Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Border trouble: The fort in the defile

Having secured the entrance to the defile that led into the Shin Valley, Sir Hector Boleyn-Green chose to push his force forward as quickly as possible. The defile proved to be narrow, with tall precipitous hills on either side. A small fort could just be seen guarding the far end of the defile, and Sir Hector was in no doubt that this would be defended by the Shinwazis.

Using his two Companies of Frontier Rifles as his flank guards, Sir Hector moved his troops forward, with his Artillery Battery to the fore.

Whilst the Artillery fired at the fort and its defenders the Frontier Rifles began to slowly advance ...

... along the tops of the hills.

As they moved closer and closer to the fort ...

... they expected to be attacked at any moment.

They were right to be apprehensive.

Just as the Artillery inflicted its first casualty on the fort's defenders, two bands of Shinwazis emerged from concealment.

Whilst on one flank this resulted in an exchange of ineffective rifle fire ...

... on the other flank some fierce hand-to-hand combat took place ...

... which resulted in a Company of the Frontier Rifles having to withdraw.

Whilst the remaining Britannic Infantry Companies began to move slowly forward and the Artillery battery continued to fire at the fort, ...

... one of the Frontier Rifle Companies continued its firefight with a band of Shinwazi tribesmen ...

... whilst the other sought a way to gain the upper hand over its opponents

One of the bands of Shinwazi riflemen moved forward and fired at the leading Company of the Sheffield Regiment, ...

... inflicting a casualty.

This gave the Company of Frontier Rifles the opportunity they had hoped for, and climbing above the Shinwazis they were able to engage then from the flank, ...

... causing them to fall back toward the fort.

The Artillery Battery had continued to pound the fort, and caused a further casualty amongst its defenders.

Under covering fire from the Artillery Battery, the Infantry Companies of the Macfarlane Highlanders and the South Yorkshire Regiment cautiously advanced up the defile.

The reaction of the Shinwazis was – to say the least – unexpected. The bands of tribesmen on the hills began to withdraw, and the fort's defenders could be seen streaming towards the Shin Valley.

Sir Hector had expected them to put up much more of a fight ... so why hadn't they?


  1. "It's a trap"!
    Like the fort Bob - did you make it?

    1. Maudlin Jack Tar,

      It most certainly is a trap!

      The fort was a small resin souvenir that I bought some years ago. I'm not sure what fort it was a model of but I think that it is the marble fortress designed by Michelangelo to guard the harbour of Civitavecchia.

      All the best,


  2. Hi Bob,

    Why do I have a feeling this will all end in tears for the British?

    It is certainly getting interesting!

    All the best,


  3. Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      You may well be right. You'll find out 'in the next thrilling instalment'!

      The fort is closer to 1:300th-scale, but looks the part and fits in with the rest of the terrain and the figures.

      All the best,


  4. Those hexes look just right with the figures (and fort) and do suggest a mountain pass.

    Looking forward to the next chapter!

    1. Ross Mac,

      Cheers! I am rather pleased with the 'look', although I would have preferred to have mounted the figures on slightly smaller bases.

      I hope to fight the next battle of this mini-campaign by the end of the week ... so you shouldn't have to wait too long before the next instalment.

      All the best,


  5. Bob,
    An exciting Scenario with your excellent 15mm Colonials- assume them to be ESSEX Miniatures...are the British being lured on into further greater danger by the Shinwazi...? Regards. KEV.

    1. Kev Robertson,

      I am really pleased to see that you have liked this battle report.

      The figures are a mixture of Essex Miniatures (the Britannic forces) and Irregular Miniatures (Shinwazi tribesmen).

      Is the whole thing a trap? Well hopefully you won't have to wait long to find out!

      All the best,



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