Sunday, February 23, 2014

Peter Laings Fight Battle of Bushire, Persian War of 1856

      In the summer I read a book, "The War for a Persian Lady", which was a history of the Anglo-Persian War of 1856. I thought that it had the making of a good wargame.  I also had bought some Peter Laing Indian Mutiny figures, which seemed well suited for this war.

     A couple of months ago it was time to use this campaign to fight a wargame. It would be loosely based on the Battle of Bushire, the first battle of the campaign which was fought after the initial naval landing. The army had the support of the navy in the real battle; this fight they were not so fortunate.

    Why this report was not added earlier I cannot say, and some of the battle might have slipped out of my memory.
Persians on the left behind fortifications; the British on the right.

The British artillery start taking hits before they can even get in range.

Both British batteries are hit.

The British close in on the Persian defenses.

However, they start taking heavy losses.

One unit of British cavalry attacked the Persians right flank, trying to take the pressure off  the infantry.

The cavalry forces back the Persian guns. They continue down the fortifications.

They succeed in pushing back the infantry unit, buying time for the advancing infantry.

Meanwhile on the Persian right flank, the British infantry have forced back the other Persian guns and gain a foothold in the fortifications.

At this point in the battle things look promising for the British.

The British cavalry pays the supreme price. However the Persians concentrate their fire on the cavalry, allowing the infantry to advance to the walls.

On the Persian right, the Persian guns break the British unit that broke through their defenses (notice on the upper right the single infantryman retreating; he was forced to retreat 2 hexes.

With the British cavalry gone, the Persian turn their attention on the infantry.

The British is breaking through in several places, their artillery is leapfrogging forward to give support to the infantry.

The Persian cavalry moves forward, surrounding one company of British infantry, while  more cavalry push back another company.

One Persian infantry unit brings the British guns under fire, and at extreme range eliminates the battery!

On the Persian right, the British takes the Persian battery and forces the Persian infantry to retreat.

A close up of the action on the Persian right.

Meanwhile, the British infantry assaults the Persian battery, who loses 50% of their strength. The Persian cavalry also starts taking casualties.

However, the Persian cavalry wipes out the British in front of it. The artillery  causes severe losses on the other unit. who falls back. At this point the Persian infantry attacks and eliminates the last of that unit.

On the Persian right the Persian counter attack clears most of the British from the fortifications.  The British have suffered too many casualties and are forced to retreat.

Of course, in the real battle the Persians were poorly led and didn't put up such a fight. Also, in this game the forces were just about even; stacking the odds against the British as they were forced to assault fortifications.


  1. What rules did you use for this please?

    1. Sorry, the rules were Bob Condrey's "Memoir of Battle". I forgot to mention the rules and designer at the end of the report. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    2. I was just wondering if there was a way of introducing a command limitation of some kind. I play a MoB style of game, but each soie is limited as to how many units it can move each turn. Give the British more activations than the Persians and you have them numerous but poorly led :)

    3. That would be a good way to balance the game. I have in other games used a homemade dice that had 3,4,4,4,5,6 on it. I roll for initiative, then roll the homemade dice for how many units can move. It adds uncertainty to the game.

  2. It looks like it must have been an enjoyable game to play.

    1. The Persians, behind their fortifications and being of equal size as the British, had a clear advantage. What made this game so enjoyable is the fact the British did so well in getting through the defenses as they did. I should have either made the Persians weaker, or had a morale factor to represent the poor morale of the Persians as in the actual battle. Still, using Bob Condrey's "Memoir of Battle" rules it's hard not to have a fun game.

  3. I think the Napoleon in Egypt range was my favorite. They seem to have done sterling service as Persians.

    1. The Napoleon in Egypt line is a great range. Ian Dury lent me the French figures so I could make molds of them. Unfortunately, I had many of his figures and sent them back so they wouldn't get lost; I never did get the molds made. Someone had pointed out that the Persians didn't dress that way; however the game gave me an opportunity to use them, so used them I did.

  4. John, you should have said! I will send you them back so you can get the moulds done

  5. Ian, thank you but I have been busy with making other molds. I also have a couple of your Napoleonic cavalry figures that I still have to make molds of.