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

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Triumph of Hardly-Standin

Jon popped over last week for a game, my first since I got home. As I was still suffering from the after effects of excessive travel time, to say the least, I organised a fairly straightforward game set in our Imagination of Rhanzlistan. The premise of the game is that somehow acting on his own initiative the gnarled veteran of frontier warfare, Hardly-Standin, has spirited Prince Kasim, the heir to the deposed Raja of Rhanzlistan, from the clutches of his evil uncle, the Jakzi of Jimbai. All he has to do now is to get the boy to safety. Luckily he happens on a patrol, lead by Major Whyte of the Shropshire Yeomanry, who is making a show of force to cow the Bhurpa tribes into submission.

Commanding the patrol, Jon had 14 moves to exit the table with Prince Kasim while fighting off random attacks by Bhurpa tribesmen. The Bhurpas were randomly allocated to the route and marked by encounter chits. When a figure from the patrol passed the chit it was turned over and the appropriate group of Bhurpas deployed on the table. If the Bhurpas could capture the Prince then they would win the game, so Jon had to think carefully about how to deal with each attack as it unfolded.
The Imperial force consisted of Major Whyte and his personal standard bearer; Hardly-Standin and Prince Kasim; The 2nd Jats, two sections, and a machine gun; the Gordon Highlanders, two sections; and a large baggage train of 'tax goods' collected from less than enthusiastic Bhurpa villages! The Bhurpas comprised eight groups of warriors and tribesmen, including a group of sword wielding fanatics, a machine gun team and a mortar group.
The first picture gives an idea of the table layout looking lengthways down the table from a partly ruined village. The route to safety lies to the left along the road leading off the table. The yellow chits mark Bhurpa encounters.

The first group of tribesmen are revealed and are engaged by Major Whyte's command group. He drives them off in a vicious hand to hand fight as the Gordons move up in support.

The Bhurpa attack develops but the Prince is safely amongst the baggage for now.

The Jakzi himself leads an attack on the column as it passes into the village. For a time it looks tight for Whyte, Hardly-Standin and the Prince as more Bhurpas rush to the attack from beyond the village.

The Gordon Highlanders clear the village as the tribal leader, Ghi Mikha, rushes to head off Hardly-Standin's escape route.

There was no real danger though as the draw of the cards finally favoured Jon and the last enemy was destroyed, leaving Hardly-Standin, Whyte and the Prince to exit the table in triumph.

The game lasted 13 turns, using our preferred rule set "Setting the East Ablaze". All the figures and terrain are from my collection, featured in last month's Wargames Illustrated if you missed it! The Bhurpas were let down by the last chit turned being the machine gun team, while in close combat Hardly-Standin twice saw off superior numbers of Bhurpa warriors, even Prince Kasim cut down one or two for himself! All in all, a finely balanced game right up to the end we felt and great fun too. All I ask from my hobby now a days as it happens, though perhaps the odd win would be nice now and then?