Wandiwash India 1760

Seán takes us back to the 18th Century with some colonial action

We had a good day in India in 1760, Pete, Alan O, Tony G, Eric and myself so I wanted to say thank you for the game, though I was umpiring rather than playing. I think it worked well and we got speedy involvement from everyone because I had reworked the Principles of War rules to make them simultaneous.. It meant that with a big battle and about 100 units on the table one side wasn’t standing around for half an hour while the other made their move.

The Battle
It was a rare outing for my glamorous Moghul hordes and the rival East India companies of Britain and France.

Wandiwash was a relief battle. The town was invested by the French and their Indian allies and the British under Eyre Coote came to lift the siege. The French, under the Comte de Lally left 300 men to maintain the siege and came out to meet their rivals for power in India.

In the game I suggested that if the British, with their Indian allies, were to get three units to leave the table by the only road on the left flank of the French/Indian enemy and on their own right, it would be a good indication that they had won the battle. Unfortunately for them the British right flank, entirely consisting of unenthusiastic native forces with no disciplined East India Company sepoys or Brit regulars, melted as snow on a spring day before the wily tactics of the wicked Suraj ud Daulauh (of Black Hole of Calcutta fame). Meanwhile a sturdy advance on the left and centre led by those British company forces looked encouraging. There was only one fly in the ointment which was the growing risk of being outflanked by French company forces released from the left centre by the collapse of the British right – or rather the army of their untrustworthy ally Mir Jafar.

The Winners
There was no disastrous defeat but the near certainty that a message would arrive from Wandiwash saying the garrison had had to surrender was expected at any moment as the relief force faltered and failed to break through. So a win on points for the Comte – which went against the verdict of history.

The rules stood up well and simultaneous movement (which is how it used to be when I started wargaming in the 10th Century) sped up a big game very well. Some necessary amendments arose which I’ll incorporate. There was a request for a colonial battle with the same rules (adjusted for period) so I said I would bring another Moslem army into the field with a return of the 10mm Mahdists of the Sudan for another go at the Anglo-Egyptian imperialists in 1898. Who would like to be a desert sheikh or the model of a modern major general of models for that battle?

Nabobs Wanted

From Seán:

India 1756-63

The sturdy British & their noble Indian allies contend with the wily French and their perfidious Indians in the Seven Years War (the First world war) for the prize of a sub-continent. We could do with 6-8 Nabobs on a roughly 9ft x 5ft table. I will umpire this 15mm game to keep it flowing. It will be my third colonial Principles of War battle after the Mahdists and the Zulus. The Moghuls are splendid troops and the favourite of all my armies. They offer you elephants, camel rocket batteries, massive ox-driven mobile artillery platforms, camel artillery magnificent hordes of colourful noble cavalry, flighty horse archers, loads of unwieldy guns, Afghan fanatics with sniping jezails and legions of cowardly matchlock men, archers and spearmen all looking to overwhelm one or other of the pushy imperial rivals – the British East India Company or the French Compagnie des Indes Orientales. An empire is at stake! Release your inner Eyre Coote!

Let me know if you would like a command : British or French, the British Indian allied commander Mir Jafir or the French Suraj ud Dauhla (of The Black Hole of Calcutta infamy) or one of their allied native rulers. They all have big forces but very unwieldy and varied in ability. Interestingly tricky commands.

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