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Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Anglo-Russian War: Seize the Bridge, Part 2


Previously in our game of The Men Who Would be Kings: In an attempt to disrupt Russian logistics by seizing a key railway bridge, British Indian Forces are now in the engagement area of a Russian Maxim machine gun that is guarding the bridge. The 14th Sikhs have lost 1/3 of their unit and other British Indian units are exposed. The slow moving British Indian Maxim is trying to keep up with the attack but has fallen behind. Also guarding the bridge is a Russian Naval Brigade and the 21st Frontier Guard Company. Turn 5 of a 12 turn game:

The 14th Sikhs rally!

The Royal Fusiliers continue to advance heading toward the wood line after witnessing the the effects of the Russian Maxim on the 14th Sikhs.

The British Indian Army continues to move in a desperate attempt to get in range and support the attack on the bridge.

The 19th Punjabis decide to take a break and catch their breath after running into the wall of fire from the Russian 21st Frontier Guards.

Speaking of which, the Leadership Trait of the officer commanding the 21st is "Idiot". He was going to order an advance on the 19th Punjab but has to roll a die first due to his Leadership Trait. Sure enough, he rolled a "1" and the British Indian player gets to decide what order they obey if the activation is successful.

The 21st fall back stopping at the linear obstacle of the rail line.

The Brutal efficiency of the Russian Maxim is now felt by the Royal Fusiliers as they take 3 casualties. In The Men Who Would be Kings if a unit takes casualties from firing or fighting you roll one die: if it's a "1" the officer becomes a casualty. Major Elliott Naple-Cooper Stone, commanding dies instantly and command now falls upon the shoulders of Colour Sergeant Charles "Charlie" Smith. He rolls a LV of 6+ but gets no Leadership Trait.

The Royal Fusiliers are pinned in the open under the watchful gaze of the enemy machine gun.

We are happy just staying here on the bridge shooting and hitting nothing.

The 14th Sikhs move in Skirmish order angling toward the soft cover of the trees. On the way they fire at the Naval Brigade and take out one figure while the Fusiliers rally.

The Naval Brigade gets pinned.

And the British Indian Maxim is at long range but still manages extremely accurate fire and eliminates 3 more swabbies.

The 19th Punjabis continue their advance.

The 21st Frontier Guard's accurate rifle fire kills the officer in charge and inflicts two additional casualties on the 19th Punjabis. 

Subedar Major Ajeet Deol takes charge and rolls a LV of 5+. They are now at 1/2 strength but amazingly don't get pinned due to the Subedar Major's leadership.

The Naval Brigade rallies (again!).

The Maxim attempts to shift its position but fails its order.

The British force is looking significantly smaller.

The 19th Punjabis make it to the soft cover of the rail line.

Meanwhile the Colour Sergeant gets the Fusiliers under the protection of the treeline.

The British Indian Maxim takes out two more sailors but the unit is not pinned.

The 14th Sikhs advance. So far a good turn for the British Indian Army.

You Idiot!

The 21st Frontier Guards successfully (sigh) fall back.

Well, so much for moving to a better position.

The Russian Maxim fires at close range.

Despite the soft cover provided by the trees, the Sikhs are decimated by machine gun fire.

Not surprisingly they are pinned in place.

The Sikhs fail to rally and have to retreat 3 inches.

Advance? Bloody no!

The 19th Punjabis start to outflank the bridge and the Naval Brigade.

Instead of moving, let's take a break and reload. Good show.

Let's take a break and stay in place.

We need to catch our breath too and figure out what we are doing.

Well since nobody is doing anything, we won't reposition.

"I like this spot, cool breeze and the infantry is doing fine . . . I think."

The Fusiliers fire from cover and another sailor goes down.

The 19th Punjabis continue their advance to the objective.

The dramatic return of the 21st!

The Maxim repositions!

The Naval Brigade abandons the bridge. As a reminder the Leadership Trait of the officer is "Coward" and he has to order a move to stay out of move distance of any enemy troops.

Next: The Conclusion.

1. Machine guns. And no one picked up on their destructiveness prior to WW I?
2. Does the British Indian Army have enough force to capture the bridge or will the defensive firepower stop them?
3. Machine guns used in the offensive are tough to keep up.
4. A hero emerges.


  1. This is kind of what I expected to happen - the lessons of the Boer War do not seem to have been passed on from the Imperial General Staff to the Indian Army.....had WWI happened by the time of this conflict - I thought it was slightly earlier - but its your war so I guess you know the dates!

    1. This fictional war takes place sometime in the late 19th century or early 20th century. I have mixed some historical units and uniforms that would not have been at the same time in the “real world” - but we are having fun!

  2. Excellent battle report, Neil! I ordered a copy of the rules this week to see if I can use them for Spanish-American War, low-level actions.

  3. I think they would be an excellent set for the Spanish-American War.

  4. I´m sorry sir, but I belive that you must throw 2D6 to check for officer casualty and a double "1" kills him.

    1. Ugh! You’re right. That makes a difference! Thanks for pointing that out.

    2. Not at all sir. Good dice throwings.

  5. I love rules that throw wrenches in the gears. I hate it when you can judge the outcome of the game at the beginning just by the movement and fire ranges. Troops don’t always do what their commanders ordered for various reasons. Things go south, so to say, for various reasons. The first time I played these rules I was frustrated by my inept French Naval LT that refused to engage the enemy due to my failed die roles of his weak leadership #. By the end of the game it was rather humorous. Well done sir.

    1. I also love the Leadership rules. We did make one mistake; officer casualties should be a "double one" instead of just a one. Oh well.