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

Friday, 27 September 2013

The No1 (Baalti) Mountain Battery

As I said in the earlier post about the Action at  Tikkabad, I had to 'borrow' a mountain gun battery from my Darkest Africa collection for the first game of our campaign in Rhanzlistan. In the meantime, my order from Ironclad had arrived and was swiftly cleaned up, assembled and undercoated. I had  acquired a mountain gun kit from Ironclad and some mules from Tiger Miniatures earlier in the year, intending to make my own battery mule train at a fraction of the cost of the splendid Brigade Games one! You'll be the best judge of that though I expect.

The two figures escorting the battery's mule train are Copplestone Miniatures. They are spare Gurkha bodies,the heads went on the matching gun crew for the Gurkhas, while the heads are the ones removed from the Indian machine gun crew. A neat swap and nothing wasted! The mules cost £3, the gun £5.50 and the figures about £3 I suppose, a grand outlay of £11.50 or so. Now, I know the gun is much too early for our 1920's setting, but I justify its inclusion on the basis that new kit takes longer to reach remote areas. It suits us anyway, so let's not worry too much about it.
Now, the reason I chose the Ironclad set over the more suitable Brigade Games set was not just price, but rather the 'look' of the crew with their splendidly large turbans!

There they are in their full sartorial glory! For the khaki drill uniforms and turbans I used Foundry Buff Leather shade, highlighted with the same company's Base Sand Shade. It works for me and there they are ready for their baptism at the next game, Incident at Jakzi...

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


...some additional personalities into the 'back story' and for the more 'Pulp-style' skirmishes in Rhanzlistan. Firstly Mohammed Imran Waziri , the Jakzi of Jimbai, uncle to Prince Kasim, who governs the Bhurpas tribes in the 'enforced' absence of his young nephew as a 'guest' in Sir Godfrey Godalming's Residency in Byklabad ~

The Jakzi is a Mutineer Miniatures figure and his ageing adviser {and pots} are from Foundry. I got them all at Colours browsing through the boxes of singles at Mutineer's and Dave Thomas' stand. Oh, I do miss buying single figures if I'm honest...
Next up, two Memsahibs, from Copplestone Castings' Female Archaeologists. On the right, Dorothy Godalming, sister of the redoubtable Sir Godfrey, and her companion, Edith Marsden, a rather down at heel Gentlewoman with few prospects...

Friday, 20 September 2013

Action at Tikkabad

A General view from Tikkabad towards the Bykla Pass

In the best traditions of Empire, the RFF , for once ably lead by Brig 'Tubby' Bykleigh, confronted the hostile incursion from the forces of the S.P.I.F.F., lead by Comrade General Robinski, as they exited the Bykla Pass and closed on the defenceless village of Tikkabad. First into action for the Red Hordes were two units of Bolshevik cavalry. Outstripping their slower comrades they recklessly closed on the undefended village, or so they thought...
First clash at Tikkabad

As they neared the village the suddenly found themselves engaged by the Shropshire Yeomanry, under their dashing leader, Major Whyte. Supported by an element of the Armoured Car section, the Yeomanry steadily drove back the Reds!
Major Whyte leads his men to Glory and Everlasting Fame!

Meanwhile, the second Red cavalry unit attempted to close with the Bhurpa tribesman who gallantly, if somewhat reluctantly, were supporting the cavalry's dashing charge. Failing to contact the Bhurpas, the Reds were badly shot up and soon sent crashing back towards their infantry supports.
Loyal Bhurpa Tribesmen repulse a Red Cavalry Charge

The Reds had had their noses bloodied, but still the hordes pressed remorselessly onward.
The Main Red Force advances steadily

Enjoying some success, the Red armoured car section forced the Gurkhas to seek cover amongst the ruins of a once extensive home, while the Sikh Mountain Battery fruitlessly engaged the vehicle in their support.
The Second Gurkhas and a Mountain Gun Battery in support

However, whithering fire from machine guns located in a solid building, supported on either flank by the South Staffords amongst the shrines and the Royal Surreys in the village itself, finally first halted and then drove back the foe.
At the height of the Battle of Tikkabad the RFF advances!

Their morale finally shattered the forces of S.P.I.F.F. headed first for the nearby town of Jonhut and from there towards the safety of the Pass and Mother Russia...
Brig Bykleigh and his Staff take stock as darkness falls over Tikkabad

...leaving Bykleigh and the RFF in possession of the field of victory!

For those of you who like to know these things, the RFF are from my collection, the forces of S.P.I.F.F. from Phil's. Phil made the terrain boards and the buildings of Jakzi, while Tikkabad is comprised of Mutineer Miniatures resin buildings odds and ends from Tiger Miniatures and Grand Manner. I made the two small shrines, utilizing domes from Coritani and statues/reliefs from Tiger and Pulp Figures respectively. The mountain gun is 'on loan' from Darkest Africa/Foundry until I can paint up my new Ironclad one which arrived today! The rules employed were Setting the East Ablaze from Caliver Books.
No doubt that the Reds suffered a significant reverse, but already they are licking their wounds, seeing to their equipment and planning their next move. Rhanzlistan is not safe, yet...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Into Action...


The latest copy of the Rhanzlistan Times to reach your correspondent brings alarming news. The S.P.I.F.F. have been reported to be active in the area of the Bykla Pass, stirring up trouble for the Empire amongst the erstwhile loyal tribes of the Bhurpas. This is undoubtedly the handiwork of one Ivan Justokov and the Russian Mission to Rhanzlistan!

Action will be joined here in GHQ on Friday, when Commrade General Robinski and the forces of S.P.I.F.F. will be engaged by the Rhanzlistan Field Force for the first time. Here we see the Shropshire Yeomanry column leading the way!

Pop back in due course to read the special report of our correspondent embedded in the RFF HQ.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Setting the Scene

Even an imaginary setting for Back of Beyond games needs some sort of geographical location rooted in reality in some small way. Rhanzlistan is no exception to this rule. I wanted to locate it close to, but not on, the North West Frontier, if only to be able to justify the incursion of the Russian hordes of the SPIFF, not to mention the possibility of those dastardly Chinese of Wun Ung Lo making an appearance. So, where is Rhanzlistan to be 'found' you ask? The map following shows its general location in the north west of the sub continent.

As you can see, Rhanzlistan lies to the west of Rawalpindi and north of Mianwali, occupying an area which in reality was a part of the Panjab in 1920. It is a land of many rivers, mountains, plains and of scattered villages and towns. The principle City of Rhanzlistan, and site of the Governor's Residence, is Byklabad, a city of some notoriety during the Mutiny of the mid C19th! Other important towns are Muuha, Pa'Dhok and Phi'Lippe, while Fort Aston guards the southern approaches to the Frontier.

Rhanzlistan is administered for the Empire by the Governor, Sir Godfrey Godalming, from his Residence in Rhanzlistan. His Excellency is seen here with Brigadier Bykleigh and the young Prince Kasim, the rightful heir to the throne of Rhanzlistan, who 'lodges' with the Governor as a surety for the loyal behaviour of the Bhurpa tribes.

Most recently posted to the Province of Rhanzlistan to bolster its defences are the Shropshire Yeomanry, seen here under the command of Major Whyte.

Rummours abound in the souks and market places of Byklabad that the RFF will soon be in the field to counter the threats from SPIFF...

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Gentle Start... an occasional series of posts detailing the exploits, adventure, successes, and inevitable failures of the Rhanzlistan Field Force and its intrepid commanding officer, Brigadier 'Tubby' Bykleigh. Here we meet the man himself and his loyal, if somewhat indifferent, Staff ~

From left to right they are: Major J. Moore, Private Partze, and Sergeant Major Manners
The RFF, as we shall abbreviate it for convenience, defends the 'Jewel in the Crown'of Empire from the Bolshevik hordes of the SPIFF, and sometimes from the 'loyal' Bhurpa tribesmen too! Trouble is always being fermented on the remote frontier, sometimes by the mad prophet of Rhanzlistan, Mustapha Leahk...

... and sometimes by those dastardly Bolsheviks in person.

Pop back from time to time to see the exploits of these and other characters across the tabletop battlefield here in GHQ.