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Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Anglo-Russian War: The Battle of Malana, The Conclusion

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,"

The tide is slowing starting to turn toward the British Indian Army in our first 24 point game of The Men Who Would be Kings as the 19th Punjabis and the Royal Fusiliers make their presence felt.

The Izmaylovsky Lifeguards fire but the 19th Punjabis use the cover in Malana to their advantage and escape the bullets fired their way; in an attempt to charge the enemy (their officer is Destined for Greatness) The Izmaylovsky Lifeguards fail their activation. The Imperial Russian High command, sensing which way the wind may be blowing, orders the excellent 21st Frontier Guards (who have been barely used during the battle) to withdraw and set-up positions to cover the withdrawal of the the Izmaylovsky Lifeguards.

"Charge!" yells Lieutenant Colonel John Bryce Hill as the Punjabis surge forward against the 
Izmaylovsky Lifeguards.

Furious hand to hand combat ensues . . .

The bayonets of the 19th Punjabis prevail causing high casualties amongst the Lifeguard, including the young and dashing Colonel Alexander Michail Dondukov-Korsakov. Without his leadership, the Lifeguards disinegrate as a formation and flee the field of battle.

The Royal Standard of the Maharaja of the Princely State of Chaimbellistan is recovered.

The Himachal Militia sensing victory (AND PLUNDER) leave the safety of the rocky hills and advance toward the Russian machine gun and the exit from the town of Malana.

Meanwhile, the Royal Fusiliers, under the command of Major Elliott Naple-Cooper Stone finish off the Russian Naval Brigade with massed rifle fire.

"What's that in the open?"

"Dang Russian machine gun!"

Where did the rest of the Himachal Militia go?

The 21st Frontier Guards fire and hit another Punjabi sowar.

The Royal Fusiliers now have their eyes on the Russian machine gun.

"There it is men. That's the infernal machine that has been making all of that noise."

The 19th Punjabis advance cautiously.

The overall situation is looking grim for the advance guard of the 2nd Siberian Corps.

The flag flies proudly near the gate.

The Russian machine gun repositions to face the threat from the Royal Fusiliers . . . 

. . . as they cover the withdrawal of the 21st Frontier Guards.

The Royal Fusiliers fire again and the Russian machine gun is no more.

The 19th Punjabis secure the entrance.

The 21st Frontier Guards withdraw over the river.


Whew! What a great first 24 point game of The Men Who Would be Kings. The actual game itself took about 90 minutes and probably would have been shorter but some old guy kept saying "Wait a minute, let me get a picture!" In hindsight we put the Russians at a disadvantage by having them choose between capturing or burning buildings. The tide turned quickly with the additional British Indian Army reinforcements showed up making it an even "points" fight; but, making it extremely challenging for the Russians to capture the town. Next time we are going to stick strictly to one scenario. I was pleased with the way the "special" chain of command rules worked for the Royal Regiment of Chaimbellistan as were the players.

Lieutenant General Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev writing to the general staff (circumventing General Baron Georgii Karlovich Stackelberg): "You call that a battle? Sending in troops of the Tsar's personal household unsupported into a maze of a village. Who positioned that machine gun where it could fire on NO ONE! The use of the 21st Frontier Guards, an excellent unit, was squandered and committed too little too late. Let the Naval High Command know that the idiot that commanded the Naval Brigade should never form Close Order against regulars. Of course there is no Naval Brigade to tell! The village could have been taken if just one other unit would have supported the main attack! Next time it will be my turn.

Brigadier General Nigel Humphreys-Farrell, KCSI, DSO, etc.,: "Bloody shame about the Maharaja. Bloody shame. But he died like a man and went to his gawd like a soldier. His highness, and his regiment, probably would have survived the battle if it hadn't been for the Brutal discipline of Colonel Crochet. Shameful treating of soldiers like that. Underestimated that Russian Machine gun. Bloody nuisance keeping our irregulars out of the engagement and then chasing them off. Recommend machine guns be sent to brigade in Chaimbellistan. Fortunately for us it was a one man show - must tip my hat to the Lifeguard as no one else (fortuanately) gave them any help. Put in dispatches Lieutenant Colonel John Bryce Hill and Subedar Major Ajeet Deol of the 19th Punjabis. Good show those men. Saved the village. Quite. God save the Queen.

Final Tally:

British Indian Army: 8 points
Imperial Russian Army: 2 points

"We must tell our father that the Russian Baron has been disgraced."

Until next time . . . 


  1. The Russian machine gun was a right pain!

    1. Ray,
      That it was. I shudder to think if it had been in the correct position from the start to support the Russian attack. It was a fun first game!

  2. Replies
    1. Ross,
      Thanks! It was a great first game.

  3. What a great conclusion and amazed to read the actual game only lasted ninety minutes, so much drama generated for so little effort...fantastic stuff. I am intrigued by the final picture...what the deuce is REALLY happening here, and who is pulling the strings?!

    1. Thanks! And what would the late 19th or early 20th century world be without an evil genius trying to take over the world?

  4. Fabulous conclusion to a marvellous game and a most entrancing tale. I am pleased that the 'old guy' took all those photos for our enjoyment (and posterity)!
    Is the result of infantry in the open taking out a machine gun (admittedly also in the open) a little surprising?
    Regards, James


    1. James,
      Thanks for the comments. As to the machine gun: the infantry was initially out of their arc of fire and had to use their turn to “Move” in order to fire at the Royal Fusiliers. Unfortunately for the machine gun, the Fusiliers just fired and had some great dice rolling and got the machine gun before it could fire.

  5. Dear Neil,
    Ah, I see. Thanks for answering my question (and the previous one). Thanks especially for your excellent posts.
    Regards, James

  6. Excellent battle and AAR. You’ve kept us interested since the beginning of this project! I can’t wait to see what comes next.

    1. Sgt. Guinness,
      Thanks. We learned a lot with the first game and had fun keeping the narrative in the AAR. I think a secret mission is coming up right before the next battle.