Thursday, 20 February 2020

The Second leg....

The Journey Continues:

Having moved on from Bivandi Pura the train crosses the plain without further incident. However, at 20:00, just as light is fading and the train pushes into the Nagil Uplands, 10 riders approach and shadow the train, half their number shooting. 

The sepoys return fire with the Maxims but the rebels follow the train for almost an hour (still encumbered by the "Battering Ram" Victoria is struggling at half speed once in the hills). During the exchange Dhaktar is badly hit, and incapacitated, but the Maxims kill or wound six of the enemy, and they give up as darkness falls.....

(This was a Train Tile, dice & paper exercise, not fought out on the table)

At 22:00hrs Cpt Scott orders the train to stop and the passengers and crew disassemble the battering ram. While they are doing so Gupta spots something up with the line ahead (another event throw). There is a fault on the line. This consumes another full hour moves to sort out, so that it is midnight before the train can move off again. Cpt. Scott stays on the footplate in order to gain the rudiments of train driving (Yes, he should have thought of this before - Gupta is knackered and will need a rest very soon).  I also realise that he has STILL not unlocked and distributed rifles to the passengers - and with Dhaktar hors de combat THIS could be an error, but Cpt. Scott is now tied up with the engine.

The train chuffs on.

At 01:00hrs. Mr. van Leyden attempts to lure Kishan out onto the forward viewing platform, with the intent to "accidentally" throw him off the train, but the Prince resists.  The other passengers wake up.  Mr. van Leyden fails a "Killing Resolve" test (too many witnesses - and he is not yet desperate enough) but there is a verbal altercation with Mrs Whyatt and Mr. Bridie, during which Kishan slips away from van Leyden's grip.  Mr. v. L. backs down and tries to make light of the "misunderstanding". Everything calms, but he is now under suspicion.  

Steaming on through the night with Gupta and Cpt. Scott catnapping in turn, the hours of darkness are uneventful. Dawn comes, and the train leaves the hills at about 07:00. Mera should be a scant four hours away. 

But as the train reaches the plain, horsemen appear - about 14 of them. They pursue the train - but with only one Maxim shooting, and the rifles still not having been unlocked (Doh!) this could prove a problem. As the rebels shoot at the train Sepoy Khamal, operating the rear Maxim is lightly wounded.  Cpt. Scott scuttles to the central Maxim, but is also lightly wounded. Two burning brands land on the train. Mr. Bridie leaps into the breach, kicking one off the rearward platform, Cpt. Scott deals with the other, but both are hit before they can take cover, Mr. Bridie seriously, Cpt Scott slightly, again. The Maxims take down two of the enemy. Mrs. Whyatt picks up Dhakta's rifle and takes down another horseman..

The enemy pursue into the second move, but four more of their number go down to the Maxims, then another two - with no loss to the train. As the race towards Mera continues half the riders are now down, killed or wounded, and they give up the chase at the end of the second move....  

The train steams into Mera... But all is not well... Cpt Scott has two light wounds, Havildar Dhaktar is badly wounded, as is Mr. Bridie, with Khamal lightly so. All will need treatment.  Cpt. Scott allows Mrs. Whyatt to keep Dhaktar's rifle, but he has now been told about Mr. van Leyden's earlier behaviour, and so keeps the other rifles under lock and key.  

As the train pulls into Mera there are sudden volleys from either side - 19 rifles from one side, 15 from the other.  In the first volley Cpt. Scott - on the forward maxim - is hit three times and goes down, incapacitated. Gupta receives two minor wounds, then a shot to the head, killing him instantly. Khamal, in the Service room, at the rear Maxim, is struck and falls mortally wounded. 

With no driver the train slows to a halt just outside Mera station. The rebels shoot again, then rush the train.

Despite the heroic efforts of Mrs. Whyatt and Mr. Peters with the two rifles taken from the fallen sepoys, both drop to enemy fire, Mr. Peters shot dead and Mrs. Whyatt falling with two wounds. 

As the rebels push in to the carriage (Cpt. Scott is being butchered where he lies wounded outside) pukka memsahib Lady Windham picks up Mr. Peter's rifle and empties the magazine into the leading rebels. Three of them fall before she is rushed and cut down. A general massacre of all, the wounded, Prince Kishan - and Mr. van Leyden ("Just another Farangee") follows.

The journey is over....

Well, that was FUN..... Not the end I anticipated given how well things had been going....

The combination of the "On the Table" for complex actions, "On the Tile" for actions on the moving train/within the train seemed to work well...

I will have another couple of play-throughs and then type up the PDF with all the decision tables, character notes etc. . I can see this system being useful for any train/convoy type "journey saga"...

Any comments or queries please feel free.. 


  1. This does look like some good fun. I'm eager to read your PDF.

    1. Thanks. it seems to be working well, and I'm part way in a second play through. Still some tweaking to do but it's coming on.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, very sad - and took me by surprise.... But hey, that's wargaming.

      I've had another couple of run-throughs, which I'll write-up.
      As always with me there are loads of factors & "chrome" - much of which become irrelevant as events take over (e.g. How much of a crush does Mrs. Whyatt develop for Cpt. Scott? Hardly relevant when both have encountered the wrong end of a Khyber knife), but hey, ho.. All part of the fun..


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