Saturday dawned a stunning day. I woke early, well before the rest of the group and not wanting to wake the others went for a walk along the shore line. Although the sun was only just up, at just before 6:30, it was cool but not cold. There was absolutely no wind and the lake surface was like glass. I walked maybe 2 kilometres to the southeast along the shore then back another 1 km back im the opposite direction, taking these shots along the way.
Having had my early morning exercise I returned to the house for coffee and a breakfast of bacon, toast and jam.
At a little after 9:00 we went off to Afghanistan in the 1870s. The story was that the wife and daughters of the local garrison’s colonel had gone sightseeing with a couple of guides, but when the guides detected trouble in the area the group had taken refuge in the town and sent back to the colonel for help. The Colonel at once despatched a relief force to recover his beloved and his daughters. It was a significant force that he sent, consisting of three commands. My command consisted of two Indian cavalry units one unit of Marines and two guns. The other two commands consisted of four infantry units each, one of which had a machine gun attached. The rules used were homegrown.
The local Afghan tribes had heard of the predicament of the group of women and sought to capture them, seeing an fine opportunity for ransom, and headed to the town in good numbers.
My command approached on the right of the village, with a cavalry unit on each flank and the marines in the centre, supporting the guns. I advanced rapidly into the town. One cavalry unit entered the town and guarded the exit on the opposite side while the second unit passed around the right end of the town. One gun was pushed into the town square where it could cover the bridge while the other pushed through to cover a ford. The marines pressed forward and entered the mosque, where they discovered the colonel’s family.
Meanwhile to my left an mixed force of regulars and local troops occupied a small wood and the buildings on the left edge of the town.
It didn’t take long for the Afghans to arrive and they made a beeline for the town. One force, with a second in support, crossed the river opposite my force and started a fire fight with the marines, which one of the guns soon joined.
A third force approached the bridge with a fourth in support.
At this point our third force arrived to the left of the river on the flank of the fourth Afghan force. The third Afghan force had a unit of cavalry and attempted to charge across the bridge against my gun, supported by a regular unit in the houses along the road. The British failed to halt the Afghans with fire and a vicious melee started that was only ended when a second British unit joined the fray and drove off the Afghan cavalry.
At this point the British force, having secured the colonel’s family began to pull out, although when the colonel’s wife (with shotgun below) came out of the mosque some men questioned why such an effort was made to extract her, although many were keen to assist the daughters.
The withdrawal was executed pretty cleanly although the Afghans pressed hard against the marines before being driven back. One of my guns was captured, but not before it was spiked.
The withdrawal from the table marked the end of the morning’s game.
The afternoon took us forward 150 years to 2010 and the same village (which had grown in size) with a British force moving to extract an Aljezzera news crew that was trapped in the town by a group of Taliban fighters. The rules used were Chain of Command.
The Taliban were able to deploy in ambush anywhere within the town while the pick-up truck machinegun vehicles could arrive on any of the roads.
The British support vehicles took up an overwatch position on the heights beyond the town while the infantry platoons swung wide around to the other side.
The Taliban vehicles proved quite hopeless and the fighters were quickly neutralised by the British. In the end the British easily entered the town and extracted the TV crew.
We finished the game at around 4:30 and retired to the house for drinks and a fabulous dinner of a fillet of beef, washed down with a several bottles of excellent wine. It was our last full day of gaming.