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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Pashtun Field Force for the 1897-1898 Frontier Uprising


Over the last few years I've been building a Pashtun Frontier Force to use with my favorite set of Colonial rules The Men Who Would be Kings. Of course these can easily be converted to other rule sets. For my infantry I have more "shooters" than the "hand to gland" forces you might see in the 2nd Afghan War. By the end of the 19th Century the Pashtun tribes were better armed; but interestingly, the mass attack tactics were still commonly used.

This is a standard 24 point force though the Pashtuns, according to my research during the uprisings, did not have any artillery. But I have to use the BFG!

Three units of Irregular Infantry:

Irregular Infantry per the recommended point values are 4 points and 12 figures strong. I've made them poorly armed for - 1 point but have given them Fieldcraft option for + 1 point for a total of 4 points per unit.

I've built two units of Tribal Infantry which are 16 figures strong and their base cost is 3 points. I have given each unit the Fierce option at +1 point for a total of 4 points.

As I mentioned earlier, I had to give my Pashtuns the BFG! It will be a Poorly Drilled Crewed Weapon at 4 points.

To recap, here is my core force:

3 x Irregular Infantry = 12 points
2 x Tribal Infantry = 8 points
1 x Poorly Drilled Crewed Weapon = 4 points
Total: 24 points


  1. Very nice looking unit, a right rascally looking bunch! Like the gun, very impressive.

  2. How did you decide on the colors for your Pathans> Is that from a reference work or by choice? I love the gun! Like a potato gun on steroids! I used a naval gun for my Pathans when I was playing years ago.

    1. Watercolors and prints from the 19th century, photographs, descriptions and diary entries. The Story of the Malakand Field Force, by Sir Winston Churchill, published in 1898 has some excellent descriptions of Pashtun warriors. There is a lot of good reference materials online from many .edu sites. If you click on the Blog's Label Afghan Forces you'll find many of the photo's, illustrations and sources I used in various of the posts.

  3. Excellent stuff and love the point allocation too with buffs and debuffs

  4. Excellent work! ( I must be getting old, took me several seconds to translate BFG! < /i>) I look forward to the next game.

    1. Thanks Ross. Tricky one that BFG; I try to keep the blog at least PG-13!

    2. Thanks Ross. Tricky one that BFG; I try to keep the blog at least PG-13!

  5. Excellent work! ( I must be getting old, took me a couple of seconds to decode BFG! )
    I look forward to the next battle report.