Saturday, July 30, 2011

Position Clarification & New Rule

I wish to clarify something. The placement of your Field Force symbol within a District does NOT indicate its actual position.

I simply place the Field Force symbol in a convenient open space within the District.

When you are in a District, you are moving around throughout the whole District and could be anywhere you want in the District at month's end.

I based my campaign rules on the Jarania system, but I've made several changes . . . and now I'm going to make one more.

Instead of only being able to move into a directly adjacent District (or onto the River), I will allow you to travel through one or two hexes only of an intervening District in order to reach your desired District (or the River).

However, you will have to take a d20 test against the Rebellion Index of the intervening District and will be stopped there if you face any fighting. But if you make it safely through you will NOT "pacify" that District. It's Rebellion Index will not be altered by your journey.

Additionally, there will be a penalty to the d20 die roll in your eventual target District should you reach it. The penalty will depend upon the number of hexes you needed to travel to your target District:
  • if one hex -- d20 test vs Rebellion Index will have a -1 penalty if an even number is rolled on the d20
  • if two hexes -- the d20 test will have a -2 penalty on the die roll no matter what is rolled -- this represents the reduced time spent in the District.
So, while I do not think that this will change either Pete or Murdock's February moves, they are free to change them if they like -- but let me know soon please; since Alex's move isn't in yet, he will have time to contemplate this rule change before he responds with his move.

-- Jeff

Friday, July 29, 2011

Situation -- February, 1876

Campaign Date -- February, 1876

Click twice on the map to left for much larger image.

First I should point out that we made some different choices as to how we would reinforce our troops in our home ports.

I selected option #2, the other three players selected option #3. Upon reflection, they probably made a wiser choice . . . but I want to build toward a cavalry unit. I suppose that I'd better hope for few casualties, eh?

The red numbers on the map indicate the current Rebellion Index for each region in following the January campaign turn.

The colored squares indicate the current location of each player's Field Force (or forces). So the question is now . . . "where do you want to go in February?"

Remember you may move to any adjacent region (even across the river) OR you may spend February "on the river" (if you are currently in a district bordering your river) and then move into any region that the river touches in March (by which time it is likely that some of the Rebellion Index numbers will have risen).

Following are the current Rebellion Index for the various districts:Link
  • Alex's Cango River districts are in red
  • Pete's Tyger River districts are in green
  • Murdock's Vile River districts are in purple
  • Jeff's Wazu River districts are in blue
The following "codes" will be in effect -- and the die roll in parentheses indicate how many points the Rebellion Index will rise each month if not visited:
  • Home Districts are marked with * (d6-4)
  • Mission Districts are marked # (d6-2)
  • Trading Post Districts have a $ (d8-4)
  • Normal Districts are unmarked (d6-3)
  • "Beja" Districts are marked -- (B)
  • "Dervish" Districts are marked -- (D)
  • "Egyptian" Districts are marked -- (E)
  • "Pathan" Districts are marked -- (P)
  • "Zulu" Districts are marked -- (Z)


Tewfiq * -- (E) ---- 2
Derf # -- (B) ------- 4
Jadu $ -- (P) ------- 8
Zirak $ -- (P) ------ 3
Anwak -- (D) ------2
Bele -- (Z) ---------- 3
Noair -- (D) ------- 2
Quett -- (P) -------- 4
W'tut -- (Z) -------- 5


Nukar * -- (E) ---- 4
Ta'ish # -- (D) ---- 4
Afridi $ -- (P) ---- 3
Swati $ -- (P) ----- 2
Dendoa -- (B) ---- 4
G'umb -- (Z) ------ 3
Luni -- (P) --------- 6
M'wez -- (Z) ------ 2
Umma -- (D) ----- 5


Urabbi * -- (E) --- 2
M'tubel # -- (Z) -- 6
Bejj $ -- (B) -------- 5
Dinqa $ -- (D) ---- 5
Alghaz -- (D) ----- 5
Ghilz -- (P) -------- 2
Tarqa -- (P) -------- 5
J'ele -- (Z) ---------- 2
Z'ooli -- (Z) -------- 6

Kamel * -- (E) ----- 2
Baqqar # -- (D) --- 2
Fuziwa $ -- (B) ---- 8
Shluk $ -- (D) ----- 4
Dwari -- (P) ------- 4
Likaz -- (Z) -------- 3
Mazood -- (P) ---- 5
Ngoon -- (Z) ------ 2
Wazri -- (P) ------- 2

Please note that your "native troops" (Sepoys and Gurkhas) all now have names.

Email me with your with where they are going for your move (or moves if you split forces).

-- Jeff

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

January Results and Reinforcements

Well as I more-or-less as expected, the initial turn of the Afristan Campaign did not result in any battles but dissatisfaction seems to be growing around the island and fighting may soon result.

Following are brief accounts from each of the Valley Commands:

Cango River:

Captain Davidson lead his full command west into the rich farmlands of the Anwaki people. They received a rather sullen response as they moved from village to village. The women hiding behind their veils and all encompassing clothing seemed to be fearful of the Scots in their kilts.

Sadly on the night of January 22, Sepoy Japjot (#6) of the 2nd PFF (Punjabi Field Force) snuck out at night after telling his mates that he was going to "have some fun". His body was found the following day with his throat cut . . . but there was no indication of who had done this . . . and the investigation was fruitless.

A few days later word of troubles at the Jadu Trading Post reached them and so they left Anwak short one sepoy.

Tyger River:

Leaving the veldt of Nukar, Captain Webley-Grant's crossed the Tyger from the port of Belhi into the lush jungles of M'wez. Fortuately they were rather well received by the black heathens who inhabit these lands. Indeed they were feasted at every village that they visited. It is hoped that all of their patrols will be as pleasant.

Vile River:

Captain McMurdock lead his command west from Kyro along the north bank of the Vile until he was able to cross into the Ghilz hills. The dark-eyed swarthy folk of those hills were mostly apathetic toward the Field Force.

Unfortunately Ghurka Thapa (#2) was severely incapacitated after being bitten by a viper. The snake was only about two feet long, but there is much doubt as to whether he will survive until he reaches the care of Surgeon Cranbrook back in Kyro.

Wazu River:

Evaluating the problems in Baqqar, Ngoon and Fuziwa, Captain Ellis decided to split his forces. He would take the Black Watch and Gurkhas into Baqqar; while Lt. Jeffers would lead the 72nd and Ludhiana Sikhs south into Ngoon, with both planning to meet up the following month in Fuziwa.

Capt. Ellis lead his troops southeast until he could cross the Wazu into the fertile fields of Baqqar. In general the natives were standoffish and fairly apathetic to their presence. The only notable incident occurred when Sepoy Chand (#6) sprained his left ankle so badly that he has to ride on one of the supply mules (resulting in many crude comments from his fellows).

At the same time Lt. Jeffers marched south to Vart, where his troops crossed into the jungles of Ngoon. The black devils who inhabit that jungle territory were not pleased with their presence. A very cold, hostile reception was met with in almost every village. The elders at those villages received them with scant hospitality but a few demonstration of the efficacy of modern firearms tended to somewhat dampen their animosity.

Sadly Private Paul McArthur of the 72nd was critically injured when he was mauled by a jungle cat. Even if he should recover he will forever speak with a high voice and will forever go without heirs.

Reinforcements Choice:

All commands will get some reinforcements delivered to their home ports. Each player will have his choice of one of the following options:
  1. one Cavalryman and one "Briton";
  2. one Cavalryman and two Sepoys;
  3. two "Britons" and a Sepoy;
  4. one "Briton" and three Sepoys;
  5. or five Sepoys
Please let me know which option you will select.

Finally, the February Situation will appear soon.

-- Jeff

Accidents Happen

Now that the Afristan Campaign has begun, I should mention that beside the chance of a battle occurring, there is always the possibility of "accidents" happening.

Perhaps not surprisingly, accidents are more likely to occur if the district that a Field Force is traversing is one where the populace is closer to rebellion than it is if they are glad to see the British.

In other words, the closer that the d20 roll vs a district's Rebellion Index is, the greater the chance of accidents . I will not reveal just how this works right now, but the number of "accident die rolls" increases as things get dangerous.

The usual Field Force consists of six "elements" (at least at this point in the campaign):
  1. Command -- 2 officers & 1 horse = 3
  2. British Platoon -- 20 men
  3. British Squad -- 10 men
  4. Sepoy Platoon -- 20 men
  5. Gurkha Squad -- 10 men
  6. Supply Train -- 6 men & 6 mules = 12
I will roll 1d6 to determine which of the above units might suffer an accident. Then I will roll 1d30. If that number rolled is greater than the number of targets available, then no accident occurs. If, on the other hand, it falls on a number, then that character number (on the force lists) may suffer an accident:

To determine this, I'll roll 1d12:
  • on a 1 -- target dies
  • on 2-3 -- serious wound
  • on 4-7 -- less serious wound
  • on 8-9 -- minor misfortune
  • 10-12 -- nothing happens
However with four Field Forces, I expect that there will be the occasional mishap to add "color" to the campaign. Healing of injuries will be as described near the bottom of an earlier post.

-- Jeff

Monday, July 25, 2011

Campaign Start -- January, 1876

Campaign Date -- January 1, 1876

Click twice on the map to left for much larger image.

The red numbers indicate the current Rebellion Index for each region in response to Sultan Omar Mustapha's new taxes.

The colored squares indicate the current location of the forces each player may deploy to help calm the situation.

So where do you want to go first?

Remember you may move to any adjacent region (even across the river) OR you may spend January "on the river" and then move into any region that the river touches (by which time it is likely that some of the Rebellion Index numbers will have risen).

Following are the current Rebellion Index for the various districts:Link
  • Alex's Cango River districts are in red
  • Pete's Tyger River districts are in green
  • Murdock's Vile River districts are in purple
  • Jeff's Wazu River districts are in blue
The following "codes" will be in effect:
  • Home Districts will be marked with an *
  • Districts with Missions will have a #
  • Trading Post Districts will have a $
  • "Beja" Districts will be marked -- (B)
  • "Dervish" Districts will be marked -- (D)
  • "Egyptian" Districts will be marke -- (E)
  • "Pathan" Districts will be marked -- (P)
  • "Zulu" Districts will be marked -- (Z)

Tewfiq * -- (E) --- 2
Derf # -- (B) ------ 3
Jadu $ -- (P) ------ 5
Zirak $ -- (P) ----- 3
Anwak -- (D) -----5
Bele -- (Z) --------- 3
Noair -- (D) ------- 2
Quett -- (P) -------- 4
W'tut -- (Z) -------- 3


Nukar * -- (E) --- 2
Ta'ish # -- (D) --- 4
Afridi $ -- (P) --- 3
Swati $ -- (P) ---- 2
Dendoa -- (B) ---- 4
G'umb -- (Z) ----- 3
Luni -- (P) -------- 4
M'wez -- (Z) ----- 4
Umma -- (D) ---- 4


Urabbi * -- (E) --- 2
M'tubel # -- (Z) -- 3
Bejj $ -- (B) -------- 5
Dinqa $ -- (D) ---- 2
Alghaz -- (D) ----- 3
Ghilz -- (P) -------- 4
Tarqa -- (P) -------- 3
J'ele -- (Z) ---------- 2
Z'ooli -- (Z) -------- 4

Kamel * -- (E) --- 2
Baqqar # -- (D) -- 5
Fuziwa $ -- (B) -- 4
Shluk $ -- (D) ---- 2
Dwari -- (P) ------ 3
Likaz -- (Z) ------- 2
Mazood -- (P) ---- 4
Ngoon -- (Z) ----- 5
Wazri -- (P) ------- 2

Email me with your Field Force compositions and where they are going.

-- Jeff

Friday, July 22, 2011

Campaign Overview


Afristan is a large (fictitious) island in the Indian Ocean. (click twice on map at left for view at end of 1875).

While it is nominally ruled by Sultan Omar Mustapha, he really has little control over Afristan and has requested British aid in quelling the almost constantly simmering rebellion against his rule and his taxes.

Each of the four players will have "command" of one of the "River Basin Districts" of the island. Each District has nine regions which must be controlled.


Each player will start with the same number of troops (click on links to right for details of each player's commands). Each turn players will have access to some reinforcements with which they can form new units or fill gaps caused by casualties.


We will be using "The Sword and the Flame -- 20th Anniversary" rules. Players whose forces are not involved in a battle will play the native forces.


Each move represents one month (starting January, 1876). Field forces may move to any one region that is adjacent to the one that they've been in . . . OR . . . they may spend the month "on the river", in which case they may exit the next month into any one region that their river touches. Forces will spend the entire month in one region . . . OR . . . on the river. They may not enter more than one region.

Force Composition

Each force must consist of at least one unattached British officer (i.e., one not part of a unit) and more than 20 men. This means that a platoon or two squads are not enough by themselves. A platoon and a squad would be enough (as would two cavalry troops). In addition, at least one of the units involved must be British.

Thus it is possible to have two field forces IF a player has an unattached British officer, a platoon and a squad (as long as one of these two is British) . . . however such forces are pretty fragile and might be overwhelmed and wiped out if they run into rebellious natives. It is safer to travel with a single larger force . . . although it might be advisable to keep a unit "at home" to protect your Headquarters..

Rebellion Index

Each month a die will be rolled for each region and the "Rebellion Index" will either go up or remain the same.

When a field force enters a region, 1d20 will be rolled. As long as the d20 rolls equal to or more than the current Rebellion Index for that region, all is well and the Rebellion Index will drop to "2".

However, if the d20 is less than the Rebellion Index, the region will be "in rebellion" and will muster the number of Native Units that will match the difference between the number rolled on the d20 and their current Rebellion Index. So it is wise not to allow a region's index to get too high or the player's field force could be severely overwhelmed.

Game Turns

Initial forces have arrived in December, 1875 and are in their respective port towns (Stupt, Belhi, Kyro, Azol). So Sultan Omar Mustapha has raised taxes and the regions are growing restless.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pete is Out of Hospital

So the title tells only a part of the story of course. I`ve just learned thatPete (our player who had a heart attack) is now out of hospital.

Of course that does not mean that he`s back to 100%. But it is a positive sign. He does have to take things very easy . . . and he`s moving very slowly and carefully right now . . . but the news is most certainly on the plus side.

-- Jeff

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ouch! Campaign Delayed

I just learned that Pete, one of players for my Afristan Campaign is in hospital having suffered a mild heart attack . . . but "mild heart attack" is still a heart attack and THAT surely takes precedence over a miniatures campaign.

Let us all wish Pete a comfortable and full recovery . . . and my miniatures will wait patiently for that. (In fact it might even allow my painting to catch up a bit).

So please send prayers and best wishes to Pete. I do.

-- Jeff

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Second Training Game

Well we re-played our earlier "Training Game" on Sunday (July 10). Only this time we switched sides . . . because Alex and Ian (who had the Brits last time) felt that the scenario was slanted in favor of the Pashtun.

Pictured at left is an early scene from the action in the village.

The Sepoys with blue turbans (house a left and on the walls) are Rattray's Sikhs; the 78th Scots are in the whiter building and also in front of the building at right with the civilians.

(Click on photo above for a larger image -- however a setting was mistakenly changed in my camera and sadly the other photos do not enlarge)

Anyway this time Alex and Ian took the Natives; and David led the relief column. But since Pete was able to play this time, he took the part of the units pinned in the village (and I umpired).

Well, history did NOT repeat itself.

This time the relief column was quite successful. (Photo shows an early scene where the Sepoys of the Madras Pioneers and 4th Gurkhas have surrounded the few survivors of a Pashtun jezail unit. Note that the leader of the Pioneers, Lt. Neil Cosgrove, lies wounded next to his men).

Indeed, the defense of the village and the rifles of the relief column were so successful that very few Pashtun returned safely to their villages in the hills of the Northwest Frontier.

A dozen Imperial natives died (eleven Sepoys and one Gurkha). Many wounded Sepoys (Rattray's Sikhs -- light blue turbans) had their throats cut after the mobs of Pashtun swarmed the village.

Fortunately there were only five British casualties.

Two dead Scots -- Pvt. Kenneth MacTaggart and Pvt. Donald MacDonald, both of the 78th Regiment of Foot. Poor Pvt. MacDonald had been wounded in the earlier battle and was fresh from hospital (obviously he was released too soon).

In addition the British officer in charge of the Madras Pioneers (21st NMI), Lt. Neil Cosgrove, was wounded while leading his men in battle, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Also wounded were pair of Scots from the 78th -- Pvt. Graham Shaw and Pvt. Lewis Duncan (the latter had recently replaced the previously slain Pvt. Douglas Gordon).

However it should be noted that the "red sword" unit of Pashtuns (run by Ian) made successful test after test after test. They were finally reduced to a single hillman . . . who passed the final test and walked away from the village . . . mooning the defenders as he crested a hill. (note that he was practically the only survivor other than a few scattered routers and Alex's Jezailmen, who spent most of the battle outside of British rifle range as the sniped away at the village's defenders).


Now that Pete has had a chance to learn the rules, we can finally start the Afristan Campaign . . . so posts should come more often now.

-- Jeff