Tuesday 27 April 2021

Quick Hunt..

Blooding the Youth.

A hunting expedition.

Young Boma, youngest son of the chief of the Lesser Isisi, has reached that stage of life where, in order to progress into full manhood, join a Warrior Society and maintain his status as part of the ruling elite, he must kill a lion, hand to claw, using only his "boy's shield" and the traditional "Lion Sword" of his clan.

His uncle, M'bomi and four experienced warriors will accompany him; for the dangers of the Plain are many. However, Boma must carry out the "kill" himself, skin the beast, and return to the city bearing it in his arms.

[Methods: Simple spotting, tracking and combat rules, plus a basic, dice-activated "Event/Encounter" table, tested for each move, similar to the "Naked Prey" game of last year.

Characters/revealed beasts "Activated" by token draw.

ny animals will have distance-factored morale tests for "fight or flight", so just because the guys spot a likely lion doesn't mean it will stand and fight. 

Other animals are 
available on the Events table; the plains are full of dangers - including rival tribes.

I will "play" uncle M'boni - giving commands to the others by sound and gesture.

All animal behaviours and individual decisions/rections, other than M'bonis, will be ad hoc dice decisions based on IMP/known characteristics.

All the hunters are proven braves and competent hunters; the pride of the Isisi specially chosen for this mission. Their only fault is likely to be over-enthusiasm - though everyone's nerve can give way under the wrong circumstances..

Combat, if it occurs, is simple and dice driven.]

The Hunt:

The group arrives in a likely area and begin spotting. Initially they are unsuccessful, but lucky in that no other, untoward incidents occur. 

However, after a while they spot two young male lions, dozing; perhaps these have a nearby kill and are resting between snacks? Who knows, but our group can't pass up an opportunity.  

Now, because the sudden appearance of six men will certainly freak the lions out, and lead to them running off, some sneaking is called for. However, the more time taken, the more likely there will be some Random Event to potentially put a spanner in the works.

The guys fan out, leaving Boma and M'bomi  together.

The plan is that once the older hunters are spread out, Boma will approach the lions alone with his sword. The spear-bearing, fanned-out hunters will then try to distract one lion, while "shutting in" the other so it can be attacked by Boma. This means moving slowly/sneaking till the right moment. Also, both they and M'bomi will be on "overwatch" in case both lions attack Boma. THIS slows things considerably - again, risking an unforeseen Event.

Boma is to await M'boni's signal before moving in. In theory...

The bgame's affot, and the guys spread out; softly softly....

The hunters sneak to positions successfully, but suddenly the lions awake. They are confused and worried.

Boma, all keyed up and keen, does the one thing I don't want; rushing in while both lions are together. The lions react: fight or flight ?

Unfortunately, Boma rushing in like this prompts both animals to go into "fight" mode.

They rush him. Things have, as they say, escalated quickly....

I have no choice: the last thing M'boni wants to do is return to Boma's father that with the news he has allowed the chief's son to be fatally mauled. I and the hunters will now have to salvage something from the mess.

The guys on "overwatch" move in close, trying to spook, distract or kill one of the lions...

Meanwhile Boma will be allowed to try to deal with the other cat so that he can "win his spurs". 

In my moving M'bomi in to help keep Boma safe, one of the lions is distracted; good...

Equally good - and luckily, by deft use of his small shield - Boma keeps himself from harm in that first rush. While doing so he tries to slash at one of the lions, but causes no harm.

Both young lions are now seriously upset by all these guys round them. The one Boma was fighting, now seeing itself outnumbered, panics, running away from Boma... 

...who now rushes the other beast.

This second lion, already distracted by M'bomi and all the other activity, sees Boma too late and is not quick enough. While it manages one swipe at him Boma bashes this aside with his shield, while bringing the large slashing sword down hard onto the beast's back...   

This proves to be a crippling wound.

With it's spine sliced at the back of the neck the lion is disabled. Boma quickly stabs - and the lion is twitching in its final throes... Boma has killed his lion....

But things aren't over.

One of the other hunters, cousin Matabi, has stabbed at the second lion, wounding it. The lion makes off. In all the excitement Matabi goes haring after it, as it runs  towards the nearby ridge.

Back at the slaying site, under M'bomi's watchful eye, Boma quickly starts skinning the fallen lion.

But next move prompts an Event test, and....

Oh.. A Pride of lionesses.. Location: at the top of the ridge.. Right in Matabi's path........ Not good.

Matabi halts, realising that he is in a lot of danger from the lionesses right now; they all having now woken and risen.....

Although one lioness, presumably the matriarch, rushes at Matabi, she contents herself with a couple of paw swipes, and a LOT of noise...

Instead of fighting back Matabi slowly backs away - keeping his nerve, and his eye on the other lionesses; knowing full well that while his facing the pride might panic another one of them into an attack, to run will almost certainly prompt a pursuit by all of them...

Meanwhile his fellow hunters, seeing this, form a line of shields and start banging them and making a noise; hopefully confusing or discouraging the lionesses from making any sudden moves in Matabi's, and their, direction.

This succeeds - and Matabi is able to slowly move back to the line of his fellows. The lionesses do not pursue.

Boma meanwhile has skinned his prize.

The group reassembles and, keeping a weather eye on the pride, who seem to have decided to go back to sleep, make their way homeward.

Boma has passed the test and is now a fit to be initiated into one of the Warrior Societies of the Lesser Isisi. There will be celebrations tonight...


Another quick, easy to set up (using the previous table) game which was exciting and fun. As always, any queries are welcome. 

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Return of the Bedoo...

 The Raid.

From the last post we scouted the Turkish Watering Station. Now we raid it.

Simple rules and the usual chance of Events. 

We have gathered a bunch of guys. Now we approach the target, again just before dawn. We know there are tents there, and possibly patrols. However, our failure to recce the whole area means there is a big "unknown" at the patch between the buildings.

In theory, I have a big bunch of guys at my disposal. I make my plans. However, when my guys are supposed arrive what actually turns up is going to be randomised (basic dice throws)....

My troops are made up of foot and two bodies of horse. The foot are to sneak to the rocky ridge overlooking the tents between the ridge and the railway.

Once in position they are to await the arrival of the two wings of horse. When these arrive the foot are to shoot into the tents, then rush them.

The two bodies of horse are to flank the buildings from both sides, and dismount, shooting to deal with any visible opposition or pinning anyone in the buildings.

The foot are then to rush the outbuildings. 

All swings into action. BUT.... Hardly any men have turned up... Far fewer Bods to attack with than I thought I'd have. But too late now. The hounds have been unleashed.  The infantry are few and far between, the horse equally so.. All part of the perils of relying on irregulars...

Oh, well.... My guys move off...

The foot reach their position without incident and the horse swing onto the table. 

As the two wings of horse approach the railway lines we do some rapid testing - are their hoofbeats heard by the guys in the tents..?

We also test for sentries (and their alertness).

It turns out that there are two sentries atop one of the hills above the buildings facing my left hand group of horse, and another is seen on the roof of one of the buildings by my right hand lads. 

There is an exchange of fire between my moving right hand group of horse and the sentry on the roof. We are lucky - he falls; but the gunfire will awake the camp. There is nothing for it but to go for it. 

Meanwhile, the sentries on the hill are rushed by my left hand horse. The Turks shoot, but hit nobody. They are cut down. 

While all this is going on, at the sound of the shots my men afoot fire at the tents. IF there is anyone home some of them are being hit...

Good news: the horse can now see that there are no additional tents between the buildings. 

Bad news: the tents produce a swarm of enemy, and then more Turks emerge from the buildings (buildings and reactions tested for). 

On both sides of the buildings my horsemen dismount, grab their rifles and take cover; shooting into the emerging defenders. Firefights all round; but the Turks are getting the worst of it. Several Turks fall, both at the buildings and by the tents. 

A further stroke of luck; rushing from one of the buildings the enemy officer is struck and falls, mortally wounded. The Turks by the tents take casualties and - already shaken by the rude awakening, panic; making a bolt across the tracks to join their mates.

My foot rush the tents and "deal with" the wounded Turks while t
he rest of the enemy garrison hole up in the buildings.

With all the Turks now in the two buildings by the tracks there is a shootout - the longer it takes the more risk there is of an "Event" (anything from a returning patrol to a train), but I feel confident..

I am lucky. With only two of the buildings having produced enemy (this was randomised) and the guys in the tents having taken serious casualties we have more effectives on the ground than the Turks.

The fire of my guys rifles slowly whittles away enemy until only their seriously wounded are left alive. My chaps rush the area; and all is done...

While the charges are brought across and set to destroy the water tower, and the buildings set afire, a solitary Turk turns up at the edge of the table, strolling along the railway line; presumably some lonely sentry - but at the sight of my guys he (wisely) makes off.  

We gather ourselves together and pull out...There are no further incidents; job done - and we withdraw with no further loss...

Again, a simple but tense little operation; the decisions (dice controlled) of my "independent" bodies of men were sound. We were VERY lucky with Events (compared with last time - the luck of the draw) and the dice; but things could very easily gone very wrong had there been more tents at scene or more Turks in the buildings....

A fast moving - and very short - exercise. Simple to set up and do but great fun....

Monday 5 April 2021

Scouting for Bedoo...

 A quick scouting game.

Have been bod painting and basing and am in the process of setting up another 6mm excursion. But while the table was up I thought I have a couple of quickie games. 

The Quickie the First; The Backstory..

We want to raid the Watering Station at Wadi Musa (that'll be quickie the Second) but we have no updates as to the strength of the current garrison.

We don't want to run into something we can't handle, so need to have some recent gen.

To this end I have dismounted a bunch of lads, and in the pre-dawn gloom, we have sneaked up to within sight of the station.

I will send guys out to take a peek, just as the night is dying, to see what hostiles might be present. 

How It This Gonna Work....?

No enemy are placed on the table. They could be anywhere. They could be nowhere...

I need to get a guy in full sight and within 18" (in full daylight, 6" in darkness, 12" in "twilight") of two areas of the table without being spotted, plus make my way off table with the data gathered, before it gets too light.

The two areas are 1) the dead ground between the railway tracks and the little ridge (left in the pic above) where the rocky ground begins. 2) The area between the buildings. 

If we are seen this may alert the garrison and could mean it is even stronger when we attack.

I use my usual shtick for "sneaking" games:

Standard movement distances plus a random 1x6D element.

The chance for random "Events" (see Tables below): I throw a 1x12D per move per group of my guys. On the throw of an "11 or 12" I draw a card from the (standard playing card) deck and apply the result.

A moving group adds 2 to the dice check.

A "sneaking" group takes 2 from the dice check.

I add 1 to the dice check per four men in the group 

A hiding/stationary group which is not within potential sight of a hostile body takes 4 from the dice check.

Modifers (plus to the dice) as the day gets lighter. 

The Game: 

I decide to keep most of my guys hidden (in fact I wonder why I brought so many in the first place) and dispatch Abdul and Mahmood to go sneak. 

Using the rocks as cover wherever possible they creep toward the watering station. Things go reasonably well till the Event Dice start playing up....  

First my lads disturb a flock of birds. No problem as there is nobody near enough to hear or see... Yet.

They do some more sneaking - then another Event; Abdul trips on a stone -but no injuries, and he doesn't cry out.. Phew...

But all this creeping about has taken time. It is starting to get light....

Then, bad luck, another Event - and a three man Turkish patrol appears. Some way away, and though they aren't on the Q.V., my guys go to ground... 

After a while it seems fairly clear the patrol aren't paying much attention to anything.

My scouts take a risk and creep to the edge of a nearby rise, and note that there are four tents this side of the railway (diced for and placed on the table).

At perhaps up to 6 men a tent that's not good for the upcoming raid - especially as there could be more tents by the buildings and guys in the buildings themselves.  

Discretion being the better part of valour, it is decided that the scouts should bring this information back to the main party, before pressing on (if they were lost the info. gets lost). They creep back to the main group. 

Suddenly another event.  A shot..!! 

But (dice test) it looks like a lone trooper out potting coneys (?) or something. Perhaps for the officers' pot. My boys go to ground.

The patrol (dice controlled) ambles about, chats to the hunter briefly, then heads for the railway.

It is starting to get light now, and I am worried about the hunter. He is creeping around too close to my hiding place. He has to go.

Two of my lads sneak up on him and knife him. As they drag away the body to hide it they disturb first some birds - and then a couple of lazy goats..! But the patrol is too far away to register. 

I dispatch Abdul and Mahmood, my best creepers, again. Keeping an eye on the patrol they move off again. As they reach the ridge of rocks the patrol moves off along the railway line.. Maybe they have a circuit of patrol..?

All seems to be going well. The plan is to let the patrol get further up the track, then sneak along the rocky ridge to get sight of the area between the buildings the other side of the tracks. 

But horrors !! Another event: they come across a couple of local kids (herd boys, not goatlets) taking the early morning air (or using the facilities) among the rocks. 

The sight of two weird, creeping strangers freaks the kids out out - and they run off to speak to the patrol. 

We can't afford a fire fight. My lads pull back quickly to return to the main group.  Luckily they are unseen by the patrol.

However with the patrol now paying attention to their surroundings and moving in our direction - and the sun well up, I decide to cut my losses and pull off the table. Not ideal, but probably the best we can do at the moment.  


A fun, tense little exercise. Again, these basic, really systems of hidden/unknown enemy and Event Tables, plus dice-driven decisions (by the enemy and my own guys out of my immediate Command and Control work well for me.

Next up; the attack on the Watering Station.

New Year. New House. New Plans..

New hope...? Well, we're in the new house at last.... I now have: A garage to convert into a workshop for, amongst other things, modelli...