Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fritz Defends The Raj - BAR SYW in India

Bill Protz is master of his domain - BAR SYW game in Brown Deer

On Saturday July 18, 2015 the Gang of Seven convened at Chez Protz to fight a BAR game (Batailles dans l'Ancien Regime) in 18th Century India. Of course, the two sides represented the French and British, along with their respective native allies. We do not collectively have a lot of painted troops for the SYW in India, however, we borrowed the native contingents from Bill's 19th Century India collection and then added a couple of European units per side.

The British colonial army in India, led by the Earl of Glenlivet, a Scotsman whose family judiciously  had one son support the Hanoverian King, while the younger son supported the Pretender. That younger son was the Earl of Glenlivet, who was seeking to earn the good grace of the Hanoverian King by serving him in India.

Glenlivet was tasked with capturing the French colonial city of Basmatipur, so as to drive the French out of India. Glenlivet's army included two British infantry battalions, a brace of 6-pounders, 2 squadrons of European cavalry, and an unknown number of native levies, ably led by Keith Pasha (native infantry commander) and John Sahib (the native cavalry commander).

The British Europeans were a little uncertain about facing elephants for the first time, but their training made the difference as they held firm, fired a couple of rounds, and advanced towards the town of Basmatipur. Glenlivet placed his British infantry on the right flank and gave them the task of capturing the town.

In the British center, Keith Pasha was given the task of getting the attention of the French and keeping them from reinforcing the town. Glenlivet had no idea what his native cavalry were up to on the far left wing, nor did he care all that much. Much to his surprise, the British natives performed exceptionally well (it must have been those European commanders attached to each native brigade) as they swept the French army off the table in all three sectors.

Please follow the action in the pictures (captioned) below and click or double click the photos to enlarge the view.

The British contingent anchored the right flank and was given the task of launching the main assault on the town of Basmatipur.

The native contingents allied to the British filled out the center and also attacked Basmatipur.

On the far British left, John M. (left) and Bill Protz (right) crossed sabers with their cavalry. Bill : " let's see, the French get a plus ten in melee and the British get a minus 5".

The British 11th Foot, supported by two 6-pounders and a company of grenadiers on its left, advance towards the town.

The French Chasseurs de Fischer sally forth from the town to attack the British.

Same game turn, but from the French point of view. Note the British 8th Foot on the left, protecting the right flank of the 11th Foot in the center.

A huge melee developed in the woods between two opposing mobs of native levies. The British levies charged the front and flank of the French levies, but miraculously, the French natives won the scrum and sent the British natives fleeing out of the woods and back to their lines.

Undeterred by the melee loss in the woods, the British natives launch another attack to the left of the woods and right at the French Albany Regiment.

Earl's French regulars await the native horde coming its way.

Over on the British left flank, it is siesta time as the cavalry advance into contact.
The British irregular levies overpower the French regular cavalry, while the British regular cavalry waits to mop up the remains of the melee.

The 11th Foot wins the first fire card and mows down the Chasseurs de Fischer in  large numbers. The elephants  proved to look more impressive than they actually were.

More French levies try to work around the right flank of the British 11th Foot.

The Chasseurs de Fischer, what was left of them, fled back into Basmatipur. All that remained were a mob of native levies, some nellies a clear sailing into the town for the 11th Foot.

Some fierce looking native artillery gets left behind as the rest of the British natives  advance towards the French Albany Regiment.

Back in the center, the Albany Regiment is forced to retire back towards Basmatipur or risk getting outflanked.

A few of the French levies go battle mad and launch a hopeless charge into the 8th Foot, which would only lose two casualties all day.

The British 11th Foot also mop up the remnants of the French levies and have clear sailing into the town and its eventual capture.

While the outcome was a bit lopsided in favor of the redcoats, I think that everyone enjoyed playing in the game. The odd mix of natives, elephants and a few European units created a fun game with a few uncertainties provided by a deck of chance cards, that were drawn each turn.

Bill and I are both considering painting some French and British Sepoy regiments to use in future India games. I suspect that BAR will be returning to the Indian subcontinent again.


  1. Splendid looking game and sounds like you all enjoyed it.

  2. Top looking game! You don't see many SYW in India games?

    1. Here in the Midwestern US, we have been fortunate to see many SYW India games staged by Juergen Olk, who probably has the largest collection of forces for India, bar none. His games were the inspiration for ours.

  3. Fantastic looking game, not usual to see this conflict for me, beautiful armies!

  4. Lovely lookin game, table and nice report:)

  5. Superb! Just love 18thC in India. Is that Bill's basement? It's enormous!

    1. Yes, we played the game in Bill's basement. I think that the center table is 24ft by 6ft and there are two back tables 3ft by 24ft long.

  6. That looks the business - and a good game was had by all I see. With regards to the British commander, much can be made of a Scotsman if he be caught young and beaten regular. It clearly did the trick in this case.

    Mrs Kinch loves your heffalumps!

    1. Methinks that young Glenlivet turned States Evidence on a certain traitor by the name of Lady Diana Pettygree. That seems to have saved him from the hangman's noose. The Crown wanted him out of the country so an assignment in India was created for him.

  7. Great looking game - nice to see some goings on Out in India (I'm still working on my british and french sepoys)

    1. Forgotten Glorious figures has some terrific French Sepoys. Any ideas as to who makes nice English Sepoys in 28mm?

  8. Outstanding!

    We dive into a SYW subcontinent game on occasion but it never looks quite like yours. Very handsome!

  9. Just a grand-looking and exotic game!

    1. This might nudge our group into painting sepoys and other exotic native types.

  10. Great report Jim and good photos too. I'll post mine later this week. Thanks for playing the game Jim. Well done!
    Bill P.
    Yes we should raise local Indian units. To help, here is a quote from Juergen a year or so ago.

    Juergen says, "I use indus, eureka(U.S.A.), golconda rising, old londonwarroom, frontrank, foundry, perry, mutineer, 1st corps and now Fife and drum light troops for british company troops painting slouch hats white. Its like a scavenger hunt.I like using a hodgepodge"

  11. Great looking game I am jealous,too bad Brits won ,but it happens. Indus makes two types of british sepoys ,pluS a generic one used by all. I am starting to paint my fife and drum british to be used at next con. Again great game!

    1. Juergen: what are you using for the sepoy command with the Indus sepoys. These are nice looking figures.

  12. officer=Brit.Trent minis Haiti Napoleonic,the native officer and drummer Mutineer,other drummer OLD London Warroom. The mtd.,officers in slouch are Perrys am rev. You really have to scrounge,I asked Indus about making Brit.,East Europeans,but no go ,probably not cost effective,and Eureka never finished the Mysore cav.,as Galconda guy went Bankrupt and still owes people money,but greens are 90% done sitting in Limbo.,too bad. Any way lots of scrounging for command figures,and some conversion. Hope this helps.