Monday, September 28, 2009

Darkest Africa

The most fun of the games that I played was Dwight Jones' The Sword and the Flame Dark Africa game. I played the Zanzabari slavers and had a good time raiding the native population. I set up three separate commands with my forces as I was allowed to start anywhere on the table and come in from any edge I decided to place five of my squads (3 muskets, 2 rifles and one artillery piece) on the side of the board with the large village that was near the table edge. I quickly surrounded the town and took out the defenders but lost an entire squad due to John Murk (AKA THE COOLER) standing right next to me while I rolled hand to hand after a massive charge that resulted in massive casualties on my end. I did not make this mistake again and luckily I charged in with two squads and had supporting fire from a third. The third musket squad and the cannon were sent across the river to guard my flank while two of the initial attacking squads delved deeper into the forests in search of ivory and slaves. This left the defenders' chief of the town whom my force was able to successfully talk into joining our ranks. The nice chief even helped us load his town's valuables into our canoes for the trip home (including his former people).

The second command I had set up was two squads of natives on canoes that I sent to attack a village a little down river on the opposite table edge. I eventually gave these troops to another guy who was able to take the town as well but lost an entire squad in doing so.

The final command consisted of a porter unit (not kidding) a unit of swords a musket unit and a final cannon. This command was ambushed multiple times but as an avid TSATF gamer (and having played against John Murk in the past) I set my forces in a defensive knot so as to be able to fire in any direction if attacked. This allowed me to keep my casualties to a minimum while still being able to fight the enemy. This unit explored a nearby cave system and found nothing and finally attacked another village, calling "Surrender or we open fire". No one came out so we sent in the cannon shells and defended the cannon with our unit of swords. The unit of muskets was pretty much wiped out, the remainder of the men serving as guards for the new workers acquired. A bloody battle ensured but the village was overcome and the bowmen in the village were defeated. The command spend the remainder of the game looting the village. The remainder of the first command (after many ambushes by natives) finally hooked up with the porters and left the table with LOTS of treasure!

Finally we return to the command consisting of one musket unit and the cannon that was setup to defend the flank of the first command. While waiting for some action the squad's second in command attempted a mutiny which he paid for with his life. Meanwhile after successfully negotiating with the witch doctor for passage the local natives set up close by and we obliged them by firing at them. Then we were attacked by a squad of natives but were able to successfully repel them. That next turn the native squad saw some mystical bronze man running through the jungle and decided to prostate themselves. To which my LT stated 'fire at will boys!' and let the savages have it!

They finally attacked along with another who charged the cannon crew. All members of the cannon crew were killed except the gunner who was captured by the savages in the hopes of him showing them how to operate the cannon... and showed them he did... (A result of NO WAY JOSE!) and my poor cannoner sacrificed himself with one final hurray killing all the savages in one defensive fire (there were three remaining natives after the initial charge) before succumbing to his wounds. This was glorious! The day was a victory for the Zansabari but I have to say that my opponents played very well.

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