Monday, December 4, 2017

Basmati's Hill Fort and Plain of Sorrows Battles


Date: 2 December, 1757 (2017)
Location: Southeast India, The Carnatic, Near Arcot
Situation: The Battle for Basmati's Hill Fort and The Plain of Sorrows
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Regime 1740-1763 known as BAR.
See for information about the rules.

The French and Allies
Bill P.              Guru 
Bill P.              Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy
Michael M.    l'Comte de Lally
Earl K.            Nawab Basmati    
Dan W.           Brigadier of Mercenaries

The British and Allies
Jim P.             Colonel Robert Clove
Keith L.          Rajah Ruttin Tuttin
Keith J.          Brigade Commander 

Seated Left to Right: Keith J., Earl K. and Keith L.
Standing Left To Right: Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) Michael M., Dan W. and Bill P. (Yours truly and Chronicler of The Adventures of General Pettygree)

Jerry Goldsmith      The Wind and The Lion and The Mummy, 
Maurice Jarre          Lawrence of Arabia
John Williams         The Planets by Holst
Alan Silvestri           The Mummy Returns

The Battle on the Left

Lieutenant General l'Duc de Bussy: 

"My uneasiness to engage Mr. Clove's British Contingent on The Plain of Sorrows was apparent to those closest to me. It was not because I feared him. Rather, it was because of our ally with whom I was ordered to accommodate."

"The Nawab Basmati though agreeing with my advice for months in the end might ruin everything.  His precipitous advance upon Madras in August where we were bested was only one example."

"The last was his decision to await events barricaded within his Hill Fort while Mr. Clove and I traded volleys. Was this treachery, cowardice or a clever means to survive at my expense? You may judge after reading my account. It began this way...."

 Aide de Camp Captain Maurice d'Ars

"Monsieur l'General. Mr Clove's Army approaches. Native horsemen precede two infantry brigades with artillery. They will appear on The Plain of Sorrows within the hour."

"I sent d'Ars to l'Comte de Lally ordering...."

"The Army to advance preceded...."

"By our horsemen (left) who cleared The Plain of Sorrows of enemy cavalry. We were cheered by this success."

"Our heaviest brigade of four battalions in two lines was posted on our right. Unseen to the left are three more battalions."

"The British Contingent came forward with their Right against my Left. Our Sepoys valiantly held the end of the line slowing the foe. Seeing this impediment, Colonel Clove threw two Sepoy Battalions of his own supported by a brace of Six Pounders against them."

"Colonel Clove observed the whole of this inevitable affair."
Photo courtesy of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz)

"A large Highland Battalion held the Center en echelon while the 60th Foot refused his Left beside an unfordable stream."

"The British attack favored them in almost every way. Volleys were well-timed and effective. Two  battalions were thrown back in early fighting. Our losses nearby were also considerable. Indeed l'Comte de Lally sought me out inferring in the politest way that the battle was lost and to save the Army. I ordered him to remain in place a little longer hoping for a turn of luck."

"However, our fortunes became worse upon the arrival of  Captain Valmiens, our liaison at Nawab Basmati's Hill Fort."

"Monsieur l'General, I beg to report conditions at the Hill Fort. The Basmati's pickets have been beaten back by a force two to three times his numbers. I only just got away before the enemy reorganized within a musket shot of the walls for what we assumed would be a coup de main."

"The end for us had come. I ordered my drummers to sound l'Retraite."
(The retreat)

"It was time to get away and recover what we could. Silently I began to think about a plan to march to the sea if necessary to save the Army. "

"An opportunity arose later to discuss the battle with Colonel Clove."
Photo courtesy of Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz)

He said, " My tactic was to employ a refused left wing attacking with a weighted right wing. It appeared the best French battalions were facing our left so I was content to let them attack us in that area waiting for them to come to us. At the same time, it appeared that that French Sepoys and lesser quality combatants were facing our right wing so I wanted to load up against them."

"If we could overcome the French left and turn it back, then we possibly could force the French right back into the river-jungle area cutting them off or force a retreat."

The Battle on the Right
Captain Valmien's Report to de Bussy

"Nawab Basmati's first line consisted of a large body of archers. These were engaged by enemy musket men in Rajah Ruttin Tuttin's Advance Guard."

"At first the archers held their own."


"Then the foe's Main Body began arriving."

"Pushing forward with speed."

"Supported by elephants."

"Elephant threats in the form of feigned charges turned our flank." 

"It was too much to bear. Our allies began fleeing to the fort."

"But there was hope. Basmati's Household Guard arrived to reinforce us."

"Within the compound there was disorder."

"Order out of chaos was restored while the enemy paused to reorganize and place attackers on two sides of the fort. I thought a coup de main would occur."

" However, in the distance I saw the enemy commander whom I later learned was The Raja Ruttin Tuttin confer with Basmati's Guru. It was not long before parley flags were raised by both sides. At this time I mounted my horse to report to you per my orders."


"Your Excellency, Colonel Clove presents his compliments and terms."

"He desires that you disarm our Army except for Palace Guards, reject the alliance with Louis XV and become a vassal of The Britannic King. We may retain our flags, two small cannon within the Hill Fort and your Governorship as a gesture of thanks for your acceptance of these terms."

"It is the gift of Kali."

1) Preparation, photos, dialog, the game itself, our companionable players and chow made this a fun day. Thank you sincerely mon tres cher amis!

2)The game started at 10:00 am finishing at 2:30 pm. Eight turns were played on The Plain of Sorrows while eleven turns elapsed in the Hill Fort area. We paused at noon for lunch and at 1:30 pm for birthday cake celebrating December birthdays for Jim P. and Michael M.; a tradition we have. Throughout we munched on snacks and beverages supplied by players or their generous wives.

3) This is a long After Action Report. Best you consider going back to reread and view images again to immerse yourselves in the fun of Seven Years' War India tabletop gaming. By the way, did you notice that almost all natives were miniatures General Pettygree typically fights on the NW Frontier in the late 1890s? Using them in two time periods is a wonderful thing.

4) Thank you sincerely for looking in. Blog writers really appreciate your interest.

5) Love to read your comments below. Don't just be a lurker, if you please.



  1. A wonderfully creative way to tell the story -- it is a joy to read.

    Mr. Clove had the great fortune of receiving 9 consecutive turns of,First Fire cards. It was the darnedest thing that I have ever seen in a game in all of my years of,wargaming.

  2. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!! What more is there to say?

    Best Regards,


  3. Jim and Stokes!,
    Thank you for your approbation and taking the time to say so.
    Bill P.

  4. The games in India provide a special kind of eye candy over the regular 18th century games.

  5. Fabulous! Great looking, fun to read. A couple of points.

    1. Have you modified BAR to suit the Indians or adjust them to wester troop types?

    2. There are two photos attributed to Der Alte Fritz that show up as blank boxes as I read through the blog post. Not sure if they show up on the filmstrip though.

    Thank you for the effort in posting!

    Oh and one should never trust to the good offices of Nawab Basmati. This is what the Nizam of Hydrabad has told me anyway.

  6. As usual, quite the visual spectacle!

    I do like the idea of adjourning for cake.

  7. Brilliant. Well done to all involved.
    Kind regards,


  8. I appreciate your kind sentiments Everyone. Thank YOU! That you took a few moments to say something is terrific.
    Natives are rated Poor or Trained except for fanatics or Household types. Plus they have to test morale to charge and hold if charged. Native cannons explode on a D6 = 1 and fire at -1D6 effect. Natives with firearms are always in Open Order and Sword/Spears are always a Mass. Natives move a little faster too. We used the Colonial variant of BAR for the game available

    Jim's photos appear on my home computer and only one on my office computer; aliens I'm sure! Don't know why.

    Glad you are having fun,

  9. That's:
    Bill P.

  10. Splendid and thank you! Picked up Drums as well. Always enjoy a bit of woodland mayhem...

  11. Awesome splendid as guys have painted lot of Sepoys,,thanx for the wonderful report.

  12. Atmospheric and superb report!


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