Example Victorian Steel Battle in words , Maps and photographs
The idea here is to demonstrate some of the key features of the rules by playing a reasonable sized Indian Mutiny encounter
The forces were as follows
An 8 Company Brigade of 4 elite, Enfield rifle armed British and 4 trained, Musket armed Sikhs. All European trained taking 4 and 3 hits respectively.
A 4 Company cavalry brigade of 3 elite sword and carbine armed British cavalry and 1 elite medium horse artillery battery. All European trained taking 4 hits and all counting as armed with melee weapon for willingness to charge and standing against a charge tests.
The temperature was in the high 90’s so sunstroke affected the British (P25) and luckily only 1 member of the horse artillery succumbed.
A 4 company brigade of 4 trained sword and carbine armed cavalry, armed with melee weapon for willingness to charge and standing against a charge tests.
An 8 company brigade of trained musket armed sepoys, all classed as European trained.
A 4 company brigade of 2 trained heavy guns and their supporting 2 companies of trained musket armed sepoys, all emplaced in an earthwork.
An 8 company brigade of 8 companies of third rate tribal forces armed with muskets and melee weapons for the above tests.
Each brigade had a leader none of whom had any of the attributes or failings set out on P24 of the rules.
The objective of the game was the redoubt and under the fatigue rules we calculated the British having 8 turns plus a random roll made on turn 8 before the effects of fatigue (on P25 of the rules) hit them.
Map 1 shows the initial deployment with the wooded hill on the Mutineer right having potential for hidden movement P 28.
So initiative was rolled for with the British having an advantage and moving first. Infantry achieved two orders and cavalry one, so the horse artillery moved, unlimbered and fired forcing one company of mutineer cavalry back 12”
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The mutineers responded with the tribal force achieving three orders and using hidden movement (P 28) and achieving a 48” move by rolling a 3
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To finish off a good turn for the enemies of the Queen the artillery achieved a double shot (P9) all hitting one company of hapless British infantry who were driven back 6” and already at half strength! ( they traded the first casualty for a push back) (P11)
The situation at the end of turn one is shown on map 2.
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Turn two started with the British again winning the initiative and moving first. The small brigade got two orders and the cavalry charged its counterpart winning the melee and subsequent follow up and wiping out a company of Mutineer cavalry at little cost to themselves.
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Both sides passed their respective tests to charge and stand against a charge with no ill effects, and the subsequent morale test caused by the loss of a company was also successful.
The British infantry brigade failed to receive any orders and rumblings about how hot it was were heard from the British ranks!
The Mutineers had no such problems. The tribal forces erupted from the woods following their hidden movement deploying on the flank of the British line.
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Along the line the artillery continued to punish the British infantry disrupting its line,
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and the British cavalry suffered the loss of a base from musketry fire combined with the previous turns melee casualty.
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The British were unlucky in that all the allocated casualties fell on the already weakened company (P15)
The situation at the end of turn two is shown on map 3.
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Turn three started with the British once again winning the initiative. Their advantage in European training and force leadership giving them a plus 2 on the roll required to win.
The Enfield rifle now came into range and along with the muskets scored 10 hits which when allocated forced all of the facing stands back 6” as well as wiping one out. They also elected to break down one company as skirmishers to hold off the flank threat.
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The cavalry failed to receive an order so remained stationery with their carbines proving ineffective.
The Mutineers started their turn with a morale roll as they lost one stand. Anything but a 1 would be a success so they rolled a 1. Halt!
The other brigade rolled three successes but with nothing in range could not take advantage of a double shot. The artillery continued to snipe at the British line causing some casualties.
The flanking force sprang into life obtaining two orders and electing to pin the flank of the company with half the infantry and outflanking with the rest.
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The situation is shown on map 4.
Turn four commenced with the British winning the initiative and moving their left hand companies to face the threat from the tribal forces. After movement they fired but all missed.
The mutineers fared even worse not achieving a single order!. Their fire did force back the British stands and the deployed skirmishers who were grateful for the firing deduction for their open order status (P11)
The situation is shown on map 5.
Turn five and once again the British are on the move , winning initiative and falling back to long range for their enfields, picking up a few hits on the mutineers on the way. A fairly quiet move as both sides draw breath. The Mutineers again having a severe case of order blight only the tribals being able to move and closing the range on the British skirmishers and wiping them out, as well as causing hits on the remaining companies. The close range cancelled out the open order advantage and sheer volume of fire caused the destruction.
As Europeans the British brigade do not need a morale test on the loss of one stand.
The cavalry on the mutineer left had been winging away at each other for some time with no great advantage being achieved. Carbine range is 12” and the fire effect for cavalry is halved compared to an infantry company, unless it is mounted infantry, firing dismounted.
The situation is shown on Map 6.
Turn six started with the British rolling 3 for initiative giving an adjusted score of 5 and the Mutineers also rolling 5, a draw. Under those circumstances the Mutineers gain the advantage (P7-8)
They receive two orders for the tribal forces who sort out their firing line but with no hits achieved.The artillery and cavalry also proving fairly ineffective.
Over to the British, who have a much better turn. The fire of the British right finally forcing the bulk of the Mutineer left to retire two moves, which drives their cavalry, and some infantry, off the table. Allowing the British cavalry brigade and horse artillery to move onto the flank of the redoubt.
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Map 7 tells the story.
Turn 7 and things are back to normal with the British regaining the initiative, and after some very effective shooting seeing off the remainder of the left flank sepoys, who were forced to retire two moves.
As they are an 8 stand brigade down to half strength, they cannot achieve any result better than halt so effectively they are out of the game.
The British cavalry then moved up to threaten the redoubt and at that point the Mutineers decided to quit the field abandoning the heavy guns, as the British had achieved their objective at a cost of one cavalry company and two infantry companies.
The game took about two and a half hours of leisurely play and kept both sides engaged to the end.
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