Monday, December 4, 2017

Basmati's Hill Fort and Plain of Sorrows Battles


THE NAWAB BASMATI'S LAST STAND?

Date: 2 December, 1757 (2017)
Location: Southeast India, The Carnatic, Near Arcot
Situation: The Battle for Basmati's Hill Fort and The Plain of Sorrows
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Regime 1740-1763 known as BAR.
See oldregimerules.com for information about the rules.
                          
Cast 

The French and Allies
Bill P.              Guru 
Bill P.              Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy
Michael M.    l'Comte de Lally
Earl K.            Nawab Basmati    
Dan W.           Brigadier of Mercenaries

The British and Allies
Jim P.             Colonel Robert Clove
Keith L.          Rajah Ruttin Tuttin
Keith J.          Brigade Commander 

Seated Left to Right: Keith J., Earl K. and Keith L.
Standing Left To Right: Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) Michael M., Dan W. and Bill P. (Yours truly and Chronicler of The Adventures of General Pettygree)

Music 
Jerry Goldsmith      The Wind and The Lion and The Mummy, 
Maurice Jarre          Lawrence of Arabia
John Williams         The Planets by Holst
Alan Silvestri           The Mummy Returns

THE PLAIN OF SORROWS
L'BATAILLE SUR LA GAUCHE
The Battle on the Left

Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy: 

"My uneasiness to engage Mr. Clove's British Contingent on The Plain of Sorrows was apparent to those closest to me. It was not because I feared him. Rather, it was because of our ally with whom I was ordered to accommodate."

"The Nawab Basmati though agreeing with my advice for months in the end might ruin everything.  His precipitous advance upon Madras in August where we were bested was only one example."

"The last was his decision to await events barricaded within his Hill Fort while Mr. Clove and I traded volleys. Was this treachery, cowardice or a clever means to survive at my expense? You may judge after reading my account. It began this way...."

 Aide de Camp Captain Maurice d'Ars

"Monsieur l'General. Mr Clove's Army approaches. Native horsemen precede two infantry brigades with artillery. They will appear on The Plain of Sorrows within the hour."

"I sent d'Ars to l'Comte de Lally ordering...."

"The Army to advance preceded...."

"By our horsemen (left) who cleared The Plain of Sorrows of enemy cavalry. We were cheered by this success."

"Our heaviest brigade of four battalions in two lines was posted on our right. Unseen to the left are three more battalions."


"The British Contingent came forward with their Right against my Left. Our Sepoys valiantly held the end of the line slowing the foe. Seeing this impediment, Colonel Clove threw two Sepoy Battalions of his own supported by a brace of Six Pounders against them."


"Colonel Clove observed the whole of this inevitable affair."
Photo courtesy of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz)

"A large Highland Battalion held the Center en echelon while the 60th Foot refused his Left beside an unfordable stream."

"The British attack favored them in almost every way. Volleys were well-timed and effective. Two  battalions were thrown back in early fighting. Our losses nearby were also considerable. Indeed l'Comte de Lally sought me out inferring in the politest way that the battle was lost and to save the Army. I ordered him to remain in place a little longer hoping for a turn of luck."

"However, our fortunes became worse upon the arrival of  Captain Valmiens, our liaison at Nawab Basmati's Hill Fort."

"Monsieur l'General, I beg to report conditions at the Hill Fort. The Basmati's pickets have been beaten back by a force two to three times his numbers. I only just got away before the enemy reorganized within a musket shot of the walls for what we assumed would be a coup de main."

"The end for us had come. I ordered my drummers to sound l'Retraite."
(The retreat)

"It was time to get away and recover what we could. Silently I began to think about a plan to march to the sea if necessary to save the Army. "

"An opportunity arose later to discuss the battle with Colonel Clove."
Photo courtesy of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz)

He said, " My tactic was to employ a refused left wing attacking with a weighted right wing. It appeared the best French battalions were facing our left so I was content to let them attack us in that area waiting for them to come to us. At the same time, it appeared that that French Sepoys and lesser quality combatants were facing our right wing so I wanted to load up against them."

"If we could overcome the French left and turn it back, then we possibly could force the French right back into the river-jungle area cutting them off or force a retreat."

THE HILL FORT
L'BATAILLE SUR LA DROITE
The Battle on the Right
Captain Valmien's Report to de Bussy


"Nawab Basmati's first line consisted of a large body of archers. These were engaged by enemy musket men in Rajah Ruttin Tuttin's Advance Guard."

"At first the archers held their own."

"But...."

"Then the foe's Main Body began arriving."

"Pushing forward with speed."


"Supported by elephants."

"Elephant threats in the form of feigned charges turned our flank." 


"It was too much to bear. Our allies began fleeing to the fort."



"But there was hope. Basmati's Household Guard arrived to reinforce us."

"Within the compound there was disorder."

"Order out of chaos was restored while the enemy paused to reorganize and place attackers on two sides of the fort. I thought a coup de main would occur."

" However, in the distance I saw the enemy commander whom I later learned was The Raja Ruttin Tuttin confer with Basmati's Guru. It was not long before parley flags were raised by both sides. At this time I mounted my horse to report to you per my orders."

THE FATE OF NAWAB BASMATI


"Your Excellency, Colonel Clove presents his compliments and terms."

"He desires that you disarm our Army except for Palace Guards, reject the alliance with Louis XV and become a vassal of The Britannic King. We may retain our flags, two small cannon within the Hill Fort and your Governorship as a gesture of thanks for your acceptance of these terms."

"It is the gift of Kali."

CLOSING REMARKS
1) Preparation, photos, dialogue, the game itself, our companionable players and chow made this a fun day. Thank you sincerely mon tres cher amis!

2)The game started at 10:00 am finishing at 2:30 pm. Eight turns were played on The Plain of Sorrows while eleven turns elapsed in the Hill Fort area. We paused at noon for lunch and at 1:30 pm for birthday cake celebrating December birthdays for Jim P. and Michael M.; a tradition we have. Throughout we munched on snacks and beverages supplied by players or their generous wives.

3) This is a long After Action Report. Best you consider going back to reread and view images again to immerse yourselves in the fun of Seven Years' War India tabletop gaming. By the way, did you notice that almost all natives were miniatures General Pettygree typically fights on the NW Frontier in the late 1890s? Using them in two time periods is a wonderful thing.

4) Thank you sincerely for looking in. Blog writers really appreciate your interest.

5) Love to read your comments below. Don't just be a lurker, if you please.

******************************************************************

Friday, December 1, 2017

Nawab Basmati's Last Stand?


THE NAWAB BASMATI'S LAST STAND?

Date: 2 December, 1757 (2017)
Location: Southeast India, The Carnatic, Near Arcot
Situation: The Battle for Basmati's Hill Fort and The Plain of Sorrows
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Regime 1740-1763 known as BAR.
See oldregimerules.com for information about the rules.
                            
Cast 

Guru
Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy
Nawab Basmati
Colonel Armand l'Honneur

THE HILL FORT --- BEFORE THE BATTLE


"Mansur, I see them. The Household of Nawab Basmati is coming to help.
Shabash!"

"Yes. Horsemen rivaling those of the Europeans, swordsmen, musket men and supplies.

"But....look in the distance what enters The Plain of Sorrows."

"I see them bhai (brother); the Advance Guard of The British Contingent come to slay us." 

"A gift from Kali for our failure to capture Madras in August. Go tell the Nawab."

"No. You do it. I'll keep watch for our French Allies."

Ten minutes later.

"Oh Great Nawab. Save us from the infidels!" 

"The light of Kali illuminates us.
Will you consult the Guru for its meaning?"


 Thirty-five minutes later.

"Greetings and peace honored Guru."

"Colonel Robert Clove's Army approaches. What shall we do?'

"As I have foreseen. Of course my plan is to let the infidels eliminate each other again. You did not allow enough time for this at The Battle of Madras. This is why you must hold your Hill Fort until the last extremity or the sun setting. In this way I have manipulated the French and British to fight to the death on The Plain of Sorrows."

"I'm not sure the Frenchman de Busy will be so easily misled again. And if we lose?"

"Then it will be the gift of Kali. Return to your fort."

"Good bye."

"Thank you for your adulation my children. 
The Guru's plan will consume the Europeans."  

"Thank you.   Thank you.    Now go to your posts."

Basmati's silent thoughts:
"I do not think the British would ever trust me as an ally but if we lose and they summon me to obedience, that with a rich tribute to Clove would be a gift from Kali too. I wonder...."


EN-ROUTE TO
THE PLAIN OF SORROWS

Colonel Armand l'Honneur et Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy


"Monsieur l'General, is it true the Nawab Basmati's remnant of an Army has secluded itself in the environs of his stone Hill Fort?" 

"Oui mon tres cher Armand. He will not stand beside us and leaves the hardest fighting versus Mr. Clove to us. Whether this is cowardice or treachery I do not know. We must be vigilant and mindful to save our Army. Indeed we may need to fight our way to the sea if the day goes against us."


CLOSING REMARKS

1) Sincere thanks to Earl K. for  imagineering thoughts and plans for Nawab (Governor) Basmati and the Guru.

2) Come back soon for our AAR.

3) What do you think of the changed way to do After Action Reports by personalities interacting with each other through dialogue?

4) Your remarks are welcome below at the word Comments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5) I had a question about the height of Nawab Basmati's elephant made by Redoubt.
See the photo below.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Monday, August 7, 2017

What Happened At The Battle of Madras


THE BATTLE OF MADRAS

Date: 5-6 August, 1757 (2017)
Location: Southeast India, The Carnatic, Inland From The Port of Madras
Situation: The Battle
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Regime 1740-1763 known as BAR.
See oldregimerules.com for information about the rules.
                              
Cast 

Guru
Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy
Nawab Basmati
Colonel Armand l'Honneur

BEFORE THE BATTLE

Nawab Basmati,  have you baited the French General?

 I have my Guru. 

We saw how proudly he processed his army before us and now....

He has formed two battle lines on our left.
These will surely advance to engage the English any moment.

And?

As our plan prescribes, we will advance slowly so our allies have the honor to cast themselves first upon the English. This way we will better know if we should engage the foe --- or not.

Good. --- Very good. 
We will rid our world of both the Engleesch and French.


l'BATAILLE DE MADRAS, INDE

What have you to say?

Monsieur l'General, we beg to report....

The enemy is advancing toward us. --- Only us.

Andre, gallop to Basmati. Give him my compliments and my desire that his army should advance at once.

Victor, ride along the first line telling the Colonels to advance at ten of the clock. Have the battery give fire when practicable.

Oui Monsieur. Votre serviteurs.

FAR LEFT FLANK

Captain! Enemy hill tribe horsemen are galloping unhesitatingly in our direction! Even now they are clashing with our forward native screen --- pushing them back.

Return to your squadrons at once. Have them....

Draw sabers and charge!

I can't believe what has happened. 
My dragoons have been annihilated. 
Hold them chasseurs!

Captain! The enemy is going for the battery. 

Why doesn't Albanie fire! What is happening?

The crew was all cut down. The hill tribesmen were ecstatic.

But the foe overextended themselves in their jubilant triumphs. Just as they were about to take stock of their success, our own hill tribesmen reengaged and sent them reeling backwards. Perhaps there was a blood feud to resolve or simply the desire to have a good sword fight to redress the earlier humiliation.

Whatever it was, Battalion de Fischer restored the far left flank. The tide of enemy horsemen ebbed and thankfully returned from whence it had come. Still, it had been quite a shock.

THE CENTER

Batallion Albanie guarding the left of the Army's center.
Two battalions de Bussy are seen in the distance advancing toward the foe.

Late in the morning Basmati sent his green sashed musket men forward because....

The enemy beckoned, hurled insults and postured before them.

 The range between them shortened.

Basmati ordered reserves forward; swordsmen identified by their green sashes, his Household Guard musketeers clad in white and war elephants.

The critical moment of the battle had arrived.

Two battalions of French infantry came up on their left.
2 de Bussy in the upper left and Albanie in the lower right.

2 de Bussy would eventually rout the enemy archers.

However, Albanie retired because the French Left Flank by now was solely protected by Fischer's Battalion falling back under new pressure. Plus new enemy forces were en-route to turn Albanie's flank. Nothing could be done about it. Nothing.

THE RIGHT FLANK

Events just described took place to the upper left of next photos.
Here on the Right Flank Colonel Armand l'Honneur had his own concerns; guarding the army's line of communication and if necessary, retreat. 

Move your grey sashed musket men forward of the abandoned village. 
I will form behind you with my Sepoys.

After the abandoned village was to my immediate left, a horde of the enemy appeared.

En avant mes amis! (Advance my friends)

To my astonishment the enemy hillmen were replaced by a British regular battalion. We pressed the enemy because Basmati's forces had finally come forward. (The Green Sashes mentioned earlier are in the upper left of the photo.)

But....

Minutes later I noticed my French comrades and Basmati's forces begin to retire from the distant main battlefield. Only afterwards did I learn that our Left Flank was in grave jeopardy and therefore, the battle had been lost. My orders required protecting our way out. So I too ordered a withdrawal.


THE RETREAT

This way home Captain?

Oui Monsieur.

Survivors retreat along their line of communication back to Arcot.

Armand, I am delighted to see you again. No injuries?

None Monsieur l'General. I am unscathed thank God.

You have my unlimited thanks for preserving our way home.

What of the Nawab's men?

They retreated by a different route in some haste.

So we are on our own.

********************************************************************

CLOSING REMARKS

(1) Were all of the miniatures fielded germane to Seven Years' War India? No. They did not have to be. Only three were; British and French Sepoy battalions and the archers. The rest were Pathans and Indians we use on the Northwest Frontier. Regulars were actual European units; Fischer's Battalion for example. Two battalions of Grenadiers de France portrayed de Bussy's own men. Jim P., Der Alte Fritz, and I supplied units for the game.

(2) One remark at the game was this is so very different because of the multitude of native units present. Well, they should be numerous but again, don't have to be. 

(3) Photos do not reveal that some Pathans have 1890s rifles. No matter. We didn't notice or care. We use what we have. Close is good enough.

(4) Check out Indus Miniatures for all kinds of Indians suitable for the Seven Years' War. The company has offered a sizeable discount in October for several years.

(5) Six players. Thirteen turns.

(6) This is the 10th Anniversary of the publication of BAR. Hurrah!!! I have some copies left.

(7) Thank you sincerely for looking in. We gratefully welcome your thoughts below at the word Comments, if you please.


*********************************************************************