Unexpectedly, Pathan tribesmen have debouched from the Bulgur Pass to threten the British rear areas which are supplying the field force in Ahoogastan. Colonel (Brevet Brigadier) Campbell has sent all of his first line troops through the Augur Pass clearing the road through to Barfus. Can the loungers in the rear echelon hold off the fierce Ahoogastani tribesmen?

Game 3 in our North Central Frontier Campaign

The Defense of JellyBad!

Played February 7, 2004

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Pathan commanders, left to right: (ignore that partial figure of the game-master on the left), Phil Young - all in black, Jim Pitts reading orders, Bill Reiman - in red shirt, Eric Betts - wearing OD cap in back-ground. Fred Diamond (Pathan commander) is out of sight to right. You can see two of walled "compounds" out in the slum areas, one of which is occupied by Indian troops making a hasty defense.

The Anglo-Indian players were:
Col Whitfield, Post commander -- Robert Whitfield (also 3rd Indian Company Commander)
1st Indian Company Commander -- John Murdaugh
2nd Indian Company Commander -- Bill Reiman
3rd Indian Company Commander -- Robert Whitfield
Highland Company Commander -- Ed Sansing
Artillery Commander -- Robert Whitfield

The Pathan players were:
The Evil Khan Abbis - Fred Diamond (Supreme war leader - also leader of Fourth hill clan)
War chief - First hill clan - Eric Betts
Hill chief - Second hill clan - Jim Pitts
Hill chief - Third hill clan - Phil Young
Hill chief - Fourth hill clan - Fred Diamond
Hill chief - Fifth hill clan - Bryan Thompson

The GAMEMASTER - Jay Stribling

Photo by Ed Sansing

The Nabob's palace which stands outside citadel near the Jelly gate. The Highlanders occupied this structure with a platoon. Unknown to them, a 20-man unit of Pathans have been hidden in the basement of the same structure!

Photo by Ed Sansing

JellyBad consists of the walled citadel and the outer "slum" areas of lesser construction. This photo shows part of the "slums" north of the citadel.

Bill Reiman (on left) and John Murdaugh (right) are setting up their native troops in the "slums". Bill and John occupied two walled compounds and they defended them like walled fortresses. The deployment limits set by the game master required one company to be set up in "the slums" ouside of the Citadel. Col. Whitfield increased this to three companies (75% of the defending forces).

Photo by Ed Sansing

The post commander, Colonel Whitfield, stands on the porch of the residency inside the citadel. He listens with alarm to the first shots of the battle. A mounted aide-de-camp spurs for the main gate to find out what is going on.

Some weeks ago, a mild earthquake has caused a portion of the citadel wall to collapse. Beyond doing some mild rubble-clearing, Colonel Whitfield has not yet begun reconstruction work on the walls.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The gunners and heliograph crews atop the gate house. These boys took some casualties due to Pathan rifle bullets, but their Gatling gun and cannos never ceased firing. The heliograph crew flicker frantically to try to signal the cavalry patrol that was not due back till the next day.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Another view, slightly later in the game, of the top of the fortification above the Jelly gate. Several of the Gatling gunners are casualties. The heliograph crew had made contact with the outlying cavalry patrol and it would have entered on the east side of the game table had another turn been played. The Cannons had limited ammunition (4 turns fire) but there was plenty of ammo for the Gatling gun. Several of the artillerists moved to the Gatling to keep up the rate of fire, since it commanded the breach in the walls of the citadel.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Suddenly the enemy hidden in the basement of the Nabob's palance erupts from hiding and engages the Highlanders. The kilted Scotsmen were taken by surprise and their musketry caused only light casualties on the natives, but with fixed bayonets they pushed their enemy back down the stairs.

On the second turn of the game a furious charge with claymores and bayonets all but eliminated the Pathans. The two survivors squeezed out of windows and ran away with terrible tales to tell of the soldiers in skirts!

An Overview of the Game

It was a good game, but the game master probably weighted it a bit too much in favor of the British/Indian players. We called it "JellyBad" and the gate was, of course, the "Jelly Gate".

The Imperials had 8 infantry units, two guns and a Gatling gun. Each player had 2 units, all indian except for one "company" of highlanders. Robert Whitfield was the commander in chief and had the artillery and Gatling along with his 2 indian infantry units. The Artillery only had 4 turns of ammo, but the machine gun had unlimited ammunition.

The other players were John Murdaugh (2 indian units), Bill Reiman (2 Indian units), and Ed Sansing, (2 Scots units). I required that one of the Indian companies be "cantoned" outside of the walls but the British commander set up both John and Bill outside. Colonel Whitfield also deployed Ed and his two Scots platoons outside the wall.

The Pathans had 15 units, most of which had rifles. These were organized into five brigades, three units each. In addition, one brigade had a mounted unit added in, and three brigades each had a cannon, with two turns of ammo.

Pathans were Fred Diamond (commander-in-chief), Ed Sansing, Phil Young, Bryan Thompson, and Jim Pitts.

Fred and Phil spent their game attempting to take two of the outlying compunds, each filled with two Indian units. They were unsuccessful and lost pretty much all their men, while killing about half of each Indian force.

Bryan raced for the breach in the walls and might have gotten through it but fancy gatling-gun work from the gate tower killed every unit leader and his war band leader! Leaderless, his men only moved about every other turn and Whitfield sliced and diced them with the Gatling gun and one Indian platoon.

On turn three a Pathan unit erupted from secret hiding places inside the wall, having been smuggled in as "servants" over the past week. Colonel Whitfield was too cool to be rattled, and one of his Indian platoons raced down the stairs bayonetting the Ahoogastanis as they went.

On the other side of the compound a severely attrited Pathan unit attempted to scale the wall with grappling hooks and ropes, but an Indian platoon threw them back at bayonet's point with little trouble.

The Scots, under Ed Sansing, were set up in and around one of the outer buildings and they found a Pathan unit lurking in the basement of their building. After a nasty piece of work with cold steel in the dark, the Scots drove them out.

The other Scots unit was attacked by two Pathan infantry units and a mounted unit, and lost the resulting close combat. It was routed by the mounted Pathan clan and was high-tailing it towards the Jelly Gate. Colonel Whitfield had no intention of opening that gate, so the poor Scots remnant was on it's own, pursued by Eric Bett's Pathan remnants and Jim Pitt's Pathan forces. The rest of the Scots were holed up in the building that they had taken back from the Pathans and contented themselves with trading an occasional shot with Jim Pitt's Ahoogahstani forces.

Since only a few Pathans got inside the walls, and those were in the process of being exterminated, it was an Imperial victory. However, it was an embarrassing one, since the artillery park (10 guns) outside the walls, was over-run and at least some of those guns would have been towed away by the Pathans.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The remainder of Eric Betts' Pathans enter the table, two more groups of infantry and one of cavalry. Some of these infantry managed to get into the dead ground at the foot of the citadel walls and, using ropes and steel hooks, scaled the walls.

The trusty Indian platoon at the top dispatched them.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Jim Pitt's hill clan enters through a building that looks more south seas than Indian. Obviously of temporary construction since the earthquake, it was thoroughly looted but hand nothing of value.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Phil Young's war band with three more groups enter from the western edge. They assaulted Bill Reiman's Indian troops in a fortified compound with little success. Phil's casualties were light untill the last turn when his carefully prepared assault was thrown back with high casualties.

At this point, the Pathans decide to go back over the pass with their captured guns and whatever else they could find. They never really got anybody into the fortress, despite the breach in the walls. The unit on the inside that had been secreted in the basement of one of the buildings was in a box, as it was under fire and could not get out.

Lessons Learned in our third campaign game
On the North Central Frontier

  1. The British/Indian forces need to have better operational security, although when the game-master decides to have a surprise attack, there is going to be a surprise attack!
  2. Never assume that buildings in your rear are secure unless you have investigated them yourself!
  3. Col. Whitfield's estimate of the force neccesary to hold the citadel itself was very accurate. The fortified gatehouse proved to be a wonderful artillery/Gatling gun platform and fire from it cut away at every target in view.
  4. This was not a good terrain for cavalry, yet the one unit given to the Pathans proved it's worth, driving shaken units into rout with a charge. However rifle fire from the indian unit on the walls quickly shot the cavalry into impotence.
  5. The British seemed to make a mistake in putting 75% of the garrison outside the citadel, but Col. Whitfield's plan became clear when the units outside the fortifications occupied and destroyed most of the Pathans. If all the forces had been IN the citadel, there would not have been as good a field of fire.
  6. The Pathans should have aimed more troops at the citadel instead of at the minor buildings in "the slums" outside of it. The game master acknowledges responsibility here in not making the citadel the sole victory condition, although it was the most important one.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Only a few of Hill Chief Eric Betts' brave Pathans make it to the wall and throw their grapples to try to climb to the top. There is a platoon of Indian infantry at the top, held there in reserve by Colonel Whitfield.

Photo by Ed Sansing

The brave Indian platoons defending the wall get a nasty surprise when they are surprised from behind by the infiltrated Ahoogastanis. One British officer remarked: "There WERE a lot more of those servant types around, than there had been previously..."

Photo by Ed Sansing

Pathans close on the front gate, pushing Eric's routed highlanders ahead of them.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Hill Chief Phil Young's men take casualties as they trade fire with Bill Reiman's platoon of Indian infantry.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Pathans, under the command of Khan Abbis himself take half of one of the fortified courtyards. This is as far as they got, the attackers being reduced to under 50% and then failing morale.

Photo by Ed Sansing

A close thing as the Ahoogastani forces under command of Phil Young make one last effort - in vain! The trusty sepoys pushed them back.

Photo by Ed Sansing

An overall shot showing the size of the citadel. This is a marvelous terrain piece made by Vince Clyant of The London War Room. All of the buildings and walls are owned by Mark Stevens and leant to us for this game.

Photo by Ed Sansing

Knife work on top of the wall! These Pathans, and a few more, scaled the wall with grappling hooks, but were pushed off by the Indian troops defending the top.

Soon we will fight our next game on the North Central Frontier. A quite different game:

The Assault on Khan Abbis' Lair

Go to "Blast those Pesky Tribesmen" - Our first "North Central Frontier" Battle

Go to "The Road to Barfus" - Our second "North Central Frontier" Battle

Go to "The Assault on Khan Abbis' Lair - Our fourth "North Central Frontier" Battle

Go to our Colonial Period Page

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