The fully painted 66th went into action last night with a contingent of Bengal Lancers. Madhi George (as he prefers to be known) once again took command of his Madhist Beja tribesmen against the might of the British Army in our latest The Men Who Would Be Kings adventure in the desert!
We rolled up the Seek and Destroy mission, a punitive expedition to level a rebellious village. Both our Leader Traits rolls resulted in us both having a pretty useless bunch of officers in both forces!
The British set up for a rapid advance to the village, where the Madhists had two units of poor Unenthusiastic Irregular Infantry stationed in the village, with four units of stabby Fierce Veteran Beja Tribal Infantry rapidly coming to their rescue.
The British Regular Infantry quickly pinned the two Irregular Infantry units whilst the Bengal Lancers started demolishing the first building, reducing it to just one structure point in two turns.
Two units of Beja stormed up the right towards the British, one unit of Irregular Infantry inflicting the first casualties on the advancing British. The other unit of Beja on the right were proving stroppy and refused to advance at the double when ordered.
Unfortunately as the Bengal Lancers had not destroyed the building, it allowed the fourth unit of Beja Tribal Infantry to get into contact. A swift skirmish saw four casualties per side and the Beja pushed back.
The Lancers then finished demolishing the building, destroying the Irregular Infantry inside and exposing the Beja to the Cavalry's carbines...
In the centre one unit of Beja reached one of the British Regular units and quickly seven brave Englishmen became two and they were pinned down!
They did manage to rally next turn and added their two rifles to the fire from the other two Regular Infantry units, gradually knocking down the Madhists and pinning them down.
One unit of Beja did manage to unpin itself and get into contact, but the three brave natives faced twelve stout Englishmen with their dog and soon, only the Beja leader was left alive!
Fire from the other Regular Infantry unit had reduced the other Beja unit to just three and the Cavalry was picking off the one in the village with their carbines. At this stage I was quite pleased with how things were going, even though the last Beja Tribal Infantry unit had now decided to join the fray...
They attempted to charge the British line but came up short, looking down the barrels of twelve rifles...
A crash of gunfire and fifteen charging Beja became four pinned Native Infantry!
However, thing started to unravel a bit at this point...
The Unenthusiastic Native Infantry in the village, who had spent most of the game pinned down, got their ginger up and shot the Bengal Lancers and then three Regulars in the central infantry unit, pinning them, something they never recovered from.
The sole surviving Beja Leader (with a Swordsman trait) also managed to unpin and charged the two British in the centre, cutting them down before himself being shot.
And then that was the end of turn 12 and the game...
Checking the Victory Conditions, I scored 3 points for destroying one building and George scored 12 for having four buildings remaining and having destroyed two of my units! A resounding Madhist victory that will not go down well in Horse Guards...
Despite the one sided result, the game had felt much closer as we were playing it and it was great fun with some abysmal dice rolling by both myself and George! :-)
I had misread the victory conditions and thought I also was getting 2 points for destroying each enemy unit, which I wasn't, not that it would have changed my tactics much as there was little chance of me destroying many buildings without artillery, so my only real hope was to wipe out George's force, which I came quite close to (he ended with just five Beja out of the sixty four and the pinned Irregular Infantry). If only the British Regular's had rolled a couple more 5's and 6's on a more regular basis, victory would have been mine!
Off to buy a cannon now! :-)