for Colonial-era Wargames
But wargame battles with Pathans blazing away from inaccessible cliffsides are hard to reproduce with the low, layered hills that work so well for desert combat. A new approach was needed to represent the forbidding passes of the mountainous areas of Ouargistan, and the Major General's solution was profile mountainsides, in which the horizontal dimension is heavily compressed and the complexity of mountain fighting stylized.
It turns out that with a few cents worth of scrap cardboard and brown
wrapping paper, one can do a creditable steep mountain without sacrificing
much precious gaming-table space. As we played, even some of the flat-country
battles began to acquire mountainsides on the fringes, in the corners, or
even spines of rugged cliffs running partly across the interior of the table
to channel the action.
Crumple up some brown wrapping paper and smooth it out again. Apply spray glue to the front of the cardboard profiles, and press them loosely onto the crumpled paper. Then cut the brown paper about 1/8" to 1/4" beyond the edge of the cardboard to hide the corrugations from view (at least from the front).
On your highest profiles, glue the paper to both sides (since there are no platforms). These will be the background mountains at the edge of the table, or the center profile of a two-sided ridge. When in use, they can be pinned to the profile in front of them.
Stand the profiles up and spray the upper parts with a light-colored
spray paint from high above, not covering the paper, just dusting on light
paint to emphasize the wrinkles and make the top a different shade from
General Uprising -- British and Colonial troops must hold off the main Native force long enough to evacuate the archaeological expedition from the temple, and as many friendly troops as possible, to the ship.
Each turn, the Natives roll to come onto the table in several areas, most in the southeast corner. Native numbers are unlimited (dead figures are recycled into new units). A few rolls result in natives appearing in the mountains.
The mountains allow sniping and skirmishing against the Reinforcements
from the northeast, but keep the Reinforcements separate from the main Native
forces until late in the game. They also allow Native rifles to harass the
defending forces while the hordes of spearmen advance.
Confrontation at the Pass -- A British and Colonial column is marching to relieve the siege of a frontier outpost. The relief column must come through the pass guarded by Regnad Kcin's hillfort, and the Natives have chosen this spot to intercept it. The British must exit the pass at the far end with at least half their force intact.
The profile mountains allow the pass to be built in a reasonable area,
and they allow the length of a small table to do double duty by forcing
the column to double back on itself.
For ideas on building a hillfort, go to
Regnad Kcin's Hillfort Page
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