The occasional exploits of Brigadier 'Tubby' Bykleigh and the Rhanzlistan Field Force

Monday, 14 January 2019

Death in the Red Fort...

Apologies for leaving Rhanzlistan on the back burner for so long, life and other hobby interests just passed it by I’m afraid. I hope this account of Monday’s spiffing game with Phil here in GHQ will prove some consolation to my loyal reader! The game was played using Bolt Action Second Edition rules.

The scenario I devised was a three handed game for two players. The R.F.F. - the God Guys you recall - had a force of 7 units to pick from their complement, the S.P.I.F.F. - the Bad Guys of course - a force of  8 units from theirs, while there were 6 units of Bhurpa warriors. All three forces had the same objective, namely to seize military supplies left behind in the ruins of an old village and fort. The Bhurpas were activated by their own dice and controlled by whichever of the other two sides had drawn the previous dice for their force.  If the Bhurpa dice was drawn out first in any turn it was disguarded. Thus either side could utilise the Bhurpas in their own support, to thwart the enemy's ambitions, or just seize the supplies for the Bhurpas themselves if that was the best choice to hobble the enemy. In addition to these dice, their was a red 'End of Turn' dice, whose title describes its function in the game of course. The game length was set at 12 Turns before nightfall was declared and the game concluded. Now, as ever, as series of pictures and captions to capture the essence of the struggle for any interested passersby ~
Hardly-Standin oversees the arrival of the advanced guard of
the Rhanzlistan Field Force in Turn 1.

Comrade Colonel Corbinski ushers the first of the S.P.I.F.F.
along the road.

The draw of the dice sees the Bhurpas on the move towards
the Soviet incursion on their homeland.

The Bhurpas seize the low hills to the Soviet's left flank and
wait in ambush!

Lead by their Prophet, Mustapha Leake, the fanatics break from
cover of the low hills and charge the Siberian Rifles! Cries of
"Allah Akbah!" rent the air!

Not the best of outcomes for the Bhurpas! The Siberians see 
them off in a brisk combat!

Hardly-Standin's command moves forward to occupy the ruins
at the edge of the village.

More of the S.P.I.F.F. moves to their left flank in an attempt to
deter any further aggression from the troublesome Bhurpas.

The run of the random dice controlling the Bhurpas swings
ever more to favour the S.P.I.F.F. and bands of warriors surge
towards the lower river crossing on the R.F.F.'s right flank.

The Tandoori Rifles occupy the ruins in support of the
armoured car's advance on the bridge crossing the river.

In the meantime, the forces of the S.P.I.F.F. are massing for an
attack on the ruins of the Red Fort.

A band of fanatical Bhurpa warriors have rushed the bridge in
a bid to seize the cases of rifles and ammunition in the Red

Sustained fire from the Tandooris destroys the fanatics, but the
firefight distracts the attention of the R.F.F'.s commander for a
moment and more Soviet inspired Bhurpa warriors move
around his right flank.

The Tandooris finally realise the danger to their flank and move
to occupy the ruins of the Red Fort. This turned out to be a bit
of a poisoned chalice as fire from flank and front soon whittled
them down and saw mounting Pin Markers and the death of
their gallant commanding officer!

With the demise of the Tandooris and the 3rd Foot and Mouth
being held off in the village ruins by heavy enemy fire, the
Siberian Rifles are able to enter the Red Fort ruins and seize
the military supplies.

As darkness fell {at the end of Turn 12} The S.P.I.F.F. held the
Red Fort of Death while the Ghurkas held the other ruin holding
more cases of rifles and boxes of ammunition. The Bhurpas, who
had proved decisive in aiding the Soviets were left with nothing!

The mechanism for random control of the bands of Bhurpa warriors worked really well we both thought. In the early moves, the draw of the dice favoured the cause of the R.F.F., while in the latter stages the control of the warriors entirely passed to the cause of the S.P.I.F.F.! This enabled them to utilise the fire of the bands of warriors to destroy the Tandooris holding the fort's ruins and concentrate their own efforts on holding back the advance of the R.F.F. If the game had beyond the agreed 12 Turns it is probable that the Soviets wold have emerged victorious, but the fall of night comes quickly in Rhazlistan and thwarted their efforts at the last, allowing the R.F.F. to slip away with half of the contested supplies.
 I do hope it will not be so long this time before we return to Rhanzlistan and the ongoing tales of daring do which take place amongst its mountains, valleys and villages...

Monday, 26 February 2018

A little project for my convalescence ~

As you may know from my main blog I’m scheduled to have a hip replacement operation next month. I doubt I will be able, or wanting really, to sit at my painting desk for several weeks. I shall however be able to sit at the dinning table and so I’ve been looking about for small projects which might suit the location and can be tackled in short time slots. Terrain seems the obvious answer, but what exactly?
Well, on a visit with Sue to the local Garden Centre’s aquatic supplies area I found this model of an Indian/Arabian building ~

Now at close examination it’s obviously not 28mm scale, but I think it will pass muster as a palace or mosque on the table with some work. We shall see. It would also make a nice Gurdwara for Sikh Wars games I think, not that I’m planning any you understand. Price? £5.99, a snippet really. I’ll keep you posted as and when it’s finished.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Soviet Meddling in Rhanzlistan

After what was really too long an hiatus, Phil and I dusted off our forces for a return to our Rhanzlistan campaign. The forces of the S.P.I.F.F. lead by the dastardly General Robinski sought to force a passage of the river Rhan and raid deep into territory vital to the governance of the Province and the maintenance of supplies to the Field Force ~
The Bridge is well defended by Ghurkas supported by the Gordons.

Early SPIFF moves are cautious, fearing the fire power of the defenders?

The Ghurkas are dug in amongst the ruined village of Rhanli.

Soviet bribery and lies wins over the Bhurpas! The mountain gun is in some
danger now!

Brigadier Bykleigh orders the Gordons forward to support the hard pressed
Ghurkas. They would pay a heavy price for their gallantry...

Realising earlier hesitation had damaged his plans Robinski throws caution
to the wind and orders a general attack.

As night falls (the end of Turn 7!) the defenders are bloodied, but unbowed
while the Soviets are short of their objective... a draw, but really a tactical
victory for Robinski and the SPIFF.

As usual we used Bolt Action 2 for the rules, setting the game's duration at 6 Turns, plus a 7th on a throw of 4-6 at the end of Turn 6. Phil's initial caution left him short of the objective while my force was still in place, though severely mauled! I conceded a tactical win to Phil, so when we return to Rhanzlistan it will see the S.P.I.F.F. attempting to carry off their plundered supplies before their escape route is cut of...

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The Old Red Fort of Rhanzlistan (Part 2)

I've spent the day off and on progressing the Supreme Littleness Designs MDF Fort kit. Having coated it in Basetex 'Dried Earth' and gritted the base with my usual basing mixture yesterday I left it all to harden overnight. The first stage is to paint the entire structure, I use Crafter's Acrylic Burgundy Rose as the base colour on all my sub continent buildings, and to was the base to match the figures, again using Crafter's Acrylic 'Country Maple' ~

When the Base coat and the ground wash are dry I next dry brush heavily with Artiste Acrylic 'Burnt Sienna'. It's really necessary to dry brush this coat heavily to help the desired end effect ~

The second dry brushing needs to be much lighter handed and its best to do two light coats rather than one thickish one I've found. For this stage I used Artiste Acrylic 'Clay' and you get this rich orange brown look ~

The final stage of dry brushing is the lightest you'll find. I use a dry brushing of Anita's Acrylic 'Cream'. The effect is to wash down the whole colour while highlighting the edges and texture. The effect produces this look on my Rhanzlistan buildings ~

I've painted the few pieces of exposed wood simply Foundry 'Bay Brown Shade' for now. I'll tinker with that tomorrow probably. Adding dark green static grass, dry green and dark green grass tufts and 'weeds' from various coloured clumps allows the ruin to be dressed and lifted ~

Well,it's pretty much finished now and should blend in well with my other buildings in next month's Rhanzlistan game here in GHQ.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Old Red Fort...

...or at least it will be red when it's finished! I'm taking a break from figure painting for a couple of days and adding a new terrain piece to the collection for use in our next Rhanzlistan game next month. It's a Supreme Littleness MDF kit which I bought on impulse at Claymore in August. After assembling the kit and leaving the glue to harden overnight I've textured all the building's surfaces with Basetex and the groundwork with my usual basing grit mix. I've added rubble, rocks, bricks and such to bring the whole up. I've also built a small well from rock pieces in the courtyard of the ruin. I'll build a wooden cover for the well later on and add some pots and such from the bits box. Here it is as it stands at present anyway ~

The rubble on the right is the punched out MDF pieces from the various lug holes and window features.
The metal rocks are from a Craft Store via Kevin!

I've added the ladder detail from my spares box. The trapdoor is simply the MDF punched out piece from the access hole to the roof.

The well in the foreground is made from rock pieces glued in place layer by layer. More Craft Store metal rock pieces filling the void in the wall as rubble. It all needs to harden off overnight now before I can start on painting it, red of course!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Bhurpa Gold

Earlier today Phil and I played out the latest game in our ongoing Tales from Rhanzlistan, our imaginary setting on the North West Frontier in the early 1920's. The game would be played using Bolt Action rules over six turns, with an optional seventh turn decided by a dice throw. Phil's S.P.I.F.F. had the task of looting a defended Bhurpa village in the foothills of the mountains of Rhanzlistan. Three objective markers represented the loot, worth respectively 5, 10, and 20 victory points as they were located further from the enemy. The Bhurpas, lead by the worthy if unmilitary Imran Bhykli, scored one victory point for every member of S.P.I.F.F. they killed. The Bhurpas defended their village, determined to repulse the infidel ~

General Robinski organised his S.P.I.F.F. forces and began an assault on a wide front to feel out th strength of the Bhurpa positions. Imran Bhykli had chosen to defend the village with three large groups of Bhurpas, to maximise casualties on the enemy in the later stages, supported by long range artillery, and a MMG located in the foothills to the village's left flank. An 80mm mortar was located in the courtyard of the Headman's house ~

Clearly speed in the assault would be vital for S.P.I.F.F. to achieve its objectives in six or seven turns, so Robinski sent his armoured car directly down the road to the village, spraying the defenders with the fire from its twin turrets ~

Despite several rounds of mortar fire, no hits were scored on the armoured car, though the S.P.I.F.F. artillery did come under Bhurpa fire and their supporting MMG was destroyed by the Bhurpa machine gun team. Meanwhile, the defenders in the village were coming under serious threat from advancing infantry ~

With the Bhupa machine gun team out of action their left flank was suddenly open as the enemy's infantry dashed forward. Assaulted directly in their front the other two groups could not support the remnants of the third group to their left ~

While the central group enjoyed some success in a fire fight with their opponents, the group on the Bhurpa's right flank were heavily pinned by fire from the armoured car, a MMG and the infantry to their front. With his left flank collapsing Imran Bhykli lead his personal retinue in a desperate charge to repulse the enemy  ~

Fighting fiercely the superior numbers of the enemy were sent packing. With their blood u th small band of heroes now rushed the flank of an even larger enemy infantry group. Fighting was brutal and bloody, but one by one Bhykli's guard were cut down until only our hero remained ~

His fate was sealed as the overwhelming odds were too much even for his mighty frame to resist ~

The end of turn 6 saw the Bhurpas ahead on points but clearly so weakened that in any extra turn they could not resist the advance of the enemy's armoured car, which would give them possession of the final objective and victory by a narrow margin. Tension was high in GHQ as the dice was rolled:  wold have an extra turn! Sadly it proved all too much for the remaining Bhurpas and the armoured car rolled unopposed into the courtyard, securing the objective and winning the game for Phil!

Monday, 12 September 2016

On the Road to Rhanzlstan

Well, having taken delivery of the mountain terrain from Phil last Monday, deciding on today's game was a no brainer! Our game sees 'Robinson Force', a detached element of the Rhanzlistan Field Force, pitted against the dastardly Bhykli Khan, chief of chiefs amongst the Bhurpas of Rhanzlistan, who has been roused to open rebellion by the promise of gold from the Russian embassy to the tribes! Catching news of the uprising from native spies, Brigadie Bykleigh has dispatched a force to chastise the Bhurpas, yet again...

Robinson Force enters the table from the southern end and must force a crossing of the river in one of two spots in order to engage the natives. The armoured car, supported by Aston's Scouts force the village meeting little opposition, while the Gurkhas, supported by the South Staffords and the Jalfrezi Rifles attack along the western banks of the river.

The Machine Gun detachment advances on the Force's left flank to provide suppressing fire when the Bhurpas show themselves.

The armoured car forces a passage of the village, coming under long range mortar fire from Bhurpas somewhere in the hills up ahead, while Aston's Scouts offer close support if needed.

Without wavering the Gurkhas advance swiftly on the bridge, determined to carry their objective whatever the opposition might be.

As Robinson Force gathers for the assault the Bhurpas reveal themselves amongst the rocky heights and in the ruins of an ancient village. They seem to be supported by a motley crowd of Russian adventurers and ner do wells! They pour down fire on the armoured car and the Scouts, rather foolishly ignoring the Gurkha threat!

While the Russians are alert to the growing threat to the bridge, the Bhurpas seem happy to continue to engage the armoured car and the Scouts!

At a crucial phase in the action the draw of the Bolt Action dice favours Robinson Force and the Gurkhas charge across the bridge taking only one casualty and defeat the first of the defenders in a bloody melee!

Surviving flanking fire from the remaining Bhurpas and supported by the South Staffords the Gurkhas go on to clear the village. Their bold attack unsettles the remaining natives, as does the incessant machine gun fire from the left flank and the accurate fire of the mountain gun battery!

The bravery and example of the Gurkhas serves to encourage the Scouts and they advance at the trot to put any surviving Bhurpas to the sword!

At this stage Bhurpa resistance is almost wiped out, just the mortar crew and the Russian mercenaries are left in action. Its all up for Bhykli Khan he realises!

As the Scouts advance briskly up the lower slopes, the mortar crew and the mercenary Russians melt away into the upper slopes of the mountains of Rhanzlistan...leaving Bhykli Khan to contemplate his errors.

For those who like to know these things we used Bolt Action version 1 for the rules, adding a preliminary turn for Robinson Force to enter the table. We played over the usual six turns, though it was all up for the Bhurpas in Turn 5 as you've seen above! Though thoroughly chastised on this occasion there is no doubt that the Bhurpas will rise again or that the marauding forces of S.P.I.F.F. will once again test the metal of Brigadier Bykleigh and the Rhanzlistan Field Force over the coming months.