The Greatest Adventure on Earth!! - Pt 3Return to Part 2.
A most thoroughly enjoyable little affair, especially so since Bob's collection of colonial figures hadn't seen the light of day for awhile. They deserve better. So we dusted them off, and successfully blooded his freshly painted Darkest Africa figures as an added bonus.
An earlier game used the GDW "Soldier's Companion" rules. We were a little dissatisfied with them I'm afraid. So, this time I managed to convince the group to try one of my many neglected and never played rules sitting on my shelf..."Fire and Steel". They are published by Wargames Research Group (WRG) and are available from "The Keep" in the UK.
It's a skirmish level 1:1 game, stretching from 1700 to about 1900. The rules are generic enough that a wide variety of periods and conflicts can be covered relatively easily. The authors, Mark Evans and Dave Wilson, include some suggested "army" ratings, ranging from the Seven Years War to Cowboys to Colonials. The rules are fairly simple, which I think is necessary for a good skirmish game.
That's the theory anyway. And I think the rules played rather well. There's plenty of room for characterization and chrome. Evans and Wilson also include a number of scenarios. The Western Gunfighter scenario demonstrates how easy it is to add colour to your games of Fire and Steel. Another scenario, originally for the Indian Mutiny, was the basis for "The World's Greatest Adventure!". (Go here for notes, thoughts and downloadable player aids on Fire and Steel).
Myself and Bob, the native players, knew that we would receive reinforcements on Turn Four. I did not explicitly tell the Europeans that they would be surrounded, but they were given a briefing which explained why they were racing for the river. As well, they were not outnumbered by the natives in the village. So they were given some clues. But in our game at any rate, both Vidal and Kurt were quite surprised. Especially Kurt - he hadn't moved much from his (and the He-He Poona's!) starting points, being content with potting at Bob's attacking natives at long range.
After a brief moment of shock, both European groups ran into the jungle in order to hide themselves from the muskets of the He-He Poonas. Vidal had been running flat out for the river - we figured he was probably safe from the He-He Poonas. Kurt seemed to be in big trouble. The dice gods chose this moment to intervene in our mortal affairs however.
Bob attacked Kurt from two sides, outnumbering him and negating the superior European firepower. Flouting the laws of averages, Bob rolled a lot of ones (bad news in Fire and Steel). Kurt managed to get most of his party to safety.
On the other side of the table, my poor natives charged Vidal's rifles across open ground to reach his position on the edge of the jungle. I was hoping that my forlorn attack would slow him down long enough for my pursuing He-He Poona muskets to reach him. Anything 2+ would have hit my charging figures. Vidal, not to be outdone by Bob's excretable die rolling, rolled even a longer series of ones. Undismayed Vidal screened his civilians well enough that they escaped to the river.
Technically a European defeat, but the civilians escaped unharmed, which was the whole point of the exercise. Except for Smearum admittedly. Still, it was a narrow win.
Another evening of fun and another exciting chapter added to the annals of Bungiwalliland!
Read the Aftermath
Major General Tremorden Rederring
- always a source of constant inspiration and amusement).