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"Blending Sihk Wars and Great Mutiny Collections" Topic

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MiniPigs25 Feb 2020 6:20 p.m. PST

I keep looking at this period but it would be very hard for me to justify Both a Sikh Wars collection and a Mutiny collection. It's a new vista for me but hardly something I would game all the time. Still I would like to try it out every now and then.

Does anyone game the two periods using a blend of units; maybe they have a small collection of each period?

If so, what has been the approach to building armies suitable both for the Sikh Wars and the Mutiny?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2020 3:48 a.m. PST

I'd been looking at that myself before I backed out after doing Indian Mutiny. Conclusion was that--unless you're too fussy for words--British units are mostly dual-war. If the regiment wasn't in both, the type was. Specific oddities like the civilian scouts with Havelock can be third-phase builds.

HEIC native units can work both wars, but need dual command stands--one mutineer and one HEIC. You need at least twice as many as your British, and three times would not be wrong. Levied and native prince's units go to third phase.

At that point, you have a Mutiny game, both sides, but a slightly limited one.

The Sikh army on the tabletop needs to be at least twice the combined English/HEIC force, so either you find a bigger table or a lot of English/HEIC stay in the box. Anyway, it makes building a Sikh army the biggest part of the project. But now you have a Sikh Wars game, both sides.

Third phase--the odd and colorful units, you might get by without. Mutiny levies, native prince's matchlock men, semi-civilian scouts with Havelock and such. I think you can justify using Sikh Wars Sikhs for Frazier's Sikhs during the mutiny, possibly with a different command stand. There's a reference to the British "letting us where our old coats." But that's largely a matter of economy. In the same way, some of the irregular cavalry which accompany a Sikh Army could be used for Nicholson's border levies, again probably with a different command stand. And at that point you're done.

As I say, the real problem seems to be that if you've built enough Mutiny troops to fill your tabletop, a lot of them will have to sit in the box during a Sikh Wars game. But it probably beats two projects.

Rich Bliss26 Feb 2020 8:21 a.m. PST

Robert describes my usual approach to any new project now. I look at what I already have and think about how to use some of it for a different game/period/battle. As a different example, I just finished off my Pavia forces. But, with a little additional painting, mostly crossbowmen, I can use most of it for Cerignola. Now I'm working on Turks because I can use the Gendarmes and Landsknechts for Mohašs. I'll just have to paint up a few Hungarians. After that, I'll be able to use most of the Ottomans for Rhodes, and will start on the Christians.

MiniPigs26 Feb 2020 10:00 a.m. PST

I understand your analogy with the renaissance armies, i am doing a sort of Wars of religion collection that can bleed into Italian Wars and against the Turks too.

Although one could argue that renaissance gaming is also niche, I have more expertise with that period. I wanted to see how gamers handled the 1830s-1860s in India. Outside of a few diehards or people with large collections, I would have to believe that a small mix and match collection can go a long way to gaming Sikh/Mutiny games. But I wanted to see how far people go; using Sepoys for each period is a no-brainier but do people use Sikh regulars as Sepoys too?

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2020 11:14 a.m. PST

You can check this out for the Indian Mutiny


Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2020 1:38 p.m. PST

You might consider checking out THE SIKH WARS 1823-1849: Colonial Campaigns by Tim Tilson. The 10 scenarios use the Sword and the Flame small unit variant of 8 figures for infantry and six for cavalry and no scenario requires more that 100 figures per side, so the barrier to entering the period is relatively low. The scenarios include:
Naushera, March 14, 1823 The Afghans attempt to retake Peshawar
Jamrud, April 30, 1837 Last fight of the 'Murat of the Sikh Army'
Mudki, December 18, 1845 The Sikhs' surprise attack on the British Army
Ferozeshah, December 21, 1845 The attack of General Gilbert's Division
Cornes' Convoy, January 21, 1846 Quartermaster Cornes and 30 men vs. 1,000 Sikhs
Aliwal, January 28, 1846 General Harry Smith's 'Perfect Battle'
Sobraon, February 10, 1846 End of the Akalis (the Sikh Holy Warriors)
Kineyree, June 18, 1848 'No Englishman can be beaten on the 18th of June' Lt. Herbert Edwardes. C-in-C, Allied Army of Pashtuns, Daudputras and Sikhs
Sudoosam, July 1, 1848 The rebel Mulraj's last hope for victory
Multan, January 2, 1849 Into the breach with 1st Bombay Fusiliers a.k.a. 'the Bombay Toughs'

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2020 2:10 p.m. PST

"do people use Sikh regulars as Sepoys too?"

Not that I ever saw or heard tell of, MiniPigs. Different uniforms. Anyway, it solves a problem you don't have. If you build a more of less historical Sikh Wars Company army, you already have two or three sepoys for every Englishman, and you don't need more than that for the Mutiny.

The difficulty--let me rephrase this--is that if you need twice or three times as many Indians as British and at least two times as many Sikhs as British and Indians combined. Build enough British and Mutineers for, say, a 4x6 table, for a Sikh Wars game either you need a 12" table or you need to leave half your British/Indian forces in the box. It's not wrong, but the inefficiency is always bothersome.

MiniPigs28 Feb 2020 9:13 p.m. PST

I think the problem is for people who are curious about the two periods but have no intention of gaming Sikh/Mutiny consistently. I am trying to map out a way to not have to build up huge forces and still dabble.

It might be the same for other periods, even mainstream ones, for other people.

Murvihill29 Feb 2020 6:21 a.m. PST

I had the same idea, and IIRC the Sikh Army had a regular component and an irregular component. The Mutiny, I believe had mutineers and irregulars. So I think you can use the same troops as irregulars (maybe different flags?) but different regular units. My plan was to use the NWF Afghans as the irregular troops, but I quit painting colonials before I started in on the regular troops. Also, I think the Sikhs had a much larger artillery park than the mutineers.

MiniPigs29 Feb 2020 10:31 p.m. PST


From what youre writing, it reminds me of how I try to come up with a cute, neat, niche idea for a diversion and it ends up becoming a quagmire of diversity. I blame the magazines where you see some great painted figures and want to game the period, only to realize that no matter how much you try to plan armies out, they add up to several hundred figures each.

Which Sikh Wars figures are the absolutely nicest in any scale? The 28mm Foundry ones? The 1/72 Scale Newline range?

Along with a genuine interest in the periods, in some ways I wanted a smaller "Napoleonic" force to do quicker, impromptu games and not get mired in having large collections.

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