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!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Disaster at Dari Wada

Gave my NWF army lists a road test this weekend with Patrick. I also wanted to finally give some cavalry and artillery a try too. Patrick was new to the rules, and with the other new things I decided upon a straight forward game with a small Imperial force attacking a tower controlling a valley.

After discussion on the Sharp Practice Facebook page and seeing how few Pathans I got vs. the Anglo-Indian forces, I increased the cost of Imperial infantry by 4 points per group. I also ran the Pathans entirely as skirmishers as suggested by one of the group members.

The Anglo-Indian force had:

  • 3 groups of Green British infantry with a level 3 and level 1 Big Men
  • 2 groups of Gurkhas with a level 2 and level 1 Big Men
  • 1 group of Bengal Lancers with a level 1 Big Man
  • 1 screw gun with a level 1 Big Man

For his 10 support points Patrick took a water carrier, an ammunition mule, a Chaplain and upgraded his artillery commander to level 2.

The Pathans had:

  • 14 groups of skirmishers with a level 3 and 6 level 1 Big Men divided into 7 formations

For my 5 support points I took 5 sangars. Although a Holy Man or secondary Deployment Point would have come in handy.

My DP was behind the tower and out of sight so as my formations came on they were able to deploy with the sangars on either side of the tower. One group occupied the tower. Another formation went up the mountain on my right to snipe at the British. Two other formations went left.

Pathans mass around the tower of Dari Wada
The Gurkhas came on first and pushed straight to the tower.

Gurkhas advance

Patrick deployed the screw gun to support them on a small knoll. The Lancers went to his left to contest the narrow defiles at the foot of the mountain. The British infantry formed a firing line in front of the gun.

Screw gun gets into action

Pathans skirmishing on the mountainside
As the Lancers maneuvered to get ready to charge they had a few saddles emptied by musketry from the defile and the mountain side.
Lancers getting fired upon
Meanwhile I had pushed a formation out to my left to try and attack the British from the open ground. The Screw gun quickly swung into action and blasted them with canister. The British infantry then formed a firing line and unloaded a couple of volleys before they could activate. The 4 survivors out of the 12 man formation fled away with about 28 shock points and no leader!
"Action front!" Screw gun blasts some advancing tribesmen with canister
The Lancers then charged down the defile before my tribesmen could reload (thus the dramatic musket smoke). Surprisingly, my tribesmen were only defeated 4 to 3. I could afford to lose 4 tribesmen, whereas losing 3 Lancers hurt Patrick very badly. More musketry as they retired reduced the unit even further to one sowar and the Big Man.
Lancers charge into the musket smoke
This allowed me to shift two formations out  of their sangars and start sweeping around the Imperial left. The Gurkhas had retired with excess shock after a bitter firefight with the tribesmen in and around the tower. So they started shifting to cover the Imperial left flank.
British getting outflanked on their left
But I was able to get two groups to swoop down on the Imperial Deployment Point, dramatically butchering camp followers. A Random Event left them with a fortuitously covering Pall of Smoke between them and the Gurkhas.
Overrunning the British Deployment Point
In the meantime, I was also sending another formation of two groups further to my left to outflank the Imperials from the big hill overlooking their right flank too.
British getting outflanked on their right too!
Forming a square
It was getting late by this time and the Imperial force was down to 6 or 7 Force Morale, and I was only down to 9. Time for the British to retire back to the main column.
Over view at game's end
So far so good I thought. The points seem balanced. Playing an entirely skirmisher army is interesting. I could have been more aggressive as the Pathan player too I think. I let a few opportunities slip by because I was unsure how things would work, and I wanted to see how some situations would play out. Getting some more troops in the initial list and then purchasing the gun as a Support Option might have been a way to go too. Although the Chaplain did rally several shock off the Gurkhas keeping them in the game.


  1. What mods are you using for Sharp Practice to extend it to approximately 1897?

    Looks like a fun little game, otherwise.

    1. I linked to my NWF Army lists in the first line.
      Otherwise no modifications. Just Hugh cost for the British to be armed with breech loading rifles.

  2. That's a beautiful looking game, and it sounds like a lot of fun too. Congrats on your fine fine-tuning.

  3. Great pictures and AAR. An all-skirmisher force is an interesting development.