GAJO Games

GAJO Happenings and Ramblings Blog

2012 - Number 11


The Fortress Looks Imposing Even Without A Garrison

Northwest Frontier:
The Sword & the Flame

The Colonial period constantly polls really high interms of interest for the regulars around the shop. And every time we do a survey of everyone's favorite rules / period, Colonials and the classic Sword and the Flame rules consistenly score very high. But we had not done a big organized game using them since we opened.

So Dennis took the plunge and organized a big game for the SNS group this month. Dave had a really cool colonial fortress sitting around that he seldom gets to use, so we worked up a scenario using the fortress, but a load of Pathan tribesmen to face off with a stalwart British & Indian force.

Steep Walls Confront Most Attacking Angles

Nearby Villages Also Offered Cover

The scenario was simple but elegant, envisioning that the main occupants of the fortress were off raiding, so the British decided to attack the fort in their absence. But the wily occupants were not far away, and filtered back when a spy disclosed the British plan. So you had a well manned fortress, plus a large number of Pathans arriving back into the area, which greeted the British forces as they approached.

Matt, who is very knowledgeable in the rules, brought a set of special activation cards tailored for the NW Frontier, which really aided in setting the right mood and reflecting the historical feel of that era / area. Dennis even provided "mood music"< including bagpipe marches and traditional Afghan music, to further set the atmosphere.

The Gate - A Tough Push to Storm

Detailed Interior of the Fortress

So how did the game go, you may ask? Well the British could be forgiven for being a bit afraid at the hordes of Pathans swarming around the fortress, but they manfully pushed forward, carrying their assault ladders and using their noted firepower in an attempt to thin the native ranks and sow some disorder before contact. When contact came, however, it was quickly apparant that the natives were in fine feddle on the day, and despite taking heavy casualties they charged and charged, overwhelming some of the British guns and pushing back even the vaunted Bengal Lancers.

In the end, despite lots of stiff upper lips, the British forces could make no headway against the very enthusiastic and reckless native hordes. Before any force could get close enough to put ladder against the fortress walls, it became clear that resistance was far too stiff on this day for the Empire to triumph. So the British forces fell back, determined to return when resistance was not quite so fanatical.

Inside a Nearby Village

The Garrison Mans the Walls

As you can see from the photos, it was a very visually appealing game with lots of action and entertainment value. I suspect this won't be our last adventure with this period and these rules!

Pathan Tribesmen Arrive

The Bengal Lancers Advance

The Defiant Garrison

Pathan Held Village

Pathans Skirmishing

Indian Sepoys Move Up

Steady, Disciplined Ranks Deploy

The British Seize an Unoccupied Village

Tribesmen Crest a Hill Toward The British Right

Warriors Advance to Contact

Closeup of the Gurkhas

Pathans Swarm Along the Battlements

British Advance in Column on Their Left

The Garrison Keeps Up a Lively Fire

Masses of Tribesmen Advancing

Stout Gurkhas Hold an Enclosed Area on the Flank

Wily Tribesmen Making Use of Cover

Fighting Near the Gate

British Advance with Their Clumsy Assault Ladders

Pathan Reserves Move Up

British Troops Approach the Fortress

Infantry Supports the Pathan Mounted

A View From the Pathan Rear

Clash of Mounted Forces

The Thin Khaki Line Holds, Barely

A Mountain Gun Battery is Overrun

The Bengal Lancers "Redeploy" to the Rear

Pathan Support Wave Advancing Despite Casualties

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