Saturday, August 10, 2019

More From the Chronicles of Rajistan...

A general view of the encounter at Cpistupon*

Following the check at Hak-al-Amara, Major-General Scarlett found a good deal of rest, recreation and reorganisation required before he could contemplating a further drive up the Pardis River to the goal he craved: Sakhdad - and the longed-for promotion to Lieutenant-General. Sixteenth Brigade had been particularly badly cut up, and the 18th had taken a serious mauling as well. Both required a battalion to be stricken from the Order of Battle, and the 16th lost their Gatling detachment as well.
The battlefield.  The light green patches signify light scrub;
the dark green, heavy. 

To be sure, Nasr-Ed-Din Pasha's army had been no less roughly handled.  After a day or so waiting behind the river at Hak-al-Amara, the Turkowaz Army of Medifluvia retreated north several tens of miles, to prepare a another reception for the Rajistan Expeditionary Division should they venture northward. Whilst preparing his lines about the famous site of the ancient Farsistan city of Cpistupon*, Nasr-Ed-Din welcomed the addition of a shore battery.  This he placed on the west bank a mile or so south of his HQ at Qusabah overlooking the length of a west-east reach of the Pardis River. The battered and attenuated 35th Division occupied nearby trenches by way of protection. Their sole communication with the main army was by way of a bridge of boats not far from Qusabah village.

To his dismay, however, the Pasha became soon bereft of his strongest Division. Called for elsewhere, the 37th, which had hardly been engaged at Hak, was badly needed at quite another theatre. Without it, Nasr-Ed-Din despaired of ever holding his position against a determined attack. As news arrived that the  Ruberian Army had resumed its advance, with an accompanying gunboat flotilla, his appeals for reinforcements to Sakhdad and to Ionople became increasingly urgent and strident.

Looking northwards upriver; HMS Shoofly in the foreground
somewhat protected by heavy scrub.

Not before time, the Army of Mesofluvia received replacements comprising not one, but two fresh Divisions, 45th and 51st, both including a detachment of mitrailleuse 'machine' guns. The Army now comprised:

Turkowaz Army of Medifluvia (TURQUOISE):

Command:  Nasr-Ed-Din Pasha 6SP

35th Division: Duya-ed-Din Pasha (and entourage) (1SP - Elite)
     137th Regiment (3SP - Poor {levy})
     138th Regiment (3SP - Poor)
     139th Regiment (3SP - Poor)
       Naval Shore battery (under command (2SP - Average)    
38th Division: Ali Sait Akbaytogan (1SP - Elite)
     149th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     150th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     152nd Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     38th Mountain Artillery (2SP - Average)
45th Division: Abdul Jabbar Emir (1SP - Elite)
     177th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     178th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     179th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     180th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
       45th Division Mitrailleuse Detachment (2SP - Average)
     45th Mountain Artillery (2SP- Average)
51st Division: Suleiman Jaya (1SP - Elite)
     201st Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     202nd Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     203rd Regiment (4SP - Poor)
     204th Regiment (4SP - Poor)
      51st Division Mitrailleuse Detachment (2SP - Average)
     51st Mountain Artillery (2SP- Average)

14th Cavalry Division: Ahmed Fayzi Pasha (1SP - Elite)
     40th Cavalry Regiment  (3SP - Average)
     41st Cavalry Regiment  (3SP - Average)
     42nd Cavalry Regiment (3SP - Average)

13th Field Artillery: (2SP - Average)

29 units; Median 15
85 Strength Points; Exhaustion Point = -29

38th and 45th Division trench lines

Points to note:

1.  35th Division was so badly knocked about in the previous action that one regiment (140th) had to be disbanded, and the other three had all lost a strength point each.  Further to that, the Division had lost all its artillery.  This was partly offset by the attached shore guns, but they, of course, could not be moved.

2.  38th division had also taken heavy losses at Hak, most notably the surrender of 151st Regiment.  So, it too was reduced to three regiments, but they at least kept the original SPs.

3.  It is still a ragtag army!

View from behind 16th Brigade ('C' Column)

Meanwhile, their energies more or less restored, the Rajistan Expeditionary Division troops were marching rapidly upriver, until on 21st November, 1875, their arrival at the point at which lines of entrenched Turkowazians confronted them.  

Major-General Scarlett had with him:

Rajistan Expeditionary Division (RED): Major-General Sir Grinmore Scarlett   6SP

View from behind 'A' Column

16th 'Poona' Brigade ('C' Column): Lieutenant-Colonel  Sir Halibut Sangwigne  (1SP - Elite)
    2nd Dorsets  (3SP - Elite)
    114th Duke of Wellesley's Rifles (3SP - Average)
    117th Madasahatta Infantry (3SP - Average)
17th 'Ahmednagar' Brigade ('A' Column): Brigadier Sam Vermilion-Jones  (1SP - Elite)
     1st Ox and Bucks (4SP - Elite)
     22nd Punchnjab Infantry (4SP - Average)
     103rd Madasahatta Infantry (4SP - Average)
     119th Myulshuh Infantry (4SP - Average)
     'Ahmednagar' Gatling Company (2SP - Average)

18th 'Belgaum' Brigade ('B' Column): Colonel Sir Redfers Carmine, Bart. (1SP - Elite)
     2nd Norfolk Infantry (4SP - Elite)
     110th Madasahatta Infantry (4SP - Average)
     120th Rajinbul Infantry (4SP - Average)
     'Belgaum' Gatling Company (2SP - Average)

6th Cavalry Brigade ('D' Column) : Brigadier Salmond Lord Garnet (1SP - Elite)
    7th Lancers (3SP - Elite)
    16th Dragoons (3SP - Elite)
    33rd Queen Victoria's Own Light Horse (3SP - Average)
    Gatling Detachment, RHA (2SP - Average)

Division Artillery:
   'X' Mountain Artillery Brigade (2SP - Average)
   1st Rajistan Mountain Artillery (2SP - Average)
   5th Hants Field Howitzer Battery (2SP - Average)
HMS Shoofly

Pardis River Flotilla:
   HMS Shoofly ('Fly' Class Gunboat) (5SP - Average)

25 Units; 13 Median.
73 Strength Points; Exhaustion point -25SP.

Turkowaz 35th Division and the shore battery.

Points to note:

1.  Sir Rubeus Redmayne having been wounded at Hak and not yet recovered from his injuries, Lt-Col Sir Halibut Sangwigne assumed command of 16th Brigade.

2.  16th Brigade having taken heavy losses at Hak, has been reduced to 3 battalions, each with just 3SP.  It has also lost its Gatling detachment.

3.  18th Brigade has also lost one of its battalions in the attack at Hak.  The remaining 3 battalions have retained their SP values.
4.  Taken overall, a very slightly weakened Rajistan column is about to take on a somewhat strengthened Turkowaz corps.  How will this turn out?

To be continued...
* Afterword on 'Cpistupon'.  This battle is based upon the historical World War One Mesopotamian action at Ctesiphon (22-25 November, 1915).  That battle, for its size, was probably one of the bloodiest history can show.  A reaction among the British soldiery was to render the name famous from antiquity into something more evocatively modern: 'Cpistupon'.  How could I possibly let that one go by?


  1. An interesting looking game with any enjoyable supporting narrative. Your hexed tabletop has certainly getting a work out since you made it.

    1. Not one's usual scenario! I'm glad I made that grid. it has proved a fine battleground.

  2. Fantastic looking battlefield Archduke. I do like the inclusion of troops from Madashatta

    1. I do confess that 'Madasahatta' is a steal - but it 'fits' the narrative and the geo-political background. The table map is drawn from a sketch of the original Ctesiphon battlefield.

  3. I imagine defeating expeditionary forces requires slowly grinding them down as you fall back. Eventually they will make a mistake and be left in a bad spot far from help......or they don't make the mistake and win!

    1. One of those is pretty much what happened in history! I'll finish the narrative in a day or two.