Monday, November 14, 2011

Newsflash -- Peter out of Surgery

Good news . . . I just heard that Peter has successfully come out of quadruple bypass heart surgery and is now resting in the hospital's CVU* recovery.

UPDATE -- Peter will still be unconscious likely for another 8 hours or more. He will likely be in the CVU* post operative ward until Wednesday, then if he is breathing well he will be moved to the Patient Care Center for some days depending upon his condition.

A sincere "Thank You" to all who sent prayers or other forms of positive energy.

-- Jeff

* CVU stands for Cardio-Vascular Unit

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pete's Surgery -- Time Corrected

Gentlemen,

While Pete (one of the players in my Afristan Campaign) is scheduled to have heart surgery on Monday, November 11, I had the time wrong.

He will be going into his surgical pre-op at 10:00 am PST . . . but the actual surgery won't begin until about 1:00 pm PST.

So please send your prayers and positive energy to Pete and his surgical team in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada at that time on Monday.

-- Jeff

Monday, November 7, 2011

Campaign on Hiatus

We have had a series of "real life" interruptions to my Afristan Campaign. And while up until now they have not been too serious (family visits and some ill health); we are now going to have to put our campaign on the shelf for a bit.

One of our players, Pete, is now scheduled for a heart bypass next Monday, November 14 at 10am Pacific Standard Time in Victoria, BC, Canada. The operation is expected to last four to five hours . . . and under the circumstances I think it best to place the campaign on hiatus until Pete is back on his feet and feels up to continuing.

Now while this sort of operation has become fairly routine, it is still serious. So any prayers or healing energy, etc. that you can send toward Pete and the surgical team doing the operation will be most welcome.

-- Jeff

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Delay

We had family visiting which threw a spanner into the works as far as gaming went. And their visit was very nice . . . but I did have to delay the two games which were to be played.

Yesterday my wife started feeling funny things about her heartbeat, so I planned to take her to Emergency . . . but then she got a dizzy spell so we had to call an ambulance. While we ended up spending several hours in the hospital, she was sent home after many tests.

She's okay now. She was suffering from PVCs (premature vascular contractions) . . . meaning that her heart was beating too soon (before it had filled with blood) so it felt like it was missing beats . . . it wasn't, it was having some too early. So she is to see her regular doctor (who, of course, is on vacation right now).

Anyway, while I had planned on painting troops necessary for the next games last night, I most obviously did not get to do so . . . and I'm sort of keeping an eye on my bride (which isn't conducive to painting either). I suspect that I will have to put the games off yet again . . . *sigh* . . . I hate it when "real life" gets in the way of gaming . . . don't you?

But at least my wife is okay despite yesterday's scare.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A First Look at May

Everyone has their May moves in and the dice have been rolled . . . and we have two battles to fight. One in the Cango River District of Derf; and one in the Tyger District of Ta'ish. In addition there are reports of dangerous levels of rebellion building in some outlying districts. (As always, click on map to see larger image):


Please note that due to visiting house guests we probably won't get to play these this coming weekend . . . so stay tuned for future scheduling.


Following are the current Rebellion Index for the various districts:Link
  • Alex's Cango River districts are in red
  • Pete's Tyger River districts are in green
  • Murdock's Vile River districts are in purple
  • Jeff's Wazu River districts are in blue
The following "codes" will be in effect -- and the die roll in parentheses indicate how many points the Rebellion Index will rise each month if not visited:
  • Home Districts are marked with * (d6-4)
  • Mission Districts are marked # (d6-2)
  • Trading Post Districts have a $ (d8-4)
  • Normal Districts are unmarked (d6-3)
  • "Beja" Districts are marked -- (B)
  • "Dervish" Districts are marked -- (D)
  • "Egyptian" Districts are marked -- (E)
  • "Pathan" Districts are marked -- (P)
  • "Zulu" Districts are marked -- (Z)

CANGO RIVER:

Tewfiq * -- (E) ---- 3
Derf # -- (B) ------- 9 => ?
Jadu $ -- (P) ------- 2
Zirak $ -- (P) ------ 3
Anwak -- (D) ------8
Bele -- (Z) ---------- 10
Noair -- (D) -------3
Quett -- (P) -------- 4
W'tut -- (Z) -------- 2

TYGER RIVER:

Nukar * -- (E) ---- 4
Ta'ish # -- (D) ---- 8 => ?
Afridi $ -- (P) ---- 6
Swati $ -- (P) ----- 2
Dendoa -- (B) ---- 12
G'umb -- (Z) ------ 2
Luni -- (P) --------- 2
M'wez -- (Z) ------ 5
Umma -- (D) ----- 8

VILE RIVER:

Urabbi * -- (E) --- 2
M'tubel # -- (Z) -- 5
Bejj $ -- (B) -------- 5
Dinqa $ -- (D) ---- 10 @ 16 => 2
Alghaz -- (D) ----- 7
Ghilz -- (P) -------- 6
Tarqa -- (P) -------- 8
J'ele -- (Z) ---------- 3
Z'ooli -- (Z) -------- 3

WAZU RIVER:
Kamel * -- (E) ----- 4
Baqqar # -- (D) --- 7
Fuziwa $ -- (B) ---- 3
Shluk $ -- (D) ----- 9
Dwari -- (P) ------- 5
Likaz -- (Z) -------- 9 @ 16 => 2
Mazood -- (P) ---- 2
Ngoon -- (Z) ------ 8
Wazri -- (P) ------- 2

Reinforcements:

All commands got 7 Sowars (lancer cavalrymen) delivered to their home ports. These have been added to your permanent records.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Situation -- end of April, 1876

Well, April is now at an end and it is time to let me know where you are headed next. Here is our "end of April" map (click for larger image):


Murdock's Field Force is "on the river" so that it can go to any District that the river touches. Everyone else can move to an adjacent District from their current position OR move through on hex of an intervening District into another district (without pacifying the District whose hex they passed through).

=================

Following are the current Rebellion Index for the various districts:Link
  • Alex's Cango River districts are in red
  • Pete's Tyger River districts are in green
  • Murdock's Vile River districts are in purple
  • Jeff's Wazu River districts are in blue
The following "codes" will be in effect -- and the die roll in parentheses indicate how many points the Rebellion Index will rise each month if not visited:
  • Home Districts are marked with * (d6-4)
  • Mission Districts are marked # (d6-2)
  • Trading Post Districts have a $ (d8-4)
  • Normal Districts are unmarked (d6-3)
  • "Beja" Districts are marked -- (B)
  • "Dervish" Districts are marked -- (D)
  • "Egyptian" Districts are marked -- (E)
  • "Pathan" Districts are marked -- (P)
  • "Zulu" Districts are marked -- (Z)

CANGO RIVER:

Tewfiq * -- (E) ---- 3
Derf # -- (B) ------- 9
Jadu $ -- (P) ------- 2
Zirak $ -- (P) ------ 3
Anwak -- (D) ------6
Bele -- (Z) ---------- 8
Noair -- (D) -------3
Quett -- (P) -------- 4
W'tut -- (Z) -------- 2

TYGER RIVER:

Nukar * -- (E) ---- 4
Ta'ish # -- (D) ---- 8
Afridi $ -- (P) ---- 5
Swati $ -- (P) ----- 2
Dendoa -- (B) ---- 9
G'umb -- (Z) ------ 2
Luni -- (P) --------- 2
M'wez -- (Z) ------ 5
Umma -- (D) ----- 8

VILE RIVER:

Urabbi * -- (E) --- 2
M'tubel # -- (Z) -- 2
Bejj $ -- (B) -------- 5
Dinqa $ -- (D) ---- 10
Alghaz -- (D) ----- 6
Ghilz -- (P) -------- 6
Tarqa -- (P) -------- 5
J'ele -- (Z) ---------- 3
Z'ooli -- (Z) -------- 2

WAZU RIVER:
Kamel * -- (E) ----- 4
Baqqar # -- (D) --- 4
Fuziwa $ -- (B) ---- 3
Shluk $ -- (D) ----- 9
Dwari -- (P) ------- 5
Likaz -- (Z) -------- 9
Mazood -- (P) ---- 2
Ngoon -- (Z) ------ 5
Wazri -- (P) ------- 2

Reinforcements:

All commands got 7 Sowars (lancer cavalrymen) delivered to their home ports. These have been added to your permanent records.

April Battle and Medical/Reinforcement Report

Pete came over and we fought out the Wazu Field Force vs Wazri skirmish. As expected, the Imperials (who outnumbered them) defeated the Wazri on the veldt. (As usual, click on photos below for larger images.)

As can be seen in the photo above, Captain Ellis' command faced a treeless valley with brush on the sides and a series of hills. Then (below) a squad of Wazri rifles fired from the brush on Ellis' left.


And more Wazri rifles opened up on the Gurkhas from a hill on the right, killing Gurkha Lama (#2) before the Gurkhas returned a devastation fire (along with some 15th Sikhs from the Gurkha's left).


Leaving a devastated "Wazri Death Hill" . . . from which the few survivors routed.


Meanwhile some of the Wazri Jezailmen discovered that they had inferior powder that halved their effective range, so they ventured out to close the range. But they faced overwhelming odds and soon after the photo below was taken, routed like their fellows who can be seen in the background fleeing from the "death hill".


Shortly after this, with two thirds of his forces dead on the field, and most of the rest routing, the Wazri Hill Chief ordered a precipitous withdrawal and the rebellion in Wazri was successfully suppressed.

Sadly, before the final show was fired, Pvt. Elliot Cook of the 72nd Foot was slain by a jezail ball. In addition, the 15th Sikhs suffered two wounded . . . Sepoy Rasgur was seriously wounded while Sepoy Darvesh was lucky enought to only received a light wound.

========================

Notes on the battle. As usual we used "The Sword and the Flame 20th Anniversary" rules and the generic TSATF action and event decks from The Virtual Armchair General.

Pete managed to get a couple of unfortunate events; while I was the recipient of one good one. In addition Pete threw very poor dice (while I had better than average rolls). He certainly should have scored many more that just four hits in all of his volleys.

========================

Medical Report for April, 1876

Lt. Neil Cosgrove (#1) commander of the 21st Madras Pioneers (Vile River Command) has seen his condition improve to "stable" in Kyro Hospital.

Lt. Pete Kipling of the Tyger River Command recovered from his wound and was returned to duty.

Pvt. Elliot Cook (#4) of the 72nd Foot (Wazu River Command) was killed in battle.

Pvt. Clayton Brooks (#3) of the 88th Foot (Tyger River Command) worsened as his broken arm festered and he is now listed in "serious" condition.

Pvt. Owen Wilson (#6) of the 24th Foot (Cango River Command) also saw his wound fester and his case is now listed as "serious".

Pvt. Elliot O'Neill (#6) of the 88th Foot (Tyger River Command) seems to have turned the corner and his leg wound has improved enough so that his condition is now "stable".

Pvt. Gordon Ogilvy (#8) of the 72nd Foot (Wazu River Command) remains in "stable" condition.

Havildar Sonam (#1) of the 4th Gurkhas (Vile River Command) has seen his condition improve to "stable" in Kyro Hospital.

Gurkha Lama (#2) of the 2nd Gurkhas (Wazu River Command) was killed in battle.

Gurkha Gurung (#5) of the 4th Gurkhas (Vile River Command) remains in stable condition in Kyro Hospital.

Gurkha Rai (#3) of the 4th Gurkhas (Vile River Command) has been returned to duty from Kyro Hospital.

Sepoy Rasgur (#16) of the (Wazu River Command) sustained a serious wound.

Sepoy Jairaj (#18) of the 2nd PFF (Cango River Command) remains in "serious" condition.

Sepoy Kulbir (#19) of the 45 BNI (Tyger River Command) has returned to duty.

Sepoy Darvesh (#17) of the (Wazu River Command) was wounded in battle.

Sepoy Gauri (#3) of the 21st Madras Pioneers (Vile River Command) has been returned to duty from Kyro Hospital.

Sepoy Bhanu
(#20) of the 21st Madras Pioneers (Vile River Command) has been returned to duty from Kyro Hospital.

========================

Reinforcements:

I had both Pete and Murdock roll for reinforcements and both resulted in the same thing. Each of us will receive seven lancers.

While none of us have the required troops for a unit of lancers, we are all a lot closer. We need a British officer, a duffadar and 10 sowars (i.e., native sergeant and ten troopers) before the unit can be ready for deployment . . . and remember that we all need an officer to remain at headquarters.

-- Jeff

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tartan Troubles

Well I tried painting some of the plaids for my Colonial Scots . . . and really didn't like the results. I am now thinking of just leaving the block colors alone and ignoring the plaids.

It certainly won't be a problem with the dark green kilts of the 42nd; but it might be less successful with the red trews of the 72nd . . . but I really hate the way they look with even the sketchiest of lines.

So do I worry about being too historically correct? Or do I ignore the "Uniform Nazis" and just get the figures on the table?

Hmmmm?

-- Jeff

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Painting Report

This past Sunday Pete and Murdock came over and helped me paint some more troops for our Afristan Campaign.

Now I should first make clear that I had glued the infantry to popsicle sticks and hot-glued the cavalry riders to those as well. I had then "black primed" them followed with a "damp brush" in white . . . resulting in figures much like those seen in the rear rank of the "Camel Riders" (which Pete had started on, but had not had time to finish):


Pete also did complete the riders for what will become his lancer unit. Below you can see his riders for Skinner's Horse:


Murdock spent much of his time painting a unit of lancers for his son, Alex:


But he also painted a pair of lancer figures to match a unit of ten that I already had:


As for my infantry figures (seen below), I had previously blocked in much (although not all) of the major colors (coats, headgear and the kilts) . . . so what I needed to do was to work on finishing the major color blocks and then start on details (straps, guns, some shoes, etc.). I had hoped to get to adding the plaid to the kilts and trews, but I ran out of time for that.

First, my work on my Sepoy unit, the 15th Sikhs:


Following you will see how work has progressed on my platoon of the Black Watch:


And finally a squad of the 72nd Highlanders in trews (rather than a kilt). I picked the Duke of Albany's Own because they had red-based trews rather than the more normal blue/green.


So, while we didn't get as much done as we hoped . . . well I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped (but I was working on 51 figures -- there is an extra officer figure with the 72nd) and I still have the plaids and metal work and other odds and ends to finish before Pete and I fight the next campaign battle . . . oh yes, I do have to base all of these guys too . . . nevertheless we did get a lot done and it will help further the campaign quite a bit.

Finally, Murdock has also posted some photos of us at work on his MurdocK's MarauderS blog.

-- Jeff

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Painting Day Tomorrow

Pete and Murdock are coming over tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 18) to help me paint troops. I actually have got a good start on "my" British forces for my upcoming battle against Pashtun, but there is still a lot that needs doing.

While I work to finish my troops . . . which mainly entails rifles, straps and plaids for the Scots, the other guys will work on Bengal Lancers and some Natives of various flavors.

Hopefully there will be some photos after tomorrow evening.

-- Jeff

Friday, September 2, 2011

Zulus

A week ago or so I finished painting sixty more Zulus. This now gives me a total of 120 Zulus (six units of 20). I do still need to paint up some Indunas, but that shouldn't be a problem.

All of the figures are Ral Partha "true 25mm" figures . . . which are available from Great Endeavors. I should note, by the way, that each of the units is a different figure (except for their leaders for which I deliberately used a different figure).

As usual, click on the photos to see a larger image (then click again for an even larger image). I've painted two units each with black shields, white shields and "red" shields:







-- Jeff

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Look at April

Well here is your first look at April and it looks like we have another small fight on our hands. (Click on map below for a larger image of the mid-April situation.)

David's force is "on the river" so there was no chance of a battle there (at least not yet . . . eventually I do hope to build some riverboats).

Alex was facing a daunting task with W'tut's Rebellion Index at 9 . . . but I rolled a 13 so no battle there.

Pete didn't seem to be in much danger since Swati's Index was only a 4 . . . and indeed I rolled an 8 for him . . . so no battle there.

That leaves me. Well I was moving into Wazri with a Rebellion Index of 8 . . . any of the other rolls would be okay . . . but I rolled a 6 . . . so Captain Ellis will at least outnumber his "Pashtun-like" opponents. I suspect that at least some jezails will open up on us from long range (and beyond our range), but we will see.

Reinforcements:

David, Alex and Pete each chose the British Officer option, while I picked the two Brits option. New officers are:

Lt. Nigel Weston (Dec, 1874)
Lt. Lloyd Evans (Jan, 1875)
Lt. Brandon Sinclair (Feb, 1875)
-- Jeff

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

March Results & Reinforcement Choices

Campaign Situation -- April 1st, 1876

Click twice on the map to left for much larger image.

March saw a battle in M'tubel and some really nasty weather in the badlands of Luni (which was quite Linkbad for those who were injured).

Following the "Medical Report" are brief reports from the field relating to the experiences of the various River Commands.

Medical Report:

Lt. Neil Cosgrove, commanding 21st MNI was evacuated to Kyro, but his head wound has worsened to "serious".

Lt. Pete Kipling, adjutant of the Tyger River command, failed to improve and remains in stable condition.

Pvt. Angus Grant of the 92nd Foot (Vile River Command) died from the spear wound in his stomach which he received last month.

Pvt. Elliot O'Neill of the 88th Foot (Tyger River Command) failed to respond to treatment for the bullet wound in his leg. His condition is now listed as "serious".

Pvt. Gordon Ogilvy of the 72nd Foot (Wazu River Command) remained in "stable" condition.

Havildar Sonam of the 4th Gurka (Vile River Command) was evacuated to Kyro and remains in "serious" condition.

Gurka Rai of the 4th Gurka (Vile River Command) was evacuated to Kyro and his condition has improved to "stable".

Gurka Gurung of the 4th Gurka (Vile River Command) was evacuated to Kyro and his condition has improved to "stable".

Gurka Thapa of the 4th Gurka (Vile River Command) was evacuated to Kyro and has recovered from his injuries; and is fit to return to duty.

Sepoy Onkar of the 45th BNI (Tyger River Command) has died of the wound he received from the camel riders.

Sepoy Kulbir of the 45th BNI (Tyger River Command) failed to improve from his head wound and remains in "stable" condition.

Sepoy Gauri of the 21st MNI (Vile River Command) was evacuated to Kyro and his condition has improved to "stable".

Sepoy Bhanu of the 21st MNI (Vile River Command) was evacuated to Kyro and remains in "stable" condition.

Sepoy Chand of the 15th BNI (Wazu River Command) recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.

Cango River:

After spending February "on the river", during which Sepoy Harjot (#6) joined the 2nd PFF as a replacement for the late Sepoy Jarjot. Capt. Davidson responded to the grave reports coming out of Jadu.

Indeed upon landing the situation in Jadu seemed very grave. Merchant Patrick Duncan of the Jadu Trading Post was essentially under siege. But when Captain Davidson brought his sixty rifles to the rescue, only a brief firefight served to disperse the single Jadu jezail unit that was harassing the Trading Post.

Unfortunately Pvt. Evan Sykes (#8) of the 24th Foot was slain in the exchange of fire and Pvt. Owen Williams ($6) also of the 24th foot was wounded. In addition, Sepoy Jairaj (#18) of the 2nd PFF was seriously wounded . . . and one of the mules received a flesh wound in the hind quarter.

A later search of the jezail's location resulted in the discovery of six dead hillmen and several more blood trails. Indeed word seemed to spread quite rapidly and there was no resistance during the rest of the month.

Tyger River:

The terrain and weather were the principal enemies as Capt. Webley-Grant marched his forces from the District of Luni back into the G'umb velt with its teaming insect swarms. The hot, dry and rugged terrain along with the insects made the march most unpleasant. The wounded were particularly strained by the conditions as the medical report will verify.

Nevertheless, they were again greeted well by the G'umb people. The only casualty was Pvt. Clayton Brooks (#3) of the 88th Foot who broke his left forearm in a fall.

Vile River:

After defeating M'Shoota and burning the village of M'Eezee, Captain McMurdock's column suffered no further troubles.

He did dispatch the wounded on four mules along with two muleteers and four Sepoys (#4, 10, 13 and 18) to Kyro along with a request for Royal Navy support. In addition, he temporarily assigned Lt. Sharp to command of the 21st (Madras Pioneers) since Havildar Lakshmi had been newly promoted and could use a more experienced officer in command.

Turning east, McMurdock moved his forces from the jungles of M'tubel onto the plains of the Z'ooli veldt. Perhaps because of the accounts of the battle of M'Eezee had preceded them, the Z'ooli received the column with much ceremony and goodwill.

A native runner reached the column with a letter from Reverend Vernon of the M'tubel Mission. In it he passed on the information that word had come that Trader Thompson of the Dinga Trading Post had been attacked by Dinga natives and needed help. If Captain McMurdock takes "to the river", he could reach the District within the month (and get reinforcements from Kyro -- see new rule in notes); or if he turns south as he had planned, he won't be able to get there until July at the earliest. It is decision time . . . what will he do?

Wazu River:

Captain Ellis' column crossed from Fuziwa into Mazood near the headwaters of the West Wazu. They were well received by the Mazood tribesmen. Indeed the only real misfortune suffered was when Pvt. Angus Morgan managed to sleep near an anthill and woke up with nasty biting crawlers all over him. His resulting "dance" left his fellow Scots in hilarious laughter. So he is now known among his mates as "Antsy Angus, the Dancing Fool".

Reports from the south suggest that Ellis will continue in that direction.

Following are the current Rebellion Index for the various districts:Link
  • Alex's Cango River districts are in red
  • Pete's Tyger River districts are in green
  • Murdock's Vile River districts are in purple
  • Jeff's Wazu River districts are in blue
The following "codes" will be in effect -- and the die roll in parentheses indicate how many points the Rebellion Index will rise each month if not visited:
  • Home Districts are marked with * (d6-4)
  • Mission Districts are marked # (d6-2)
  • Trading Post Districts have a $ (d8-4)
  • Normal Districts are unmarked (d6-3)
  • "Beja" Districts are marked -- (B)
  • "Dervish" Districts are marked -- (D)
  • "Egyptian" Districts are marked -- (E)
  • "Pathan" Districts are marked -- (P)
  • "Zulu" Districts are marked -- (Z)

CANGO RIVER:

Tewfiq * -- (E) ---- 3
Derf # -- (B) ------- 6
Jadu $ -- (P) ------- 2
Zirak $ -- (P) ------ 3
Anwak -- (D) ------4
Bele -- (Z) ---------- 5
Noair -- (D) -------3
Quett -- (P) -------- 4
W'tut -- (Z) -------- 9

TYGER RIVER:

Nukar * -- (E) ---- 4
Ta'ish # -- (D) ---- 5
Afridi $ -- (P) ---- 5
Swati $ -- (P) ----- 4
Dendoa -- (B) ---- 7
G'umb -- (Z) ------ 2
Luni -- (P) --------- 2
M'wez -- (Z) ------ 2
Umma -- (D) ----- 5

VILE RIVER:

Urabbi * -- (E) --- 2
M'tubel # -- (Z) -- 2
Bejj $ -- (B) -------- 5
Dinqa $ -- (D) ---- 10
Alghaz -- (D) ----- 6
Ghilz -- (P) -------- 5
Tarqa -- (P) -------- 5
J'ele -- (Z) ---------- 3
Z'ooli -- (Z) -------- 2

WAZU RIVER:
Kamel * -- (E) ----- 4
Baqqar # -- (D) --- 4
Fuziwa $ -- (B) ---- 2
Shluk $ -- (D) ----- 8
Dwari -- (P) ------- 5
Likaz -- (Z) -------- 7
Mazood -- (P) ---- 2
Ngoon -- (Z) ------ 4
Wazri -- (P) ------- 8

Reinforcements Choices:

All commands will get some reinforcements delivered to their home ports. Each player will have his choice of one of the following options:
  1. one British Lieutenant
  2. one artilleryman
  3. one cavalryman and one Sepoy
  4. two "Britons"
  5. one Gurkha and two Sepoys
Please inform me of your choice of reinforcements and next move as soon as you decide.

Rule Clarification

If you choose to go "On the River" for your monthly move, besides allowing you to end up on any District the river touches, this will allow you to visit your home port to both drop off injured and pick up reinforcements (but only up to the limit of your organization -- in other words I've only painted 20 figures to a platoon so you can't have more than that in it).

Doing this however does NOT permit you to "pacify" your "home district", just to visit and exchange troops.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

1st Campaign Battle Fought!

note -- game was played August 8, 2011 with Murdock playing the British and Alex running the M'tubel (who look surprisingly like Zulus).

(Also note that Murdock has posted his own account of the battle on his
Murdock's Mauraders blog.)

The word along the river was that the main focus of strife and discontent within the District was a certain Chief M'Shoota (shown with rifle and yellow plume in image -- click for larger view). This was confirmed by Reverend Wilfred Vernon, the head of the mission in M'tubel,

Chief M'Shoota was ruler of the village of M'Eezee, so Captain McMurdock determined to burn that village to the ground. He therefor set out with his entire command to do just that. His command consisted of:
  • Capt. McMurdock and Lt. Sharpe
  • Lt. MacDavid and 18 other ranks of the 92nd Foot
  • Sgt. Woodley and 9 other ranks of the 58th Foot
  • Lt. Cosgrove and 19 Sepoys of the 21st NMI
  • Havildar Sonam and 8 Gurkhas of the 4th Gurkha
  • 6 mules and muleteers and two wounded
While relatively flat, the terrain was heavily forested with tropical plants (dark green areas were heavier jungle than the tall grasses of the lighter green areas), making movement difficult.

The "jungle telegraph" had obviously preceded them because M'Eezee had been cleared of all except warriors by the time the British reached it.

However before they could, in fact, reach M'Eezee, a band of black shield M'tubel charged the Gurkhas (who were scouting ahead of the main body) from the cover of the jungle.

While the Gurkhas rifle fire dropped a number of the M'tubel, disrupting their throwing spears, it was the work of the Gurkhas kukris that ended the fight. This was especially effective when Havildar Sonam took the head off of the black shield's leader with a single blow.

Still, the black shields outnumbered the Gurkhas by two to one, so the fight was not all one-sided. Gurkha Gurung (#5) went down with a thrown spear to his chest in the initial charge; and Gurkhas Limbu and Kunal (#6 & #9) were killed. And before the fight was won both the Havildar and Gurkha Rai (#3) were also seriously wounded.

Nevertheless, the bulk of the black shields lay dead or dying and only a fraction were left to flee.

As the rest of the company closed up to tend to the wounded, a band of white shield M'tubel also attacked the column's left flank from cover hitting the Madras Pioneers (21st NMI). Sadly Havildar Bama (#2) and Sepoy Hati (#19) were slain in the resulting hand-to-hand fighting; and Sepoys Gauri (#3) and Bhanu (#20) were wounded.

But the Pioneers held . . . chiefly because Sepoy Lakshmi (#5) personally slew at least four of the white shields while protecting Lt. Cosgrove from their spears. With the death of Havildar Bama, Gosgrove promoted Lakshmi to the rank of Havildar as his new second-in-command.

As this fight was ending, a band of red shield M'tubel made a huge charge that ended just short of hitting the 58th and part of the 92nd in the rear. (see image -- and click as always for larger view).

Fortunately the British units were able to turn about and deliver deadly volleys into the red shields.

Indeed, between the Brits, Highlanders and four remaining Gurkhas, the 19 of the 20 red shields fell from the withering fire over the next several minutes without ever successfully closing to hand-to-hand.

With all three M'tubel bands broken (and the leaders of each unit dead) the survivors gathered in the village of M'Eezee for a last stand. But as an Imperial volley dropped more of the warriors, the remaining white shields routed and the rest of the prepared to run as well.

At this point the saddest event of the day occurred. Chief M'Shoota, who had remained at a distance throughout the running battle fired his only shot . . . indeed it was the very last shot of the battle . . . and dropped Lt. Cosgrove with a bullet to the side of his head.

With that the M'tubel having lost fully three quarters of their warriors, abandoned the village and Captain McMurdock's forces then burned it to the ground.

================== XXX ==================

Notes from the battle:
  • rules were "The Sword and the Flame: 20th Anniversary Edition"
  • we used one of the Virtual Armchair General's TSATF card decks
  • the huge red-shield "charge" mentioned above was not a charge in rulebook terms. It was a normal 3d6 move for which Alex rolled 15" plus an extra 3d6 bonus due to a special event card from the above-mentioned deck and he again rolled 15" for a total move of 30"!
  • at one point, the 92nd Highlanders drew a "bad ammo" event from the deck above and the only shot from the unit that struck home was from Lt. McDavid's pistol.
Casualty Report :

21st NMI (Madras Pioneers)
  • Lt. Neil Cosgrove -- wounded
  • Havildar Bama -- dead
  • Sepoy Chandrak -- dead
  • Sepoy Hati -- dead
  • Sepoy Gauri -- seriously wounded
  • Sepoy Bhanu -- wounded
4th Gurkhas
  • Havildar Sonam -- seriously wounded
  • Sepoy Limbu -- dead
  • Sepoy Kunal-- dead
  • Sepoy Rai -- seriously wounded
  • Sepoy Gurung -- seriously wounded

Afristan Map after Victory:

So moves for the March turn are now due.

Remember that you can move into any adjacent District or travel through a maximum of one hex of a District in order to reach another district. An example of this can be found in the Tyger River area.

The Field Force is in Luni. It could move to G'umb . . . or it could travel through one hex of G'umb to either Swati or M'wez (with a slight penalty to the Rebellion die roll).

Of course, if like the Cango River Field Force, you are "on the river", you can move to any District which the river touches.

-- Jeff