Sunday, May 26, 2019

Afternoon 23 May 1899: El Harper's Bazaar

Date: Afternoon 23 May 1899/2019
Location: El Harper's Bazaar, Mafrica
Situation: The Business of War At The Bazaar
Orders: Join the American Volunteer Force en-route to El Harper's Bridge

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Mafrica 3 Tabletop Game
by Col. Sir William Prozbee, Officer Commanding
as related to General Pettygree

"My intuition to change our route of march to approach El Harper's Bazaar from the west was faulty. Within a quarter mile of the establishment, native forces began appearing to our right. Veering  half-left off the road was the only choice to buy time to ascertain their intention and to hopefully link up with American allies at El Harper's bridge."

"The 10th hussars led the way followed by a Screw Gun and Berkshire infantry."

"The foe ran toward us at an astonishing pace barely troubling to pause...."

"Before unleashing ineffectual long range fire with their jezzails." 

"Lieutenant Griffiths get those mules moving faster.
The Berkshires will cover you."

"Out ahead the Hussars from their covering position behind the Bazaar
would warn us of new foes there. I prayed there would be none."

"But when the Hussars pulled back from the buildings, dismounted and
formed an open order firing line, I knew more trouble was a foot."

"There was no time to get away. Griffiths knew it too. He immediately deployed the cannon and Berkshires to challenge the oncoming wave."

"In next moments our combined fire was devastating. Indeed I thought we just might have a decent chance to persevere because...."

"One body of the enemy disturbed by our fire suddenly turned about.
A different native body had fired into and enraged them."

"This fortune allowed us to evade to the east.
But the same enemy soon came on again with renewed vigor."

"We fell back closer to the railroad track."

"Whereupon I looked over my left shoulder seeing...." 

"Not only the American Volunteer Force we were to meet but also
the Rajah of Bebara whom I had met earlier today rushing to our rescue." 

"The foe now aware of their arrival set upon my last battle line with amazing ferocity. I am very sorry to say we suffered cruel losses in a final play of jezzail fire. Were it not for the timely arrival of friends, we would have all perished in seconds." 

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(1) Scenario design: Bill K. It was clever in a good way, engaging and fun.

(2) Participants: Dave G. (my skilled and ferocious opponent), Chuck The Lucky who discombobulated Dave saving me for a time, John The Formidable whose timely arrival of the AVF prevented a catastrophe and yours truly, Bill P. in command of soldiers of The Queen.

(3) The Rules:
It is my understanding the 40th edition should be available in late 2019. Bravo!

(4) Turn 1: 7:00 pm. Finish: 9:00 pm on Thursday 23 May, 1899/2019.

(5) And now a word from General Pettygree.

"Hello Chaps, I hope you enjoyed this story from the Mafrican Continent as related to me years later by Colonel Sir William Prozbee. Its importance is revealed in the concept of time and circumstance. Warriors on both sides came within an ace of survival, destruction, defeat and victory. Everyone on both sides soldiered on until the outcome was clearly discerned. No one knew the final result until the last card was played."

"I shall see you again soon with new engaging adventures for your enjoyment and approbation."

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Morning 23 May 1899: El Harper's Bazaar

Date: Morning 23 May 1899/2019
Location: El Harper's Bazaar, Mafrica
Situation: British Reconnoitering Party

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Prelude To Mafrica 3 Tabletop Game

Sooner or later everyone of means comes to El Harper's Bazaar. Just about anything the heart or avarice desires from The Mafrican Continent can be obtained here. Even difficult acquisitions may be successfully bought with patience, enough gold and at times, influence. 

Most transactions are unexceptional. Here the Rajah of Bebara
with routine purchases trailing behind returns home.

He is unaware of angry armed forces now en-route to the Bazaar. His steady pace will carry the caravan safely away from harm. If peaceful entreaties fail to relax tormented minds and tragic circumstances, the ignition of gunpowder echoing in the Souk River Valley may startle his household and Jumbos. Fortunately his caravan's route finds it off the following map to the east.

However as distance from The Bazaar increased....

A detachment of British Imperials marched into view from the south.

"Sergeant Davies. --- Halt the Column!"
"Sah! --- Column HAAA-HLT"
"We will ride over to that caravan to gather what information we can."
"Very good Colonel."

The Rajah turned to meet the invaders.

"Greetings and honours Your Highness. I am Colonel Prozbee."
"And to you as well Colonel. May I inquire the reason for your visit?"

"Militant rogues are to the north. Have you seen any in these parts?"
"Nothing at all. Trouble did not interrupt nor vex us at The Bazaar."

"I am grateful for your information. Godspeed returning home."
"Only if it is the will of Kali, Colonel." 

The Royal too hastily resumed his procession back to Bebara.

Meanwhile, back with the Column on a slight rise.
"What do you see George?"

"Nothing Frank."
"The Colonel's rid'n back. I wonder what he found out."
"Aye and whatever it is --- whether true or false."
"Keep looking then and I'll report to the Colonel."

"Begging to report Sir. Lt. Griffiths observes nothing suspicious."
"Very good. The Rajah said there is no sign of trouble here."

"Though I wonder. Perhaps I should reconsider our route of march."
"COLUMN --- Resume the march!"

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(1) The above precedes our third encounter on Jack Scruby's imagineered Mafrican Continent. Scroll down a little for similar captioned photos telling those stories.

(2) Rules: The Sword and The Flame, 20th ed.

(3) Buildings by Miniature Building Authority. Miniatures are 28mm.

(4) Come back soon.

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Friday, February 22, 2019

19 February 1899: Morning Battle At Bulawao Kraal

Date: 19 February 1899/2019
Location: Bulawao Kraal, Mafrica
Situation: Morning Battle
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"Mr. Pearson, I trust you will record today's events accurately for The Times?"

"You may rely on me to record the truth without doubt Colonel Blakeney."

Route of March: Port of Rulundi to The King's Kraal.
Jack Scruby's Mafrica Map accented by Cartographer David G.

The Royal Kraal.

The Zulu King was surprised by our arrival from the Jungle Trail upon the plain before his Kraal. However, he swiftly commanded that portion of the Impi still in residence to mobilize to counter our advance. Obedience was immediate.

These fellows appeared to our left.

Whilst these warriors appeared to our right.

The 66th Regiment of Foot straddled the King's Road at shoulder arms.

Our right flank was protected by The Naval Detachment's Gatling
opening fire early in the battle.

The immediate left flank was secured by two Royal Artillery Screw Guns
and sections of the 24th Foot arriving adjacent to the 66th.

Farther to our left, 24th Foot Flankers soon came to grips with the Zulu.

Hand to hand combat ensued.

In the center, the Impi surged forward independently without time
to mass into its traditional horns, loins and chest formation known as
 Impondo Zenkomo in the Zulu language.

We waited for them to come closer.

In the rear from left to right are Correspondent Pearson myself, Sergeant Major Crisp, Colonel Blakeney, Lieutenant Caddy Royal Engineers and Miss Margaretha van Deers.

The Screw Guns opened fire at long range,

Causing alarming results whilst the 66th waited.

Blakeney called out to the men,
"Steady my boys. You will give them hot stuff soon enough."
"One lad nearby grumbled, You ain't Wolfe and these ain't Frenchies at Quebec!"
Sergeant Major Crisp shouted back, "Mark a target soldier!"
Then the order came!

Our front erupted in an ear-splitting volley.

After two volleys, Blakeney ordered, "Cease Fire."
The Zulus were in full retreat.
Surely to rally, reorganize and hope for reinforcements to stop us.

And our grumbler said, "We ain't done with 'em yet."

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Good Morning Saturday Readers! 

1. In fact we plan to resume and conclude The Battle of Bulawao in early March.

2. Prodigious thanks to our keen players, Dave G., Chuck The Lucky, John The Formidable, Bill K. and yours truly Bill P. --- All provided inspiration, terrain, soldiers and the scenario; especially Dave G. for the latter.

3. And posthumous thanks to...Larry Brom who wrote the rules used.

4. Thank you for looking in. See you again soon!

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Monday, February 18, 2019

18 February 1899: March To Bulawao Kraal

Date: 18 February 1899/2019
Location: One Day East of Bulawao Kraal, Mafrica
Situation: Imperial Column Preparing To March
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18 February 1899 --- Imperial Camp
Foreground: Naval Detachment --- Background 66th Foot

"Colonel Blakeney. Riders com'n in fast. Looks like Lt. Hawkings and the van Deers girl."

"Right you are Sergeant Major Crisp. We'll wait for them here."

"Very good Sah!"

"Lt. Hawkings and Miss Margaretha, welcome back."
"Glad to be back Colonel."
"What did you discover?"

"Mixed news. Half the Impi is gone. The rest is at Bulawao."
"Ja. We saw the track of the Impi. It is three to four days old."

"Very well then. Time to march fast and strike."
"My family and our destroyed farm will be avenged."
"Yes. Now both of you get food and rest. Catch up with us later."

"Miss Margaretha. I have some tolerable brandy."
"Thank you. However, a change of clothes and breakfast would serve best." 
"Naturally. I only thought...."

"Captain Robbyns. The 66th will step off at the half hour."
"Aye Colonel. I'll break camp and bring up the wagons directly."

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1) This is the prelude to Game #2 of our Mafrica Campaign. Scroll down just a little to Game #1 played on 10 October 2018/1898. 

2) Rules: The Sword and The Flame 20th edition.

3) Thank you for looking in. Comments, remarks, etc. welcome.

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