Queen Victoria’s Little Wars, In the Heart of Africa modified, 28mm
This was a period we hadn’t played for a long time, so Colin Jack and I decided to run an Indian Mutiny game. For some reason we didn’t have a suitably dusty table covering, so we made do with a game set in the monsoon season instead! The idea was that two British columns were trying to cut their way through to an Mutineer-held town. My troops never even managed to cross the river, as they met a whole horse of “Pandies” appearing through the groves, and were soon fighting for their lives against a large force of mutineers. Casualties were high, but eventually British puck won the day – helped of course by rifled muskets and good morale!On the southern flank the British force crossed the river, only to run into a cross-fire of Mutineer artillery and small-arms fire. However, this time the British were able to keep their distance, and their superior rifles did the rest, mowing down successive waves of mutineers as they tried to reach the British line.By the time the game ended the British had clearly won, as they’d caused a lot more casualties and broken the Indian force, but the British (particularly in my column) took unacceptably heavy casualties while winning this pyrrhic victory.The rules were In the Heart of India, a home-grown adaptation we use of Chris Peers’ In the Heart of Africa rules. Like all Chris peers’ style rules they’re quick, bloody, and usually give an enjoyable game. This was no exception, and both sides seemed to enjoy themselves, particularly when the dice were rolling the right way! Another advantage is their simplicity.The “pandies” facing me were commanded by a guy who usually plays fantasy games, and this was one of his first historical outings. This poor deluded chap managed to pick everything up within minutes, helped by a playsheet with all the basics on it. the game has actually inspired me to paint up my Mutiny-era British, who’ve been languishing in the lead pile for a year or more – ever since I ran out of steam after painting the Mutineers!