We went back in time to play a set of rules printed in the early Miniature Wargames magazine under the title Drums Along The Watusi in the Rules on a Post Card series.
We used the figures we had to give the rules a try. The terrain was dense jungles with tracks and open spaces. To represent this, we placed dark green areas to represent the open areas and brown tracks. Everything else was dense jungle.
We used our Back of Beyond figures and some British Naval figures to make an international Brigade making their way across the table to the river where boats awaited.
Movement was by throwing 2D6 with an ambush occuring on a result of 11 or 12 in the jungle or 10, 11 or 12 in the open (on the tracks and clearings). Movement was 2 times the result if in the jungle or 3 times on the tracks and through the clearings.
The British headed off through the jungle and made slow progress without encountering the natives until they were two thirds the way across the table.
The Japanese contingent made slow progress the first turn but their rear unit was ambushed on their second move.
The Chinese moved even slower to start with, avoiding ambushes until they were half-way across the table when they were fired upon by the Japanese who mistook them for natives, and were then ambushed by the natives to add to their misfortune. The Japanese tried to redeem themselves by coming to their aid.
It was the French who were immediately ambushed and for the first few turns, continued to have to fight their way across the table with more ambushes each turn. One ambush came from an area that the British had just passed through, leading to accusations of the British being in league with the natives.
Despite the differences in the movement rates and the number of ambushes each nation suffered, they all arrived at the river with one turn of each other.
Elements of the People’s Liberation Army were discovered in the interior of Bana Soto by elements of the Army of Bana Soto (ABS) who engaged them whilst calling for support.
The enemy force was identified as a large contingent of infantry with machine guns supported by three tanks (the infantry were militia and these were the only two units who made it to the table in the deployment phase). Opposing them were two units of the ABS, three tanks of regulars and three mortars which were also the only forces to make it to the table in the deployment round.
The ABS concentrated their attack on the infantry causing casualties and moral checks, whilst the PLA tanks raced to the aid of their allies rather slowly.
Neither side succeeded in gaining any reinforcements on turn 4 and the PLA infantry’s morale failed and they fled the field but the PLA tanks succeeded in destroying the ABS tank who were dismayed to find that they had loaded the wrong ammunition, not having expected to meet other tanks.
The first reserves to appear were the Commando Early Reaction Bana Soto force (CERBS), but they were not in time to save the tanks of the ABS, which were destroyed by the PLA before discoverying they had also failed to load sufficient ammunition.
By this time, the remaining ABS forces had appeared and began advancing to surround the tanks. Deciding that it was best to live to fight another day, the PLA tanks decided to withdraw at speed.
It’s all going Napoleonic next Tuesday with a game of General de Brigade, featuring two real, live French and British players.
‘Zut Alors!’ or should it be ‘Cor’Blimey!‘?
Anyway, the honour of France is a stake, so there will be no doubt be some close fought action, with plenty of colourful infantry and cavalry units to admire. A close run thing or a walkover for the massed French columns? We will have to wait and see!
Gary is putting on his leather gear, polishing his helmet and whipping out his big forky thing to run a multiplayer game of Spartacus – A Game of Blood and Treachery on Tuesday this week. This has been a big hit at the club on a number of outings, with several players competing to be the top lanista, or the ‘host with the most’ (the most being dead rivals and top notch gladiatorial champions…..or at the very least a gladiator still in one piece by the end of the game).
This Tuesday we’re off to the North Atlantic for a 1/3000 scale multiplayer convoy vs. wolf pack game.
Convoy SC 75 was reported as sailing on the 18th March 1942 from Halifax NS with 30 ships and 5 escorts. This is a slow convoy, trying to maintain 8 knots. Wolf Pack Ziethen II is being formed in the North Atlantic all commanders in the area are expected to rendezvous as directed for an attack on the night of the 28th March.
The Buchanan’s Party scenario for Bag the Hun 2 was played at the club this week, with seven players taking on the role of Luftwaffe and RAF aircrew. In the end, the experienced Luftwaffe pilots of Stab III.JG27 shot down two No229 Squadron Hurricanes of Yellow Section, one in a catastrophic mid-air explosion and the other in a gradual slow glide down to earth to crash land in the desert. They didn’t manage to shoot down any of the No14 Squadron Blenheims, however, which succeeded in dropping three sticks of bomb on the convoy but only destroyed one of the target markers in the process.
In addition, one of the Bf109 F-4’s suffered a gun jam and was effectively out of the game by Turn Three. The Victory Points worked out at four for the Luftwaffe but only one for the RAF, so a clear Axis victory. We did run out of time though, so it would be fair to expect that several of the bombers would have exited the table in Turn Six to claim additional VP’s. Even though the RAF fighters had a rough deal, due to an unlucky turn of the cards and some dodgy dice rolls, they did succeed in their mission objective to protect the bombers so that they could hit the target.
There’s a Bag the Hun 2 multiplayer game at the club this week, based on a bombing mission by Blenheim Mk IV’s of 14 Squadron RAF against Axis motor transport during Operation Crusader. There are six players taking part, with the Hurricanes of No.299 Squadron as top cover for the bombers and the Bf109’s of III.JG27 trying to stop them. It’s all in glorious 1/285th scale and there will be a full after action report to follow. Tally Ho!
We are now half way to Urga in the club Back of Beyond campaign.
The French are well in the lead being three steps away from the objective, the ancient silk road town of Urga in Mongolia. The British, Bolsheviks and Chinese are all in equal place at five steps away, while the Mad Baron and Japanese are trailing along in a cloud of dust at the back, six steps away.
The French are confident that they can sweep all before them using their superior firepower but the Chinese are now itching to give them a bloody nose, having been narrowly defeated in Turn Three.
The Bolsheviks are also keen to have a crack at the Japanese and the Chinese, avoiding the decadent capitalists with their modern weaponry and training.
The British are having a nice cup of tea while the Japanese and Chinese lick their wounds. Finally, the Mad Baron is doing his own unpredictable thing but may well pop up at some point out of nowhere to sweep all before him.
Anything can happen in the last three turns and there could well be some decisive battles to come in Turn Four!
Whilst making their way towards Urga across the Gobi Desert, the French Citreon Kegresse expedition found their way blocked by the army of Chinese Warlord Wei Phat Mac.
Unable to negotiate a peaceful solution to allow them to pass, the Expedition attacked this army to force passage. The Chinese bravely advanced to challenge the Expedition only to suffer heavy casualties due to moving slowly during their advance due to the failure of Wei Phat Mac to throw decent movement dice. Exposed in open terrain, the Chinese infantry were mowed down by the French machine guns on the Kegresses, Laffey White Armoured car and heavy machine gun of the Foreign Legion escort.
Both the Chinese field gun and the French Mountain gun failed to be effective as the Chinese armoured car attempted to support the infantry advance. A lucky shot from this latter armoured car took out one of the Kegresses, but it in turn was knocked out by a shot from the Laffey White.
Having hid behind a hill for most of the battle, the Chinese irregular cavalry made one last bid to change the course of the battle as the raced to take out the French Heavy Machine gun, only to get caught in a fire of the Foreign Legion and the remaining Kregresse.
The Chinese close order infantry managed to close with French Colonial scouts as did the Chinese Bandits, inflicting minor casualties. With loss mounting and without having committed his personal guard, Wei Phat Mac withdrew from the field, allowing the Expedition to continue its advance towards Urga.