Monday, January 16, 2017

Lost in Bigbazangaistan!! Chapter 1

Lost in Bigbazangastan-Chapter 1!

Her Majesty, the Queen, received correspondence from the British ambassador to Bigbazangastan via the wife of H.G. Wells; the distinguished Alexander of Macedoniaologist Emeritus telling her that Wells' head would be separated from his body if the Queen did not recognize the territory as a free and sovereign nation in one month.  You have received orders from the War Office to find and rescue Mr. Wells and his gifted sidekick, Jules Verne.  The Russians are quite interested in finding Mr. Wells as the continuing dispute between Britain and Russia over the source of the Bagwan River is a constant ulcer between the countries.  You've had a cold breakfast on the border between the Raj and Bigbazanagastan.  Time to move for glory, the Queen's favor and promotion. Or....not.

I played the mysterious opponent Mr. Babbage today. His forces moved as a programmed and random option.  This is a GREAT part of the rules set. I can actually finally play a solo campaign, keep good notes and Mr. Babbage will never play my forces the same way twice! 

Nogs from the Northern Star was present to record today's events. You will be reading from his dispatches and my game notes.  This game went FAST! It was quite bloody and decisive. Just don't roll low...
Turn 1 was uneventful for the British regulars as their leadership was suspect at best. No gallantry was to be found on this day.  Mr. Babbage immediately deploys a unit of "shooters" and a unit of "chargers outside of short rifle range in response to two British units moving forward.  The rules do have "free actions" (standing to and firing). Anything else takes a successful Leadership roll. The British started the game with a bit of a sour stomach.  Sour at where they were and why they were there.  The first sounds of musketry brought them to their senses.

Turn 2 was fairly routine for the British with Platoon A going into close order to face a unit of "shooters" and the Gatling successfully rolls to shoot the "chargers" in their front.  Mr. Babbage was no shrinking violet as he brings on two (2) units in the front of the main British force and charges the Gatling gun.  I allowed the Gatling gun to shoot defensive fire (experiment) and it pinned the chargers. The Black Flag spearmen charge at the double (random roll), lose badly and retreat.  Yellow flags fail to activate. 1 unit "slinks away" and another unit gains the "same idea/different place" option. This is a cool part of the game as well. 

Martini-Henry Fire
Turn 3:
One Bigbazangastani unit was destroyed by combined fire by two British platoons.  A platoon (British) lost 8 casualties and immediately was pinned.  This is not good as units get 1/2 dice for firing and fighting until unit is unpinned.  Mr. Babbage was in contemplation mode as no units showed up this turn.  The score was tied at this point. 2 units for each for both sides are gone or have "slunk away".

Turn 4:
Platoon A is shot away and is taken off the game table.  Platoon B fails their leadership roll and "Stands To",  the Depot Platoon C sees off some tribal cavalry and itself becomes pinned. 

Mr. Babbage is becoming rather petulant as another unit "slinks away" due to random action roll
Turn 5:
B Platoon fails leadership and stands to. The Gatling gun passes leadership, shoots and PROMPTLY jams. (One has to roll more 1s than number of figures shooting so do the math...I sucked at rolling).
Mr. Babbage continues to twist the knife; moving more units into charge range but suffering a major loss when General Jambox and his unit "slinks away".  The game is getting to a critical point. 

Turn 6:
Depot platoon is charged by Tribal Cavalry, pinned for a third time. The cavalry follows up and wipes out the depot battalion.  The Gatlling gun fails leadership and does not shoot. Mr. Babbage is becoming rather moody at this point as another unit "slinks away".

The sole remaining platoon and the temperamental Gatling gun moved forward toward the village.  Where is Mr. Wells? Our story continues at this point.

Lessons learned:
1. Smaller games of these rules are similar to Lion Rampant. They should be played on a smaller game table.  I put together an 8x6. It was way too large.  6x4 would have been just fine.
2.  Playing Mr. Babbage was a blast! I will do this again. Highly recommended.
3. Know the game gets into high gear on at least turn 2 when the opponent is Mr. Babbage.  
4. Increase minimum size of games to 48 points when playing human opponents.  24 points just is not large enough.  
5. Would I play it again? H-2-the yes!