Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Basic Campaign Backgound

(note -- credit for the general structure of this campaign must be given to Stephen Luscombe's Jarania Campaign. I have somewhat altered his structure in order to fit my own resources and figure collection.)

The large island of Afristan, while not on most maps (since it is ficticious), is located in the Indian Ocean. As such it is of some importance to Queen Victoria . . . if only to keep it from falling into the hands of a hostile government.

While nominally ruled by Sultan Omar Mustapha, he really has little control over the peoples of Afristan. In fact, he only truly has control of his island fortress of the city of Flog (located off the mouths of the Cango and Wazu rivers).

(Click on map for larger image. Click twice for much larger image.)

The Sultan also has some minimal control over the districts of Tewfiq, Kamel, Nukar and Urabbi . . . since he has troops (admittedly rather dissatisfied troops) located in the port cities and frontier forts of these districts.

Of course, at his request, some British troops must also be permanently stationed there as well since Sultan Omar Mustapha is much less than universally loved by his troops.

Each port and fort must always have at least one full unit of British troops; and the ports also require an artillery piece and crew; while the forts must have a gatling gun and crew . . . and none of these troops or weapons may be "borrowed" for the "field forces" unless the district is "in rebellion".

Each player will control a small "field force" and be tasked with "keeping the peace" by making an appearance in each district within their area of responsibility. It will take a "month" to "show the flag" in each district . . . and they may only "re-supply" (including filling gaps caused by casualties) in either a port or frontier fort.

At the start of the Campaign (January, 1876), all districts will have a rebellion index of "2" (or more) . . . which will go up for each month not "visited". Most districts will go up by "1" each month . . . (note that this has been changed to 1d6-3 for more unpredictability -- 4/11/11) . . . and will return to a base index of "2" if they have been successfully visited that month.

Note however, those districts with a "trading post" (purple squares on map) will roll 1d8-4 each month and add any positive number to their index; and those districts with a missionary (purple & white "tents" on map) will 1d6-2 points. Finally, any district adjacent to a district "in rebellion" at months' end will go up 1d6 points instead of its normal die roll.

When a "field force" enters a district, the Campaign Master (me) will roll 1d20. If that roll is lower than the current "rebellion index" for that district, it is in rebellion. The difference between that roll and the rebellion index will be the number of units that the player must face.

If that difference is only one unit, no table top battle will take place (unless the field force is quite small). Instead the field force will "win", but must roll dice to determine their own casualties.

If the difference is more than one, a battle will be fought . . . and the other players will play the "natives" . . . thus, over time, everyone will get the chance to play all of the different forces.

If the Player's field force wins, the rebellion is suppressed and the district reverts to an index of "2" (just as if there hadn't been a battle) since the district will no longer be "in rebellion" (and adjacent districts will NOT continue to roll 1d6s, but keeping their current ratings, they will revert to rolling their "normal" die).

However, if the Player's field force is defeated (or withdraws), the district is successfully "in rebellion" and its index (like those of the adjacent districts jumps by 1d6 points (to a maximum of "18"). Field forces which are defeated (or who withdraw) must return to the district that they just came from, which, of course will first roll 1d6 to add to its index and I will roll the d20 to see if they must fight there as well.

Mountains, by the way, are considered to be "impassable", which complicates the route of some field forces.

Well, there's more, but that's enough for now.

(note: some edits made on 5/2/11)

-- Jeff

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Updated Map

Well I have now updated my map for my upcoming Colonial campaign.

Click on the map to see a larger image . . . you may want to click twice for an even bigger image.

Each district is now named and a pair of trading posts have been added to each river basin.

Trading posts are indicated by the purple squares . . . and they, like the "mission tents", need to be protected.

Districts in RED are rated as Ansars; those in BROWN as Pathans; and those in BLACK, as Zulus. The GREEN districts, ports and forts are rated as Egyptians . . . and represent the nominal ruler of the whole of Afristan (even though he needs British support to maintain any sort of civil order).

-- Jeff

Friday, February 11, 2011

Early Thoughts on Campaign

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on Wounds . . . Today I intend to put down some of the ideas which I have had about the Campaign I'd like to run.

As I mentioned some time ago, it will be based on the Jarania Campaign design of Stephen Luscumbe. I will however be using my own setting and will be tailoring it to my own troop availability.

I have divided Afristan into four basic areas. Each is around one of the four major rivers (Cango, Vile, Tyger and Wazu). . . . (click on map twice for larger image). And, yes, I know that the map needs more work, especially in naming the districts.

My intention is for each player to be responsible for one of these "river basins". They will be constantly needing to visit all of the districts in their area in order to keep the "rebellion index" down.

At the moment, my plan is for each player to start the game with the following:
  • one Captain
  • one Lieutenant (unassigned)
  • one British (or Scottish) 20-man platoon (with Lt. & Sgt.)
  • one British (or Scottish) 10-man squad (with NCO)
  • one Sepoy 20-man platoon (with Indian leaders)
  • one mule train for supplies and/or wounded (with drovers)
Eventually they will gain access to some Cavalry and Artillery . . . but not at the start.

I've been painting up Pathans. When those are finished, I will start on some Dervishes and Beja . . . then on to the Zulus . . . and finally the Egyptians (who I'll call something else).

Afristan is nominally ruled by said "Egpytian" types . . . but they've so alienated everyone that they need British help in keeping the peace since almost the whole place is about ready to burst into rebellion.

Each river basin has one "controlled" district (the ones with the green settlements. Each port settlement must always have one full platoon of "British" troops; and each up-river fort must always have at least one "British" squad in residence. These troops are not part of the player's "field forces" . . . but will be available for defense in case they are attacked. The ports will also have one field gun and one Gatling gun (with crews). The inland forts will have a Gatling gun with crew.

I have not yet decided quite how I want to work movement. I might settle for simple area movement or I might have it depend upon terrain type. Something I still want to ponder.

As with the Jarania rules, the "rebellion index" in a district will climb each turn that they have not been visited. In most districts it will climb by one each turn; but the districts with a "mission" (purple tents) are more volatile.

When the player's "field force" enters a district, 1d20 will be rolled, if the number rolled is below the "rebellion index", the district will be in rebellion . . . and the difference in numbers will indicate how many units they are facing. . . . thus the longer they stay away, the more likely there will be trouble.

When they "show the flag" in a district, the "rebellion index" will drop to 2 (and start climbing again as soon as they leave.

I will be using something akin to the "reinforcements" mechanism from Jarania but not quite the same.

More to come later.

-- Jeff

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ideas About Wounds

Because of the nature of the campaign I have in mind . . . which will have some "role-playing" aspects . . . I intend to slightly modify the "wounds" as written in "The Sword and the Flame" rulebook.

"Non-face-card" black cards will cause "walking wounded". That means that they can no longer fight, shoot, lead or carry anything (such as other wounded) . . . but that they do not need to be carried as long as base movement is no greater than 2d6 inches.

If a face-card or diamond is drawn, the result is a "serious wound". Figures which suffer such must be carried by a healthy personnel. If a diamond is used to "kill" a non-leader, non-key figure, it must be a non-leader walking wounded if such is available.

Recovery from wounds will depend upon a number of factors, the chief of which is "wound severity". Note that a +1 is added to the die roll if the patient is either a "leader" OR at a friendly city (but still only a +1 if both):

Serious Wounds (roll 1d6)
  • 1-3 -- patient dies
  • 4 -- remains at "serious"
  • 5-6 -- improves to "walking"
Walking Wounded (roll 1d6)
  • 1-2 -- gets worse, becomes "serious"
  • 3 -- remains at "walking"
  • 4-6 -- returns to duty
This, of course applies to Native Leaders as well since "continuing villains" are great for campaigns . . . just as the players' favourite leader figures will be.

-- Jeff