The Wind And The Lion

The Wind And The Lion
German gunners range in on the U.S. Marines as they cross the vill. Figures are Old Glory German Sea Battalion conversions. Archway by Miniature Building Authority.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Skobelev’s Gamble: 5 February 1891, Chitral Territory Afghanistan


As the hard pressed Chitral garrison holds out the honorable General Horatio McGuinness, KMC drives his reinforced brigade NE to relive the siege. Russian General Skobelev, intent on stopping the Anglo Indian relief force marches SW skirting Chitral Territory with the hope of catching the Anglo-Indian force unawares. Thus the scenario is set.

                                      5 February 1891, Chitral Territory Afghanistan 

A Russian Brigade has moved SW around Chitral to block an Anglo-Indian force headed to relieve the beleaguered garrison of Chitral Fort.


Russian Forces:

General Mikhail Skobelev

Colonel Igor Blaramberg



• Kanzanski Rifles (20 Men)
• Susdal Line (20 Men)
• Borodinski Line (20 Men)
• East Siberian Rifle Regiment (20 Men)
• Semenovski Life Guards (20 Men)


• 1St Ural Cossacks (12 Men)
• Stavropol Circassian Cossacks (12 Men)


• two gun battery (8 Gunners)
• 1 Naval Gatling Gun (4 Crew)



The Russians will start the game entering the North road in column with scouts forward.



Prevent the British relief force from leaving the field of battle intact in order to reduce their fighting capacity and ability to relieve the beleaguered garrison of Chital Fort.

Victory Conditions:

The Russians must capture or destroy the 40 LB gun and limber to deny it’s use in the relief of Chitral Fort and stop the British from exiting more than half of their force off the Eastern Road. 



Imperial Forces: 1st Brigade

General Horatio McGuinness, KMC

Colonel Edward Davenport

Infantry Regiments:

• 66th KRRC (20 Men)
• 72nd Highlanders (20 Men)
• Queens Own Corp of Guides (20 Men)
• 2nd Gurkhas (20 Men)
• 3rd Sikhs (20 Men)
• 58th Vaughan’s Rifles (20 Men)
• 32nd Sikh Pioneers (10 Men)


• 77th Bengal Lancers (12 Men)
• 10th Hussars (12 Men) 


• 1 40 LB gun (4 crew)
• two-gun battery (8 Gunners)
• 1 Gatling Gun (4 Crew)



The Anglo-Indian force starts the game moving in column up the main road heading north with two infantry unitalready on the table.

The 77th Bengal Lancers are at point 225 with the Heliograph team.



The Anglo-Indian force must exit the field of battle via the Eastern Road relatively intact and with the coveted 40 LB gun for use in the relief of the beleaguered Chitral Fort garrison. Colonel Dano MacGurule and Captain Michael Lucas are depending on you!


Special Rules:

To enter or exit a structure, ascend or descend stairs, go through a door, gate, or narrow passage, embark or disembark a conveyance, or to cross a low undefended wall, drop the high die. All other terrain penalties apply as per the standard rules.


Field Gun and MG ammo – roll 1 D6 + 6 for the amount of ammo available for the game, min 5 rds per gun. The infantry have unlimited rifle ammo but cannot fire blindly.


Game Length:

10 turns, or until the booze runs out.


Victory Conditions:

The Anglo-Indian force must exit off the Eastern Road with at least half of their force intact and the 40 LB gun and limber for use in the relief of Chitral FortBeing successful in this mission could earn you a Knighthood, at the very least you will certainly be mentioned in dispatches.



 This game was sponsored with awesome prizes from Al at Askari Miniatures. Everyone got a sample pack of Afghans and Russians or a deck of cards which we use for movement and firing in my preferred rules set The Sword And The Flame.


                                          TURN 1:


Colonel Davenport, a report is coming in from the Heliograph Team at point 225 from the crossroads ahead. “Large enemy force approaching, formed infantry, formed cavalry, baggage train, and artillery. They are Europeans sir, Russians in fact! Our Afridi scouts have just confirmed it, a reinforced Brigade is on the march sir. The Great Game is afoot....

A long column of Russian troops lead by (2) units of Cossacks march south along the road hell bent to stop the Anglo-Indian force. 


General McGuinness' Brigade marches forwards towards the crossroads held by the reconnaissance force, a squadron of 77th Bengal Lancers and a Heliograph team as a squadron of the 10th Hussars cover the column's right flank.


The heliograph crew spots Cossack Cavalry moving westwards towards the village as the Circassian Cossacks advance to cut the road and block the Anglo-Indian advance. 


The Russian column marches onwards as the Cossacks deploy.                                                                           

The 77th Bengal Lancers have maneuvered to the Anglo-Indian left flank to counter the advance of the Ural Cossacks. 

The Russian East Siberian Rifle Regt is closely followed by the Semenovski Life Guards as they move  towards the village on the Russian right flank to support the Ural Cossacks and to occupy the vill. 

                                     Same game turn, different view.        

The Anglo-Indian column starts to deploy units off the road and into double line combat formations to protect the column, the precious 40 LBR gun, and other artillery needed to lift the siege of Chitral Fort.

                                 Brit’s moving North.                                                                          

                            Russians moving South. 

Russian artillery and MG advances to try and cut off the Anglo-Indian force. 

The 72nd Highlanders formed a firing line and poured a devastating volley into the Ural Cossacks. 

The Russians surge forwards, sending infantry units in line to attack the crossroads as well as columns and cavalry on their left flank to close the road exit. 

Her Majesty’s 8th Regiment of Foot make it to the road and set up a blocking force on the 72nd Highlander’s right flank. 

The 77th Lancers follow up the accurate rifle fire by charging the remnants of the Ural Cossacks in the following movement phase. 

Russian left flank pushes hard to cut off the road. They are being blessed by a priest as they double-march past. 


      Gurkhas and Sikhs form up behind the 10th Hussars who have taken control of the eastern road egress. 


                                          The Borodinski and Susdal Line Regiments advance

As soon as the Gurkhas occupy the ville they are charged by The Russian Borodinski Line Regt. who are supported by the Susdal Line Regt.


The Kanzanski Rifles take the lead in the assault. 

The  British 10th Hussars charge the Kanzanski Rifles who are in open order formation. Not a good formation to be in when being charged by determined regular cavalry!

                         Russian guns unlimber and post up next to the Siberian Rifles firing line.

                                   The Anglo-Indian troops are now in range, FIRE! Russian Sailors manning a Gorlov / Gatling Gun MG support a 9LB field gun.

Pablo running the Anglo-Indian Left flank being carefully watched by Stephan who's the right wing Russian commander.

Semenovski Life Guards advance over the bodies of the Ural Cossacks who were wiped out!

Furious melees break out on the Anglo-Indian right flank. The remaining battalion of the Kanzanski Rifles along with the reconstituted Susdal Line Regt. and the Borodinski Line Regt. attack the Gurkhas and Guides infantry battalions supported by the hard charging 10th Hussars. (Capt Lucas on left Dr. Jones on right)

The Anglo-Indian artillery and support column moves towards the east road screened by infantry battalions in line.

My gaming nemesis on The Grim, General Mikhail Skobelev, the entire reason the Russians have invaded the NWF in our campaign. My friend Bob (in orange t-shirt) flew down from Kansas once again to lead his Russian forces in our ongoing NWF Campaign. Thank you Bob for sponsoring the Russians and for being an awesome opponent in this ongoing LAF - NWF Campaign - Never Trust Anyone on the Frontier

Russian artillery find the range and begin to hit the Anglo-Indian line causing casualties. Explosion markers by Bud's Blast Markers. (5) of these come with the awesome dice box featured earlier.

Dr. Jones (on left standing in blue) and Gunboat Dan (in green) fight yet another melee using a Bu's Blast Markers as Bud's friend Shawn watches in amazement.... LOL

The reconstituted Kanzanski Rifles loose another melee and rout over the mountain range.

The Semovenski Life Guards secure their right flank against the marauding 77th Bengal Lancers with the support of their Priest. 

A mule born Russian mountain gun posts up next to the Siberian Rifles who are pouring small arms fire into the depleting Anglo-Infantry firing line.

The 10th Hussars fall back after winning the melee with the Kanzaski Rifles due to rifle fire from the Susdal Line Regt. as they are about to be supported by the 3rd Sikhs following closely behind.

The Anglo-Indian artillery train keeps plodding along behind the screen of stalwart empire infantry!


      Russian artillery ranges on the artillery column and their screening infantry in front of them.

With a concentrated battery fire the Russian artillery rips huge holes in the Anglo-Indian firing lines and even would some of the artillery transport!


With a last ditch effort the Stavropol Carcassian Cossacks attack spurred on by their Priest with holy icon to try and stop the column.

Alas it was not to be for the Russians today. The Critical Anglo- Indian Artillery move off the table at the eastern road egress and continue towards Chitral Fort to relieve the beleaguered garrison! The Anglo-Indians are victorious this day, though they have a long way to go in hard going contested county.

Your host Sgt. Guinness sporting an awesome t-shirt my friend Captain Shanks’ nephew made for he and Mad Guru's game at a Desert Wars Convention 2 years ago.

The usual suspects: My friends and gaming pards, front row from left to right, Rick Welch (who sadly passed away shortly after this game) Rick's eldest son Stephan, Pablo, Capt. Lucas, Marc, Jeff (Sgt. Guinness) 2nd row, David (Rick's youngest son) Bob, Dr. Jones, Gunboat Dan.

This was another fun game played out with my friends at one of the great Florida cons put on by HMGS-South and personally ran by me from the SMG - South Florida Miniatures Gamers based in    
Fort Lauderdale. We used my favorite rules set once again, The Sword And The Flame by Larry Brom.