Wednesday 8 July 2020

The Day The Regiments Came Pt. 2.

Battle Part 2.

Cue Lt. Bones and dozen Hausa police, randomly generated. 

Splitting into two squads the Hausa supported the Forest Folk in their harassing of the enemy left.

For the next three moves the fire from the Hausa and the arrows, spears and darts of the Forest Folk, plus the small number of Ochori archers, not only halted, but actually caused the withdrawal of two enemy regiments, as well as disrupting a third. Furthermore, as the game went on, the Hausa squad under Sgt.Hassan on the far Ochori right boldly pushing forward boded ill for the whole of the King's Army's left flank. Like the Ochori, the Hausa were steadfast and bold (lucky dice) throughout....

In the centre the Kings Army tried to build themselves up for another assault - for by now the Ochori centre, having taken casualties in the savage hand to hand were being peppered 
by the King's rifles (finally - the King's general failed to exploit his firepower - well, the tokens didn't give him the chance until late in the battle - relying instead on the courage and steel of his fighting regiments).

The enemy reserve, the elite "Blue Eagles", activated by the Divisional C.O.moved forward... Despite the success on the right, and their courage in the centre, Things were looking pretty grim for the Ochori...

But over on the Ochori left the dice again proved favourable - two Kings's regiments being repulsed in hand to hand combat, then followed-up by the Ochori auxiliary spears...

One unit pushed the enemy right so far that they became overconfident; racing towards the King's General in a valiant but doomed attempt to cut the head off of this particular snake...

But the "Blue Eagles" turned - and smashed them for their impertinence..

However, the sacrifice of this regiment  bought time for the Orchori centre, for with their fresh reserve distracted the already bloodied King's Regiments lacked the power to punch home..

The situation, as both sides drew breath was:

The King's Army's left was withdrawing from the steady close-range fire of Sgt. Hassan's Hausa rifles. Although their blue-coated prey were few in number and in easy reach, the accurate and regular shooting, taking down their leaders and tearing through their massed ranks, intimidated the King's leftmost regiment into giving ground...

(For shooting I was using THWHBK "pinning" conventions in combination with SP2 shooting rules and Dux Brit. type close combat system - sans cards )

Lt. Bones and the Ochori archers, along with the forest folk were now harassing the enemy centre left, temporarily deprived of the support of its reserve, causing it to hesitate. Behind the fighting regiments the King's riflemen got off occasional shots but were of little use.

The enemy right, though still disrupted from earlier repulses, was building up for another charge..

But both sides were tired. The Ochori were near breaking point and seriously outnumbered, with only the Hausa, the Forest Folk (who would not stand up to a fight if charged) and one regiment of auxiliaries still fresh. The battle could still swing either way....

The battle moved into its final phase.....

As the King's Army threw forward its centre their rifles came into play properly, cutting down some of  Lt. Bones's squad, but these, supported by the Forest Folk coming down from the rocks, held their ground, firing into the advancing regiments, pinning some and disrupting others. 

Throughout the fight the Ochori were lucky - enemy unit leaders seemed to have short, if glorious, lives in the Great King's army....

In the centre the last Ochori regiments braced themselves as the enemy came in.

There was a fierce tussle and Bosambo's last Ochoris, were cut down, with the chief barely escaping with his life as his warriors fell about him..

But though the ochori's fell, this was not without seriously damaging their assailants, so that when the last, fresh unit on the field -  the far left Ochori auxiliaries - launched themselves at the already weakened leading enemy regiment, their assault forced it to recoil though its supports - leaving exposed the enemy central rifles.

These, charged in their turn by the still sprightly auxiliaries, failed to recoil successfully, and found their bayonet-less firearms of little use against the buffeting shields and stabbing spears of their assailants...

The rifles also recoiled into the enemy centre, causing more disruption, and the tipping point in Force Morale was reached....

The King's General, seeing his attack stalled and his men recoiling or withdrawing on all sides - and ranging shots from the Hausa now falling among his staff -  decides to call it a day. He gives the order to pull back...

Bosambo's rule seems genuinely to have turned the long-derided Ochori, "The Men who are Women" into true warriors. The King's Regiments will remember this grim fight.....

Well, that was a damn close-run thing indeed....

The Ochori got a LOT of lucky dice - and killed a LOT of enemy unit commanders, which basically decided the day, as the King's Army spent a lot of time desperately trying to get itself back into some semblance of order after its early repulses.

The Hausa, though few in number (and fewer by the end - a third of them went down to enemy rifles in the last few moves) did sterling work, as did the little people of the Forest, in holding and disrupting the enemy.

The Ochori auxiliary spears got away with few losses - the unit that broke through the enemy lines, and were broken in their turn, mainly got away - but
Bosambo's own Ochori regiment p
aid for their courage, with 80% casualties, wounded and slain; almost all in savage hand to hand battle.

That was a thrilling little fight - and I fully expected the Ochori to lose - but the Forest Gods were smiling on Bosambo - and not the King's General....

Maybe his conversion has angered them...

The Day The Regiments Came...

Protecting the Boundaries:

A quick "Not Sanders of The River" battle.
A hard fought battle between the army of The Great King and the Ochori: basically this was a "Blocking" action by the Ochori, with their allies, and a little (randomised) help from the British, to prevent the Great King's regiments penetrating  - and raiding - the District....

Simple set-up. The Great King's regiments entering from the west. a scratch force of Ochori warriors, allied levies and Forest Folk under the Ochori chief Bosambo.  The Ochori have to try to prevent 6 enemy units exiting the east of the table

Simple House Rules for movement, morale and combat. Activation of Leaders is by token draw.

Each Unit commander/Allied leader gets a token in the mix. Each general gets a token. In the case of the Great King's Army, since the general is on a high point and his army is a reasonably disciplined one, his token can "order" all units within view of him/a unit in view of him to advance as one. The Kings Army also get a Divisional Commander with his own token

Other tokens include SP2 command tokens and a token for possible reinforcements for the Ochori.

In the latter case, after Move One I throw a  1x6D dice at the end of each move. On the throw of a "6" the "reinforcement token" is added to the mix. On the next drawing of this token reinforcements arrive at the board edge at a zone covered by one of the yellow numbers on the sketch map (this location being diced for).

Reinforcements (test with 2x6D) for this scenario may be :

2 or 12: Commissioner Sanders, Captain Hamilton and 12 no. + 4x6D Hausa
police. On a throw of a 6 that group of six police will include a maxim gun.

3, 4, 10 or 11:  Captain Hamilton and 10no. + 4x6D Hausa police. On a throw of a 6 that group of six police will include a maxim gun.

5,6, 8 or 9: Lt. Bones and 4x6D Hausa. On a throw of a 6 that group of six police will include a maxim gun.

7: A regiment of 30 Lesser Ochori Auxiliaries.

I will play the Ochori. Units will obey my orders once activated EXCEPT that the Forest Folk will not voluntarily engage in close combat.

The King's Army has simple orders. Once activated a unit leader will race his unit towards the eastern board edge. If there is a decision needed as to whether to avoid bad going or an enemy unit this will be decided by dice throw.

The King's General's Divisional Commander is in charge of the Reserve (the elite "Blue Eagle" regiment). His main job is to keep this unit in check in case of problems. His decisions are dice-driven, based on ad hoc decision tables based on the situation at the time he is called upon to intervene. 

The Battle: Part 1.

Practically from the get-go the Kings's fighting regiments swept past their rifles and thundered across the field at full speed. Only the reserve held back.


In the centre and on the Right Bosambo boldly threw regiments of his Ochori forward to disrupt the enemy attack, and there was a stiff fight; throughout the battle the Ochori acted with great courage bordering on recklessness - and though the dice were seriously with them - suffered accordingly.....




By about Move four the enemy centre and right were being held, but at a severe cost. Their left advanced, but then the reinforcements were triggered AND the token drawn next Move...

There were few decisions needed by individual units of the great King's forces, apart from avoiding obstacles; move at highest speed towards objectives until Shock/disruption meant any attack would be hazardous, in which case regroup, then try again... Which they did....

Continued in Part 2

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Run For Your Life...

A "Naked Prey" Exercise...

Another movie-themed game, this time based on the old Cornel Wilde piece - one of those recalled from childhood from the "telly", and found again online the other month.

Very simple rules;

"The Pursued" (the Player, as I'm doing this solo, but this could easily be played two or multiplayer) has to run to a point on the Table without getting killed (in this case cross the river)... Simple...

It's a "You go, I go" situation - no Activation Tokens/cards (I tried that, but a couple of bad token turns and "The Pursued" is toast..).  Activation could be used if desired, perhaps with a token/card for each figure and no "end move/Tiffin" token, but I abandoned that as adding one random factor too many.

Your Man, "The Pursued" starts on the board edge at the Entry Point. He has no footwear, no equipment or weapons. At intervals the "Pursuers" will enter the board. They will seek to kill him. There is also a "Random Events" card deck (see below).

Game Turn Sequence:

A) "The Pursued" move: "The Pursued" throws three 1x6d  (I used three different coloured dice - so one throw gives all results).

The First dice shows what movement bonus (for his standard move distances see below) he gets this move (1 pip on a dice = one inch the table in my version for 1/72s, but this could be played with with other scales - this might work better for 15mm bods; more room on the table, so a longer game), so he could get up to a 6" move bonus.

The Player chooses what action "The Pursued" will take, and moves him in the desired direction.

The Second dice indicates whether a card needs to be drawn from the Event Pack. On the throw of a "6" draw a card from the packs at the END of this move. Some Events will be applied immediately. Some will only affect the following move. Some call for the placing of animals/people.  Some can be held to be used when needed (see below).

Once used the card is discarded - not returned to the pack.

The Third dice indicates if a Pursuer has entered the table. On a throw of "1" a new pursuer is placed at the Entry Point at the end of this current move.

"The Pursued" can move up to the distance allowed - or not, can hide, strip a body, fashion a weapon or "refresh" himself as per the player wishes.

B)  Pursuer Move: Each Pursuer will move in sequence, starting with the Pursuer with shortest Line of Sight to  "The Pursued". This Pursuer is the first  Active  Pursuer. He decides what to do based on the following priorities;

1) If "The Pursued" is in sight a Pursuer will make a bee-line towards him by the shortest route by running.

Otherwise the Pursuer will follow any tracks made by "The Pursued".

If there is any occasion where a Pursuer is faced with a decision (e.g  run straight into a Forest rather than proceed cautiously, where there are two tracks to follow, or decide which direction to go, attack or hesitate etc.)  use a simple 1x6D decision, modifying as seems fit.

E.G. a solo pursuer is chasing "The Pursued". "The Pursued" runs into a forest, then carefully walks (leaving no tracks) and hides. I reckon the Pursuer has a decision to make:

1- stop at the forest edge and wait for back-up.

2-3 proceeded with caution into the forest ("Silent Creep")
4 - proceed carefully (Walk) into the forest

5-6 carry on running into the forest. On hitting the forest dice in an arc to see which direction the Pursuer goes and run full move.

-1 each wound

+1 each other Pursuer in line of sight.  

If  "The Pursued" is in sight of the Active Pursuer and at any time during the move another Pursuer is in sight of and within 2 feet of the Active Pursuer but is NOT in line of sight of "The Pursued", then the Active Pursuer can chose to lose 2MP shouting at and directing his colleague/s.

The active Pursuer tests for this with a 1x6D;  1-2 he does not shout. 3-6 he does.

When that second Pursuer activates due to shouting he will then act as if he can see "The Pursued" FOR THAT MOVE ONLY. If he does not actually catch sight of "The Pursued" or get redirected by shouts in subsequent moves he will head for where "The Pursued" was last seen when he was last shouted at (put a marker down to mark the spot).

Any number of Pursuers can be shouted at and so directed in a move, but each shout is tested for and each costs 2 Movement Point. Shouts can be likewise "telegraphed" along a line of pursuers by the same process.

C) Movement and Activity:

1) "The Pursued"

Until he gains "sandals" runs at 6" + 1x6d. Leaves tracks in all terrain.

With sandals 8" + 1x6d. Leaves tracks in all terrain except Rocky Ground and inside huts, where he does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Careful walk in open:  4" + 1x6d.  Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Careful walk in forest: 3". Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.
Careful walk in maize field: 1x6d. Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Silent Creep: 2". Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Swim: Slow - 5". Fast 6" + 1x6d but can be heard by pursuers within 4". Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds of more.

Does not leave tracks on hut roofs or if swimming in river/pool unless 2 wounds or more.

Always leaves tracks at riverside/poolside.

Hide (in Forest, Field, Riverside and Rocky Ground only): 2 cost Movement Points.

Refresh (from Pool, River, Well or Gourd of Pursuer):  3 Movement Points (refresh from Card as Card instructions).

Lose 1 Movement point per wound.

Strip Body: Costs 2 Movement Points per item. Pursuers each have sandals, spear or sword, knife, shield, cloth and a slung water gourd.

Put on sandals: 2 Movement points.

Use cloth to bind wound (remove 1 wound marker); 4 Movement points.

Shield; carrying a shield reduces his movement by 1 Movement Point.

Carrying a non-slung water gourd reduces his movement by 1 Movement Point

Water Gourd can be drained to Refresh; cost 3 Movement points. 

Make club/pointy stick:  Must be in  Forest.  Cost 6 Movement points.

Pick up rocks: Rocky ground only. Cost 3 Movement points. If not using them at once lose 1 Movement point until discarded/thrown.

Throw an item while moving: Cost 1 Movement point.

Search Hut: 6 Movement Points. Throw 1x6D.  On a throw of 5-6 a knife is found. On a throw of 4 a pair of sandals are found. On a throw of 3 an unslung water gourd is found.

Conceal body: 6 Movement Points.

Jump: Cost 1 Movement point per inch jumped. Use fumble test. Take 1 from the test throw per 1" or height/distance. Max jump 3". 

Climb: 3 Movement Points. Tree, rock face (or down), jump 

2) Pursuers:

Run: 8" + 1x6d. But must test to lose the trail. Will miss/lose tracks on throw of 1x6d. Throw of 1-4 loses the tracks.

Trot: 6" + 1x6d. Will miss/lose tracks on throw of 1x6d. Throw of 1-2 loses the tracks.

Walk: 4" + 1x6d. Can follow any tracks.

Silent creep: 2". Always rediscovers lost tracks. If The Pursued is hiding within 2" carry out "Concealment Test".  Throw 2x6D per Pursuer close enough.  2-8 Pursued is discovered. Modifiers: Plus 2 if in forest. Plus 3 if in Riverside. Minus 1 per wound to Pursued.   

Shouting costs 2 Movement Points.

To regain a lost track Walk, but use the 1x6D as a Tracking test, not movement. Throw a 4-6 to regain the track.

Stop and track/search: Test with 1x6D up to twice that move. Throw a 2-6 regain/find track/discover hidden Target or body. Or if Pursdued is hidden within 2" stay still and carry out Concealment Test for whole move - modified by Minus 3 and as above.

Lose 2 Movement points per wound.

Throw spear and draw knife: 3 Movement Points.

3) Fighting: 

Thrown items:  Must be within 3" of the other party to throw. 

Spears, rocks, knives, shields, gourds, staff, sandals, anything small may be thrown by Target.

Only spears may be thrown by Pursuers. They test 1x6D to throw if within 3" of target. Result of 5-6 they throw, then draw knife (3 Movement points covers both actions).

If standing still this costs  2 Movement points. Throw 1x6D modified as below. A throw of 4-6 scores a hit = 1 wound.


Target is running or in cover - 2

Thrower is wounded -1 per wound
Thrower is dehydrated or exhausted -2
Target is wounded +1 per wound
Target is face-on with shield -1
Thrower is hidden +2

Target is animal - 1

If throwing while moving this costs 1 Movement point and a Fumble Test (see below). If successful on the Fumble test this counts as a wound on the person struck. No need to test as above. If part of the combat phase this takes place in lieu of a fighting throw.

Hand to Hand; To fight pursuer and target must be adjacent. Three rounds of combat are fought per move - even if there has been movement that move.

Each fighter throws 2x6D.  If the total of one fighter exceeds the total of a hostile fighter by 3 -6 then the loser must step back. Winner can advance to make further combat. If they cannot step back, due to obstruction, they take a wound.

If the total of one fighter exceeds the total of a hostile fighter by 3 -6 then the loser steps back and takes a wound.Winner can advance to make further combat.

Modifiers (cumulative): 

Has knife or sharp rock +1
Has shield +2
His long weapon (spear or shaft) +2
Has wound -2 each wound.
Each hostile assailant fighting that move - 1
Exhausted, dehydrated or has stitch - 3
Jumping from hiding or Silent Creep to attack +4 for attacker
Attacker was attacking from behind +2 for attacker

Defender is in "Silent Creep" mode -3 for attacker

Pursuers and Target can absorb 3 wounds. On the fourth they collapse.

4) Fumble Test:

When throwing something, climbing something (rock face, tree, hut), jumping from something or jumping from hiding or high point onto enemy.

Throw 2x6D. 

Minus score, fail and suffer 1 wound (if throwing, item has dropped on foot, if climbing - fall and start again, if jumping - fail and land 1" from starting point, if swimming - water swallowed). 

2-7; fail.  Stand still for 3 Movement points next move.
7+ Succeed.

Modifiers (cumulative):

Plus 2 if running and going to jump/climb.

Minus 2 if running and throwing.
Minus 1 per hand engaged (with weapon other than item being thrown, shield, item - e.g. gourd, food etc).
Minus 1 per wound.
Minus 1 per 1" of height/distance jumped. 

Minus 1 if wet (has just emerged from river/pool).
Minus 2 per exhausted/dehydrated card held. 

Cannot jump if has "Stitch".

5) Animal Test:

See cards.

Forest: 1- big cat, 2-3 spider, 4-6 snake.

Forest edge: 1-2 big solitary cat, 3 spider, 4-6 snake.

Open Ground: 1-3 lions, 4-5 scorpion, 6 wild dogs.

Rocks: 1-3 scorpion, 4-6 snake.

Field: 1-2 spider, 3-4 scorpion, 5-6 snake.

Riverside: 1-3 crocodile, 4-5 hippo, 6 snake.

Building/woodpile: 1-3 scorpion, 4-6 snake.
Throw 1x6D for direction test, 3x1x6D for max distance for cats/other, 2x1x6D for max distance for crocodiles/hippo, 1x6D snake. Snakes, scorpions & spiders are adjacent.

Throw for activity:

Note: Scorpions & spiders are always active.

Scorpions, snakes & spiders and always solitary.

Snakes and crocodiles: Throw 1x6D for number of crocodiles present. Activate individually on a throw of 3-6.  Add 1 to the dice if tester moving at walk/trot/run. Minus 2 from dice if Silent Creep. Activated animal will attack on a further throw of 4-6, with modifiers as above. Add 4 to any crocodile attack test if Tester is in or within 1" of water linked to the animal (i.e. same pool/river).

Crocodiles, if not actively attacking will run from shooters.

Hippo: Throw 1x6D for number of hippo present 1-3 = 1, 4-6 = 2. Activate individually on a throw of 3-6.  Add 2 to the dice if tester moving at walk/trot/run. Minus 2 from dice if Silent Creep. Activated animal will attack on a further throw of 3-6, with modifiers as above. Add 4 to any hippo attack test if Tester is in or within 3" of water linked to the animal (i.e. same pool/river).

Cats & dogs: 1-5 inactive. 6 active. If inactive make a Wake-up throw each move while in LOS - throw 2x6D and awake on throw of 9 or above. Minus 1 from the dice per 3" distance from tester. Add 3 to dice if tester trotting or running, add 2 to dice if walking.

If social animals (e.g. lions/wild dogs) 1x6d for number of figures for lions. 3x1x6d for dogs. Activate as a pride/pack.

Activated  animals will flee from target in 1-2. Stand 3-4. Will approach and attack 5-6.
Take 2 from the dice per additional figure with the tester, add 1 to the dice for every cat figure in the group and 2 for every four dogs in the group.  Add three to the test throw if tester is wounded and alone.  Add 1 to the test throw for any/every wounded person with the testing group/pair.

If not actively attacking will run from shooters.

6) Animal Attacks:

Fight "hand to hand" like human v humans. Weapons/modifiers count as above.

Scorpion, snake or  spider: Use 2 "fighting dice". A "hit" from scorpion, snake or  spider is a poisoned wound.

Big Cat: Use four "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

Wild Dogs: Use two "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

Crocodile: Use five "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

Hippo: Use eight "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

7) Cards

Standard card deck. On a throw of a 6 on a 2x6D each Pursued move turn a card, apply and hold or discard. Right click and open in New tab to read. 

8) Campaign thoughts:

If playing on a large table or series of tables, or with small scale figures a range of additional factors can be brought in, including fatigue and finding or making things....

The card values may be tweaked to allow Lucky Finds - "lost" spear (blade),  thong, arrowhead (blade), spearhead (blade), broken sandals, sharp stone (blade), flinty stones (blade), broken knife (blade), lion tooth, antelope horn, gourd, carcass etc.  A combination of items may allow the making of tools/weapons. For example;

Finding things:

In Forest:

By spending 6MPs; gain staff.

By spending 5MPs: gain creeper length.

By spending 5MPs: gain unslung water gourd.

In Rocks:

By spending 3MPs; gain sharp stone.

Carcass; spend 5MP - gain tooth or horn. If sharp stone or blade (any type) held spend 6MPs gain thong or skin.


Thong +  broken sandals or skin + sharp stone or any blade; by spending 10MPs sandals can be jury-rigged. Add three to movement. Add 2 to every "possible injury" test.

Thong + spearhead if in woods or has staff: by spending one move a spear can be made.

Thong + blade + lion tooth or antelope horn if in woods or had staff: by spending one move a spear can be made.

Spearhead: if in Forest, by spending 8MPs a creeper-held spear can be made.

Blade + lion tooth or antelope horn: if in woods, by spending three moves a spear can be made.

Gourd:  can be used to carry water. Minus one from movement.

Gourd + thong + blade: by spending 5MPs a slingable gourd can be made; no gourd movement penalty thereafter.

Gourd + blade: if in woods, by spending 8MPs a slingable gourd can be made; no gourd movement penalty thereafter.


Well there we are.  Had about 5 basic games with the above last week. Short but fun - and the principles can be applied to a range of situations and periods.

Next up; a big fight....

New Year. New House. New Plans..

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