Monday, September 27, 2010

Skirmish in North Africa

Afghan hill fort by Herb Gundt (from the collection of General Pettygree, alas, it is not mine) does double duty somewhere in North Africa. Scruby Arabs defend the tower. (Click pix to enlarge the view)

This weekend I traveled out to the Duchy of Freyberg, where His Lordship hosted a North African colonial game. The scenario was loosely based on events in The Wind & The Lion what with the French Foreign Legion and the US Marines charged with the task of attacking the sultan's palace at the town of Al- Amok and nabbing the sultan so as to put an end to piracy and other ungodly acts against civilization.

US Marines take cover and pour in a deadly fire on the hostiles. Redoubt Miniatures US Marines are show here from the collection of Der Alte Fritz, painted by Alex Akers to a very high standard.

Bill P. and I commanded the Europeans while Randy (El Krohbar) and Kieth (The Mad Mullah Mokhtar) took charge of the Arabs. The Arabs were guarding the royal palace at Al-Amok and were reinforced by a company of German Seebattalion soldiers (who were to only guard the sultan and otherwise not interfere in the fight). I had two companies of US Marines, commanded by Captain Jerome and one company of French Legionaires (who heroically died nearly to the last man, the fools). Bill commanded some French Turcos, Spahis and French Marines.

An overhead view of Al-Amok. Buildings are from Miniature Building Authority.

The Sultan's Bodyguard await their fate.

The German Seebattalion prepares to "bug out" of the town when it becomes apparent that the Arab defenders are not quite up to the job. Countess de Bleuville provides some direction to the captain of the German unit.

The game began with Bill deployed to attack from the west and Captain Jerome's Marines deployed on the eastern edge of Al-Amok. Bill suggested that we both head towards the middle of the table ,where there was lots of cover in the form of scrub brush, rocks and palm trees. You can see the broken terrain in the picture of the Marines, a couple of piccies above.

That sounded like a sensible plan to me, as all I could see on my end of the table were Arabs, more Arabs, and even more hoards of Arabs. So I left Lieutenant Asterix and his French Legionnaires with the task of covering the rear of the Marine column as it marched across the front of the town towards the center. Asterix was immediately set upon by three mobs of Arabs, who elected to sally forth from the walled town. The Legionaires gallantly stood their ground and were cut down (4 survivors) from the massed fire of the Arab hoard. Unbeknownst to Asterix, he forgot to use his -1 modifier on firing from close order postion, which would have improved his firing effectiveness considerable. Poor fellow.

Meanwhile, Captain Jerome boldly marched the Marines into the scrub and deployed them on the edge of the cover in a firing line.

"Gentlemen, you have just met the U.S. Marines!" hollered Captain Jerome immediately after ordering his troops to fire. Having the good sense to use all of his firing modifiers, Captain Jerome's first company of 20 Marines scored 19 hits on the Arab foe at medium range. The second company cleared the little hill fort of defenders from the roof with a similar volley.

Meanwhile, to the west, Captain Clouseau and his French brigade were handling the hostiles with relative ease, for the few that were not shot down were running for their lives back into the town. On my flank, the Arabs had whittled the Legionaires down to a final four men, who finally decided the truth of the adage, "he who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day".

This seemed to enbolden the Arabs of Mullah Mokhtar, who ordered his men to advance across the plain and attack the Marines. It was not the best decision that he would make today. The Marines cooly drew a bead on the oncoming Arabs and cut them down in droves, with long range rifle fire. The Arabs only had black powder muskets and edged weapons and they were no match.

With most of the hostiles now sent to seek their rewards in the afterlife, Captain Jerome formed his men into column and ordered a march on the town at double time. The few remaining Arabs decided that they had had enough and booked the next camel out of Al-Amok.

Countess de Bleuville, an evil descendant of MiLady de Winter, suggested to the German Captain Fritz von Seewald, that now was a good time to evacuate the town and leave the Sultan to his own devices. So the Germans formed up into column and marched smartly out of the town and back to their post. Thus ended the battle of Al-Amok.

It was a nice and bloody affair, with European firepower overcoming the advantage in numbers that the Arabs had. Captain Jerome discovered a nice US Marine machine gun crew from the Redoubt Miniatures Boxer Rebellion range and he plans to add one of these little beauties to his force in time for the next game. A company of US Sailors would be kind of nice too, if he could find them.

1 comment:

  1. Great write-up and photos! The photo of the US Marines has some very nice terrain.