Monday, September 19, 2016

Game AAR - Smiling Ali's Manpower, Inc. has a recruitment drive


Well, Blake once again ran another Darkest Africa game at his home (big thanks!) and Glenn and I were the opposing players.  Blake was again using The Sword & the Flame's Sword of Africa supplement. The game was Arabs vs Azande natives and Glenn and rolled off for sides, with who every had the highest die gets the Arab and the lower die gets the natives.  I got the high die, so I played the free market temporary manpower corporation on another recruitment drive for unskilled labor for some clients, and like all good job headhunters, the name of my clients are confidential!

So, Glenn's pool of unskilled labor was six units of 10 spearmen, one unit of 10 bowmen, and one unit of muskets, plus a chief and a shaman.  My band of recruiters were three units of ten Arabic recruiters with a mix of muskets and rifles, two units of Ruga-Ruga talent scouts armed with muskets, an old cannon manned by Arab Health and Safety Officers, and finally Smilin' Ali, the owner and director of this corporation.  

The game started off will Smilin' Ali trying to persuade Chief Glenn to subcontract some of his employees to my manpower corporation and to avoid a messy legal battle with my recruiters.  Sadly he said no, so it was time to make an offer of new employment to Chief Glenn's employees by direct means. [Remember, by clicking on the picture, it will give you a bigger picture.]

I didn't take pictures of the initial set up, that this was about half way through the first turn and had not moved most of my units.  On the left flank are my three units of Arab recruiters.  On the other side of the trail is my Health & Safety cannon and Smilin' Ali standing behind them.  On the right is one of my two Ruga-Ruga talent scouts.  The other unit is just on the other side of that copse of trees.  Across from me from left to right is two units of spearmen, the unit of archers, another unit of spearmen, two units of spearmen in front of Chief Glenn's offices.  In front of those two units of spearmen is the musket unit.  Outside of the picture on the right is the final unit of spearmen.  Barely visible on the trail in the very back is Chief Glenn and his charmin' shaman.

 Here is a picture of the far right flank.

In the finest tradition of our Darkest Africa games the first fire is done by a cannon.  Since this is irregular crewed cannon, I have to roll a die before firing to see if can fire.  I passed every rolled to fire the cannon through the game.  However, since my cannon was crewed by Health & Safety officers, they deliberating shot to avoid hitting anyone!  Only on the first turn did they hurt anyone when they hit the leader of the native musket unit.  Of course, we think that guy was faking his injury so he could make a Workers' Comp. claim.   To give an idea how badly they fired, in theory, I should have averaged 12 hits over the course of the game, but I only got 1!  So this will be the last time we will mention the cannon being involved in the game.

On the left flank Chief Glenn got two units over the stream.  However, the range on my muskets and rifles could shoot up the native archers as they were out of range.  I shot enough of the archers in one round that they routed off the board.

Meanwhile on the right flank, the left unit of Ruga-Ruga traded shots with the native muskets.  While the right unit of Ruga-Ruga were actually Kentuckian riflemen lead by Davy Crockett in disguise, plus were cheating by using rifles with scopes!  Unlike my Health & Safety cannon (OK, this will be the last time I will mention it), these guys shot well over their average!  In theory, they should have hit four natives during the game.  In their first first fire, they hit five (!) figures.  In their next fire they hit four more natives! 

Yeah, that is how I image they were talking between themselves.

Back on the the left flank, the charmin' shaman tried to cast a spell on one of the recruiting parties.  It appears that he forgot that by wearing his mask that it will muffle his voice.

So the first group of job applicants rush forward to give their resumes to my recruiters!

After the first screening of the applicants, only six of the ten passed the drug testing screen.  Next was hands on testing for determining if they meet the job position's physical requirements.

I am sorry, but you just don't meet our requirements for a management position with Smilin' Ali's Manpower, Inc.  However, I feel that one of our customers, will be happy to contract you through us. 

At the end of the game, I have four Workers' Comp cases to file as three of my Arab recruiters and one Ruga-Ruga talent scouts (not from the Kentucky riflemen unit) got hurt. 

Unfortunately for Chief Glenn, he will have a bunch of positions to fill in the future.  He loss all ten archers, six musketeers, and eleven spearmen.  It also appears that he lose six elves and one ape wearing power armor!  I don't remember shooting them, but that Kentucky riflemen unit must have shot them while I wasn't looking to see what they taste like.

No worry about all of those open job positions, Chief!  Just call Smilin' Ali's Manpower, Inc., and ask for Babs!

On a serious note (What? Too late now), this game was way too weighed in favor for the Arabs.  Blake agrees in the future that he needs a lot more terrain for the natives to get closer to the Arabs with less losses so they got a chance to get in hand to hand and balancing the scenario.  Either that or a unit of Arabs should be remove or two or three more native spearmen units should be added.  Also, slavery is bad, but I couldn't help letting my dark humor come out.



Saturday, September 10, 2016

Closer to getting my last batch of figures being painted back

So, I think I mentioned that I had a problem with Fernando Painting Services in regarding my RCW US infantry in this current batch of figures to be painted, so I sent one of my previous figures back to be used as a sample.  Well, due to customs, etc. they finally got it after five weeks since I mailed it.  Everything is done, except my US infantry and they are now working on them.  I should be see my figures early next month, I suspect.  So, I will hopefully have a game in October with the figures.  

The next batch of figures will be more RCW figures, the Czech Legion, mounted Cossacks, and some White Russian shock troops for the Kornilov Shock Division (I know that they served in the Southern Front and not Siberia or North Russia, but they have pretty uniforms).  I still have to count everything up, but I think I still have some more more that I can put in this batch but I still have to figure out what.

Finally, I am almost 70% the way through "Asian Odyssey" by Alioshin (see to the left or in the tab for 2016's books).  It is a very enjoyable read, not only about his military career, but most of the book so far is more about survival in the wilderness and interactions with Mongolians nomads and how they lived.  There are several humorous incidents that shows how screwed up things where in Russia during the Civil War, which are very similar to other accounts that I have read in other books.  My favorite is once he disguised as an Austro-Hungrian ex-POW traveling east towards China to help spread the word of the Revolution and help free the peasants from the yoke of wealthy, so he might sneak through the Reds until he could get to the White Russian settlements in north China.  One day he got work in a town by unknowingly knocking on the door of the head of the local district's commissar's house.  As he could not escape right away, he settled into his new job as the clerk for records of marriages and death as he could read and write.  Later on, he was asked if he knew anything of the legal system by the head commissar.  When he answered that he did not, he was immediately made into the district's civil judge since he was not already corrupted by doing it the old Tsarist way!