Welcome to "Adventures in Lead", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming. The figures and terrain on this site are mainly for a campaign set in exotic "Indostan", a distant land bearing remarkable similarities to 18th century India during the Seven Years War. Bits and pieces from other projects may pop up here as well from time to time, including colonials, gladiators, pirates, dinosaur-hunting and even some RPG'ing.
The actual campaign journal and after action reports for the Indostan campaign can be found on their own blog - "Indostan: The Jewel in the Crown", the link to which is found by clicking the small image below-left.
If you do find anything remotely interesting on this blog please leave a comment, it's what keeps these sites going and their authors motivated - Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Latest Additions

For the last post of the year I thought I'd share with you some of our latest additions to the fight in Indostan. They include both some of Dave's commissioned miniatures as well as a few painted by myself. The British miniatures are all exclusively Front Rank, the Indostani mostly Foundry. A couple have already been shown elsewhere.
We endeavor to have a game this Sunday, the first of the year (and the first of many I hope), so a report should follow shortly. (Click the images to enlarge)

The Governor's retinue
Some new officers, their fifers and standard bearers.
A Royal Engineer crew puts their gun through it's paces
A European Captain watches his Indostani troops on the march

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Golconda Rising - A sign of things to come!

A small taste of what awaits at Golconda Rising.
After asking around on TMP for knowledge of the defunct London War Room Tiger Cannon, a total stranger showed me an act of generosity I have rarely experienced before. His name was Dave, a fellow Australian, and he didn't just have knowledge of the cannon, he also popped one in the post for me along with some other goodies, all for free. You can read the original post here.
In an attempt to return Dave's generosity I have helped him get his long overdue blog started, Golconda Rising. Anyone interested in wargaming SYW India is doing themselves a disfavor by not watching this new blog. Although set in an imagi-nation campaign similar to our own, Dave has researched the subject thoroughly and has tried to stay as true to real life as possible. He has a plethora of beautifully painted miniatures already, with lots more on the way!
To top it all off Dave is releasing a new set of SYW Indian flavored miniatures that have been skillfully sculpted. Although not commercially available at the moment, he promises we will be able to get our hands on them relatively soon. There will be a permanent link to Golconda Rising on the left.
Well done Dave and good luck with your venture.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Purple Indostani Regulars

Here is a small unit, of what I am dubbing, Indostani Regulars. This "uniformed" force is meant to represent Indostanis that have received European training and are capable of fighting as a cohesive unit with some skill. I chose marching figures for the entire group to help define their uniformity, as well I painted them all the same color. I hope to do 12 more purple matchlockmen, to form two Sharp Practice groups, or if you prefer, a half company. (Click the images to enlarge)
The command figures.

The mounted officer.

The class photo.
These were all painted with mostly acrylic house paints and Army Painter. I don't consider myself a painter at all (and rarely enjoy the chore), but I'm happy with these. Army Painter  is very forgiving and gives me a good confidence boost. I think it has helped me to improve my painting skills. I thoroughly recommend it to all other mediocre painters out there. Kevin Dallimore eat your heart out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lard Island News Interview

Our humble little efforts here at Adventures In Lead have attracted the esteemed likes of Richard Clarke, of Too Fat Lardies fame and the author of Sharp Practice, who has kindly asked me to do a small interview about our Indostan campaign. I of course quickly obliged and it has now been posted on the Lard Island News blog. Thanks Rich and thanks everyone for looking.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chase's Rescue Part II

What follows is a dispatch from Captain Charles Chase of the Honorable East Indostan Company to General Sir Richard Hardballs. The report is written by Dave and pictures from the battle can be found below, using the Sharp Practice rules. The first part of this adventure can be found here. (Click the images to enlarge)

Dispatch To General Sir Richard N. Hardballs

Due to information received, I have had to act quickly and could wait for further orders no longer.
After the battle fought against the Indostani brigands we set camp
to await further orders, tend to our wounded and bury the dead. Early the following morning I was awoken by Lieutenant Smallgoods who informed me the pickets had found two British officers, one of which was none other than the missing Lieutenant Sutton, who was in a very bad way. Dressing, I quickly made my way to the surgeon’s tent where I found Lieutenant Sutton being tended to, and another officer who introduced himself as Lieutenant Fiddlesworth. He had been visiting the gentlefolk at a farm and having just sat down to dinner, came under attack and had been taken prisoner. With the help of Sutton, Fiddlesworth had formulated an escape and both slipped out during the night.
As Fiddlesworth is of portly proportions and complains constantly of the quality and sparseness of proper dining facilities, I am wondering if the Indostanis in fact just let him go. Between the pair of them I learned that the Indostanis had holed up in a small village not far away. Sutton, being in no condition to fight,  was dispatched with the other wounded to the blockhouse, where he can receive better care. Fiddleswoth also volunteered to return to the rear, however as I was short an officer,  ordered him to remain with us. The good sergeant Snodgrass was also hoisted onto a wagon and sent back, while Chosen Man Rank, was hastily promoted to sergeant, to try and fill his boots. A skinny fellow, Rank is cursed with a terrible skin complaint and odors seem to follow the man around, however, I had little choice but to appoint a field promotion.
We struck camp at dawn and headed deeper into enemy territory, relying heavily on my guide, Runoff, and the directions that Fiddlesworth could provide. We still had a goodly compliment of men, forty four men of the 69th line infantry and twenty one of the Grenadiers. Enough I thought to press the Indostanis. We soon came to a road which we proceeded down. After marching along it for an hour, Runoff came hurrying back to the column with news, which through my translator, Imshae, I managed to deduce (after much head wobbling and nodding) that the brigands were up ahead in the small village of Shii'ole.
I ordered the men of the 69th into line and the Grenadiers to remain in column and head down the road. No sooner had I dispatched my orders when a group under a flag of truce headed out of the village towards us. Again, what followed was a lot more head wobbling, heathen jabber and much pointing. Imshae translated that they would hand over the captives and retreat peacefully, for they had many wounded and had no stomach to fight the "Devils in Red" this day. Agreeing, I told them they had till midday , or they would not only suffer from the red coated devils but also from the pointy hats. Hesitantly they agreed and gave the Grenadiers many worrying glances.
My men rested and cleaned their weapons as we awaited the hottest hour. Midday came and went and no sign of the hostages or in fact of the Indostanis, for the village looked deserted. I finally had had enough and ordered the men into line and to advance, the infantry through the fields and the Grenadiers to the village on the road. Quickly we crossed the open space when musket fire erupted from a small fence connecting two outlaying buildings. The Indostanis had holed up inside both houses and secured the fence. I brought the line up to the edge of a freshly ploughed (and later discovered , well manured) field which offered us a little protection. The men performed brilliantly! Volley after crashing volley were fired into the huts. Poor construction quickly reduced the walls to Swiss cheese and the Indostanis behind the fence were decimated by our three rounds a minute. At one point an Indostani chief stuck his head up to gauge our position and was quickly brought low, his helmet flying off his head as the ball struck his forehead. The Indos in the bigger of the two huts were faring better and slowed our advance, however we kept up the fire and they began to waver. I did suffer a wound from the sporadic Indostani fire. A stray musket ball grazed my left cheek, not a serious wound, but one that will leave a mark for the rest of my days, or so the surgeon says. Personally I think it makes me look more distinguished.
It was at this point two of my men decided to charge the enemy on their own, They ran off to the hut still occupied by the Indostanis yelling “GE’ DA LOOT!!” Which Sergeant Nobbs reliably informs me is a Scottish war cry. Odd I didn’t think Nobbs was Scottish. The Indostanis seeing this bravery quickly retreated from both huts. And they told me our troopers were scum of the earth, petty criminals and thieves; don’t believe a word of it! Such brave lads! Both men, I am happy to say survived and seem to have more stuff in their haversacks then I seem to recall. Sergeant Nobbs tells me he will
personally insure the men are rewarded for their heroism.
Meanwhile the Grenadiers had also encountered an Indostani force hiding behind a fence on the other side of the road. Captain Smallgoods dispatched Sergeant
Braune Steynes with eleven grenadiers to cover his flank as he moved up the road. The Indostanis seeing the feared “pointy hats” advance , literally soiled themselves. I saw two Indos bolt for some rocks where they seemed to be having a very painful and messy time of it. Sergeant Steynes doggedly moved his men up and I could clearly hear the EIN , ZWEI, EIN, ZWEI as the strapping Prussian urged his men on. They quickly moved up to the fence (bayoneting the two squatting Indos as they went) and entered the village . Smallgoods Moved up the road and was making good time when the bane of our existence came into view, cavalry! Two groups of riders, no less! The Indos had been playing for time so they could bring up their horsemen. Oh for a good unit of Dragoons! As you know we have little to no cavalry while these Indos seem to sleep with their horses.
It was at this time, Fiddlesworth and I disbanded  the line and tried to navigate our way through the field, which proved bothersome to say the least. I don’t know what they use as fertiliser in these parts but the ground was boggy and rank! Sergeant Nobbs though managed to get through quickly with a small detachment and headed for the bigger of the two huts, muttering something about “Those two had better have left something for me”. Fiddlesworth very slowly managed to get though the field. I fear he is more used to riding than walking, as he had to stop many times to wipe the sweat from his face and complained bitterly about the muck on his boots.
I quickly saw that the Grenadiers facing off with the horsemen would be in a lot of bother and steered my men towards a wall that ran along the road. Smallgoods and his men knowing they would be cut down whatever they did, decided to charge and try and take some of the buggers with them. A very gallant and brave act, but they could only bring down two riders before being forced to flee. Many
brave Grenadiers fell and their bodies littered the road. Smallgoods, with the remaining Grenadiers, turned and took to their heels running back up the road. The Indostani riders seeing the much feared and hated "pointy hats" fleeing, took heart and fire glittered in their eyes for more blood. They charged after the Grenadiers, but either through bad horsemanship or the corpses littering the road they  failed to close the distance. Smallgoods vaulted over  the stonewall and joined us as we waited for the cavalry to get closer. Hopeing for an easy kill the Indostanis rode on, my men though had other ideas. Attacking over and leaping from the stone walls we took the riders in the flank and after a heated exchange of blows  both infantry and riders both fell back. The Indostanis came off worse, leaving their chieftain dead at my feet, and were soon riding for their lives. Meanwhile, Steynes and the other Grenadiers, ignoring the small unit of Indos he had been pursuing (and who mysteriously hadn’t fired on him), opened fire on the second unit of horsemen, keeping them in check until we could reform.
It was at this point that Sergeant Nobbs and Lieutenant Fiddlesworth entered the village proper. The remaining Indos we’re holed up in a large, well fortified building and we had serious concerns attacking it, for the civilians were also being held there. Before Fiddlesworth and Nobbs could get the men into line , the Indos seemed to have had enough and started pouring from the building and “legging it” as Sergeant Nobbs would colourfully say. On all flanks the Indostanis turned and ran, leaving us the victors of the field and in possession of Shii'ole. The prisoners we’re quickly liberated and thankful to be amongst Englishmen again. The lady seemed relieved to be free, but oddly enough a little disappointed. What those savages must have done to her is beyond thinking. I’m sure she will put this distressing affair behind her once she is reunited with her husband, a man of the cloth
I am now returning to the blockhouse with my wounded and the freed prisoners to await your orders.
Yours sincerely
Captain Chase

The village of Shii'ole.

The enemy show themselves.

The British form up in line.

The line advances.

Chase calls "HALT!".

More enemy appear and open fire.

Sporadic fire - Chase is grazed by a musket ball!

Here come the "pointy hats".

A long road ahead.

Chase gives the command to "FIRE!".

A bird's eye view of the exchange.

A fierce musket battle ensues.

British tenacity wins out.

The "brave" looters "charge".

Chase orders the line to disband and orders the men forward.

The prisoners and more of the enemy are spotted!

The bandits finally abandon the British onslaught.

The Grenadiers press down the road.

The hatmen push their way through the sodden fields.


Chase moves to address this new threat.

The Grenadiers charge home, "Huzzah!" and ...

... are sent packing before the savage horsemen.

Chase directs fire on the enemy horsemen.

"Over the wall and into them lads!". Chase risks all to save the Grenadiers...

... and is forced back firing. Their chieftain dead and suffering many losses, the horsemen retreat.

Meanwhile, the infantry enter the village, headed for the held prisoners.

The Indostanis have had enough. The day is won!

The prisoners are liberated. God bless England!

This game was played last Sunday and resulted in a victory for the British. We thoroughly and quite successfully investigated the use of Blinds, which can be seen clearly in the first image. Although the Blinds did not get too far across the table before being spied, their use greatly improved the "fog of war" and left us guessing as to where the enemy was. Dave wasted quite a few actions ensuring there was no more lurking Indostanis hiding out in the other huts scattered about. 
Another first for us was the use of buildings, and the protection they offer to their inhabitants. I would have liked to see an assault on one of the buildings, but it never came to that, with the "Red Devils" performing very admirably. The full effects of a British firing line were also displayed, having exchanged the +2D6 first fire rule for the one presented in the new TSS supplement, +50%. Ouch, those poor bandits. Well done Chase, oh and you too Dave.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chase's Rescue Part I

What follows is a dispatch from Captain Charles Chase of the Honorable East Indostan Company to General Sir Richard Hardballs. The report is written by Dave and pictures from the battle can be found below, using the Sharp Practice rules. (Click the images to enlarge)

Dispatch To General Sir Richard N. Hardballs


After our discussion on the reconnoiter of outlaying farms and villages this report follows. Carrying out your orders I left Noghul with two companies of line infantry, Lt. “Chinstrap” Sutton, sergeants Snodgrass and Nobbs, the Indo tracker called Runoff and my translator, Imshae (who I have the devil understanding), several water carriers and children. I am unsure where these children have come from but they are prolific and try to sell everything from carved wooden elephants, to something called the Taj Mahal. We soon left them all behind and marched due east from our siege works at Noghul.
After several hours on the march we came across a farm and a small blockhouse defended by a company of Grenadiers and the remnants of a company of line infantry. It looked like a fierce battle had been fought and after talking to the garrison's commander, a large strapping Grenadier officer by the name of Captain Smallgoods, I discovered only hours before the farm had indeed been raided. Several civilians and officers had been captured by the brigands who had fled to the south east. I immediately took charge of the situation (my commission maturer then Smallgoods) and taking a company of Grenadiers to bolster my own forces we set off with haste, our tracker Runoff in the lead.
We soon located the brigands holed up amongst some rocks in a dry wadi. I espied through my spyglass the captured civilians, two it appeared had been rolling around in flour, why I am unsure, and amongst them a lady! Immediately we swung into action. I ordered Smallgoods and his sergeant, Braune Steynes to come down on the left while Nobbs, Snodgrass and I would come through the middle. Lt. Sutton would follow us bringing up the rear. The brigands were keen for a fight and their leader sent skirmishers forward to slow our advance, an action which was hardly necessary as the weather was quite hot and the men moved slowly. The Indos got a rude shock of their own though, as a tiger, which had been lying low, sprang from nearby bushes causing confusion.  At least one of the skirmishers must have kept his head, as they quickly composed themselves and fired on the beast, killing it outright. An ominous sign?
Ordering my troops down the side of the wadi amongst the rocks, I was barged off my feet by the men who were keen for the fray. I soon regained my composure, catching up with them, however as they entered the rocks, the heat and lack of water took its toll slowing them to a crawl. 
Meanwhile Sergeant Steynes had made excellent time and was starting to pour fire down on the left flank. Captain Smallgoods followed behind. Alas Lt. Sutton and his men were nowhere to be seen and soon I received word he had taken a nasty tumble, having twisted his ankle. Refusing to be removed from the field, and his men refusing to leave him behind, they remained in the rear.
Our shot was proving frustratingly bad, either the men from grinding their powder too fine or from the heat and lack of water I am unsure, but our aim was wide. The Indos were also having a hard time finding their marks, but I put that down to native ineptitude.
Eventually my men traversed the rocks and started to cross the wadi. Sergeant Nobbs had skirted around the rough and was also pushing into the center; I think the promise of an additional grog ration is working wonders! No sooner though had we crossed the expanse and formed into line an almighty din could be heard from behind us. The Indos had brought up reinforcements and were attacking us in the rear! From messengers and what I could see through my spyglass, Lt. Sutton made an excellent show, repulsing wave after wave of Indos as they threw themselves at his thin red line. I saw an armoured Indostani chap on horseback call him out and gallantly he accepted the challenge, alas smoke and dust blocked my view and I could not see the outcome. Later his men reported to me that he had disappeared amongst  the smoke and chaos. All that they found was his hat and broken chinstrap. I pray he is alive and we find him fit and well.
Meanwhile the Grenadiers had pushed up the left and had shown the bayonet to the Indos, who promptly showed the grenadiers their bullocks and ran off. Where the bullocks came from I don’t know, but they appeared out of the smoke in the middle of the Indos' camp, presumably from their raids on the farms. The Grenadiers fought their way to within several paces of the captured civilians. It was the group with the terrified young lady in it. Who says gallantry is dead eh? Another wave of brigands attacked, repulsing the Grenadiers and cutting them off from their quarry. I could hear Lt. Smallgoods cussing from the other side of the field.
By this time, with darkness falling, I pushed the line forward and after several devastating volleys, we slow marched for the rocks, bayonets at the ready muskets primed and the drums beating the pace. All had not gone well for us though. The Indostanis let off several volleys as we crossed the open ground and received several casualties, amongst them the brave Sergeant Snodgrass, though not mortally wounded, he took a ball in the shoulder and was knocked from his feet. Our guide and water boys tended to him as the line pressed forward. Alas amongst the growing darkness, smoke and dust, and no doubt with the sight of the line advancing slowly towards them, the Indos gave us the slip, fleeing into the night with their prisoners. Seeing their comrades vanishing into the gloom, the other laggards in our rear ceased their attacks and withdrew.
Deciding it was too dark and the men desperate for rest and water, we have made camp at the wadi and come the dawn I will send Runoff to search for signs of Lt. Sutton and the Indostani brigands.
I am in a good defensible position, with a solid supply of food and water, and once again surrounded by many children selling more bits of useless junk.
I await your orders.

Your servant
Captain Chase


Captain Chase leads his men.

 The Indostani brigands lie in wait with their captives.

The Grenadiers move down the left flank.

Chase navigates the rough terrain.

Their skirmishes are attacked by a tiger!

The opening exchange.

 The first British volley!

A bird's eye view of the field.

The Grenadiers draw a lot of attention.


Sgt. Nobbs' men finally reach effective range.

 With Sgt. Snodgrass wounded, alone, Captain Chase co-ordinates a line beyond the rocks.

 The enemy are at our backs.

 Heat, dust and lead.

Rolling fire.

Where did they come from?

The line is formed. FIRE!!

Sgt. Steynes pushes his advantage.

Meanwhile, the brigands to the rear launch an attack on Lt. Sutton.

The Grenadiers charge, and drive off the foe, but...

...are themselves counter-charged and...

 ...finally repulsed. The captives still in the hands of the enemy.

In the rear the battle rages...

... Lt. Sutton meets the Indostani leader in mortal combat.

Chase directs fire on the enemy's position - surely they can't hold out much longer?

The above scenario was loosely based on an article in issue 271 of Wargames Illustrated, titled the Battle of Sideling Hill. It was meant for the French and Indian Wars but had some goals easily adaptable to any genre. It was a really fun game and proved full of action. Unfortunately time did not permit to see the scenario to it's end, but I do predict it may have been a victory to the British, what with Chase's line amongst the brigands. We will certainly be revisiting this one when the campaign starts proper in one form or another.
In the last couple of days some posts on the Too Fat Lardies Yahoo site and the purchase of their new Terrible Sharp Sword supplement, has confirmed something I was suspecting we have been doing incorrectly in our SP games - the use of Blinds. It has dawned on me that the use of Blinds will not only add a great degree of "fog of war" but will also hasten the more boring and time consuming initial moves. My initial thoughts were that Blinds were to be used only on those more "sneaky" type missions where someone is trying to avoid detection. I now believe they can be used in each scenario and will assist to "cut to the chase" (no pun intended) more quickly. We will test this theory in our next game.