Saturday, June 3, 2017

Frivolous Fellows... (Interlude)

In a previous posting, much earlier in the year. I received a comment that seemed to cast aspersions upon the brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Daniel P. Tyler - the IVth of that name.

Frivolous Union  fellows giving the Army of
the Valley (CSA) a hard time.
My reply:
"I have to admit that the figures in Tyler's brigade were never my favourites.  'Frivolous fellows for serious work,' General T.J. Jackson might have said.  I find them surprisingly photogenic, though. They were also a useful source of subaltern command figures and flag bearers..."

I have another Union brigade of 'stabbing down' guys.  Haven't a clue what they are supposed to be doing, actually.  I suppose one could not fault them for lacking a determined look.  In fact, so unappealing are those guys, that I still haven't given them a 'finished' look.  But, waste not, want not; one can not allow a whole brigade to go to waste!

Have you ever noticed, though, that you kinda despise your unfavourite units, and make them into the most brittle types of conscripts, militia, and assorted military, just to drive the point home.  And then these guys stick a finger up the nose of your prejudice, fight like demons, break and run only after extreme provocation, and, if and when they do, rally in a trice like a box of birds?  Meanwhile your pets run into a little hot stuff, squawk, vanish, and if after a long while you do manage to drag them back into the fray, like as not, it will be 'Ho, for the tall timber!' at the slightest hint of incoming (Reason for reaction test: first casualties after rallying from rout).
Regiment of Airfix figures.
(Posted in Archduke Piccolo, January 2010)
I'd probably be inclined to 'hide' the wonky poses among others by mixing the figures in each unit. Here's a thing, though.  Consider the old ESCI or Revell figures.  Individually fairly characterless,  the different poses in single unit give the whole a dynamic look.  The regiment or battalion becomes full of character.  Apart from the standing and kneeling firing, you can't really do that with the Airfix figures.  Individually loaded with character (even the frivolous guys and the 'stabbing down' dudes), a 'mixed pose' Airfix  unit looks simply a mess - in my view.  Even the shooting guys have to stand formally with the kneeling guys in the front rank, and the standing in the second.
Regiments of ESCI figures.
(Posted in Archduke Piccolo, January 2010)
Note that this applies to the infantry only: the Airfix 'Seventh Cavalry' used as the major source of horsemen look fine in mixed units.  Just as well: otherwise one would be buying a heck of a lot of boxes of ten figures apiece!  Mind you, I have at least sixteen boxes of Airfix represented, augmented by one box of Atlantic

Later in the Stonewall in the Valley campaign , if and when General Fremont's Division puts in an appearance, we might see some of my 'mixed' figure ESCI units

Convivial evening.

The Germans hurrying westward towards their own lines see that the Russians
have established a roadblock.
On Thursday evening, my war games buddy, Paul, a.k.a. 'Jacko' (Painting Little Soldiers) paid a visit. Usually we just have a war games chinwag, but on this occasion methought a small game was in order.  World War Two, using the simple rule set and a scenario from Neil Thomas's One-Hour Wargames.
Russian flank attack held by the Germans.  Third Rifle Platoon
has already taken a lot of stick, just 4 SPs of 15 remaining!
These games comprise (usually, though not always) six units the side  On this occasion, being WW2, they were chosen from 3-4 infantry, 0-2 Tanks, 0-2 'Mortars' and 0-2 Anti-tank guns.  The actual composition was decided by dice rolls. Wouldn't you know it we both rolled '2', which gave us 3 infantry, 2 anti-tank guns and 1 'mortar'.
Not that the Germans are getting off unscathed:
the infantry have taken a hit, the AT unit 6.
'Mortar' in Neil Thomas's rule set can stand for infantry guns equally well - the sort of weapon that might be ready to hand in a company level action.  The scale of action in these games is that of a reinforced company, each infantry unit representing a platoon of about 40 men, and each weapon representing a platoon or section of three. So both sides had an infantry company of three rifle platoons, plus support weapons.

The German anti-tank guns were represented by one towed and one half-track mounted PaK40 (treated identically); the Russians had two 45mm guns towed by light trucks. The Red Army 120mm mortar was matched by the German 7.5cm light infantry gun. We neither of us had a tank to bless ourselves with.

As I had rolled first, I did suggest that Paul might like to re-roll. But he was happy enough with the status quo. I discover that Mr Thomas recommended a re-roll in the event of identical forces being generated (I ought to have looked at the time, maybe), but the result was reasonably interesting as it transpired.

Excellent German shooting.  The shooting dice
for the AT guns have already received the -2
adjustment for shooting at infantry.
Paul got the Red Army (Russians. naturally), I got the Blue. Then we rolled for the scenario. Scenario 13: 'Escape'. Although this purports to be the Blue force 'returning from a raid'. I'm more inclined to think of it as a German force struggling to reestablish contact with the front line during the course of a Russian offensive that, having gained several miles of ground, is beginning to peter out.
As the Germans stagger westwards (southwards according to book, but that is simply map orientation), the Russians race to slam shut the doors to escape.  Already a Russian platoon sits astride the road west.
The sudden irruption of the Soviet AT guns deflects the
infantry gun and the infantry in the woods.
As the Germans approach this slight obstacle, there suddenly appears from the south a lot of infantry - two more rifle platoons, swarming over the rise.  At once, the half-track AT gun turns to engage.  As the rules allow 360-degree fire for all units, turning the unit on the spot seems appropriate, for the sake of appearances at any rate.  Now, anti-tank guns aren't generally the best weapons with which to engage infantry (or anything else but tanks), and the SP gun is momentarily on its own.  But the other gun and Nr. 3 Rifle Platoon, swing to the left to join the fight.

The next day I did a bit of maffs and found that under this rule set, a fire-fight between two infantry units against one infantry and two anti-tank is very nearly an even match - just the sliver of an edge in favour of the two infantry in terms of fire-power, but this being offset by the 15 extra SPs they have to eliminate.  But in the German favour here was the clincher - the infantry gun: lethal against infantry.
As it turns out, the SP anti-tank's shooting does a lot of damage to the Russian 3rd Rifle Platoon (Russians in Bold; Germans in Italics).  By the time the other three units join the action, the Russians on the rise are badly outmatched.   Meanwhile the 2nd Platoon and 1st Platoon are fighting their own private duel.  Here the Reds get the first shots, an advantage they never lose.  First Platoon enters the wood in the hope of outflanking the enemy road block.

Each unit begins with 15 'strength points' (SP), reduced by one for each pip on the dice representing shooting at it.  I represented this as a sequence of coloured dice, each representing 5SP in the holders illustrated (assembled from parts given me by Brian 'A Fist full of Plastic' O'Sullivan many, many moons ago).  The sequence was White/Red/Blue.  I place a SP holder only when a unit started taking hits (which is why you find the towed AT gun without a marker - it never took a hit).  Suppose an infantry unit has already taken 1 hit.  The SP indicator is a white die showing '4'.  Then it takes 6 more hits,  Then, having just 8 SPs remaining, the SP indicator is switched to a red die showing '3' (5+3).


Suppose next turn it takes a further 3 hits.  Then the final indicator will be the blue die showing '5' for that number of SPs remaining to it.   
2 Platoon loses its battle, but their distant opponents
have taken a mauling.
Then arrives the pair of Soviet anti-tank guns from the north flank, on the German side of the woods.

I had half-expected that.  The infantry gun at once switches targets to these guns, whilst at the same time the 1st Platoon is recalled and lines the eastern wood edge.  Although the Russian guns inflict some damage, they are badly over-matched - and this without taking into account the superb German shooting throughout the whole action.
The Soviet AT guns under a cross fire - 9 hits on this move
being enough to destroy one unit and bring the other
almost to its demise as well.
Having seen off the flanking Russian infantry, 3rd Platoon and the AT guns swing westwards once more to resume their march.  But 2nd Platoon has lost its fight against the road block (the Russian platoon there helped by a section of AT guns that was close enough to engage the German infantry from the flank).  However, two AT units are no match for infantry backed by an infantry gun, and are soon overwhelmed.

The road block is still there.
A rare instance of poor shooting by the Germans
By the time the final Soviet reinforcement arrives, the 120mm mortar in rear of 1st Platoon, it is too late, as the Germans finally broke the resistance of the riflemen.  It is merely a matter of a concerted push that will knock out the mortar and the Germans can escape.

In retrospect it is hard to determine the balance of that scenario as played with the forces allocated. German shooting was superb all night.  The 'one' shown in the picture to the right for 3rd Platoon shooting was a rarity, and my AT guns seemed to shrug off their disadvantages in this type of fight.  One thing for sure, the Russians could well have used their 'mortar' much earlier in the fight, perhaps substituting for one of the platoons on the hill.

Thanks, Paul, for an enjoyable evening.

Post script:  I was going to include in this posting some comments on scaling WW2 miniatures games.  I'll leave that for another occasion.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Where to go from here?

The battlefield, looking east along to autobahn towards Kustrin.
Just off the table to the left is the river Oder.
I've been thinking a lot lately about my WW2 inventories, and what to do with them all.  Although I have a fondness for Command Decision, especially in its second incarnation, there are too few accessible like-minded gamers in this town.  The other drawback is that you really want a biggish table to play the game.
A small town that is the immediate objective of the German
right hand column.
This set-up has been cluttering up my back room for over a month now - I've visited my daughter and son-in-law in Brisbane, Australia, since laying out this table.  This is not good.  I haven't begun to play the game on it.  The intention was by way of an experiment: re-scaling the ground from 1:1800 (1 inch to 50 yards) to 1cm to 50 yards, a scale of 1:4500.  Seems an unlikely conversion, but may be worth a try.  But I also need to find my rule sets and  ORBATS, and to download and print the CD3 stat sheets before beginning the action.
The main German objective: this large town.  Possibly it
is Kustrin.
The scenario laid out here is based by a dim memory of something from the computer game Steel Panthers: World At War.  Set very late in the War, March 1945 - in fact there ought to be patches of snow here and there about - this is a German counter-attack to recapture the sizeable town and railway station in the northeastern corner of the board.  The defenders comprise a Soviet Rifle Brigade, hastily dug in and  reinforced with small groups of T34/76 tanks.  However,apart from the organic field artillery and mortar battalions they are supported by powerful heavy artillery and rocket batteries off table, with pre-programmed fire missions.
The Soviet rear areas, just west of Kustrin.
The Germans are to make a three-pronged attack with armour and infantry - panzer-grenadiers - with some artillery support, mostly again off table.   On both flanks, the armour comprises a mixed company of Tiger II and Panthers; in the centre Jagdpanther and Jagdpanzer IV with a StuGIV  to arrive from off-table.   The whole rather polyglot battlegroup is supported by Quad 20mm AA, towed anti-tank guns and assorted oddments.   The centre column is led by armoured reconnaissance.
Looking along the line of the stream and the Soviet
defences.  The rather orphaned infantry gun wants a base
and a crew.
The pictures you see here depict the battlefield, with the Russian Rifle Brigade in situ, awaiting the worst.  The Germans are just crossing their start lines.


Russian infantry, armour and anti-tank
covering the autobahn.
But I am seriously looking in future to going the Not Quite Mechanised or possibly the Megablitz route.  Back in January I picked up some second-hand equipment - mostly German - and, after a rethink, grabbed a job lot of plastic Russian infantry.  I don't know the makers (observant readers might be able to tell me) but they are very nice figures.  Whoever had them before me picked out a few bits and pieces, and I got the rest.
Add caption
From them I was able to assemble 5 groups of 6 stands each comprising 3 'rifle' bases (one with LMG), 1 MMG base, 1 Mortar base and 1 Antitank Rifle (PTRS) base.  It seemed to me these groups would make fine battalions in the Not Quite Mechanised (NQM) style.  The complete sprues would have given me a sixth such group, but the absent support weapons can be supplies easily enough from my existing inventory.  You will observe that I haven't been over-consistent with the base sizes.  At that they will not fit on the 'standard' NQM 'stands' as I infer them. I'll probably go for stands 10cm wide by 5cm deep (ground 'footprint' 250m x 125m.  The temptation is to make them 12cm by 6cm, to match the 'real estate' of a battalion in defence, as per spec.  There remained some command and comms figures, and more SMG armed fellows that seemed to suggest SMG-armed fighting bases for Rifle Brigade SMG platoons/companies, or tank 'desantski'.
Grouped plastic infantry - see text.  The flagged command
stand is metal, the flag home made from paper.  The flag
was machine generated - I had to design the hammer and sickle
motif pixel by pixel.
Chris Kemp's own NQM ORBAT for Soviet Rifle divisions call for slightly smaller battalion groups, with 3 'fighting' rifle bases and 2 'support' bases, one of which is a command base. I think that my own battalion group 'fits' a rifle or mechanised brigade's battalions as well. I am very tempted to add a seventh 'base' as a separate 'command' ('C' with 1 strength point or possibly 0 SP) or maybe 'command/SMG platoon' (CF1).


A NQM  Rifle Battalion?  Figures undercoated black
and dry-brushed white over the top.  Up coming painting
project.
My tentative Orbat for a Rifle or mechanised Brigade looks something like this:

Brigade Command*: 
  Commander, car/jeep or GAZ,
  Signals stand with appropriate comms vehicle
3 Rifle Battalions each with:
  1 command + support bases: 1 50mm or 82mm Mortar + 1 MMG + 1 PTRS/PTRD (SP=3)
  3 fighting bases (armed with rifles, SMG and LMG) (SP=3).
  Total battalion SP=6
1 Artillery Battalion:
  0-1 FO; 1x76.2 field artillery (SP=2, or SP=3 for Guards Brigade)
1 Mortar battalion:
  0-1 FO: 1x120mm or 82mm mortar (SP=2, or SP=3 for Guards)
1 Organic Anti-tank Guns
  1x37mm, 45L46, 45L66 or 57mm AT (SP=2, or SP=3 for Guards)
1 'Motorcycle/Recon' Battalion**
  1x recon Motorcycle (SP=2), 1x recon jeep with (opt) AAMG (SP=2), 1x armoured car (SP=2)
1 Tank Regiment (Mechanised Brigade only)***
  1xT34 or Sherman tank (SP=3); 1x command T34 or Sherman (SP=2)

* As I have more in the way of command and comms figures than vehicles for them, I'm as likely to filed them as personnel stands rather than vehicle stands, or, probably, both.

** The Motorcycle unit seems to have been a mixed bag, so much so that one can't really speak in terms of a 'typical' such unit.  Some even had tanks.  However, my own seems to be a reasonable example.  I suggest that one might whack in whatever takes your fancy up to a maximum SP of 6.  So the 76th M/C Battalion of 4th Guards Tank Corps might be depicted like this: 1 x m/c (SP=1), 1 x BA32 (SP=1), 1 x M3 halftrack (SP=1), 1 x light tank (SP=1), 1 x Anti-tank Gun (SP=1), 1 x Field gun (SP=1).  A rather special unit!

***In NQM terms the first tank would count as 'F3' the second as 'CS2', for the rest, I have left off the fighting, support and command designations for the time being.  I have not yet determined what the logistics (LOG) elements should be.
And NQM battalion in road column, marching past a
potential LOG element.
But in the picture above, I have offered some indication that infantry units might well include a pack horse stand with, say two horses, or a wagon or cart drawn by a single horse.

All of this is so far quite tentative, and something to think about in the cold winter months...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

BMC revisited.

My painted inventory before march.
About 6 years ago, I (re)discovered my BMC American War of Independence (Yorktown) figures my daughter had bought for me a long long time before.  This was through reading a blog by 'Uncle Thor' and finding out about his 'toy soldier art' and 'OMOG - One Man One Gun' rules for non-war gamers' war games that I could at last see how I could get some fun out of them.



Shortly after that their numbers were increased by a friend unloading his small inventory of BMC figures. Not knowing much about the figures, I painted the 'mitre-hat' guys as British Grenadiers, forgetting that at that time they rather favoured the fur cap, for some reason.  All the same, I made no attempt at reproducing the elaborate designs, or even just the 'GR' cypher on the fronts of this headgear.  The tricorn guys became US Continentals.

Back in about March, a friend ('Jacko' - he of the Painting Little Soldiers blog spot) was visiting Colorado (USA) on business.  There being a store near where he was staying he bought a couple of packs.  The larger of the two - a very generous gesture - was for me.  

In it were a cannon and mortar (now I have two of each), a whole bunch of guys with the metal front mite cap and ... eleven chaps with fur caps!  How was I going to 'fit' these into my existing forces?  I wanted the forces to remain more or less equal, but I am fairly sure the Americans didn't go for the mitre caps all that much.  Nor did I want 'all British' on one side; and a split force on the other. 

That left this solution:

Grenadiers of the Saintonge Regiment



The fur cap guys became French grenadiers of the Saintonge Regiment.  The choice of unit was based on the flags available. as much as anything.  The flag bearer was made from one of the 'hatted' guys with a pistol (the castings of the pistols was pretty poor, but that can be dealt with).

..
..
There being just 12 of these fellows - one of them stopping a fast moving object - they got the mounted officer.



A splendid little 13-figure company.






The dozen or so other troops became, to develop the theme, what they were supposed to be: German mercenaries.  I painted them up as Brunswickers of the Prinz Friedrichs Regiment.


Fusiliers of the Infantry Regiment Prinz Friedrichs
 I rather regret using the flash when I took these pictures, as it rather tends to bring out the worst in the figures.  But, otherwise,  I very much like the way these guys turned out.

Their numbers have been eked out to 15 figures by the 'Lafayette' (hatless) and 'Cornwallis' figures, and, of course, the obligatory flag bearer.  

Along with the cannon and mortar in the pack came some artilleryman, one of whom is carrying a powder barrel. Much appreciated: I didn't have one of him already.  I painted these guys up that they could be used for any army, even the British - the gunners' uniforms being so similar among the belligerents. For the ordnance, rather than paint the whole piece, I just painted the gun barrel brass, and the tyres and mortar my special gloss-black-and-silver mix for burnished metal.  The same formula was used upon the musket barrels and swords of the figures. 


Having painted these new guys up I held a grand review of all the figures, as if arrayed for battle.

Grand review...
There are enough gunners to provide all pieces of ordnance with a crew of 3.  But I've kept them and their crews, but for 3 red-coated gunners, sufficiently anonymous to represent artillery for either side. With roughly 45 figures a side overall, I reckon there is more than enough for der kleine kriege...
These forces are not designed for big battles, but for something more in the line of 'affairs of outposts'.  I dare say light troops and irregulars would be better suited, but I'm more than happy to see grenadiers, lini infantry and fusiliers take up these duties...




...

Travel Battle Campaign Map

Looking at Bob Cordery's Travel battle Napoleonic campaign maps, I was quickly struck by the rotational symmetries of the 4-piece quadrants in both maps.  I wondered if there was an easy way of eliminating, or at least reducing those symmetries.

To save a bit of time, I copied one of Bob's printed campaign maps onto a picture file, and, using Microsoft Paint (it might be primitive by industry standards, but it has the features I want and use often) made certain modifications.

1.  Selected the leftmost column of four, and transplanted it on the right hand  side.
2.  Observing that the top and bottom centre blocks of four were rotationally symmetrical, rotated one only piece in each, left 90 degrees..

Here is the map thus produced:


I agree, many would like symmetry as offering a fair and even playing field, as in chess.  But others will prefer asymmetry as posing problems of its own.

The above map offers useful  4 entry points on three sides; 3 on the north side if you discount the farm driveway at the top left.

North-south there are two distinct through-routes, but east-west there is but one.

Note that the above 4x4 array contains 24 gameboard pairs. The gameboard pairs offer 16 permutations.  So of the pairs above, at least 8 must be identical, however oriented (e.g. top left vertical and top right vertical; bottom left and right vertical, and I can see one other pair that appears four times.  

Interesting, this sort of thing...

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Hunt for the Bey of Bassorah - The Battle.

Col. Redfers Carmine's column advancing deep into the
sun-drenched Medifluvian country...
As Colonel Redfers Carmine's column advanced deeper into Medifluvia, they saw not a sign of anyone who might oppose the march.  A few distant camel riders might stop and observe them for a few moments, before riding off into a disappearing cloud of dust.  Presently the Ruberians came upon a stretch of country dotted about with low hills and stands of palm trees.
The Bey's men coming surging out from concealment...
Not ideal ambush country, this, but not to be discounted, neither; Col Carmine arranged his troops in two columns.  His sole cavalry squadron led the right, two rifle companies following, and the artillery half-battery bringing up the rear.  The placed himself at the head of the third rifle company and the Gatling detachment forming a parallel column to their left.
Surprise!  Already having come under artillery fire,
 the dragoons are hit in flank by sipahis.
In what follows, I won't be offering a blow by blow account - just a general flow of events.
The Ruberian cavalry, scouting ahead, suddenly came under fire from the Bey's cannon,  Their attention thus drawn northward, they were surprised by the sudden onset of the Bey's sipahis, scimitars a-glint, slamming into their other flank.  That is to say, after their artillery salvo, the Turkowaz 'won' the initiative roll.    This cost the Ruberian dragoons a strength point, after which, however, they were able to swing around to confront their assailants.
The gunfire was, of course, the signal for the Bey's entire force to come surging out from cover. There was nothing sophisticated about his tactics.  'Swarm and swamp' just about summed it up.  In response, the rear units in the Red column swung outwards, the whole force forming three sides of a rectangle.  All three were coming in for a crackling rifle fire.
Coming to the aid of his dragoons, the gallant Colonel Carmine led a company, bayonets fixed, into the flank of the sipahis battling them, forcing them to break off with heavy loss.
It was not long before the Bey was wondering whether. in opposing this Ruberian expedition, he had chosen the path of true wisdom.  Ruberian firepower seemed to be gaining the upper hand.  His leading band of sipahis had been flung back.  Those accursed machine guns were decimating one of his levy bands on the south flank, whose attack was not helped by the delay to their friends having to clamber through a stand of palm trees.
The north flank attack seemed to be doing no better.  Faced with the loss of a third of their strength, one band had to choose between hanging on against the odds, or falling back.  Appreciating that to fall back simply meant taking his people beyond the range of his muskets, whilst still under fire, the tribesman's chief growled his men to stay in the fight.
It is true, though, that the early exchanges were going against the Bey.  After two or three bounds of firing, the Turkowaz had lost six Strength Points to the Ruberian two!  The latter was now not much nearer its 'exhaustion point' than their assailants.  Shortly afterwards, the Gatling section, having shredded their attackers looked about for fresh targets,  On the north flank one of the levy bands was also driven out of the fight.  Lacking targets, the artillery felt it could do nothing better than to engage the Turkowaz artillery.
It was the close quarter fighting to the front of the column that was holding them up.  No sooner had the company Colonel Carmine was with driven off the enemy horse attacking the dragoons, when they found themselves attacked in quick succession by more enemies.  Bursting through the palms, the second levy band attacked Carmine in flank.  Turning to face these fresh opponents, presented their other flank to a fresh body of sipahis.  From now on Carmine was in a battle for survival.

Nor could he expect much help from his other troops.  There remained just enough pressure from the northern flank and from in front to tie down all who might have come to his aid.  That he still had unengaged levy impatiently awaiting an opening to attack the head of the infidel column served to encourage the Bey in his battle.
But Carmine and his company were not going down without a fight.  at great risk to himself (I had to roll at least three times to determine his fate) he kept his dwindling band in the fight.  The enemy, too, were feeling the effects of the close quarter struggle.
Having driven off their immediate opponents, the dragoons, were to find themselves with enemies on three sides.  With no available line of retreat, they burst forward, hoping that by breaking through they might yet escape the peril.  It was to be a death ride.  Though they inflicted some loss upon the enemy, there was to be no escape for the dragoons.
In its battle with the southern flank levies, the Gatling section had taken considerable loss.  Lacking targets, they began to swing over to the northern flank, where the two rifle companies were by now just barely maintaining a line (One had been reduced to 1SP, the other to 3).  In fact, Carmine's whole command was by now much reduced - enough to reach its 'exhaustion point'.

Here was the situation:|
Dragoons.....................................SP3 reduced to SP1
Leading right flank Rifle Coy.....SP4 reduced to SP1
Following right flank Rifle Coy..SP4 reduced to SP3
'Carmine's' left flank Rifle Coy ..SP4 reduced to SP2
Gatling Section............................SP2 reduced to SP1
Artillery Troop.............................SP2..................SP2
Carmine's HQ...............................SP6..................SP6
Total:............................................SP25 reduced to SP16



The exhaustion point having been reached the Ruberians could, according to the rules, make no aggressive action, and therefore the Dragoons ought not to have made its bid to escape.  I simply forgot to check the situation betimes.  In fact I forgot that the exhaustion point might already have been reached.  But apart from the Gatlings joining the rifle companies facing northward, the Ruberians were to undertake no other aggressive action.
At last flinging off the attack from the southern flank, Carmine seemed able at last to turn his full attention to the sipahis still attacking him.  But he was also aware of approaching Turkowaz tribesmen coming to the aid of their comrades. Worse, there was nothing left of the company he had personally led against overwhelming numbers.   It was becoming apparent, even to him, that his column was not going to reach the Bey's Provincial capital this trip.
At this point the Bey called off his attack.  His own force had taken considerable punishment, and was also about ready to quit the field.  In fact it too had at last reached its exhaustion point.  Having got this far, I totted up the SPs lost: Ruberians 12 out of 25, Turkowaz 14 out of 40.

Although the butcher's bill gave the honours to Ruberia, there was no doubt at all who had won the victory.  The Bey could sip his coffee with the added pleasure of knowing his capital was safe.  His tribesmen had fought well.

Below and to the right are a couple of pictures of my 19th Century RED (Ruberia) and BLUE (Azuria/Turkowaz) armies as work off and on in progress.  In the above game, the units had the 'feel' of companies, and Carmine's column roughly a battalion in strength - three rifle companies and a Gatling section - reinforced by a squadron of dragoons and a troop of artillery.  In raw numbers they were probably outnumbered 2 to 1, but of course the superior firepower of the Ruberians made up for some of that. During the game, I thought I might have got the play balance wrong, but it proved pretty well right.
But I am by no means limited to this.  A 4-figure rifle stand might equally well represent a regiment or brigade, for a whole different type of game.
...