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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Ask-ari, and you shall receive?

Today, we returned to doing a Colonial skirmish using my newly revamped solo system!

To give the rules a good test, we used Lawrence's natives, with lots of spearmen and groups of Musketeers and archers. We used his Askaris to face them too.

The scenario was a simple one, a group of Askaris are landed to 'persuade' the local warlord to cease raiding his loyal (to the Crown!) neighbours.

The table from the point the British arrive.
A view from the native side. 
I was given command, with 2 burly bodyguards, and a squad of Askaris.
Lawrence used the other khaki squad, we were armed with breech loaded rifles.
Phil, (and later Stephen), got blue coated Askaris with Enfield muzzle loaders. 
The natives would of course be run by the solo system! We randomly deployed them on their half of the table.
Today, we welcomed Stephen (man with a baguette!), visiting from the North Shields club!
A group of 20 spearmen and 10 musketeers deployed on their right. 
The main body deployed in the centre... 
2 groups of archers held their left. 
 We deployed in a rough line on the far side of the table.
As yet, we could see nothing. 
The natives advanced rapidly towards our position. 
We delayed the start of the bodyguard warriors for a turn to give a distance between the first wave and themselves. 
 On the native left, the archers stealthily infiltrated forward through the woods.
 Lawrence's and my Askaris saw the right flanking spearmen and opened fire...
...Even at this range, several natives fell dead.
 The main body was still out of sight, but advancing.
The musketeers supporting the right hand spears now appeared through the trees to support their attack. 
 The spearmen they supported were suffering against our combined fire.
The survivors paused, then raced forward, desperate to come to blows with us.
...until, following a final volley, the surviving spearmen broke and ran.
On the native left meanwhile, the archers exited the woods.
 Stephen and Phil's Askaris began to shoot at them.
 The archers were, however, only slightly stung by the fire.
 The second archer unit now joined them, combining their shooting against Stephen's Askaris.
 Back in the centre, the routing spearmen slowed the advance of the spearmen in the middle of the table. 
 The flanking musketeers moved forward to replace them
 They came under fire from my Askaris, and halted.
 Would we be able to stop this lot though!
 We now had Phil's Askaris shooting in support of Lawrences and my Askaris. 
 We managed to slow the advance of the massed natives, for now. 
 Stephen, meanwhile, was fighting both units of native archers. 
He managed to kill several of them... 
...but took casualties in return he could ill afford. 
On our left, one of the native musketeers...
 ...killed one of my Askaris. 
Phil now had to move his men to support Stephen, leaving Lawrence and me to face the spear swarm alone! 
Phil arrived just in time, as more of Stephen's men had been wounded by arrows. 
The native archers were being very effective! 
Another spear block attacked Lawrence's Askaris. 
I was still engaging the musketeers, seeing them as the greater threat! 
 A good volley from Lawrences men shook the overconfident spearmen!
Halted, they were struck by another volley!
...and the survivors retreated in confusion.
My Askaris were still under heavy musket fire.
2 more of my men were hit!
Stephen and Phil were still engaging the archers.
 The second unit was hit by a concentrated volley. 
 The archers, though, held their ground and shot at Stephen's unit again.
 They had had enough, and retreated towards the rear. 
Back in the centre, the peasant spearmen retreated...
...or ran.   
 Phil managed to scatter the archers facing him, at last! 
 ..Though he lost a man in the process.
 In the centre, the Bodyguard spearmen now braved our fire. 
Moving at great speed, they raced into contact. 
 My men got a point blank volley...
One of my British officer's  bodyguard Askaris now fired a random shot...
...and killed the Native leader!
(Amusingly, my 2 bodyguard Askaris had 5 turns in a row when they hit and killed 2 natives! - Dice, eh?)
The charging spearmen killed 2 of Lawrence's men, including his NCO. 
My men now disgracefully retreated rather than fight... fortunately, Phil turned the flank of the spearmen...
 ...and broke them!
 My Askaris now sheepishly returned to the line...now it was safe!
That was a REALLY close game, the British line almost broke.

At least it showed the new rules are a massive improvement, and make the natives a real threat. 
I think we are happy with them now and will get them on our club website as soon as Andy can do it.
If you want to try them -- They are now on our club website! LINK

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