Wellington in India – 6mm armies.

Following on from my recent post about my East India Company armies in 6mm, I thought I’d give you a quick update about my project and how it’s going so far

Indian regular troops and Spearmen

One of the biggest problems I’m actually having is finding some suitable scenery to use for my battles – I honestly have no real idea about the terrain of 18th and 19th Century India – so I’m looking for some guidance or suggestions in this area – any help would be welcome? Feel free to comment below

Indian Spearmen from the Irregular miniatures Dark Ages range. The Indian Armies had large numbers of irregular Infantry armed with various bladed weapons

In terms of the figures themselves, you can see my existing East India Company Army on the link below

https://peninsularwargamingblog.wordpress.com/2021/04/02/east-india-company-forces-6mm-scale/

I’ve got a good collection of figures from Irregular Miniatures “Wars in India Range” – 35 pounds for a whole army, which is balanced according to their own historical reference material. I’ve used two Mysore armies and one HEIC army for my forces so far (still plenty unpainted, there’s a lot more to come!)

http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk

I’m trying to make my “native” armies – that is my Indian forces – as generic as possible so I can use them for both Mysore Troops and also Maratha troops – I’m hoping the subtle differences can be overlooked at 6mm scale.

Two battalions of regular Indian Sepoys from Irregular Miniatures Wars in India Range. These units would have been trained to European standards by European officers
Close up of a battalion of regular Sepoys. Officers are Europeans. Most commonly the European officers were French or Dutch, although Portuguese were also common. British officers were also employed by the native armies but were bribed by the East India Company to desert, before the wars against the HEIC began

I need a lot more Artillery as well though, as that seemed popular in the native armies, as well as irregular cavalry as they generally had swarms of them at every battle, hoping for loot and stragglers!!

Unit of Mysore / Indian regular cavalry. The Indian Armies had a lot of cavalry, although most of it was considered “irregular” by European standards. In most cases they were mercenaries or warriors working for loot, and were paid according to the quality of the horses and weapons they brought with them.
Four units of irregular matchlock men. It was not uncommon for Indian Armies to field large numbers of matchlock men, even though the flintlock was the dominant weapon in Europe at the time.
Indian Matchlock Men. It was said that the matchlock was more accurate and packed a bigger punch than the flintlock, despite having a slower rate of fire.
Indian Matchlock Men. These guys are in white tunics, purple turbans and trousers with black belts and leatherwork. They carry swords and other bladed weapons for close quarters combat

I’m intending to start with the Battle of Seedaseer in 1799, and gradually progress to doing the Battle of Assaye in 1803, which I might try put on as a wargame at the local club or at our club wargames show, Valhalla whenever we are allowed to hold such events again. This is because Assaye is a large battle, with over 50,000 troops present

Indian Infantry
Indian Infantry

As always I’m open to suggestions and feedback so if anyone has anything they’d like to contribute, drop me a comment or suggestion in relation to these forces below

A selection of native troops

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10 Comments

  1. Looking good James. I think you have your figure basing as a good start to the kind of generic terrain you need – sandy brown with patches of dryish looking grass. I think you would find that near habitations there would be drainage ditches and watercourses and earth “tanks” and berms to hold water and therefore there could be lush crops and foliage, fruit trees, palms etc . For buildings you might find 6mm North African desert ones do the trick – low profile with flat tops and open roof space with the occasional framework for cloth awnings to give shelter from the sun. Obviously the bigger fortress cities are another matter.
    Chris

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    1. Thanks Chris, it’s been a bit perplexing for me, I genuinely had no idea where to start, but was going to use North African buildings – but just paint them brown so they look like mud. I will have a shop around and see what crops / foliage I can find – a number of people have mentioned the tanks, which was something I had absolutely no idea about.

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      1. You could probably try googling images of contemporary rural Indian villages, not a great deal will have changed about the vegetation. Nowadays the tanks are stone or concrete but will give you the idea. The occasional Hindu temple or Moslem mosque would be appropriate for larger settlements.

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      2. James, I did the Sikh Wars in 6mm about 40 years ago and made my own buildings similar to what we have described. That was the Punjab of course but still probably not much different. 18th and 19th century battle maps are a very good source of inspiration as they are usually very good on terrain detail such as domestic vegetation versus “jungle” and the size of the tanks. I have a book on Plassey 1757 (in Bengal) which you are welcome to peruse when we meet again. The rivers can provide an interesting aspect as many towns and villages bordered them and could be approached by forces in small boats while heavier weapons work their way by land in parallel. In 6mm you can have a battlefield to get this slightly more strategic feel. Indian warfare can be exciting and full of new wargaming possibilities – great choice!

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  2. Great looking collection there James! Nothing to dislike about that at all! Alas, I am unable to help regarding the necessary scenery you are looking for, however, take a look at Google earth at some rural villages and location in India to get an idea. The natural vegetation and crop patterns will have changed little as I suspect. I like Chris’s idea of north Africa buildings albeit as you say painted a more subdued hue.
    Have fun.
    Kevin

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  3. Have been enjoying following your India project. Tropical terrain so yes, palm trees could be used. I have bought 15mm figs for the same period. Although not relevant for 6mm, did you come across any differences in appearance between Mysore and Maratha troops? I am really looking forward to when your battles with your beautiful figures begin!

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    1. Terrain; If you can visit the National Army Museum in Chelsea they have some excellent paintings of British Army in Indian including a massive picture of a column on the march. It may be on their website.
      Indian Uniforms; Mysoreans had the “tiger stripe” uniforms that looks like a solid colour, say purple, with a white diamond pattern. This was part of the tiger cult under Tipoo Sahib. Maratha tended towards white or red uniforms.
      Appearance; Mysoreans would have lighter clothing as a result of being close to the equator. Mahrattas less so.

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