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"NWF units" Topic

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973 hits since 19 Nov 2019
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Dadster Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2019 8:55 p.m. PST

With NWF units are the Parthans assumed to be armed with musket/rifle with side arm of sword or are they seperate units of long arm and melee weapons? Starting to build out my units now and would like ideas on what you guys are doing.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2019 9:48 p.m. PST

In games of The Sword and the Flame and The Men Who Would Be King that I've played, the usual procedure was to have units composed wholly of musket/jezail men and units consisting solely of sword/spear/long knife men. This is a compromise designed to simplify things for gamers and doesn't especially reflect reality (all the guys from a village or extended family forming a unit, though each would be armed differently). Under the "reality" approach, your units would be split up as part of them charged, hoping to make it into contact and the rest stopped to fire and reload. In any case, I don't think there were enough guns to give one to each tribesman for most of the period. Probably more tribesmen got guns as time went by.

A rough generalization I picked up somewhere, is that the southern tribes, like the Wasirs and Mahsuds, were more likely to carry knives and spears and less likely to have guns than the more northerly tribes. The Adam Khel clan of the Afridi tribe (est. at 5,900 men), near the Khyber Pass, could make their own guns, so they would come closer to having a gun for every man than other tribes and clans.


Black Hat Miniatures20 Nov 2019 12:58 a.m. PST

In TSATF games I usually have units seperate with more sword arms units than gun armed ones (or it becomes very difficult for the British). This is easier as the 54mm AIP figures I use are a mix of sword or gun armed. I have played with mixed units and you just roll for those figures armed with guns.

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 4:58 a.m. PST

Hmmm, I don't think I've seen period photos of spear armed NWF tribesmen. i've certainly never armed any of my NWF guys with spears.

I'll have to go google up some.

Edit: Nope, can't find a single one.

Please post a link so I can expand my knowledge.

Thanks, Chick

Bargain Bin DM20 Nov 2019 5:47 a.m. PST my rules aren't handy, what is the unit ratio for the NWF? 2 or 3 to 1?

whill420 Nov 2019 6:14 a.m. PST

In my group we arm half the unit with muskets and the other half with melee.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 6:30 a.m. PST

Agreed on no spears. Did some research in the past and could not find any account of Afghans armed with spears.

My TSATF units are 1 sword/knifes and 2 musket/rifles per tribe.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 8:51 a.m. PST

I went back to fielding half small arms – half melee weapon Pathan units after I found that the all small arms units were too powerful. Look at the charts, they shoot as well as Egyptians. I only tried out the separate weapon units because I got tired of trying to explain why a melee armed figure in a unit could not pick up the rifle of a wounded (on a key card) figure. In my opinion, the game plays much better with the mixed weapon units.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 2:51 p.m. PST

Thanks for the info. Based on your input I need to buy a further 40 – 50 swordsmen/edged weapons to balance the figures with firearms…. Time to start looking for deals on 40 – 50 swordsmen.


Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 3:58 p.m. PST

One thing I have done with tribal units is only allow 1/2 of the rifle armed troops to fire in a single turn. It does cut down on their firepower. I believe it is somewhere in the rules for units that can only move in mass.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2019 10:25 a.m. PST

Found the rule VIII Fire phase B Special Rules 1 Ranks firing.

Close order including mass only front rank can fire unless no movement then the front two ranks can fire. Most likely a limited number of figures.

All my natives move in mass, however, they can go into open order for firing.

House rule – If my rifle armed natives go into an open order formation, I still only allow 1/2 to fire each card.

SgtGuinness Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2019 1:53 p.m. PST

Dadster, I've been playing TSATF since the mid 1980's. I've seen tons of house rules, con mods, etc. The most beautiful thing about these rules is that you can make them what you want with slight mods that will create an atmosphere and the environment you are looking for without ruining the game mechanics. So do what feels right to you.

That being said in my games I usually allow up to half of a native unit with muskets and rifles to fire in any given turn, unless it's an ambush type situation then I allow 3/4 to fire if they actually have LOS & proper arc.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2019 6:24 p.m. PST

Thanks SgtG and everyone else.

MiniPigs19 Jan 2020 10:09 a.m. PST

Funny, I never thought of separate firearm units for the Pathans. For the Afghans, yes, separate rifle units but for the tribal units, always mixed melee/rifle. Hmmm….

Also, Anyone else wish those tantalizingly advertised Perry Afghan/Pathan tribesmen were also made in metal?

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2020 1:37 p.m. PST

My Pathan tribal units are all armed with 50% jezails/rifles and 50% sword-&-shield. The jezail/rifle armed figures fight just as well in melee, the sword-&-shield figures never get long distance fire. I also field Ghazi fanatic units with no firearms at all, everyone is armed only with sword-&-shield, but they get a bonus for morale and melee.

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