As you may have notice from my Twitter feed, last weekend was a get together for the old guard of the Jersey Wargames Society. We haven't got together as a group for quite a while and so we decided to put on a few games.
First up Lenin provided the Battle of Um Bbongo Gorge as an outing for his extensive Darkest Africa figure collection. Playing to type I took the part of Commandant Hercule Poirot (a famous Belgian) the representative of His Majesty Leopold II, King of the Belgians. As the only representative of law and order in the chaos that is Africa, my mission was to stop an invasion by that upstart self-appointed so-called king Ndofa, tackle any slavers and collect taxes and export duties.Things did not start well when I was ambushed by some uppity locals and one section took rather a beating. Having regrouped I spotted some suspicious arabs who could only be up to no good and advanced to investigate. A closer look and the application of my "little grey cells" told me they were slavers and quite hostile. After giving them a pretty good thrashing I turned back toward the local village which was under attack from that rotter Ndofa. After clearing up the misunderstanding with the locals we joined forces to stop Ndofa from stealing the the village cattle and drove him off, albeit the village was a little scorched afterwards. With little persuasion the villagers paid their tax dues in cattle and I was free to discuss the export of ivory and other goods with some big game hunters (must have been after some very big game as they had a small artillery piece!). I made a rapid assessment and secured the appropriate duty and then escorted them to our steamer.
The afternoon game was the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. With most of the players knowing relatively little about the actual battle it unfolded in a relatively historic way with the English discovering the marsh in front of the Scots position the hard way. With some nicely conflicting victory conditions the Scots forces (some of which I was commanding) played a pretty defensive game but eventually the English got their forces through the marsh and our lack of effective ranged weapons led to the natural conclusion.
On the Sunday we were treated to a series of small games all of which had been cleverly designed to fit onto a chess board. The first I played was a tavern fight between the Three Musketeers and Rochefort with some Cardinal's Guards.
The rules provided for all the usual chandalier swinging, bar sliding and table crushing action and use poker dice for combat resolution. As Rochefort I managed to capture two of the Musketeers and D'Artagnan but one slipped through my fingers...
The next compact game was the Fight in Balin's Tomb between the Fellowship of the Ring and a horde of goblins with a Cave Troll! This game is still in the development stage but provided some fun action, especially with the Troll.
Next on the agenda was my game, Chaos in Caracabra de la Cruz, a 28mm skirmish in the Spanish Civil War. With five factions, three Nationalists and two Republican, with some interesting victory conditions the game promised some interesting encounters.
Clearly some of the players actually read their victory conditions because the Carlist contingent followed their's precisely and captured and held a significant part of the village. The Anarchist and Communist militias almost opened fire on each other but the timely intervention of the local priest, in defence of his church, avoided that blue on blue encounter. The Falange reached the church but couldn't get in a withdrew, just in time to block and advance by the Communists who had already had a little encounter with the Guardia Civil.
The Anarchists decided that dynamite was the obvious solution to a locked church door; however the effect led to an appropriate quote from the Italian Job! A similar attempt by the Communists to use dynamite went a little awry when it turned out the dynamitero was quite a familar with it as he'd made out and dropped it amongst his own side.
Meanwhile the Anarchists, playing to type, blew up the church and withdrew (almost in that order!). In the end though it was the Carlists who held on to their conquests, despite a serious challenge from the retreating Anarchists.