Indian Mutiny- The Men Who Would Be Kings

The Osprey Rules The Men Who Would Be Kings seemed like a good way to get my old Indian Mutiny figures out to give them a try. In gaming terms some of these figures hadn't seen the light of day in 20 years, but being nicely painted and Wargames Foundry figures I had been loathe to part with them! So they've sat tight for a couple of decades and finally ALL saw the light of day!

The table. Just to the right, partly visible was the sepoy barracks. The main gates are visible at the upper center of
the photo, where the towers are.
A nice little scenario, which was clearly bigger than the rules were intended for, was devised. Her Majesty's Regiments were to assault the main gates of a city, with all the players being the British and EIC regiments. The Mutineers and other assorted trouble makers were randomly generated with the players actually losing points for taking casualties but achieving their objectives.

Each major objective was worth a number of points. The temple was worth 8, the two main gates were worth 6 each and the barracks was worth 8. The destruction of an enemy Unit was worth two. The loss of a man from your command meant a negative 0.5.

With cries of 'Tally Ho' and 'Up and at 'em lads',  the British regulars advanced, or opened fire on any visible mutineers. There were in total, 10 Regiments of Foot and 5 of Cavalry.
Mounted; The 14th Light Dragoons, 9th Lancers, 2nd Dragoon Guards, Skinners Horse, Hobson's Horse.
Infantry : Madras Fusiliers (AKA Neill's Bluecaps), 32nd Regt, 95th Regt, 93rd Regt (Sutherland Highlanders)  , Sirmoor Battalion (Ghurka Rifles),  1st and 2nd Battalions of the Maharajah of Kashmir's Sikhs, 92nd Regt (Gordon Highlanders), 84th Regt and the  91st Regt (Argyllshire).
Each player had two or three units and some artillery.

Mutineers moving thru the town.
They quickly discovered that charging straight into a fight could cause severe casualties ( on both sides) and Phil realised that, once Skinner's Horse got itself wipeout he might wait for some infantry support before committing Hobson's Horse. It arrived fairly quickly in the shape of the Maharajah of Kashmir's Sikhs (Richard) who shot up any opposition and stormed the sepoy barracks. Then Hobson's Horse was able to deal with some dazed survivors and earn some victory points.
Above the main gate, sepoys shooting at the Scots of the 93rd and behind the kilted ones, the 32nd Regt.
Paul sent his 84th Regiment forward, shooting and blasting away at all and sundry, storming one gate and capturing a mutineer stronghold (the temple), despite the fact that the commander of the 84th was a cowardly poltroon who would not order a bayonet charge against the Pandies!
The 84th. These guys shot to bits a number of enemy units, stormed the main gate
and took the enemy stronghold ( the Temple). All this with commander who was
a cowardly poltroon!

The Sutherland Highlanders in their kilts..and one special event card meant that they gave the natives a fright with out firing a shot...anyone remember the movie 'Braveheart'?
Ross' troops shot up all resistance at the main gate, cleared away nests of badmashes , sent several screaming hordes of the enemy to that great rebellion in the sky, advanced in the best traditions of the service, only to watch Chris' troops ( the 14th Light Dragoons) race ahead to capture the main gate!
He was not happy!!
The 91st advance

Final scores at the end of the day
Chris: 6
Phil: 5.5
Richard: 11
Liam: 4
Paul: 14
Ross: 4
The Umpire: negative 87.
The Sikhs performed very well as they stormed the barracks in some bloody hand to hand fighting and then held off several counter attacks. Jolly good old boy!
The idea of the "mutually supporting competition and rivalry" was a lot of fun. There was one cheeky voice who asked if Her Majesty's regiments could fire on each other....but that's just not cricket old boy!
The Sikhs neutralised all the resistance in the barracks.

Her Majesty's Artillery causing damage!

The 9th Lancers finally get moving, but by the time they did, the game was over!

Mutineers waiting.

The Maharajah of Kashmir's Sikhs capture the Sepoy barracks after some bloody hand to hand and a close
 range fire fight

The 95th and the 92nd (Gordon Highlanders) advance in close support. Volley fire proved particularly devastating against the rabble emerging from the houses to their front.

Hobson's Horse tear into some badmashes!

The Ghurkas

The 14th Dragoons, the Ghurkha's and the Madras Fusiliers burst into the gate.

Below are some of the Units that were used. I photoed a stand of each one, and then attached the statistics for each from the rulebook so that each command knew the capabilties of their troops.

32nd Regiment of Foot

Sutherland Highlanders, 93rd Regiment of Foot

84th Regiment of Foot

91st Regiment of Foot ( Argyllshire Highlanders)

92nd Regiment of Foot ( Gordon Highlanders)

The 2nd Dragoon Guards ( Queen's Bays)

Hobson's Horse

Skinner's Horse

The 9th Lancers- who refused to move for most of the game. Their officer will either be cashiered or sent to some
very distant flea bitten malaria carrying mosquito infested post!

The BIG guns- British Artillery



The Sirmoor Battalion ( The Ghurkas!)


2nd Sikh Battalion Maharajah of Kashmir

Madras Fusiliers

1st Sikh Battalion Maharajah of Kashmir

The 95th Regiment 

The Water Wallah!

Other Trouble makers

Armed Horde


The 14th Light Dragoons

Below are some of the special event cards used to get a laugh from the lads. Some you
you will recognise from the rule book, other I made up. They were very popular except when
 the14th Light Dragoons had to wait three turns for the water wallah to get to them.
And then they failed their action test for four turns!
They must have got some stomach bug from the water!!

WATER WALLAH!!!! The 9th Lancers must halt until the arrival of the Water Wallah
 as they and their horses are suffering from dehydration

WATER WALLAH!!!! The 32th regiment must halt until the arrival of the Water
Wallah as they are suffering from dehydration

WATER WALLAH!!!! The 14th Light Dragoons must halt until the arrival of the Water Wallah
as their horses are suffering from dehydration

SHOCK HORROR- The Mutineer Unit Nearest the 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders)
realises that they are not wearing anything under their kilts and flee in horror!
As the mutineers become aware of this- The 93rd will always win a drawn
melee even of Pinned forcing their enemy to withdraw from their Lifted kilts
and enormous weapons

MISFIRE! The next Mutineer unit to fire inflicts NO casualties as the
 ammunition is substandard

A randomly Selected Artillery piece has just run out of AMMO.
It must wait three turns until the arrival of the ammuniton carts

What will the dirt encrusted sahib be wanting??
The Madras Fusiliers find a stash of jewels and spend the next two turns looting.
No movement or shooting unless shot at or attacked

The Ghurkas, wanting to show their superior skills over the mutineers, the Sikhs
and the dirty smell white men have been practicing with the new Endfields.
They now hit on 4+ and with after drawing their Kukri's and a yell of 'AYO GHURKALI'
will hit in melee on a 4+ as well

Mutineer artillery piece eplodes killing all the crew.
Any mutineer Unit with 6' must take a Pinning test.

EXTRA OXEN! One artillery battery have 'requisistioned' a whole heard of oxen from the locals.
 They may now move their gun 4+d6" every turn.
(The locals of course now form a peasant mob 10" away Roll 2d6 for the number of figures)

A unit of Mutineers appears BEHIND the British troops!! They have been following the 91st.
They are 3D6" behind!!

It has come to the attention of the Commanding officer that the commander of the 84th is
considered by his men to be a yellow bellied poltroon!.
The 84th may not charge any enemy but will only shoot unless the
Brigade commander is attached!

The Commander of the 95th is new to India and has an unshakeable sense of fair play.
He considers it unsporting to attack a Pinned unit if a non-pinned one is available.
( Must be played throughout the game)

Damned Lucky old Boy! The last British Unit to receive shooting casualties was very Lucky!
The bullets/shrapnel etc all hit pocket watches/bibles /pictures of mother etc.
Ignore any casualties from last shooting.

Do be quite sir. You'll upset the lads. There's a good gentleman.'
The commander of the 32nd Regiment has behaved in a most ungentlemanly manner,
yelling and screaming incoherently. His men suffer a loss of Discipline (0)for
two turns as he has not remained calm and carried on.

FLASHMAN IS HERE! The arrival of Flashie has the lads in a tither,
with an "up and at 'em" all British Units must charge the enemy if possible this turn.

The Gentleman has a Bottle'. Lord Singen Mollusc , commander of the
 2nd Dragoon Guards has been drinking steadily. Roll a d6.
1-2 He hasn't drank enough and it has made him morose and melacholic,
 thus the unit's discipline drops to 0.
3-4. This Regiment is the Queen's own. No drunkard can change it's status.!!
4-6 he has drunk enough and is really aggessive and the 2DG now gets to hit on a 3+ in melee!

British officers don't duck. The Next British Unit that takes a hit,
 loses the officer on a role of 1-3 on a D6

Crack Shot: The next Mutineer Unit to take a hit has it's officer instantly
 killed by the best Shot of HM regiment.

Bugler! More Spit boy!' A selected British unit Rallies Automatically

Double Trouble: The next HM Regiment that fires has extraordinary luck.
All damage is doubled!

An extra tot of Gin. The lads are half tanked and ready to go.
The next HM Regiment in Melee scores double hits!

Skinner's Horse Regiments aren't really trusted by the men of HM Regiments.
 Select one at Random. On a roll of 5-6 the commander decides to do a triple turn of
movement towards the nearest enemy to display his loyalty ot the cause and charge the enemy.

The Sikhs are here- Still pissed at the loss to the British 10 years early, especially
as it was mostly Sepoys from the EIC that did the fighting,
both Sikh regiments advance towards the enemy in a show of aggression-
and my charge if within charge range! ( two extra dice are rolled!)

Hobson's Horse stop for a light lunch of samosas and dahl followed by
rogan josh and onion Bhajis. No movement for 2 turns. But refreshed they are
fighting fit and hit on a 4+.


  1. An immersive and beautiful report John, splendid and atmospheric terrain...And I love these figures, especially the the 9th Lancers...even if they didn't make the job this time!

    1. Thank you Phil,
      The boys of thw 9th have promised to do better next time!

  2. You should write illustrated history books ,they would be best sellers.

  3. Great AAR, figures and set-up! The Mutiny is on my gaming bucket list.

  4. Thanks AJ. I got into it years ago, and it fell by the wayside. But it's back in vogue!

  5. John, this was quite simply one of the best days of wargaming I have ever had. Well done to you my friend.


    1. Thanks mate! It was a lot of fun- especially the look on Ross' face when you grabbed all his glory!

  6. Outstanding days gaming & a pleasure to bring civilisation to our swarthy brothers albeit at the point of a bayonet !!!
    A few opportunities for making examples were passed up as the Raj used modern Russian tactics of fluid ware fare.
    We’ll need to send some fellows back to torch the odd place of worship as a reminder that God is indeed great if he wears the tartan & a tamashanter!

    1. Lol- Balthazar, your boys were the most successful on the day- with tartan and bearskin!!