The Extraordinary Sidney Cotton
Indian Unity #10
|(Attacker) Hyderabad||vs||India (Attacker)|
|Hyderabad||1st Hyderabad Lancers|
|Hyderabad||3rd Hyderabad Lancers|
|Overall Rating, 6 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 403 of 579|
|Parent Game||Indian Unity|
|Maps||2: 5, 8|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
In the months before the Indian invasion, Osman Ali Kham, last Nizam of Hyderabad and reputedly the richest man in the world, desperately tried to obtain modern arms to defend his kingdom. He engaged the Australian spy and aviator Sidney Cotton, one of the models for Ian Fleming's James Bond, to obtain the weapons and smuggle them through Indian territory.
The Nizam desperately wanted tanks (and aircraft) for his armed forces, and thanks to Hyderabad's heavy commitment to the Allied cause in the Second World War he had plenty of experienced officers and crew to man them. But Cotton, despite his undoubted skills and commitment to his famous Eleventh Commandment ("Thou shalt not be found out"), could not manage to bring heavy equipment across Indian territory. He did manage to import tens of thousands of rifles and other light arms by air, allowing 50,000 Razakars to take the field with modern weapons. But despite a world awash in surplus arms, the importation of tanks proved beyond even Cotton's abilities, and this tank battle never took place.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|1 Errata Item|
All Stags have an armor value of 1.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
|Indian Unity, scenario #10: The Extraordinary Sidney Cotton|
A quick ten turn armor on armor scenario. Hyderabab has Stuart, Stag and those tough Val IX while the Indians have Stuart VI but Armor Efficiency with leader in all their tanks. Victory points are simply for eliminating enemy steps.
There are a few different approaches each side could take but I went for the head on clash. The Hyderabad was quantity but a lot of Stags which really have an armor value of 1 by the way and all ACs have leader so I made the tactical mistake of using them as tanks. The Val IX have a monster armor value of 4 compared the Indian Stuarts with 2. The Indian activated first and pushed all the way across the east-west road pretty fast and then the Hyderabad armor entered and the shooting and maneuvering began. The Val IX are way too tough for the Stuarts even with lucky cross-fire bonuses and adjacent shots but the Hyderabad made the mistake of trying to use numbers with their Stag ACs to get a quick victory against the Indian tanks and paid for it.
Hyderabadi lost 12 steps and the Indians lost 9 steps for a very minor Indian victory by one point. If I would have held the Stugs back, I think the Hyderabdis could have won but I am not sure. A pretty fun scenario to play, and I could see playing this one, three or four times, to try out different strategies and it plays out so fast. I will certainly try this one again.
Played face to face with Hugmenot in our continuing series of Indian Unity. After this we will have only one to go to finish up.
This is a totally fictional scenario as the actual armor units (Valentines and Stuarts) which the Hyderabadis were hoping to acquire remained unavailable and the lack of such armor is felt in many of the scenarios in the supplement. This gives us a straight up tank battle with very litte terrain to worry about (board 8 is like that.
Daniel got the initiative and pushed his Stuarts directly across the board towards my entry area. I entered in three groups with the Valentines and their higher armor protection (and 6 pdr guns, the best in the scenario) advancing straight at the Stuarts and the Stags and Hyderabaid Stuart taking up flanking positions to get crossfire bonuses.
It became immediately apparent that Daniel's Stuarts were in a kill zone and he pulled back towards the small woods on board 5 where much of the remainder of the action played out with cover being used and lost as both sides looked to take out a few more steps of the enemy. With only 10 turns the scenario wrapped up quickly.
The scenario itself is a good one to give a chance to try out tactics with armor. The goal is to eliminate enemy steps and in our case the Hyderabadis led 8-6 at the end. The vehicles are typically low armor protection (most of the Hyderabaids have "1" armor all of the Indians have "2" values) and crossfire and/or adjacency are crucial items to increase teh likelihood of success.
I strongly recommend playing this scenario if you have it before playing any of the large early war armor clashes on the Eastern Front as the lessons are clearer here than in any place else except for maybe "The Duel" a tank battle in EFDx which has limited numbers of counters.
Here you can see the value of a hopeless shot that gives a crossfire bonus or the need to move rather than fire to eliminate that bonus. It is a great learning scenario no matter how it plays as a competitive scenario.
Given the small number of units, it is unlikely that either side can have enough luck eliminating the enemy and avoiding their own loss to get to even a minor victory (a 3 loss margin). As a result, despite its value as a learning scenario, I can only give it a "4" as the draw is a near certainty.
|Great Introduction to Armor vs Armor Tactics|
Played face to face against Matt W in about one hour.
I won the first initiative and moved all my Stuarts in one group. Bad move; I had forgotten about crossfire. The Hyderabadi commander brought his armor in three groups and not until I heard their first shot did I recall that bonus.
Both sides played a game of cat and mouse towards the woods on board 5 and I was the mouse running away. After finding refuge in the woods, every shot became a long shot and this allowed me to escape with a draw.
I debated whether rated this scenario a “3” or “4” but finally settled on a “3”. Fun little scenario and a great introduction (or refresher) to armor versus armor tactics!
|Tanks for the win|
Played in one session this AFV only battle has efficient Indian Stuarts taking on Hyderabad Valentines supported by Stag A/C's. This is a meeting engagement played over fairly open terrain. As both sides moved carefully onto the board it was clear that the Valentines were superior to the Indian Stuarts and even with inexperienced crews. On the second turn long range fire from the Indian side took out a rebel Stuart while a lucky shot from the Hyderabad's tanks took out a enemy tanks. The Hyderabad commander seemed to gain confidence and advanced to engage the Indian tanks. The Indian commander had a choice here whether to engage or maneuver in the hope of getting cross shots. The Indians chose to maneuver and split their forces to try to outflank the Hyderabad. This was in fact the turning point in the engagement as the Hyderabad player seeing his chance switched all his forces to attack these flanking units. These units now face 6 shots from the Stags plus as shot from a Valentine, once the smoke cleared there were the charred remains of 8 Indian Stuarts and the battle had now swung firmly in the rebels favour. In effect that was all she wrote, the Indians were unable to close with the now jubilant rebel tanks who were happy to hold their positions. This is a fun game and in fact would be an excellent into to tank tactics, as long as the Indian player is prepared to go for the win, I can see though a canny Indian player moving onto hills to the south of the board and waiting for the Hyderabad player to attack. In fact both players could play a similar game which would make for a bore draw,hence the lowish rating.