Thursday 28 June 2012


Well, depite being busy with Battle Group Kursk related material I have found some time to continue my current colonial project. By necessity it is slow going, but I have written up the scenario background and completed the terrain - namely the Afgan compound. When I get a chance I shall lay it all out and take some pre-battle photos, but for now here is the scenario, and my sketch map of the compound.

2nd Afgan War. 29th July, 1880.

The British have been fighting the Afgan rebellion since 1878, and had succeeded in defeating the revolting Afgan-Ghazi forces in most engagements of the war, until on July 27th they suffered a defeat at the Battle of Maiwan Pass. 

Stragglers, walking wounded survivors and a few shirkers from that battle have rallied at an isolated compound of in the dusty Jangafar Valley, not far from the Kandahar road. These remnants have formed a composite platoon under the command of Captain Chigley, a rather drunken supply officer of limited competence and experience, but large wallet. He  had been commanding a unit of auxiliaries using the compound as a supply base and watering hole for the British field force – before, hearing of the defeat, most of the auxiliaries ran away. Too drunk to abandon his post when his men ran, Chigley now finds himself in command of a rallying point in the post-defeat turmoil.

The rest of the British forces arriving at Jangafar have been a rag-tag bunch. Lieutenant ‘Chippy’ Minton, Royal Artillery, is now the 2-i-c, and has organised the men into five sections, under Sergeants Pugh and McGrew and Corporals Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb.  He knows that the Ghazi forces now infest the area, and is expecting that their presence at Jangafar will soon be discovered, so is preparing to fight.

At any given time in the day two sections are resting, whilst two sections are on work detail, reinforcing the defences, preparing food etc, and one is on sentry duty. 

The Jangafar Compound
This is a typical sprawling Afgan dwelling, it consists of three main ‘buildings’, linked and surrounded by sturdy 7’ walls. It consists of the main residential block, the mosque/palace and the servant’s huts. It has a small, well irrigated walled orchard, a central well and there is a nomad camp just outside the main entrance, who had set up to trade for supplies with the auxiliary troops, but these traders have fled into the hills with the arrival of the Ghazi forces (but left their camels behind). 

The rest of the  Jangafar valley is a hot, rocky and dust place, with many bare rock outcrops for cover and few scattered scrub-trees. One rock, known to the men as ‘the Devil’s Shoulder’, overlooks the compound and is currently being used as the lookout point by the British.

This will be desperate fight for survival against overwhelming odds. Yesterday  a runner was dispatched up the valley to British forces thought to be at Janganeer to request assistance, but it is unknown if the messenger got through to deliver the request. In the meantime, with the area is now riddled with ferocious and blood-thirsty Ghazi. Chigley, Minton and their men are staying low and holding tight. 

The Ghazi
Most of Ayub Khan’s forces have set off towards Kandahar to engage the main body of the British Army, but others have begun to plunder the surrounding area. Thus does a raiding party enter the Jangafar valley to discover its compound and small rag-tag British garrison.  

Captain Chigley – mostly drunk
Lt ‘Chippy’ Minton
Sergeant Pugh + 3 men
Sergeant McGrew + 3 men
Corporal Cuthbert + 3 men
Corporal Dibble + 3 men
Corporal Grub + 3 men (armed auxiliaries)

Currently unknown, but it’s enough to know that there is a lot more of them!

Sketch Map of Jangafar Compound and tabletop

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