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

Sunday 3 November 2019

The Campaign's Climax ~"Towards the High Peaks!"

Well, the dust has settled over the field of battle, the dead have been buried, the wounded treated and reports written and forwarded to a higher authority. As usual I've included a few pictures intended to give a flavour of how things developed over eleven turns. We used Rapid Fire2 for a change with a couple of modifications to artillery fire which proved effective. Now, off we go to Rhanzlistan ~

The Gordons advance towards the cover of the ruins and come
under fire immediately from the SPIFF artillery.
Supporting the Gordons, the Gurkhas advance on the SPIFF
infantry positions, in their turn coming under galling fire.  
As the Gurkhas crest the low ridge the South Staffords advance
in their support. The SPIFF  artillery is taking a heavy toll.
Artillery fire from the RFA battery and fire from the Gordons
has driven the SPIFF from the ruins of the Red Fort and cavalry
are poised to roll up the enemy’s flank.
The Gordons are pinned in the ruins and the decimated Gurkhas
and South Staffords must withdraw to cover. With no infantry
support the cavalry fall back.

On the RFF's left flank infantry casualties have been severe and
they too fall back, screened by the Tandoori Horse.

Its all up for the RFF as the RFA battery limbers up to withdraw.

Recriminations begin almost at once!

Meanwhile, Comrade General Robinski receives news of the
RFF's withdrawal.
Rapid Fire !2 seemed to us to work quite well for the battle and produced a believable result we felt. Perhaps we might have prolonged the game beyond eleven turns if we had split the RFF into three sub sections for Morale purposes. I survived four turns of consecutive Morale checks before succumbing and Phil survived two. Once you have minus 4 to begin with the writing is on the wall, or in my case the High Peaks!
Well, that's that for Rhanzlistan for another year. We shall have to wait a while now to see what 2020 will bring for the characters who populate our imaginations and our tabletop. Perhaps Brigadier Bykleigh will be posted to the China frontier, we shall have to see...

Tuesday 29 October 2019

With their backs to the high peaks

For the latest instalment in our series of loosely related games set near the NW Frontier in our fictitious province of Rhanzlistan, a Province permanently located in the early 1920’s, I devised a scenario where the Rhanzlistan Field Force would take the offensive to drive the Soviet Peoples International Field Force once and for all from the Jewel in the Crown’s possession. However, thanks to agents working amongst the Bhurpas, whose loyalty to the Crown is somewhat elastic shall we say, General Robinski has got wind of the attack and has been busy preparing his defence...
View from the East along the SPIFF'S front

View from behind the SPIFF's left flank
Now you have a general idea of what the field of conflict looked like let's see how the SPIFF deployed for action ~
Defence in depth for the SPIFF

The front line with its flanks secured
and with Cossacks in support

More Red Cavalry support the infantry
in the old Red Fort

Covering the right flank

General Robinski surveys his dispositions

Bringing the truth to the masses!
Pop back towards the end of the week for the AAR.

Sunday 27 October 2019

Forward the Rhanzlistan Field Force!

On Tuesday next week Phil and I have scheduled a return to action in Rhanzlistan. The scenario sees the much vaunted SPIFF with their backs to the high peaks under attack by the RFF. Due to the usual treacherous behaviour of the Bhurpas General Robinski has got wind of the impending assault and has ordered his men to dig in, buying time to evacuate his I'll gotten gains over the mountains and away. To whet your appetite for the action I've taken a few pictures of the initial deployment of the RFF ~
The RFF's opening position

Brigadier Bykleigh confers with his staff.

The RFA cover the attack.

Governor Godalming and his party.

"What do you mean, there's no reception?"

The mountain battery is on the move.

The Gordons step off smartly!

On the left the Tandoori Horse cover the advance.
If you are interested, pop back later next week to see how the action unfolded.

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.