positions, but Government troops not being on hand yet to exploit the situation, they had been allowed to return. The infantry of 31st Kashinkari had in the meantime avoided the minefield and closed up upon the barbed wire close by the abandoned redoubt, where they came under small arms fire from the town.  


So had the 31st's MG platoon, losing half its strength to small arms as they struggled to set up their firing position. Their vengeance was swift and dire: Three sixes on 3 dice, 6's needed to hit. It was all too much for 'Sons' Battalion 'C' Company, the remnants also fleeing back into the town alongside the 'Volunteers' comrades.
The reduced machine gun platoon lays down a very effective
support fire!


As soon as they could clear the barbed wire, the 31st  Kashinkari riflemen were ready to storm into the built up area that formed the nucleus of Revolutionary resistance. The barbed wire cleared, three companies from Kashinkari and A Coy from Punjanjoodi were already closing in, unchallenged, upon the outlying precincts of the town.








By this time, the armoured battle had seen the destruction of the 'Scimitars' D Squadron, the feared Grant tanks that had drawn the almost exclusive attention of the Government armour.  But that had merely followed upon the equal devastation of the Government's D Squadron. Furthermore, B Squadron was also starting to take losses. The government tanks had still taken double the losses that the Revolutionaries had. So far, the planned sweep was still stalled. well short of the Khandibar branch railway line.


Both sides 'D' Squadrons reduced to smoking ruin.  But the
Revolutionaries still get somewhat the better of the armoured battle.
The four companies defending the town, found the artillery and MG fire coming into the western precincts rather too much,  drew back towards the commercial district and the railway station. Cautiously, the attacking infantry followed up and occupied the abandoned streets. It was going to be a hard slog to clear the rest of the town. 
Four Government infantry companies, supported my MGs
about to plunge into the town.
This, despite the losses the garrison had already taken. So far, the Government troops had made little effort against the defences on the south side of the town. The probe by a squadron of Daimler armoured cars had left most of them smoking on the field (they lost the duel against the anti-tank guns backed by mortars, and were reduced to 0 SPs), after which little was happening in this third of the front. The acute pressure elsewhere led Col Peenut Buttahjars to order the anti-tank battery across to the right flank where they were to deploy behind the railway branch line, close by the 1st Battalion mortar battery. 
The burning remains of the Daimler Squadron.  The
Revolutionaries shift the unengaged units on this south flank
to reinforce the embattled forces elsewhere.
At the same time, C Company of the 2nd 'Volunteers'  was ordered towards the railway station to beef up the crumbling resistance in the town.  
Government pressure mounts...
Gradually the Revolutionaries were being driven back, all along the northern front and through the town. The Government armour at last began to assert it superiority, though not without a steady stream of casualties. The Revolutionary armour were being pushed across the railway branch line, a gradual process that was not to be arrested, not even when the anti-tank battery arrived.
Urban fighting.  Though reduced to platoon strength (1SP)
C/31st Coy takes the fight to the enemy.
Pushing directly from the west, C/22nd and A/31st Companies were in firm occupation of the residential area, but it was C/31st, reduced though it was to a mere platoon strength (1SP) that was in direct contact with the enemy. Outnumbered in this battle by three to one, nevertheless, the Kashinkari Rifles boldly took the fight to their opponents. It was not long before supports in the shape of D/31st and the 31st MG platoon came to their aid.
D/31st closing in...
Moving up between the town and the captured redoubt, and braving enemy mortar fire, D/31st brought the defending company under small arms fire.  The pressure was mounting.
A/22nd and B/22nd at last lurching into motion.
Very little happening on the south front, Col Buttahjars had been thinning out the defenders there. Somewhat belatedly, B and C companies of the Punjanjoodi Battalion (B/22nd and C/22nd) moved up to join their MG platoon (MG/22nd) that had already established a position overlooking the southwest of the town. Perhaps the move ought to have been made the sooner, to tie down the defenders. Against that, now that the line had thinned out, the Government troops could hope for more decisive results.  
Government A Sqn alone takes on the Revolutionary
armour and anti-tank, whilst C Squadron
reorganises.
Developments on the north side remained encouraging.  Although C Squadron was now also reduced to a parking lot of smoking wrecks a little in advance of the smouldering D Squadron, and B Squadron had been forced back to reorganise, A Squadron boldly faced off against the two remaining squadrons of Revolutionary armour, and the recently arrived portee-mounted 6-pounder anti-tank battery. Not that the latter were finding conditions comfortable, as Government armoured cars sprayed them with MG fire. Meanwhile, although D/31st Coy had been driven back with loss to take shelter in the abandoned redoubt, it was not before its support, and that of the armoured cars, had helped the depleted C/31st Coy carry the warehouse district of the town. Now the 'Sons of Revolution' mortars found their flank directly threatened.
25pr batteries moving up to better fire positions.
Lacking targets, two batteries of 25pr gun/howitzers moved up to lend their weight to the attack. The Revolutionaries' hold on the town had been reduced to about a third, still clinging to the railway station itself.  
Government attacks developing on the south front.
Observing this satisfactory progress, Major-General Lord Redford drove up in his scout car to join the 22nd's MG platoon, and to direct operations on the south flank. As the 'Volunteers' C Company moved to join the town garrison, their B company had been pulled out to main the redoubt that formerly housed the 6-pounder battery.  The 'Volunteers' mortars opened up a rather desultory (i.e. ineffective) bombardment of the approaching Punjanjoodi companies. A firefight developed between those gentry and the exiguous defenders in the redoubt, outnumbered four to one.
Infantry of 31st Kashinkari Battalion overrun
mortars and anti-tank positions.
Events on the main fronts began to develop quickly. At about this time, or shortly after, the Revolutionaries losses had reached the point at which the overall strength was too depleted, and morale too battered for counterattacks to be mounted. The army reached its exhaustion point.  The Government, on the other hand, was riding upon a tide of confidence, despite all the hard fighting it had undergone so far.  
Winning the battle on the north front.
Depleted to platoon strength as it was, C/31st Company failed to carry the enemy mortar position, and fell back towards the western edge of town. The mortars were given no respite.  The fresh B/31st and rather worn D/31st Companies, supported by the armoured cars, flushed out the mortars and anti-tank crews. Their charges destroyed or abandoned, and lacking the means to fight, the transport portees and carriers made off without them.
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Government infantry had advanced to and over the branch line, their left flank protected from the Revolutionaries armour by the Shermans tanks of their own A Squadron, though the armoured cars  did take some loss to the Stuarts' 37mm guns.
Revolutionaries force back Government infantry in the town
but are in no case to reoccupy the vacant sections.
In the town, the defenders gained a brief respite for themselves. Thrusting back C/31st and A/31st Companies, the Revolutionaries' exhausted state precluded retaking the lost ground, even though that would have recovered half the town.
B/22nd join the action in the town...
Having driven back the Revolutionary infantry threatening to take in flank the Government troops within the town, B/22nd Company themselves attempted to storm the place, though subject to a rather ineffective counter-fire from their own right flank. C/22nd's shooting was no more effective against the protected enemy infantry and the mortar battery.

Shermans of C/6th Armoured join A/6th, and gradually
lever back the lighter Stuarts. 
Successfully reorganising, B Squadron Bananaramputra Hussars joined A Squadron's duel against the Revolutionary armour. The latter had fallen back to and beyond the ridge northeast of the town, where one squadron took up hull down positions along the high ground. But it was by now clear that they could not for long maintain themselves there, as Government infantry were already advancing beyond the eastern edge of the town. If the town's defenders didn't shift themselves soon, they would be in danger of being cut off. 
25pr batteries back in action.
Even so, the revolutionaries were letting their enemies know they were still in the fight. Incoming mortar and rifle fire reduced C/22nd Company to half its strength, though successfully driving the rebel infantry from their field works. B/22nd company's assault was summarily repulsed, though with little loss. 
Government troops once more advancing through the town.
Fierce fighting erupted again within the town as once more the Government troops attempted to drive the Revolutionaries into the open.  It seemed that, however ready to leave, the revolutionaries would not be hustled.  Before mounting up and making off, the mortars fired off one last salvo ... against Punjanjoodi's machine gin platoon. Perhaps they had observed in the distance indications of the presence of the Government Army commander. As it happened, the machine guns were reduced by half their strength. General Lord Redford had to dive for what scant cover the open ground might provide. The excitement over, he picked himself up and dusted himself off, with no injury but to his dignity.
A mortar stonk lands upon the MG company, recently joined
by General Lord Redford's HQ.  Will he survive?

At this point I called the battle. What remained of the Revolutionaries made off, the pursuit held off by the faithful 'Scimitars' light armour.

For all the tough fighting - and tough it surely was - this turned out to be a decisive Government victory. I found it surprising that the Government succeeded at all, given the dismal failure of the Revolutionaries attack the week before against Nawabisbad, where they encountered for the first time field works and field obstacles. Perhaps it was the weight of a full regiment of Government artillery that, although in action pretty much only for the opening stages of the battle, were instrumental is forcing the Revolutionaries to abandon their positions covering the town's approaches, and making it easier for the Government to mount an effective assault. In many respects, I found this the most interesting battle - certainly absorbing to play - of the series so far.

As usual, we append the casualty list:

Government losses;

6th Bananaramaputra Hussars: -7SP (B Sqn -1, C Sqn -3, D Sqn -3)
22nd Punjanjoodi Infantry: -4SP
31st Kashinkari Rifles: -6SP (-3 from C Company)
90th Bangagong Dragoons (A/Cars): -4SP (A Sqn -3; B Sqn -1)
Total loss: 21SP (Cf Exhaustion point 27)

Revolutionary losses:

1st 'Scimitar' Armoured: -5SP (A and B Sqns, -1 each; D Sqn -3)
1st 'Sons of Revolution' Infantry: -13SP (Rifle Coys, -11, Mortar Battery: -2)
2nd 'Volunteers' Infantry: -6SP
Anti-Tank Battery: -2SP (guns only)
Total loss: 26SP (Cf. Exhaustion point 17)

Having successfully recaptured the railway station, the Government forces must needs deprive the Revolutionaries of the only sea port in their possession, Khandibar, before moving on to Maimajikwand Valley, and the provincial capital therein.  For their part, the Revolutionaries began to look abroad, especially to the north, beyond Nimruz, beyond Rhun and Kizil-Arvat, toward the Red Empire, the Collective Confederation of Collaborative Peoples (CCCP) for perhaps a badly needed augmentation to their ... Revolutionary equipage.

The narrative of this campaign will be interrupted by some diversions into other areas, a simple naval rule set, and a punitive expedition against Sheikh Rhatlin Rhol of Oasis Djonibigud.

To be continued...