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Sunday 26 April 2015

Death...and Taxes

Today we did a Colonial scenario, Lawrence told us we were an expedition being sent to enforce payment of overdue taxes from a tribal chief.

Sounds simple enough....

Andy, Ian and Phil got a section of Armed Police equipped with Enfield rifles each. I got the High Commissioner, his butler and a colonial adventurer, who would act as his translator.

Lawrence had brought down his lovely river and landing stage.
 The African terrain was fairly sparse...
At the end of the valley, a host of native warriors awaited us.
Guarding King M'pela, whose taxes were overdue.
The Colonial Police advanced down the south bank of the river, they were the 'stick' backing up my 'carrot'.
I sailed in relative luxury in the steam boat 'Gad-fly'
My Naval crew kept pace with the marching infantry.
Soon, my boat slowed, as we approached the landing stage.
The police officers gathered at the landing to await my arrival.
The naval crew deftly manoeuvred the Gad-fly alongside the landing and tied her up. Ah well, it would be 'Shanks's pony' from here on in.
I explained how I wanted to proceed to the police chief, he was directed to keep back and allow Diplomacy a chance to work before using any force.
This was not the first time I had had to deal with this native fellow, so I was prepared for anything. I would show a firm demeanour and hope that would be enough to persuade M'pela to 'cough up' Her Majesties due.
The Police got themselves sorted out, orders given, that sort of thing.
So off we went to call on the King!
Halting the police a couple of hundred yards back, with shouldered arms, I made my introductions through my interpreter and friend, Daniel.
The King seemed uneasy, rather distracted, and unusually rather too agreeable as I put my case to him. Then, he started as we heard distant gunfire. What was happening, I wondered?
Unbeknown to me, to our rear, a bunch of Zanzibari slavers were approaching down the route we had come!
Groups of them had approached quite close before they were spotted.
The Police rapidly turned in place to face this new menace, they knew full well these Zanzibari chaps were not to be trifled with.
(At this point, Lawrence told me I would take control of the King's native forces as the Commissioners part in the game was over)

As the King's son, I started to lead the warriors in ritual chanting.
My command dice were not sufficient to get them all moving!
However, I did get a group of a dozen spearmen on their way forward.
The Police were by now well engaged.
The Zanzibaris, despite being surprised at meeting regular troops, were fighting back enthusiastically.
The Police were firing by rank, to keep up a steady fire.
Zanzibaris began to fall.
The occasional slavers shot hit too.
More groups of slavers joined the action.
Leaving the spearmen, I ordered forward my archers, who advanced.
The Police held their ground as more Zanzibaris appeared to their front.
The Zanzibaris were outgunned, and began to suffer.
They began to filter to, and retreat into. the woods near the river.
New groups of them continued to arrive.
They began to start probing round the Policemen's flank.
...as well as renewing their frontal attacks.
Casualties caused, though, were insignificant at this range.
The right wing Police unit was deployed behind a hillock, and was unsurprisingly surprised when a small group of Zanzibaris breasted the hill and fired!
The Police response, though, was effective!
Both sides now began a fire fight that caused casualties to both sides.

The Zanzibaris were always going to lose here though.

They eventually broke and ran.

More slavers were, however, moving in support of the front unit...
...and on the other flank as well.
The Police had finally cleared the open ground to their front.
The wrecked units of slavers here began to retreat.
Though they still engaged from whatever cover they could find.
Near the river, the first of the groups infiltrating the flanks arrived.
Meanwhile, I had finally got my spearmen to advance to support the Police.
My archers were already in position to help them.
Accurate bowfire halted a group of surprised slavers.
Near the river though, the Zanzibari attack was massing.
My archers were having a field day...
The unit they had shot retreated into the woods, suffering more loss as they did so.
On the river, the alert boat crew cast off the Gad-fly.
Just in time!
The Zanzibaris fired on the boat. One of the crew was wounded.
Some of the crew fired back.

While the other crew men started up the engine.

The Zanzibaris took casualties and fell back.

The native spearmen arrived to back up their archers.
This allowed the police to redeploy to protect their flanks.
My archers were still effectively...
...putting holes in Zanzibaris!
Unable to reply to this the Zanzibaris eventually fled.

The withdrawn police line was in a good position now to shoot up any attack to their front.
A unit of slavers bypassed my archers and came over the undefended hillock...
Only to see a horde of angry spearmen attacking them!
The Police were easily destroying the enemy as they appeared.
Seeing all was lost, the whole Zanzibari force now ran for their boats...
...to find an easier target to attack!

Good battle, what?
Tea anyone?

I am sure the taxation issue will be sorted out cordially as it was clear the king had been spending his tax money on defending himself against slavers!
With a little more colonial support to remove the slaver threat, the king will, I am certain, be happy to help pay for the protection!

This isn't the American colonies, after all!