For our first return to Rhanzlistan for a while Phil would command the RFF and I would take control of the Bhurpas. Phil's game objective is to capture the Bhrpa tribal elders and their Soviet adviser, mine to survive 2 turns and inflict as great a loss n the RFF as possible; a line in the sand defence really. We used Bolt Action for the game's rules rather than the usual Setting the East Ablaze. In Turn 1 the RFF enters the table with the Bhurpa positions marked by counters, including 5 to mark sniper positions, of which more later. Piper Imrie leads the column across the Bykla river ~
Phil's infantry on his right flank have already survived their first encounter with the Bhupa sniper concealed in the ruins of a village. For each of the 5 Sniper markers the Bhurpas get one shot at their chosen target only, then the opportunity passes. I chose to target the lead command figure in Turn 1 and promptly missed, a bit of a precursor to the rest of the game ~
A spotter in the hills on the Bhurpa's right flank guides the mortar crew concealed in a village courtyard onto their target, or not in my case ~
The Bhurpa sniper was soon in action again, with Piper Imrie being the unfortunate victim of choice! But nothing daunted, the Gordons and the Bhyklabad Horse continue their relentless advance ~
On the RFF's right flank the infantry advance is hampered by the terrain, but they come on steadily despite the difficulty and the fire of the Bhurpas' antiquated artillery support ~
By Turn 6 the action is heating up all along the front. The 18lb gun comes into action to support the Bhyklabad Horse's bold advance into the heart of the village and F.O. Bikklesworth arrives in his ageing A10 to provide support with two light bombs ~
The first bomb destroys a Bhurpa group in the outskirts of the village, reducing the immediate threat to the Horse to the MMG on the roof of another building on the outskirts. Meanwhile tribesmen concealed in a dry stream bed are poised to threaten the RFF's infantry advance ~
Not that they got very far! The second bombing run is equally devastating and the tribesmen and blown to smithereens. Back in the centre, the Bhurpa Maxim takes a heavy toll on the artillery, forcing them to withdraw, but other Bhurpa elements are less successful and the game tips beyond them in Turn 9. Despite the loss of the Bhyklabad Horse to a surprise flank attack and serious losses to their support from the South Staffords and the Gordons its all up for the Jakzi!
The Jakzi, General Robinski and several Bhurpa tribal elders are captured and once more Rhanzlistan can enjoy a period of settled calm, until the next time of course...
An enjoyable game, for all that my fire was particularly ineffective bar the Maxim's efforts. The game was really swung by the A10's two bombing runs. The first destroying a whole group, the second almost destroying another. With such losses in two turns the Bhurpas could not inflict enough damage to slow the RFF's remorseless advance and Phil was able to achieve his objective in Turn 9. The Bhurpas had mauled the Horse, the 18lb gun, the Gordons and the South Staffords but it had not been enough to turn the game in their favour thanks wholly to the exploits of F.O.Bikklesworth, or Phil's dice of course ~