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Author Topic: A question for North West Frontier gamers  (Read 2993 times)

Offline Sir Rodney Ffing

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A question for North West Frontier gamers
« on: October 08, 2016, 06:20:23 PM »
What do those who game the NWF consider to be the most popular time period in war-games terms?  Is it the 1870s, 1890s, pre WW1, inter war or something else?

I am wondering whether to take the plunge, inspired by TMWWBK, and would feel safest staying in the mainstream. :D

Comments and suggestions appreciated, thanks.

Offline sjwalker51

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 06:52:37 PM »
You're spoilt for choice and, provided you're not a complete purist who worries whether your figures are modelled with Martini-Henrys or magazine rifles, most are useable throughout the 50-60 year span of NWF wars covered by MWWBK.

If you want to be more focused, take a look at the Second Afghan War (1878-80) which gives you everything from the death of Cavagnari, Maiwand etc with all the classic troop types featured.

Then there's about 15 different expeditions over the next 20 years, but the Chitral, Boner, Tochi and Tirah Expeditions are probably best known for the 1890's.

Offline guitarheroandy

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 07:45:32 PM »
I like the period 1879-1898, myself. But I'm not so bothered about the full accuracy of weaponry on the models, so I use many of the same models for all parts of the period in question. If that sort of tomfoolery offends your sensibilities, you'll obviously have to choose. If I were to have to choose, I might go for the 2nd Afghan War because I could get Afghan regulars in as well as everything else...and Artizan models for that parer of the NW Frontier period are so very cool!!!

Good luck and may you never lose control of the Khyber Pass...

Offline Mad Guru

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2016, 09:14:20 AM »
I will second and third the previous two respondants: if you care a lot about historical accuracy when it comes to weapons, equipment and uniforms of your figures, then the Second Afghan War of 1878-1880 is an excellent choice, as you can incorporate probably the widest range of opposition forces, including tribal infantry and cavalry, Afghan regular Inf, Cav, and Artillery, and top it all off with Ghazi religious fanatics, and it is also a somewhat "popular" sub-genre of colonial India gaming.  On the Anglo-indian side you also can field a more colorful and varied force than if you went specifically for the various later 1890s Frontier expeditions, when just about all the British and Indian troops -- other than Highlanders in kilts or trews -- wore nothing but khaki.

(In full disclosure I will admit that the Second Afghan War happens to be my own favorite historical period!)

Along with the full khaki uniforms, those later NWF campaigns mentioned above -- such as the expeditions and campaigns in Hazara (1888), the Black Mountains (1891), Waziristan (1894), Chitral (1895), and the various Malakand, Tochi, Tirah, and Swat Expeditions (1897-98) -- offer magazine-fed Lee-Metford rifles and Maxim guns, which can make for a different sort of game from the previous generation of modern weaponry.

But as has also been noted above, if you're not that fixated on historical detail you can pretty much get away with fielding the same British and Indian troops from say 1878 until clear through to the turn of the 20th Century, after which British helmet styles start to change and Gurkhas start replacing their trademark pillbox caps with more recent trademark slouch hats.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun and if you somehow do manage to lose control of the Khyber Pass, for heaven's sake, launch a major expedition to retake it again!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 09:17:17 AM by Mad Guru »
"We shall see what wisdom lies beneath my madness!"

Offline Sir Rodney Ffing

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2016, 03:55:51 PM »
Thanks chaps for your suggestions.  If I'm honest, I probably fret more over historical accuracy than I should, so would like to narrow things down time wise (hence my original question), while still having several campaign options.  By the sound of it, starting with the Second Afghan War would be a good choice, but I do like khaki too and am interested in the late 1890s.  If I am willing to overlook the change from Martin-Henry to Lee- Metford rifles, how early can I field khaki uniforms?

Offline guitarheroandy

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 05:58:20 PM »
Second Afghan War, hence my original point. Ok, some native regiments may have worn more colourful turbans and puttees may have been different colours then, but you could easily do both periods all in khaki if you were prepared to have some historical licence. And from tabletop distance, the difference between a Martini Henry and a Lee Metford in 28mm is negligible...but then I'm really more about the feel for the period than the fine detail so ignoring such things is easy for me...  ;)

Offline Sir Rodney Ffing

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2016, 06:15:27 PM »
Andy - penny drops, thank you and that probably decides it then.  In my defence, I was up veeeeery early today to watch the Grand Prix and am not quite at my sharpest. 

Offline Mad Guru

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2016, 08:20:35 PM »
Sir Rodney,

There's really only one notable big frontier campaign I know of between the end of the Mutiny and start of the Second Afghan War, Ambela (1863), and the troops who fought it looked a bit different from "classic" late 19th Century Anglo-Indian colonial troops.  As Andy reiterated above, you will be in pretty good shape using c.1880 or c.1898 Brits and Indians for anything from the 1878 start of the Second Afghan War until the Tirah Campaign of 1897-98.  As Andy also said, though the uniforms of many British and Indian troops at the start of this period contained one or two pieces of more colorful uniform details, some of them were already wearing all khaki even in 1878, and the difference in weaponry, though significant, is not so visually striking on the miniature tabletop.  Mixing and matching and intermingling troops from the start and end of this period is just a matter of personal preference.

Offline guitarheroandy

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2016, 09:00:57 PM »
Andy - penny drops, thank you and that probably decides it then.  In my defence, I was up veeeeery early today to watch the Grand Prix and am not quite at my sharpest. 

Worry ye not, Sir Rodney! Just make sure the bayonets are always fixed and at their sharpest and all shall be well on the Frontier!!  :D

Offline sjwalker51

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2016, 09:31:40 PM »
MWWBK is a great set of rules for the period, as I'm sure Andy will agree.

There are some very characterful 28mm figures out there, but consider substituting a base of 3-4 15mm figures for each single 28mm: a unit of 36-48 Brits is going to look like a real company, and should cost about the same. There are some great figures from Blue Moon and Warrior Miniatures, and I challenge anyone to spot the difference between a Martini Henry and a Lee Metford in 15mm from 2-3' away!


Offline fastolfrus

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2016, 10:20:34 PM »
I challenge anyone to spot the difference between a Martini Henry and a Lee Metford in 15mm from 2-3' away!

With my eyesight I would probably fail that one in 28mm never mind 15mm.
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Offline abelp01

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2016, 03:51:04 AM »
Definitely 2nd Afghan War.

Offline LordSpode1879

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2016, 09:41:28 PM »
2nd Afghan War for my money
Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men.

Offline Plynkes

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2016, 11:29:31 AM »
For me it would be the First Afghan War (what can I say, Flashman was a big influence on me), and the 1898 rising. That's if I were ever going to game this region - which I ain't. :)

But as the question was which is the most popular, then I would probably say a vague 1880s-1890s period incorporating the 2nd Afghan War, often with no questions asked as to exactly when the game is supposed to be set (nothing wrong with that, by the way). That's what seems to get gamed.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 11:31:56 AM by Plynkes »
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Upon our prey we steal...

Offline ecwcaptain

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Re: A question for North West Frontier gamers
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 03:23:34 PM »
I'll join my right honourables and echo the Second Afghan War. That said, however, the whole 1897-98 uprising period is loaded with actions. One big difference with the Second Afghan War as compared to other NWF timeframes, is that you will need Afghan Army units (you will not need them for the 1897-98 period; it's all tribal).

Therefore, if you want to start out small, just putting together tribal units, then I suggest start with the 1897-98 actions, and then branch out from there.

Now all that said, for a much better "game" between the forces, actions that occur when the British/Indian units are using pre-breechloading rifles is quite satisfying, as it gives some nail-biting actions. [The second part of my article with two 1852 actions should appear in WI mag at some point, for an example of earlier actions.]
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 03:25:36 PM by ecwcaptain »

 

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