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Sunday, December 6, 2015

AAR - Massacre at Cannibal Hill

A Game!  I actually got a game in!  OK, well I didn't run or provided miniatures towards the game, but I did actually get in a miniature game and against a real living person!  The game was hosted by Blake W. and we used his miniatures.  The game was played at Game Nite, which also Blake used their terrain.  Glenn W. was my opponent.  Blake and Don C. played a game with the same set up prior to Glenn and me.  In their game Don beat Blake, but it looked fairly even in their losses.

The game was set in early years of World War One in central Africa with the villainous, Kaiser's imperialistic hordes (Glenn) invading the docile, peaceful loving Belgian Congo who's residents are more prone to handing out boxes of chocolates to visitors instead of shooting them (my side.)  The rules that were being used was the Darkest Africa variant of "The Sword & the Flame" called, "The Sword in Africa".  There are some difference between the two, but the biggest one is that units are 10 figures instead of 20 like in "The Sword & the Flame." 

As far as the forces go, the Germans had better quality of troops with two units of German Seebataillon (the best troops in the game), two units of askaris, and a better cannon unit (cannon fire is based off of number of crew figures, the Germans had 4 figures.)  The Belgians had lesser quality troops, but where made up in greater numbers with four units of askaris (same quality as the German askaris), one unit of askaris with muskets (the worst troops in game) and one cannon with three figures so to be weaker than the Germans. 

I failed to get some pictures of the first couple of turns, but Glenn shifted his line to his right to try to use mass to push through two of my askari units that where in open order and prone (that is the reason why there is one figure laying down for each unit in the pictures).  My plans were to use one flank as an anvil in a prone firing position and try to flank the Germans with the other side.  As Glenn moved first towards my left flank, my decision for the anvil was decided for me.  

During the firing phase, I lucked out twice, once for getting to fire first and second to get enough hits on the German artillery to silence the gun before it ever having a chance to fire on my units.  This was probably 'The' most critical moment in first half of the game.  By the time I took the first picture, the Germans were trying to force my left flank and preparing to push my musket armed askaris off of Cannibal Hill that I was able to occupied before the Germans.  My right flank units are rolling better than average for their movement rates and rapidly sweeping to flank the Germans.
The Germans delivered a deadly fire on the musket armed askaris on the hill and forced them to route off the hill, but not without some losses of their own.  Luckily again for me, I was able to get my mule mounted senior commander over to the routing askaris to rally them before they fled the board.  Glenn continued with his attempted at a mass attack on my anvil.  Will my hammer be able to get in position in time to catch the Germans between them and my anvil?
I focused my fire on one of the weakened German askari units and did enough to caused it to withdraw.
After the picture from above, my far right flank unit fired into the withdrawing askaris and forced them retreat off of the board.  But Glenn deliver a deadly fire on my far left unit and forcing them to rout off of the board.  Only the weakened askari unit was left to hold the German in place for the the flanking hammer units to try to crush the Kaiser's invaders.  At this point, we both lost one unit, but Glenn's artillery unit was effectively lost too and his losses overall were heavily than mine.
All or nothing charge!  The Kaiser's brutes charge the remnants of the one Belgian askari unit that were is still fighting on in a prone open order.  This will be extremely ugly for these brave defenders of King Albert I.  But the hammer is clearly between the German horde and their colonial border.  

Needless to say, the Belgian defenders where destroyed, but not without some losses among the Germans too.  With two units lost now, I still have four units left.  Luckily, I was able to have rallied my musket askaris earlier otherwise I would have been at 3 / 3 and would have had to make an army morale and possibly routing off of the board.

As the Germans were in a disorganized mass bayoneting the Belgian askaris laying on the ground, the next turn went went to the Belgians and I charged my  full strength askari unit into the German askaris.  The Germans Seebataillon survivors fled in different directions with one of those two groups getting charged by my second full strength askari unit.  The musket armed askaris didn't want to be left out of the revenge melee and helped out on the melee against the German askaris.
The melee went the way that you would have expected it to go with the destruction of the two German units.  The game was conceded to a Belgian victory with one German Seebataillon unit partially escaping back to the German lines (we rolled two more shooting rolls against them to represent my pursuit against them and only 3 of the 7 would have made it back to friendly lines.)  

Overall it was a good game (especially for my Belgians.)  I lucked out in several key points, especially silencing Glenn's cannon right off the bat and my askaris normally shooting better than average for most of the game.  Statistically, I should have only been getting hits about 20% of the time, but I was normally getting about 30% hits most of the time.

Thanks, Blake and Glenn!


Anonymous said...

You deserved the victory. If the German force commander had won he would have been promoted but that loss would have resulted in being cashiered. As it was the Commander was most likely humiliated by being served with BBQ sauce!

Pete. said...

Great that you got a game in and such a decent one too. WW1 Africa is an interesting period to game.



Simon Quinton said...

Excellent to hear! The game looks great and not a period I read about much either.

Sapper Joe said...

Cheers! It was an interesting game for sure.