Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Easier Attrition System

My former system was laborious and complicated. This one will be easier! After a game throw 1D6 per unit that had losses.

1. You HOLD the field or the game is a draw recover:
1= 70%, 2= 75%, 3-4= 80%, 5= 85% and 6= 90%.

2. RETREATING FROM the field recover:
1= 60%, 2= 65%, 3-4= 70%, 5= 75% and 6= 80%.

Modifiers: (Minimum result = 1. Maximum result = 6)
Poor supply situation, July or August, poor quality soldiers -1. (only one can be used)
Arty., Engineers, Cavalry and Elites +1 (only can be used)
Captured prodigious amounts of supplies +1

KIA-MIA-In Hospital Box:
Miniatures that remain casualties are placed in this box and don't come back - usually.  Some will eventually return as replacements,escapees or from hospital.

Reinforcements should be added before the next game.
Throw 2D6 for a big unit and 1D6 for a small one. The result is the number of replacements arriving from the homeland or back from hospital; (the KIA-MIA-In Hospital Box)

A system like the above needs to be generous so units don't become skeletal too soon and it needs to be easy on the record keeping side of things. This might do it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chapter IV: At Sea

Date: 26-27 June 1900
Location: Off The Continent of Mafrica
Situation: A Curious Sighting And Landfall
Recommendation: See Chapter III posted 12 June 2011
My Dear Fellow/Lady, Oblige Me By Double Clicking Images
Lt. Col. Lawford's Narrative:
"HMS Zanzibar took us aboard at Bombay departing with such urgency that I did not have an opportunity to meet Captain Collingwood. I was hopeful this would be remedied soon. However, as the days passed at sea, I remained frustratingly unenlightened about our destination and arrival date. Was secrecy this imperative aboard a warship of Her Majesty? All I knew was, on the 26th of June, we were steering a clockwise course offshore of the unseen but nearing continent of Mafrica when...."

"Captain Collingwood ordered HMS Zanzibar to...."

"Increase speed to 18 knots."

Our wake was considerable.

Lawford: "Something had been sighted amidships off to starboard. Fellow traveller, Major Thorpe, trained his binoculars on the object - not making much of it. Nazim, attempted to ascend to the higher forward deck for a better view. He was stopped on the ladder abaft the bridge."

Nazim: "Sah'b, I could not find out why the ship increased her speed nor what might be out there - far away - where kalapani meets the sky."

Lawford: "Officer land up there Nazim - not your province. The chap who was just here looking through his binoculars did not know either. He went to the Captain to inquire."

Nazim: "Very good Sah'b."

(Kalapani or black water means sea or ocean)

Lawford: "When the answer came, the mystery mostly remained; two gunboats in line abreast parallelling us and steaming fast. They did not fly identifying national colours. Why? Obviously they were not Britannian. Otherwise they would have hailed. Uneventful hours passed and with the onset of night, the running lights of the pair grew more faint with each sea mile increasingly separating us until they vanished."

Lawford: "Very early the next morning I was asked to meet Captain Collingwood on the bridge. Ascending there I momentarily paused at the forward rail. We had come inshore during the night. The verdant coast of Mafrica beneath an overcast and rainy sky to starboard was extraordinarily beautiful and at the same time darkly mysterious."

"Immediately off to starboard a small and picturesque bay lay asleep. In the distance a headland was coming into view but I could tarry no longer to make observations. Collingwood was waiting."

Collingwood: "Colonel. Good morning to you. Bad business yesterday with that infernal pair of Romanov gunboats lurking in these waters."

Lawford: "Romanov?"

Collingwood: "I thought they might interrupt our voyage and dash out of some inlet at dawn but they capered off. Yes, Romanov, but how would you know?"

Lawford: "Indeed I know very little of the mission, our destination and...."

Collingwood: "I don't know much myself. All in good time Colonel no doubt. However, I am now authorized to shed a little light on the subject as we near our destination. Just round that headland you were observing forward is the Port of Dakla. We should raise the pilot boat before noon to take us in. Furthermore...."

Lawford: "As he spoke I could not help wonder if he was aware that my mission involved a Romanov party including Countess Alexandra. Drifting off I remembered her well-proportioned features accented by lovely red hair, her at times imperious nature and intoxicating style. I guessed the Captain knew nothing of her. Lest I drift farther away, I suspended these silent thoughts as Collingwood's continuing remarks returned to my full hearing."

Collingwood: "Lieutenant Beattie will give you a map of the region when we finish our chat. I know you are familiar with continental central regions where you were captured last year by the vile Tugs, but I daresay the southwest will be new to you. Between now and noon you may find it beneficial to study it. It's yours to keep. Later when you are taken ashore to report at Government House for orders, it might be of value."

Lawford: "Back in my cabin I laid out the map recalling my first intriguing readings about Mafrica many years before. Naturally I read with great interest about fascinating early explorations, discoveries of strange new animal species, innumerable geologic wonders, the abominable slave trade that developed, Britannia's subsequent efforts to squelch it, the opening of the continent for benevolent trade and searching for mysterious ancient civilizations lost in time. The map produced by the eminent cartographer Mr. Jack Scruby Esq. a half century ago would be singularly helpful. Yet so much was still unknown."
Lawford: "The southwestern corner of the map revealed the headland we were approaching from the southeast. The Port of Dakla lay just beyond within a prodigiously protected bay. Where would my orders take me? Deep into the interior I supposed."

"After several hours of study the sea became calmer and the ship slowed considerably. Out of curiosity I went to the bridge deck surprised to discover we...."

"Had already passed through The Bay of Dakla and commenced entering the channel of the great river by the same name."

"We passed a large near white Iberian-style official-looking building roofed with reddish clay tiles. I later learned it was Government House, to which I would immediately repair when taken ashore. One the balcony, two men observed Zanzibar navigate the narrow channel. In a few hours I learned their identities and the particular relationship they would have with my mission."

Mr. Albert Wyatt (left): "Zanzibar made good time."
Chargé d’affaires, Brigadier (ret.) Graham Day: "Yes and there is not a minute to lose." 

Closing Remarks
1. Mafrica Map is an improved and new version of Jack Scruby's original map. Pard and owner of Scruby Miniatures via Historifigs Mike Taber, gave me permission to use it here two years ago. See:
2. Zanzibar is a one-of-a-kind Houston gunboat. See The Virtual Armchair General for details.
3. The river motorboat from tthe collection of Der Alte Fritz was built and painted by H.G. Walls, Herb Gundt. Der Alte also loaned his gunboat, the one nearest you in the photo showing two gunboats.
4. Government House is from Miniature Building Authority.
5. The two chaps on the balcony are from Pulp Figures:
PHP 14 and PHP18
6. Sailors are from Perry Miniatures Sudan Range painted by John Preece.
7. If you please, avail yourself and kindly post comments below.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chapter III: Port of Bombay

Date: 12 June 1900
Location: Port of Bombay
Situation: Arrival And Departure
Recommendation: See Chapter II posted 5 June 2011
Double Click Your Images My Dear Fellow/Lady
The express we took from Fort Grant, Surajistan....

Arrived the 12th of June, 1900.

At the bustling port of Bombay at low tide.

A watch tower protected the harbour.

Whilst a Britannian warship took stores aboard.

Danger is always possible. It's best to be well-armed like this chap.

Lawford: "This is not my ship. I was informed by authorities HMS Zanzibar would be in port. When is she expected?"

Dock master: "She is offshore Barra Sahib; only waiting for dock space. When the ship you see here leaves, Zanzibar will come in. Not long. This afternoon hussoor. Why not relax in the Docksider?"  --- (Barra Sahib: great lord. Husoor: lord)

Lawford: "It was good to get away from the blazing sun. Cool beverages with a few singularly interesting patrons compensated for unremarkable food. Two hours later the dock master returned with good news."

Dock master: "Husoor, may you live to see your great grandchildren marry. The dock will be cleared in moments. Your Queen's gunboat that has been loading provisions is raising smoke and has cast off her dock lines. --- Here comes Nazim."

Lawford: "I observed the ship that had been receiving stores take all shore hands but one back aboard. He skillfully jumped onto the taffrail at the last instant. Dock space would soon be available for Zanzibar."

Nazim: "Colonel Sah'b. Zanzibar will be at the dock this half hour. I have been told she will only just touch and go to quickly pick us up."
Lawford: "Aye. No time to tarry then."

Lawford: "Indeed we were taken aboard without delay and shown to the aft upper deck. The harbour was so calm the vessel did not even set dock lines. In under ten minutes we were underway. Touch and go urgency."

Dock master: "Pukka journey husoor!
Lawford: "Would it be a good journey? Nazim and I still did not know our destination. Our future remained hidden behind the smoke of the unknown."

1. The two watch towers were made by HG Walls, Herb Gundt.
2. Other structures are from Miniature Building Authority.
3. Ships are wonderful one of a kind Richard Houston gunboats. The first is on loan from Der Alte Fritz. The second is from my collection. Sale and construction of both were cheerfully facilitated by The Virtual Armchair General's Patrick Wilson.
4. Chuck's collection of palms, plants, pots, boxes, some of the city dwellers, plus the gator with his wary opponent may be seen throughout the city.
5. Docks were manufactured by Lemax a few years ago.
6. The terrain cloth is from The Terrain Guy in Texas.
7. The 25mm cart, horses and loads are from Old Glory.
8. Perry Miniatures Sudan sailors painted by John Preece.
9. Chuck's "Western Express Train Set" came from Toys R Us recently. See:

10. Naturally your remarks below at the word comments are welcome.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chapter II: Requirement Of The Service

Date: 5 June 1900. Evening.
Location: Col. Lawford's Quarters, Fort Grant, Surajistan
Situation: New Orders
Recommendation: See Chapter I posted 31 May 2011
Double Clicked Images Reveal The Most
Nazim observes General Pettygree (right) and his ADC Major Mitchell (center) arrive at Lieutenant Colonel Lawford's quarters.

Mitchell: "I don't know how he'll take it; missing the show."
Pettygree: "Like any good officer he will do his duty; requirement of the service."

Lawford (seated) has been conversing with political officer, Major David Faraday.

Faraday: "Colonel, I saw some of your lads march off to start the show this afternoon."
Lawford: "A 'sketching patrol' to cause minimal alarm."
Pettygree: "Yes and find out what's out there before the garrison marches."
Lawford: "I look forward to it gentlemen to end the Tug menace. Soon."

Pettygree: "Jim, no easy way to say it. You've been reassigned - detached."
Lawford: "Sir --- and miss the show?"
Pettygree: "Orders. Faraday will explain. You're the best man for the job."

Faraday: "You are required and directed to immediately proceed to Bombay and take passage aboard HMS Zanzibar for an undisclosed port. Our politico there will give you timely information and further instructions regarding the Romanovs." 

Lawford: "What's this about - and - if I may respectfully ask, why me?

Pettygree: "My dear fellow, because you know that Romanov woman and her scheme to find buried treasure at the lost ancient city of Alexandrapour. Rubbish naturally. You are going to find out what the deuce the Romanovs are really doing, confound them if necessary and report back to the politico Faraday mentioned." 

Nazim: "The cart is loaded Colonel S'hib and the escort is waiting."

Lawford: "Well done Nazim. Let's go. There is not a minute to lose."
Nazim: "For the mission and the lady."

Lawford: "Right. We'll know soon enough if what I told you four days ago about the Romanov Camp and herself was just a troubling dream or a dreadful vision of fate yet to transpire."
1. The building is from Miniature Building Authority.
2. The 25mm cart, horses and load are from Old Glory.
3. Place your remarks below at the word comments, if you please.