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Saturday, 16 November 2013

First Foray Onto The NW Frontier

So, it's Saturday and the missus has toddled off to her school reunion wot she has organised via Facebook, so me and Cameron were left at home on a cold day with nowt special planned.

Now, he's been watching with interest as I paint my NW Frontier models and today was asking about them, so I dragged out the old Kenneth Moore movie classic 'NW Frontier' to watch after lunch. Obviously, as he's 5 with the attention span of a gnat, I fast-forwarded the dialogue-heavy bits and focused on the action and he LOVED it.

So, when I asked if he'd like a game using my NW Frontier models after we'd dashed to Sainsburys, he was well up for it!

So, we got back, I left him in the lounge with a snack and set up the table... Apologies for photo quality, as I'm using my old Nokia (the missus has the camera) The table is covered with a piece of upholstery vinyl I picked up from the market. Truth to tell, it's a bit too dark and a bit too 'yellowy-brown', but it's still cheaper, easier to store  (and quicker to do) than making 8x4 foot of sand-covered MDF. I may see if I can sponge print it with some lighter colours, as I think the material would take paint and still roll up. I will test the edges (I actually bought 3 metres length) and see. But it did fine today as it was.

The Imperial forces consisted of 10 British infantry (incl Sergeant Cameron as force leader) accompanied by 4 Sikhs (including a Havildar - the Indian Army equivalent of Sergeant, for those for whom Colonial gaming is a mystery) who had to secure the safety of two supply wagons in their care and drive off any Pathans who attempted to molest them.

They were opposed by 26 Pathans, of whom 8 were 'marksmen' and 10 were sword-armed Ghazis, with the balance being rifle/sword armed warriors. Their job was to loot the wagons and kill all the British/Indian troops.

I used a 'make it up as you go along' ruleset based mainly on Legends of the Old West, with some Warhammer-isms thrown in. I made the British troops uber-good with shooting, as this was supposed to be 1897 and they would have had Lee Metford magazine rifles, whose range and rate of fire blew anything the Pathans had out of the water! They were therefore allowed to move and fire and did not need to reload. The Sikhs were not allowed to move and fire but did not need to reload, as they were armed with Martini Henrys.

The Pathans were not allowed to move and fire and they did have to reload, as I treated them as having Enfields or Jezails. This meant that, in the first few turns, once the Brits reached the village and began defensive fire, they killed tribesmen like there was no tomorrow. The Pathans could do little in return, although I had bad dice on a few turns of shooting.

Sergeant Cameron of the North Cambridgeshire Light Infantry prepares to defend the village to the last

Despite serious losses from deadly Anglo-Indian shooting, the Pathans are closing with the walls

However, once the Tribesmen reached the wall, it became a different tale and the vicious hand-to-hand fighting went the tribesmen's way...
Vicious hand-to-hand fighting erupts round the walls

Sergeant Cameron's breezy smile betrays a certain anxiety as Pathans gain a foothold inside the village

The battle hangs in the balance

...until the British soldiers who had been on the roof of one of the houses launched a fierce counter-attack. At this point, both forces were testing courage each turn, but superior training gave the Brits an edge here and the Pathan force quit the field leaving only two of the Brits alive with the supply wagons. It had been a close run thing!! 
The Pathans are taking courage tests and most of their survivors have 'run for the hills'
The lone British survivors! The Pathans have been driven off and the victory won!
Sergeant Cameron died bravely, surrounded on all sides by 4 enemy warriors (who he actually beat off in one round of combat!) and will receive the Victoria Cross for his heroism!!

I obviously helped Cameron with tactical advice ("Just go into the village...if you don't, your force will be dead in 3 turns!" and  "Line the walls and shoot with as many men as possible" - to be fair, he decided for himself to get men on the roof!)
This pic says it all!!!!
It was a lovely way to pass an hour on a dull, cold Saturday. Cameron really enjoyed himself and we are going to have another game tomorrow morning!


Andrew Saunders said...

nice to see the next generation getting involved

legatus hedlius said...

What an excellent way to the spend the afternoon!

I used to enjoy games with my son until he discovered the X box, sadly.

AHunt said...

That's fantastic. My boys love playing X-Wing with me, and we've done some mini gaming with their lego guys. It's priceless.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Really nice table and way to get the child involved!


Matt said...


What a superb blog post and an excellent looking game! Good to hear that you and little'un are having so much fun with toy soldiers.

It's becoming an uphill struggle to get anyone here interested in toys. It's suddenly about as 'cool' as ... well, something that's very un-cool! o_O

Look forward to seeing more soon.


Moiterei_1984 said...

I see the next 'Strategos' growing up.

Thomas Nissvik said...

Lovely way to spend a Saturday. Get them while they are young and impressionable and they will come back to the hobby again after the unaviodable pause when they discover beer and girls.

Dalauppror said...

Greate looking game, seems that you son liked the game.

Best regards Michael