In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The General and the Faqir

The following is another installment in the highly irregular reminiscences of Brigadier General Pelham Gronville ("Plumy" to his friends) Wooster, VC, KCBE...

My old school friend Lord Englebert Chumleigh-Forstairs and his lovely wife Sara were visiting me at my bungalow in Simla during the hot season. I was telling Chummy about the hunting thereabouts when Sara noticed a rug on the veranda, where we were taking tea.

"Plumy, that is a lovely rug! Where ever did you get it?"

Good eye for the furnishings, our Sara. "Radu and I did a bit of shopping up country during the cold season. Radu spotted that and thought it would do nicely on the veranda here. Didn't you, Radu?"

Radu, my trusty Gurkha bat-man, was pouring the tea. "Oh indeed sahib. It was very nice of the Faqir to leave it behind for you."

Chummy was putting some jam on his scone and noticed Radu's slight smile. "Indeed? Sounds like there's a story behind it. Who's this chap leaving rugs laying about?"

"The Faqir of Fartibad."
Pathan left flank

"The Whosits of Whatsitsbad?" asks Sara.

Pathan center-right

"The Faqir of Fartibad. Sort of a holy man up the frontier. Just to the left of Pakhora, but if you get to Chiligrit, then you've gone too far and should turn about. Really, Chiligrit is such an unpleasant place one should turn about anyway."

view from Anglo-Indian left
"It was the usual nonsense, Chummy. This Faqir-chappie had his wind up about the Raj building railroads and telegraphs and whatnot and grumped about preaching jihad and generally making a nuisance of himself."

View from Anglo-Indian right
"So Delhi sent Jeeves and Radu and myself up there to give him a stern talking too and generally sort him out."

tribesman gather around a tower
"Well, the Faqir bolted like a badger back into his hole of Fartibad, and gathered in Usman Khan and the tribesmen to help him out. He'd also gotten the Wazir of Pakhora to show up with some chaps right out of Arabian Nights. All flowing robes and spears and such."

tribesmen in rocks anchor Pathan left flank
"Usman Khan had his fellows well covered in rocks and jungle and anchored on either hand by a fort and a tower. So we just went in to dig them out with the bayonet!"

Imperial advance begins
"The Sikhs opened the batting on the right by attacking some native Johnnies hiding among some rocks. This took quite a bit of effort actually"
Sikhs go in to clear the flank
"Then the Guides Cavalry made a long bowl up the center. Hallooing and whirling their sabers like fox-hunting dervishes."
The Guides charge in the center

"'Righto chaps! After them!' I shouted and lead the infantry up in support. Radu and myself were leading my old regiment, the Blandingshires to the left of the Gordon's."

Highlanders and Gurkhas advance in support

wider view of action in the center
"It was a bit of a go for the Gurkhas and Guides to clear the rocks in the center, while I set the Blandingshires to blaze away at the village."
Hand to hand in the center
"Then my blood froze as the gates of the fort swung open and a horde of tulwar whirling Ghazis rushed out, straight into our middles, screaming Allah Akbar! Their khyber knives thirsty for infidel blood."

Sara's eyes bugged out at this and she covered her gaping mouth. "Oh dear Plumy! Whatever did you do?"

Ghazis sortie from fort
"Well I only had time to say "Oh bother" to Radu when the gun commander slewed his screw guns about and gave them a blast of cannister! This sent the Ghazis packing."

spot of bother on the left
"Although everything was going swimmingly in the center, it was a bit sticky on the right with the Sikhs and the Borsets on the left had gotten into a spot of bother. They had moved up the foot of a mountain when out boiled the Wazir's spearwallahs. Major Bearsham held them to it manfully, but eventually one company went down."

Tribal cavalry counter attack to hold the Pathan left
"The Sikhs drove out the Pathan skirmishes but they'd barely caught their breath when some chaps on horse back came at them. Fortunately, the rocks helped them from being ridden down but it was more to-ing and fro-ing with bayonets and tulwars. It was only the Madras Pioneers coming up to help that decided things."
Fighting among the rocks

Lancers cover the flank of the guns

Highlanders in support

Gurkhas and Guides finish off the center
Madras Pioneers pile in to support the Sikhs

Vicious hand-to-hand among the rocks
"The good old Blandingshires and some Gurkhas cleared the village with vollies, bayonets and kukris. As we were generally clearing things up and securing the area, Radu had a bit of a poke about and came out of a mud hut with that very nice rug rolled up over his shoulder."

Blandingshires and Gurkhas clear the village
" 'I think this would be nice for your bungalow, General-Sahib' says he. Well, I find it generally best to leave my domestic arrangements in Radu's good hands, so there it is."

End game from Anglo-Indian right
"After that it was just a matter of leaving the Pioneers to get on with reducing the forts while the tea was brewed,really."
End game from Anglo-Indian left
This was a game I hosted last Saturday. It turned into an impromptu birthday party for me and the decision to have curry from our favourite Indian restaurant for the dinner decided the setting for our game of Black Powder. Patrick, Martin and Peter ran the Pathans, while the Made Padre, Scott and Mike ran the Imperial forces. I generally hosted and made mistakes about the rules. I really need some more tribesmen, and I really need to finish my Anglo-Indian casualty figures to mark hits.


  1. Jolly good show! Cracking AAR and eye-candy.

  2. Cracking stuff sir. Makes me want to drag my hill fort out and have some fun.

  3. Outstanding looking game! Love Black Powder as well. Excellent rules set.

  4. Fantastic Battle report & it looks like a good time had by all...oh less we forget, Happy Birthday!