Leaves on the line
For their game the British decided to also attack the Ruga. Clearly they were looking the knock them out of the campaign and at the same time demonstrate their tactical superiority over the French, who had defeated the Ruga in their game, by trouncing them even more fully.
For their part the Ruga were now clearly very jittery after their previous colonial encounter, Innocent Jambutti rolling a 8+ for his leadership and Bag of Nerves for his trait. At least 2iC witchdoctor Luv n’More maintained his 7+ leadership and had the Lucky trait.
Colonel Chips Fanshawe was escorting the 6.30 mail train to Haka Jumba.
Below a gratuitous picture of a train.
He was charged with clearing the tracks of the blockage and holding off any enemy for 6 turns. He took good, ave & poor quality Indian units (Sikhs, Punjabis & Bombay inf) and an HMG. The British units set up along the length of the train. The Ruga deployed spread fairly evenly all round according to Babbage’s rules but then after were run by a player. They had a couple of poorer quality units compared to last time and took an irregular mountain gun.
Another gratuitous picture of a train (well having bought it from a bargin store and repainted it it was going in as many shots as possible).
All the Ruga set up at long rifle range and the British levelled their rifles, set their sights and took aim relishing some target practice opportunities however the Ruga won initiative. All their units passed to move at the double and had certainly got their running shoes on as they all rolled high to move rapidly towards the train.
Those leaves on the line, ok so maybe the fact they are still attached to their trees is sufficient reason to cause delay.
In their turn the British let fire and caused casualties with all their shooting but only one Ruga unit pinned.
The Ruga who could move doubled again and were now within charge range, more to the point they outnumbered the British by 6 units to 4 so they couldn’t all be targeted. The field gun managed to shoot each turn despite Jambutti’s poor leadership and caused a casualty each turn –but no pinning results though the one pinned unit which was under his command remained so until the last turn of the game, his shaken leadership was clearly communicating itself to them.
Those expert Ruga gunners you’ll hear about in Colonel Fanshawe’s report:
Another round of British shooting saw casualties caused but only one more unit was pinned. Things were looking decidedly different from the previous game.
The Ruga tribals commanded by Luv N’More charged home scattering the workers who’d been clearing the track and hit the Sikhs. Carnage ensued as the Sikhs took almost half their unit as casualties in one turn of combat and recoiled pinned.
This left the Ruga tribals exposed to the HMG at short range. An ominous ‘click’ was heard as the gun jammed.
Those Ruga near enough decided (ill advisedly) to try to shoot at the British the next turn as their units at greater distance caught up but no pinning occurred.
This gave the British another chance with the HMG, another ominous clicking occurred! The rest of their shooting was ineffectual.
There was no third chance, those Ruga units that could charged and the HMG and Punjabi s were overrun.
In subsequent turns only the Sikhs, now much reduced, managed to reverse the trend of Ruga combat victories in one round of fighting before they were subsequently wiped out.
At the end of the last turn a depleted double pinned Bombay unit managed to survive with the workers and passengers cowering behind them and Ruga units poised to strike.
With that the game was over and the British claimed victory! From the foregoing readers may be forgiven for mixing this up with that other result that sometimes occurs – defeat however as the last officer standing Colonel Chips Fanshawe wrote in his report of how the enemy outnumbered his forces significantly, of how they have somehow obtained and could use accurate artillery and of how in the face of overwhelming odds he took command of a much reduced poor quality rearguard and holding off attacks escorted the civilians from the field of battle as darkness fell. There, even I think it was a British victory reading that.
As they had in fact survived and guarded the civilians , though not cleared the track I thought it was at least a draw and allowed the British to roll for RPs. They gained one, it was worth it for the upset it caused to the French who gained no RPs despite trouncing the Ruga.