Thursday, 11 June 2020

Bibbity, Bobbity, Babbage..


My Mister Babbage's Local Variants

Having trawled though my Col. Callwell "Small Wars" (Their Principles and Practice) the last couple of weeks I have come up with the following supplemental conventions for tweaking TMWWBK's Mr. Babbage's methods for:

Bush Wars (fighting in thickly-forested, tropical locations).

Hill Fighting (mainly tussles with the folk of the "Killer of Hindus")

Scuffles with the indigenous folk of wide open spaces of the Sahel, Steppe and Veldt. 

All will need scenario tweaks, but I feel that the following reflect the readings from Col. Callwell well enough... 

a) Battlers in the Bush...





1) We will wait concealed on the friendly sides/flanks of clearings, streams, fords etc. and shoot at close (1-6) to med (5-6) range ONLY. We can always find cover.

2) If no clearings we will wait concealed in close bush and shoot at close range. We can always find cover.

3) We will build and hold stockades across paths at choke points. We will defend with shooters (only) at close range.

4) We will always rush from cover to assault retreating, withdrawing or encumbered enemy.

5) We will shoot at long to short range if on bluffs or other feature out of reach of enemy charges. We can always find cover.

6) We will withdraw before anything indicating that a bayonet charge is imminent, ignoring any Pinned Markers

7) We can withdraw from the battle via any table edge without penalty for doing so. 





8) We will not go into the open if there are enemy cavalry present and in sight.

9) We will push forward and endeavour to flank or get behind enemy at all times whenever cover is to our advantage. Our Hidden shooters (only) can always arrive behind your troops. 

10) We will have evacuated all villages unless forbidden by the scenario.

11) We will withdraw from any enemy on our flank or to our rear, ignoring any Pinned Markers.

12) We will not assault enemy fortifications. We will shoot at the furthest possible range where practicable.

13) If overrunning enemy wounded we will not take prisoners unless they are women and children or seriously awesome Personalities. 

b) Hostiles In The Hills



1) Wherever possible we will seek to take/keep the high ground and keep enemies in med-long range. We can always find cover.

2) We will push forward and endeavour to flank or get behind enemy at all times whenever high ground or cover is to our advantage. Our Hidden shooters (only) can always arrive behind your troops. 

3) If already at a higher level than enemy we will not descend to his level unless he is withdrawing, in retreat or is/has baggage or we are Fanatic counter-attacking.

4) Unless Fanatic we will not voluntarily enter or cross open ground in LoS of enemy cavalry if they are in view and within 600 yards of said ground.

5) If shooters being approached by enemy when we are unseen and in cover we will endeavour to hold fire until 
a) enemy is exposed at any range
b) hold fire till med. range
c) Hold fire until close range
d) Hold fire until close range then evacuate

We will ignore any Pinned Marker effects while so withdrawing. Test on each occasion to decide what we do.

We will NOT engage in a close range firefight with an enemy with magazine rifles, but slip away to medium range, ignoring Pinning.  

6) On the approach of enemy to a village, fort or compound we will either;

a) Have evacuated it totally. If relevant to scenario booby traps can be left.
b) Have left women and children in situ and will not contest it. If relevant to scenario booby traps can be left.
c) Will have left women, children and livestock in situ and will not contest it. No booby traps will be left in any location where livestock is present UNLESS commander is Fanatical.
d) Will have left only shooters in place. 
e) Will have left warriors of any type in place. 




If I am the Active Player this is my decision - unless I am playing a non-local operating in the tribal area, in which case this will be decided for me by the local people. Otherwise this decision is decided by dice throw based on scenario specifics.

7) If enemy withdraws from a village, fort compound or significant sangar/sangar cluster we will attempt to reoccupy it so long as doing so does not expose us to medium range fire or worse from higher level or danger of flanking.

8) If we become aware of visible enemy on higher ground or behind or flanking us within med. range or less we will withdraw to prevent being put at disadvantage, even if this potentially exposes us to fire. We will ignore any Pinned Marker effects while so withdrawing.



9) Unless Fanatic or in fortification we are reluctant to stand to meet a bayonet charge and will withdraw at speed to avoid contact. We will not stand if we have any Shock. We will ignore any Pinned Marker effects while so withdrawing.

10) We will potentially withdraw in the face of any continuous artillery fire (+3 moves of continuous fire throw 1x6D, adding 1 to the throw for each additional move. I withdraw on a modified throw of 5+) at any range and no matter what the effect.

11) We will never attack an enemy on a higher level than ourselves.

12) If withdrawing we will always attempt to leave the table via designated "Lines of Retreat" decided before the battle starts even if this means taking a long way round to avoid any of the above.

13) We will shoot at enemy fortifications at med-long range only and only if we have the advantage of height. We will only close assault them if 1) there is a viable breach/open gate, or we outnumber the enemy by more than four to one or there is a gap between defending units of 6 inches or more. Our shooters (only) can always find cover.

13) We will only normally take important Personalities prisoner. However, the presence of a Named Friendly Commander may mitigate this; extending it to minor personalities and women and children. If overrunning other enemy wounded we will slaughter them all (rather horribly; enemy units who "see their dead" by crossing the ground involved will add or detract from their morale, depending on scenario-led background/experience). 

14) When in doubt go higher, or swiftly or silently vanish away...

b) Savages on Steppe and Sahel (aka Killers on the Kwedlelo) 



1) Wherever possible we will seek to take/keep the high ground and keep enemies in med-long range with our shooters.

2) We will push forward and endeavour to flank or get behind enemy at all times whenever terrain, high ground or cover is to our advantage. If there is any chance of sweeping round the enemy flank without being seen or without being under fire we will take it.

3) If already at a higher level than enemy we will not descend to his level unless we are Fanatic counter-attacking or if he is withdrawing, in retreat or is/has baggage. In the latter three cases, if we are cavalry or fast close combat infantry we will always attack.  

4) If the enemy is scattered, in open order, withdrawing, in retreat or is/has baggage on the same level as us we will always charge to contact.  

5) If shooters being approached by enemy when we are unseen and in cover we will endeavour to hold fire until 

a) Enemy is exposed at any range
b) Hold fire till med. Range
c) Hold fire until close range
d) Hold fire until close range then evacuate

Dice for which.

6) On the approach of enemy to a village, fort, city or compound we will either;

a) Have evacuated it totally. 
b) Have left women and children in situ and will not contest it. 
c) Will have left only shooters in place. 
d Will have left warriors of any type in place. 

If I am the Active Player this is my decision - unless I am playing a non-local operating in the tribal area, in which case this will be decided for me by the local people. Otherwise this decision is decided by dice throw based on scenario specifics.





7) If enemy withdraws from a village, fort compound or significant sangar/sangar cluster we will attempt to reoccupy it so long as doing so does not expose us to med. fire or worse from higher level or danger of flanking.

8) If we become aware of visible enemy on higher ground behind or flanking us within med. range or less we will withdraw to prevent being put at disadvantage, even if this potentially exposes us to fire. We will ignore any Pinned Marker effects while so withdrawing.

9) We will attempt to counter attack any charge on us.

10) We will potentially withdraw in the face of any continuous artillery fire (+3 moves of continuous fire throw 1x6D, adding 1 to the throw for each additional move. I withdraw on a modified throw of 5+) at any range and no matter what the effect.

12) We will assault enemy fortifications.

13) If overrunning enemy wounded we will slaughter all men. We will take as prisoners women and children. We will also take important Personalities prisoner, but only if a Named Friendly Commander is present with the overrunning unit and makes a successful Command Throw at the time. 

14) Our Hidden shooters and Close Combat Troops can always arrive behind your troops. 

15) Our horse want your baggage. Seriously; they REALLY want your baggage. Any opportunity for cavalry (if we have any) to sweep into a weakly defended camp will be taken - even at the potential loss of a battle or target. It will gain double the value of any target/s lost.




d) General European Villains, Smugglers and Ne'er Do wells...



1) We prefer to shoot from cover at short range and avoid melee. We will only shoot at longer ranges when a Target of Significance presents itself. 

2) We will always try to steal away from the table to avoid combat unless outnumbering known enemy by three to one..

3) We will only engage in aggressive close combat action when

a) We have the element of surprise.

b) The enemy have something of great worth or have taken a Target.

c) We are trapped and have no alternative but surrender or being killed/captured (subject to testing). 

4) We will pretend to surrender to civilised forces when no alternative appears present. Then cheat/attempt escape at first opportunity.

5) We will never aid other European groups under attack by locals or lost UNLESS they have something of great worth.

6) We will only take prisoners of value. All other wounded are left. 

7) We will only enter enemy fortifications secretly unless we outnumber them by more than six to one. 

8) Our Hidden shooters (only) can always arrive behind your troops.

9) We will retreat rather than lose our loot.




As always, any comments or thoughts welcome...

2 comments:

  1. It's a bit late but I think this is a clever and useful interpretation of Mr. Babbage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers... As you may have gathered from my ramblings, I'm an inveterate tweaker...

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