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Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Anglo-Russian War: The British Indian Forces at the Battle of Malana

"Send another wire to Headquarters: //Situation a bit sticky in Malana. STOP. Things are pretty sticky up there. STOP. Would you mind sending some troops? END// Yep, that should do."

As mentioned last time, though not officially declared, war has come to the disputed territory between the Russian Empire and the British Raj in the Princely State of Chaimbellistan. The advanced elements of the 2nd Siberian Corps, under the command of General Baron Georgii Karlovich Stackelberg are advancing on the town (village) of Malana which is lightly held.

Maharaja Tukoji Rao II Holkar, leader of the Princely State of Chaimbellistan, is rapidly mustering his forces and has officially requested military assistance from Calcutta. First on the scene is Brigadier General Nigel Humphreys-Farrell, KCSI, DSO, etc.

"I say Charlie, isn't that a Russian Army over there on the other side of the Amu Darya River ?"
"Yes sir."
"Not very sporting of them not tell us that they would be here, is it?"
"No sir."

Using The Men Who Would be Kings, here is the British Field Force that will oppose the Imperial Russian Field Force at The Battle of Malana:

1. In Malana:
    a. The Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan.
    b. The Himachal Militia.
2. Reinforcements:
    a. The 19th Punjabi Regiment.
    b. The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment).

The Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan is an Irregular Infantry Unit (4 points) that are Veteran (+1 point) giving them a discipline of +1. We will be using the optional rules for 
Colonel of the Realm James Bartholomew, the Maharaja, and Princess Sita Devi. These optional rules can be found here. Total cost for the unit is 5 points.

Maharaja Tukoji Rao II Holkar and his sister Princess Sita Devi.

Using the optional rules, when rolling for Leadership Value, Colonel Crochet will never have higher than a 6+ unless a Leadership Trait changes it. After a roll of the die, his Leadership Value is 6+ and his Leadership Trait is (drum roll please) is Brutal. Uh oh. The Royal Regiment's Discipline defaults to -2 which is permanent for the entire game.

The Himachal Militia is a Tribal Infantry unit. In addition to the normal rules for Tribal Infantry (3 points), the Himachal will also be Fierce (+1 point) which increases their Fighting to 4+. In addition, they will be Well Armed Sharpshooters (+2 points) which gives them a firing of 5+. Total cost for the unit is 6 points.

The Big Guy.

And now for the leader. With a die roll of "6" his Leadership Value is 5+ (Good!) and his Leadership Trait will be . . . Brave. This allows his unit to remove one Pinned marker for free before activating the unit.

The 19th Punjabi Regiment is a Regular Infantry Unit (6 points) and they don't take guff from anyone. They are use to being up close and personal with the enemy so they will also be Fierce (+1 point) which makes their Fighting 4+. Total points: 7. Now let's pray that their new officer is up to the task.

Lieutenant Colonel John Bryce Hill.

Nervously the die is rolled for his Leadership Value; a "5" giving him an LV of 5+ (whew!). His Leadership Trait is . . . Inspirational! He may reroll every failed Rally once.

The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) is a Regular Infantry unit and the first unit to wear shorts in a battle on my tabletop. Total Points: 6.

Major Elliott Naple-Cooper Stone.

One more leader to go and his Leadership Value is also 5+ and his Leadership Trait is . . . Jolly Sporty. The Royal Fusiliers may add +2 inches (Imperial, of course) on a successful At the Double Action.

Well this should be an interesting action with the weak point in the British Indian Forces the Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan led by the brutal Colonel Crochet. Time to line up and at them!

Will the defenders of Malana be successful?


  1. Looks like it will be fun Neil, the random leadership rolls produced an interesting mix for the Brits....a mercenary leader of the Princely State forces being brutal...who would have ever thought such a thing!

    1. The leadership rolls definitely add a twist and Chrochet’s roll was just too much!

  2. The second army looks excellent too. You are building our anticipation of this game beautifully.
    Colonel Crochet looks strangely familiar. Is his natural hair colour a dark brown/black, perchance?!!!
    Regards, James

    1. Could be. I wonder what his name is in the French translation . . . ?

  3. Like your Royal Fusiliers. I have some of the same figures painted in almost the exact color scheme. Hope they do well in the coming battle.


    1. Jim,
      I might have to give them the new "Stiff upper lip" rule to ensure success!