Sunday, April 22, 2012

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Further notes on an Indian wargame from reading "Wellington in India".

1. The British army was accompanied by a large number of Mahratta horse. These fellows never seem to have been engaged in battle, but did considerable service in standard light cavalry duties, most notably in piquet work.

2. Logistics is key. Much of Wellsleys struggles concerned getting transport and food. Using large quantities of ready money appears to have helped a great deal.

3. There were no common currencies and care had to be taken to ensure that a supply of accepted cash was on hand.

4. Getting appropriate food stuffs was also an issue. Relatively limited 18th century palates could have difficulty adapting to rice and vice versa.

5. Curiously enough, access to potable water doesn't seem to have been an issue - though much is made of puckalees in battle.

6. The Indian armies described appear to have melted away once the core European style infantry have been beaten. There's a victory rule in their somewhere.

7. Intelligence is key and seems to have come mainly from the binjarries, who were grain merchants, and the hircarrahs, who were professional messengers.

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  1. Hi CK,

    Although slightly earlier Lawfords title give a lot of background to the logistical difficulties of campaigning in India. I will be very interested to see how you develop this and no mistake!

    All the best,


    1. I haven't seen an affordable copy of Lawford, but I'll keep my eye skinned.

      We shall see how this goes.

  2. Conrad, we've done a few key battles in India (mainly EIC-related) but they've always been a blast. You're right about the natives melting away in the event of the Europeans losing!

    1. I'm considering a plan whereby the irregular horse and infantry don't count for victory point purposes.

  3. I had been about to suggest that irregulars not count for victory point purposes: and also that the target numbers be kept small. This might cause the players to have a fight consisting or repeatedly clawing through waves of indian troops to get at the soft European interior...