The Engagement at Bombuko Mission House Feb 2, 1917
JimF offered to host at the Trumpeter’s club’s monthly GameNight to have his nicely painted Belgian Force Publique vs my French Foreign Legion….
It is your son, the legionnaire , writing again about my latest action. Of the preamble, mine is not to reason why, but to do or die; and so we of the Legion are to advance a great distance to a place to gather some gold but it is that our elite but small force must engage a larger for of Force Publique in dense terrain somewhere in Africa.
|somewhere in Africa....|
As we must advance, we brought our new artillery. The colonel did some “horse trading” and sold the original 75 gun gained with the crew and now is using other model. The colonel says “it looks better the part”. Whatever. It was useful in causing many casualties on the nearest blue clad Belgian askari unit. But throughout the battle it would be slow to move into position.
|the new artillery piece (a Reveresco British Howitzer)|
To the right, the second company came under long range rifle plus machine gun fire and rapidly were decimated and soon were hor-de-combat. For our part, we also had too many bullets coming our way and loses building. Only our superior discipline had us still in the fight.
Editor’s Note: the plus 2 really helps on the dice rolls!
|Jim's rather nice FP (Foundry Figures)|
But nevertheless we needed to move into a thicket to offer some protection. All thought of advance quickly forgotten. Captain Premiermont was extorting us with “Think of France! Think of France! when a bullet struck him down.
|Pressure from the right|
|from early in the battle, Captain Premiermort in on the right.|
Editor’s Note: Yes, once again I rolled double ones for Leader Killed. But heck with six different rolls of a total of only three on two dice rolled at various times during the game as an indication it was enviable.
The Artillery having ever so slowly moving at only 4 inches a turn, finally engaged far targets and doing some good but the askari to our right were now putting us under heavy fire. Again, our discipline kept us together, however, with only three of us remaining we were pinned and finally forced to retreat into the open. The end was nigh. As I write this last passage I hope tha…….
|The end of the Legion.|
Jim’s use of rubber terrain pieces and plastic aquarium plants was fairly effective. The heavy vegetation did not help either side as the dominance of rifles and modern firepower. The The Men Who Would Be Kings rules are as we came to understand are not designed for two equally modern armed to have a good game. Well, OK, maybe good for August 1914 in northern France at the start of WW1 when such conditions helped establish the building of trenches. In that case, as our game demonstrated in the choices during the game made by Jim and myself, advancing is impossible thus doomed and defensive cover required to survive. Long range artillery is needed and more troops required for any attack. So in many ways this game was very much like the early battles of WW1 when 200,000 casualties occurred in the first month; but a “classical colonial” game is was not.