Wednesday 29 February 2012

On the North West Frontier....Part 2

After the grandiose announcement of my latest piece of insanity I feel that I should perhaps expand upon the rationale and thought process behind the whole idea and where it sits in the grand scheme of things. I should begin by stating that this was emphatically no idle whim and I was certainly not joking when I say that such an undertaking - a 54mm set up - has in fact been on the cards, in one way or another, for a number of years. I have given very careful consideration to the potential for expansion of the idea in respect of additional forces etc and how this would be realised over time. There are a number of possibilities in mind behind what would appear to be a purely Colonial style set up and so I will touch on them so you can see where my thoughts will be leading me in due course.


Of course the North West Frontier and beyond was the setting for the 'Great Game' as Russian expansion in Asia pushed ever closer to British India. Russian troops fought the Afghans at the Battle of Murghab in 1885 and the subsequent diplomatic wrangling very nearly led to war between Russia and Great Britain. It would not be too far a stretch of the imagination to escalate this into a plausible war game scenario or campaign setting and I fully intend doing so in due course.


I bet you didn't see that one coming! I was delighted when I discovered that as a result of Turkey going to war with Greece in 1897 the Sultan was so incensed with the attitude of the British government over their condemnation of the Ottoman position that he sent agents to stir up the tribes on the North West Frontier (as co-religionists) to give the British something to think about in return. At the time the frontier was like a powder keg anyway due to various 'Mad Mullahs' doing the rounds so Turkish encouragement was hardly necessary but was there all the same. One of the rumours in circulation was that Turkish troops had captured the Suez canal and were currently engaged in clearing the British from Aden and such like! Again, this would allow the appearance of Ottoman troops - not necessarily on the frontier itself but perhaps as an Aden invasion force.

Of course both Russia and Turkey could engage in their own private squabble quite independently of the British India and so I am quite sure you can see the potential. The Afghan tribesman could easily be used as friends or foes for each of the forces mentioned and both Russia and Turkey could easily morph into Rusland and Fezia as and when the need arises.

It also means that I will have a naval perspective as ultimately Russia, Turkey and Great Britain will need fleets - for use in the Black Sea in the case of Russia and Turkey or the Persian Gulf/Red Sea/Indian Ocean for Great Britain and Turkey.

I think it is safe to say that the above would easily provide more than enough entertainment value for several years worth of gaming and so this is very much a long haul project but, even a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and so far I have only just opened the front door!


Bluebear Jeff said...

Good background thinking, sir. I like it . . . so I suggest that you step out that door now (or sooner).

-- Jeff

David Crook said...

Hi Jeff,

I was really pleased at this angle - especially the naval side as I had resigned myself to being 'dry' as the NWF is not renowned for much in the way of naval activity!

All the best,