Indian Mutine-Era Playtest

I had an evening free on Tuesday, and in the absence of any visitors I decided to do a solo playtest of one of my proposed "Indian Mutine-era" scenarios for the "Taiping era" mutiny supplement. This is  Fatehpur, which is one of Havelock's early victories.

The figures are my old Minifig 25mm armies from way back. The set up is about right, except the village should be flanked by swamps (which the Indians think are impenetrable, and the British don't) and there should be some hills in the mango groves. I should also probably have put out more rebels.

The British have to capture the town, drive the mutineers off and then exit the far table edge. The mango groves are occupied by Mutineers and "Badmashes". The British are all rifle armed, except for two Sikh units. As I'm using troops based for another game system it isn't clear how many bases are in each unit. Broadly speaking 2 figures are equal to a single base. The British are deployed to deliver volleys into the troops defending the groves. The artillery in the centre start to exchange fire.

Here are the massed mutineers, defending the village. They do look jolly colourful and neat and tidy.

The British deploy into Open Order so they can advance through the groves more easily. With rifles this doesn't affect firing effectiveness so much. The Sikhs stay in line as they have muskets, and take artillery damage. The challenge with Open Order is you have to avoid being contacted by formed troops.

On the other side I try the same. This is more difficult. There's one Sikh and one British regiment facing four Sepoy battalions.

The well directed rifle fire starts to tell on the Badmashes in the groves. I'm using Rummikub(R) tiles to show revised MV as I didn't think Mah Jong tiles were suitable. Suggestions welcome.

The British form up to charge the Badmashes, but they've already had enough and drop back. In the background you can see the Sepoy artillery starting to suffer.

This enables the British to push through the groves more quickly, being able to use Open Order again.

On the other flank, the 84th Foot prepare to launch a bayonet charge into the groves.

The British clear the left hand groves.

On the right the bayonet charge, led personally by Major Renaud, is brutally effective, and the front Sepoy unit breaks, taking their supports with them. The Sikhs are having to be more circumspect. Hordes of Badmash cavalry starts to move up.

The 84th wheel to attack the troops who are being held in place by the Sikhs. The Badmashes charge the "loyal" native horse. One unit refuses to charge, having been shot up by artillery. The native horse are performing better than historically.

The British on the left form up having left the groves. One battalion has been sent left flanking in Open Order.

The Sepoys and Highlanders start to exchange fire. At close range muskets are as deadly as rifles.

The native horse excel themselves, breaking the Badmashes (un-be-lieve-able dice rolling) and pursuing them across the board.

It all hots up on the right flank, with everyone crossing bayonets.

The Highlanders charge home. This could be nip and tuck.

On the right the remaining Sepoys in the groves break and flee. The Sepoy horse survives being swept away by the Badmash rout.

The Highlanders win their first round of combat, and the British achieve a passage of lines, so a fresh battalion of the Madras Fusiliers can get stuck in.

So I'd been playing for a couple of hours, just about, which is enough of my own company. The Sepoys look beat to me. The British have some units looking a bit ragged, and you need to ensure these don't break.

It all looked pretty believable to me. It is tough for the Mutineer player, up against well motivated British troops, but their Western Drill means they don't just stand there and get out manoeuvred like the Imperial Chinese. The British tactics of mixing Open Order and Line worked well, so I was pleased with that.

This'll be a 24 page supplement with four linked scenarios, revised troop values, command cards and a few rule tweaks. I'll put it up on Wargame Vault, and also on Amazon (I like hard copies) for a fiver, I should think, hopefully by the end of September


  1. Lovely to see those old Minifigs troops taking the field, and what a fine collection you have.

    1. I wish I had more of Mutineer figures. Minifigs have a certain charm. I don't think you could ever describe them as beautiful!

  2. Great to view your collection of 25mm Minifigs- just marvelous.

  3. Replies
    1. Nice idea, but easier said than done, I fear.

    2. Blimey! Look what I came across!

    3. Looks nice, but a bit rich for game tokens for me.

  4. According to British officer testimony the Sepoy artillery outshot their British counterparts 3-2. Just as accurate too. Why I don't know.

    The same thing happened against the Khalsa.

    I've come across a few first hand reports of this all from different engagements. It seems solid enough.

    Hope sales are proving satisfactory.

    1. In this game I deployed the guns as "Palace Regulars" not Sepoys. I'm giving players the flexibility. It is an issue. It might be that they fired more quickly, but that British troops were able to deal with the effect better. I neutralised the Indian firepower broadly by use of Open Order, as did Havelock.

      As you'll know from TE there's sufficient number of tools in the box to tweak things to improve/weaken both sides. I had Sepoys at 7/d8 in this game, and Sikhs as 9/d10, but no reason why they might not be the same.

      Sales have been steady in September. Not as fast as IAGBC, but In think word is getting about.

  5. That's good. I have a couple more Taiping posts coming up. I think I've sorted my photo problem.

    If I can go off topic a bit. How would you rate the Miao using Taiping Era?

    1. Good question, which you see I skillfully avoided in the rules. I'd say they were more up for it than Imperial Chinese, so 7/d8. At least that's what I usually use. I also give them muskets not matchlocks.

  6. Grand.

    In my future Taiping posts I'm trying to give the stat's for both Taiping Era and FoB3.

    I think it will make it easier for folks newly come to the period.

    1. Thanks. That'll help.

      On the stats I'm prepared to be flexible, as like the stock market performance does seem to go up and down. It's one of the reasons I don't do army lists, as it is hard to be pedantic about an army in every situation. Concealing the MV from players (if its an umpire led game) until they are forced to test is something I would also encourage.


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