Monday, May 8, 2017

SYW Battle of Arcot, India

Date: 6 May 1757 (2017)
Location: Arcot, India in The Carnatic
Situation: French at Arcot Are Attacked by The British From Madras

Reasons: Annual Birthday Game and Get Back to SYW India
More Reasons: Jim and I Have New Units For Indian Service
Extra Reasons: To Have A Companionable Day With Friends

Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Régime 1740-1763 {BAR} by Bill Protz


1 May, 1757 --- 3:00pm
Nawab Basmatti's Arcot Palace
In The Carnatic

Prime Minister Mir Dalal: "Thank you for coming. I shall announce you."

Marquis d'Bussy: "Oui. Votre serviteur avec plaisir." (Yes, your servant with pleasure.)

"Your Excellency. "The Marquis de Bussy has arrived as you demanded."

Nawab Basmatti: "Very well Dalal. Send him up."

"Welcome to my humble palace my dear Marquis. I am delighted to see you again."

"I am honoured your Majesty. --- I bring very good news."

"Your words tempt to please me Marquis, but for the moment they are only words. Mr. Clive is expected daily with British and Allied forces to take Arcot from me."

"Indeed their Advance Guard occupied an outlying village hours ago."

"My words your Majesty are a reality. Forces under your command are already arriving. Mine will march in on the sixth instant before Clive's force fully arrives. We have the best chance to stop him here. I doubt he will take Arcot."

"May your assertion --- prediction --- become true Monsieur l'Marquis. Otherwise...."

Silently to himself, "Otherwise French interests will end here and so will my career."

6 May, 1757 --- 10:00am

Dismounted Hill Tribe Horsemen. To the right of the bridge is Arcot.

1st. Line: Household Horsemen and Musketeers plus 4 Pounder.
2nd. Line: Hill Tribes Horsemen, Duc d'Arboy Marines, Converged Grenadiers and 2/Lally.
3rd. Line: Fischer Dragoons and Household Swordsmen.

Left: Grenadiers de France (28mm Front Rank)
Left Rear: Regiment Albanie Near The East End of Arcot (28mm Crusader)
Center: Heavy 4 Pounder Battery Arriving (28mm Elite Miniatures)
Right: Nellore District Sepoy Battalion (28mm Indus Miniatures)

Marquis de Bussy (30mm Suren) to the left of the white-coated Aide de Camp (28mm RSM) surveys the deployment of the army. His nominal superior, The Nawab Basmatti is rearmost under a canopy.

1st. Line: Grey Sash Muskets.
2nd. Line Green Sash Muskets and Orange Sash Swords (behind hedge).
3rd. Line: Green Sash Swordsmen.

1st Line: Siege Battery.
Flankers: Orange Sash Muskets and Cavalry Screen.

l'Bataille de Arcot a la Gauche
The Battle of Arcot on The French Left

Several minutes before ten in the morning, Basmatti's Siege Battery made final preparations in their tedious ritual to commence bombardment of the suburb the British occupied opposite Arcot.

The opening salvo began well disintegrating a portion of the rock wall.

However, almost immediately a gunner negligently ladling powder caused the left most gun to explode in a blaze of fire, smoke, vegetation, wood and metal. The entire crew was killed. After the noise of the explosion diminished, huzzahs were audible from the distant redcoats.

Especially from the men of this battalion who had no cover at all who came forward with flags flying and drums beating.

 Soon they were opposed by muskets of the Green Sash contingent.

This caused the British Reserve to come forward in the form of two formidable elephants.

The Green Sash men soon departed. This emergency caused The Marquis de Bussy to hurry to the Left Flank as a new Allied unit, Grey Sash Musket men came forward. They would force the exposed British Battalion to retire thus ending the alarm.

In the ensuing hours more French Allies arrived on the field....

Gradually enveloping the rock-walled village. British prisoners doubted their side could do much to save the position by dawn. There was talk of withdrawal.


The British Center was screened by two bodies of Hindu Archers; (Indus and Golconda 28mms). The 44th Foot and a Royal Artillery 6 Pounder are discernible in the upper left of the image. Coming into view in the Top Center is....

Clive's Red Sash Contingent; cavalry, musket men and swordsmen anchoring the left side of The Center. They awaited two events. One they wanted most was Clive's arrival off to their left. 

The one they did not want was the advance of the French Sepoy Battalion after clearing away one body of archers.

So the 44th Foot marched forward firing "hot stuff" routing the natives in due course.

Then Battalion Albanie came forward.

Albanie advanced and fought the 44th causing the latter to retire. This opened up The Center.

To the right Basmatti's Household Musket men, Grenadiers de France and a 4 Pounder Section caused the other Archer unit to disintegrate. 

The Grenadiers formed line.

Soon the most confusing episode of the battle occurred. Red Sash Swordsmen charged Basmatti's Household musketeers who were charged in the rear by Household cavalry. The latter were charged in the rear by Red Sash Horsemen. This caused an anchoring effect for the arrival of Clive.


Clive arrived in style.

Without hesitation he advanced into the battle.

Close up of the preceding photo.

Minutes later Hill Tribesman hurled themselves against Clive's cavalry to delay his advance.

Clive's horsemen prevailed and were joined by more Red Sash horsemen. 

Who hurled themselves onto the French Back Table hoping to surprise 2/Lally. They were cut down for their trouble.

The French Back Table is off image to the right. French forces shown here are on The edge of The Main Table.

However, these redcoats we presumed would soon contest the French Back Table. There were too few reserves to stop them. Clive wanted to drive in the enemy toward Arcot when word came announcing the loss of The Center and envelopment of the enclosed village. There was no point in causing the further loss of blood. The British withdrew.

(A) Post game discussion led by Keith L. (British player in the village) seemed to indicate a French minor victory.
  1. British held the walled village but it would be surrounded. Best to withdraw.
  2. The Center was broken by the French.
  3. Clive's Flank attack strongly threatened the French Back Table.
  4. Improbable the British would take Arcot given problems at the village and the lost center.
  5. British withdrawal back to Madras likely.
  6. French pursuit unlikely.
(B) Participants at Arcot were:

Front Row Left to Right: Keith L, John B. (The Formidable) and Dan M.
Middle Row: Chuck L. (The Lucky), Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) and Michael M.
Back Row: Earl K., Jim H. and Bill P. (Yours Truly aka General Pettygree)

(C) Here's my birthday cake. Dorothy asked Piggly Wiggly's Bakery Department for a thematic design. It's The Taj Mahal. Well done Dorothy!

(D) Each time a native cannon fires, we throw 1xD6. (1 = Explosion!)

(E) After the battle....
"Congratulations Your Excellency. Arcot remains in your dominion."

"Oui Monsieur l'Marquis. But, Mr. Clive will be back of this I am certain. It is written."

(F) Thank you for looking in. Your shabash remarks and sentiments may/must be written if you click on the word "Comment" below.