Friday, November 1, 2019

Long Live the Revolution - The Provincial Capital

The BARF forces on their start line as dawn breaks.
Following the capture of the regional capital, Madasaiwannabe, the Tchagai Rebellion/ War of Independence fell into something of a lull for several weeks.  The Rebel victory had cost dearly, and the Baluchistan Armed Revolutionary Front (BARF) army had just about to be rebuilt.  The Government forces had been even more comprehensively mangled; it would take months before the 22nd Punjanjoodi Battalion could be brought up to strength.  In the event, the BARF managed to assemble a sizeable force rather before the Government could.  

The Government defenders await the onslaught.

Despite his heavy defeat, Lt-Col E. Mugglethwaite not only kept his rank, but continued to hold his command.  The Court Martial had, to the Colonel's surprise and relief, been quite sympathetic.  The Rajistan Imperial Military Authority retained him in command, ordered him to gather what forces he could, and once more face the upstart rebellion.  He called upon the motorised 17th Choklit Ghandhi Battalion to replace the 22nd, and, to give his small force some heft, two squadrons from 6th Bananaramahputra Hussars.  They were equipped with Sherman tanks.  To round off his Brigade Group, the Colonel added two 25-pounder batteries from the 1st Tchagai Artillery Regiment.

Urgent rumour of BARF moves toward the Provincial capital, Maimajikwand, at the foot of the broad valley of the same name, Colonel Mugglethwaite made haste to secure the place before the rebels could arrive in force.  He was just barely in time.

Lt-Col Mugglethwaite trusts that his artillery and armour
will be enough to cover the plains flanking the town.

His army comprised:

Tchagai Counter-Revolutionary Armed Protectorate Brigade (CRAPB)

Command and HQ (scout car) = 6SP
17th Choklit Ghandhi Battalion:
     A Company = 4SP
     B Company = 4SP
     C Company = 4SP
     MG Platoon = 2SP
     Battalion Transport Pool: 4 trucks, e@2SP = 8SP
6th Bananaramahputra Hussars:
     A Squadron, M4 Sherman medium tanks = 3SP
     B Squadron, M4 Shermans = 3SP
1st Tchagai Artillery:
     A Battery, 25pr field guns, plus Quad prime movers = 2SP
     B Battery, 25pr field guns, plus Quad prime movers = 2SP

Total number of units, including infantry transport = 13.
Median = 7 (for determining activation)
Total strength points = 24 + 3D6 = 24 + 14 (Good roll!) = 38SP
Exhaustion Point = -13SP.

1. I wrongly failed to account for the 25pr prime movers, on the rather specious grounds that they were integral to each 25pr unit, so in effect the Army actually had 42SPs.
2. I didn't count the HQ vehicle as a separate unit.
3. All units were regarded as 'Average'.

Not a whole lot of cover available for the attackers!

Disappointed at his failure to seize the town unopposed, the self-styled Colonel Peenut Buttahjars (actually still holding the rank of rissaldar in the Army of Rajistan) drew up his considerable force a mile or so east of Maimajikwand.   Better equipped now than it had been in the previous action, the BARF army had managed to purloin from various Imperial sources (easy, when you have sympathisers 'inside',  to stage breakdowns and other assorted incidents) a couple of squadrons' worth of M3 Stuart light tanks, and a similar number of portee-mounted anti-tank guns.

His army comprised:

Baluchistan Armed Revolutionary Front (BARF) 

Command and HQ (light truck) = 6SP
7 Infantry companies each @ 4SP = 28SP
2 Mortar platoons @2SP, with carriers @ 2SP = 8SP
2 Light tank squadrons each @ 3SP = 6SP
1 6pr (medium) Anti-Tank battery @2SP, with portee mount @2SP = 4SP
1 2pr (light) Anti-Tank battery @2SP, with portee mount @ 2SP = 4SP

Total number of Units (including transports)  = 18
Median = 9
Total strength points = 30 + 6D6 = 30 + 26 (another fine roll!) = 56SP
Exhaustion Point = -19SP

Note: All units were classed as 'Average', except for the portee mounted anti-tank guns, which were classed as 'Poor'. This was to reflect their comparative vulnerability as fighting vehicles (they being engaged in this and subsequent battles whilst mounted).  I was later to discover that maybe the tank-anti-tank aspect of the rule set could use some refining.  That will be a topic for later.

The opening moves ...
An early hit on the BARF's only
'artillery' support!

Lieutenant-Colonel Mugglethwaite's overall plan was to defend the built up area with his infantry, whilst covering the open plains on either flank of the town with his armour and artillery. For his part, Colonel Peenut Buttahjars resolved upon the tried and true plan of his previous battle, a straightforward double envelopment. And see how the Imperialists like it!

BARF's double envelopment taking shape, though an
artillery stonk causes some loss to the 6pr AT battery.

To be continued...


  1. Game looks great and l really like the names .

    1. I'm having fun with both. I have a few more names in reserve...

  2. Fantastic looking game - I like the dense look of the City. As Tradgardmastare, I like the names of the Characters very much!

    1. I quite like my towns and cities, too: very... townish. Spoiler alert: there was a bit of urban fighting in this action - and even more in the next!

  3. I'm looking forward to seeing if the game moves faster without pinning.

    Regards, Chris

    1. Well anticipated: I dropped the pinning rule! It will probably stay dropped.

  4. A great battle seems to be developing, and I am looking forward to seeing whether the rebels will prevail, and at what cost.

    All the best,


    1. Oh, by the way, Bob - I thought I'd add one more 'step' to the campaign: 'The Sea Port'. Place called Khandibar...
      Cheers -

  5. You have left us hanging at an intriguing stage Ion!
    A good looking game and most entertaining write-up, what more could we want?

  6. Looking forwards to this one. Sorry for such a late response. Been quite busy what with work and dissertation. Quite concerning for the BARF to lose their artillery. Incidentally I have finally brought up from my home a couple of useful books. The first is a book on mountain and arctic warfare covering various battles and campaigns from the first world war to the Soviet conflict in Afghanistan. Also briefly covers earlier conflicts.

    Another more useful book is Battles with Model Tanks. Which should be quite useful.

    1. I noticed the '12' beside the comments list and thought 'wasn't it 11 last I saw?' The campaign is five battles deep now: I just have to write up the next three. The equipment in each battle is selected based in diced-for strength points. The attack always has more. But I have been wondering whether perhaps the defender ought to get a partial 'level-up' with fortifications and such (or perhaps the fortifications should come from the basic SP allocation). We might have to look into that.

      Is your 'Battles with model tanks' a Featherstone book? Can't say I've ever seen it myself. I've just read a review, which recommended it highly.

      A friend of mind bought the John Curry Produced print of Lionel Tarr's campaign and rule set. I believe it is a compendium of the Tarr rule set Don Featherstone printed in his War Games book, and other notes and pictures, including Orbats for German and Russian formations. Tarr's focus was in the East Front, beginning with the opening of Barbarossa. At the time Featherstone was writing, Lionel Tarr was setting up a Stalingrad battlefield.

    2. Yes it is indeed a Featherstone book, co authored by Keith Robinson. Quite interesting some of the actions it covers in detail. Surprising too in that it devotes detail to three WW1 actions, the same number as for WW2. With minimal post war coverage. Obviously though as it dates from 1979 it predates the major tank conflicts of the gulf war which I think were perhaps the next major displays of armoured power. Also it comes just as the newer generation of ATGMs was about to come through which perhaps might mean some of those rules will have to be adjusted. Certainly the wave of attack helicopters, increases in night and low visibility optics, as well as electronics and computing that started to come through in the 80s are another factor. One that has only become more important.

      Still might try and cobble together what I can on top of the base provided and improvise a few rules. Might even try out a game. Think I have enough now to represent a brief action between an Oronegrean armoured squad (two tanks, so half a platoon which is the standard) and a PAPA reserve tank platoon. Both sides getting infantry support.

    3. Much depends upon the command level of the battles you want to fight, and the scale. Do you prefer the one-to -one, or some form of scaling. My Army Men is 'one man one gun', but 3-4 Tanks is a squadron, rather than a troop, and 7-9 tanks a battalion or regiment. Infantry are similarly scaled.

      From memory, the Lionel Tarr system is roughly similar.

      In the portable war games, those 8-figure, 4-stand infantry units could represent anything from platoons to Divisions, though in this present campaign, they represent companies.

      The battles, then, are roughly Brigade-sized.

      Reverting to my Army Men thing, the scaling was further effected by a unit representing a parent formation. How this worked was that an infantry company, and it's battle, would be taken as representative of the action of the whole battalion, and would be recorded as such in the battle narrative.

    4. One to one, not really ready for simulating a conflict between the two. Just a smallish border skirmish, Not sure if I will use the Spetsnaz in this instance. Would give the PAPR an extra boost, but could also keep it as reservists/militia to simulate one of those, plausible deniability type events.

      Given the border between the two would be mountainous jungle perhaps it is somewhat lawless. Both sides sending in irregular troops to test the others defences. Then when complaints come in they fall back on "was merely volunteers and vagabonds, nothing to do with us."

    5. A modern version of the Tudor era England/Scotland border, then. Sounds good!