Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bala Hissar or Bust! 1879 Fictional Scenario, Second Afghan War

Here are a few images of a Second Afghan War era game using "The Sword and the Flame" rules. The beautiful "set" was designed and built by Ethan "Mad Guru" Reiff. The figures are mostly Ethan's with a few units of Pathans and Bengal Lancers from my own collection.

The scenario called for the Anglo-Indian contingent to break out of their camp, together with a large hoard of camp followers, to try to gain the protection of the British-held fortress of Bala Hissar.

Despite some audacious cavalry attacks by Will and Jeff, pursued in true death or glory style, the overwhelming number of angry Pathans was too much for the column and it suffered the same fate as the British column at Gandamak in 1842.

Ethan's amazing "set" for the battle

The Civilian Camp Followers: quite a burden


The Citadel of Bala Hissar

Which road to use for the march?

The Anglo-Indian Imperial Army Deploys

Pathans appear on the Right flank

Jeff flushes more Pathans on the Right

Will's Bengal Lancers take the Center bridge

The fight on the Right and Center develops

Jeff presses home his cavalry charge

Sikh Infantry supporting the cavalry

Supporting fire on the right from the Encampment

The terrified civilians surge out of the camp gate

Will's cavalry continue the pursuit to the mountain pass

British Infantry follow up over the Bridge

Sikh firing line to the left of the Bridge

Large reserves of Pathan's are everywhere, including in Kabul

Disaster! Painting by Lady Elizabeth Butler: "Remnants of an Army".
What actually happened in 1842.


  1. A beautiful game, if a tragic outcome for the British!

    Where was it run?

  2. Thank you Robert. Ethan hosted at his home in Los Angeles.

  3. What a wonderful looking game Michael - "a set" indeed as the terrain and figures are top shelf.

  4. Michael,

    What a great batch of photos, combined with a highly accurate summary of the day! Thanks very much for travelling to my place for the game, and I hope we do it again soon -- albeit with the various adjustments that will give your side a more even chance at victory!