Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Tactical suggestions for Plassey

With most colonial battles, the difference between the two armies is usually discipline and technology versus numbers and fanaticism.  In the 18th century the disparity is not quite so big and at Plassey we are looking at a small disciplined European led force against, in essence, a large Renaissance army.  Clive always believed in overawing his enemies in India by being aggressive, but at Plassey he certainly thought that he had bitten off more than he could chew.  As Lenin would later say, "Quantity has a quality of it's own."  The Bengal army can certainly win but only if it is able to marshal all its force together

This picture is wrong.  The ground is too arid, the hunting lodge too elaborate and the water tank offers no cover whatsoever.  The Bengal cavalry is too disciplined on the left and not armoured enough.  I could go on but its a nice picture anyway!

East India Company

The European infantry are solid and the Sepoys are good.  However, its the use of the highly mobile artillery that gives this force an ability to win against larger armies.  The artillery needs to be used aggressively but must be supported because if it is caught by cavalry it will be easily destroyed.

The Army of the Nawab of Bengal

The infantry, on the whole is a liability.  Best used to protect the artillery or to give somewhere for the cavalry to rally behind.  Be careful of losing too many as they will drag down the morale of the whole army.  The irregular skirmish infantry and especially the jezzail armed Arabs and Afghanis should be pushed out against infantry targets to wear the EIC down.

The cavalry is the mobile punch (or slap in the case of this army).  No unit is strong enough to break an EIC infantry unit.  However, they are dangerous against unsupported artillery and very dangerous if used en masse.  The problem is mobilising enough of them before their morale collapses.

The artillery is lumbering and not as effective as the EIC but they are the only units able to inflict morale checks on the EIC from range and should be used to create opportunities for the cavalry to exploit.  The rockets should be used as skirmish infantry but their morale effect, if they hit, is as good as the artillery.  The jezzail armed Elephants are a multi purpose unit and can be used as artillery and are able to fire over the tops of friendly units.

1 comment:

  1. On the face of it a neutral observer would almost certainly take the Nawab army based on the sheer numbers.

    The East India force packs a powerfull punch but I think with some luck and careful execution it can be crushed.

    I have to be very careful and precise with my initial deployment and plan....

    Looking forward to another dummy run tomorrow