As I said in my general post about the con, Jim's sudden cancellation worried us all, but its not too selfish to say we were delighted that he showed up on Saturday to cap off a great weekend.
Last year at Cold Wars I ran the fictional Battle of Apaula Heights, which, if you compare it to my Saturday Second Samoan Civil War game with "real" miniatures, looks surprisingly similar. I figured I would take a chance and assemble a rough layout of the Siege of Apia. If the game went well, I could start thinking about what I would need for a "real" version.
Minor rant time: I hate hate hate hate HATE the numerous condescending remarks that we hear around the Gnome Wars tables. They may look silly, they may have bier stein grenades and cheese throwers, but the figures are well done, the boards usually rival the award winning ones (if Jim Stanton doesn't win an award himself), and I see just as many idiotic tactics and actions on the "proper historical" boards. Hell, if you played in the games I either ran, or helped co-GM, you could have learned about (a) Tanga 1914 (b) Tulgas 1918 (c) Samoa 1899 (d) Saragarhi 1897 (e) Roarke's Drift 1879 and (f) the US Cavalry involvement in Yellowstone Park 1886-1916. Thank you for your time.
One more thing - this event slot for "The Sikh Stronghold" was for 8 players (plus anyone who brought their own Brigade Games Gnome Wars unit) and slotted for ONLY 2 hours! We were going to need to move quickly if we were to finish anything.
Backstory in Layman's Terms: 1899. The Western Powers (Britain, Germany, and the United States) have held a shaky agreement regarding commercial interests on the islands of Samoa. When the King dies, the already volatile process of electing a new king is heavily influenced by these countries. Germany gleefully transports exiled rebel leader Mata'afa back to Samoa to brew even more dissent. As the violence grows, members of the government flee the capital of Apia for the safe haven of their own villages. Only the Chief Justice of the Samoan Supreme Court remains as a figure of authority. In an attempt to diffuse the situation, he declares a date for the tribal election of the kings, and rules that all eligible to be considered, with the lone exception of Mata'afa.
This does not go over well...
Historically,the Mata'afan followers show up at the Judge's home for some nefarious purpose. The Judge catches whiff of this and runs for his life to the safety of the British warship in Apia Harbor. In our game, things are very similar conceptually, but thing look a bit different.
The Judge - Objective: Reach the British or Swiss ships in harbor OR reach the British Consulate without getting captured. In melee the Judge rolls d8 vs the opponent, and if he wins, he eludes capture and moves an additional three inches. The Judge may also self-heal himself (5+ on a d8) at the end of the turn, if he is shot.
Mata'afan Rebels (3 units of Eureka frogs) - Objective: Capture the Judge and control as many buildings as possible. The frogs move 7 inches and shoot, or run 14. All rifles have a maximum range of 24 inches. Once a unit is completely annihilated, it may respawn in full back at it's initial starting point. This ability goes away once the British and Swiss come ashore.
The Confederates (aka German "Advisors") - Objective - Seize the Hotel Tivoli. Keep the British and Swiss from getting involved.
Russians (2 units) one defending the Hotel Tivoli, one defending the Dock Warehouse. Objective: Defend and expel the rebels from the town.
The Western Influence
Sikhs at the British Consulate - Objective: Protect the British Consulate
British Marines aboard a warship - Objective: Clear the town of the rebel scourge. They may not disembark their vessel until either (a) the Judge reaches it (b) the news of the Consulate falling under attack reaches them. 2d6 per turn after the first shot is fired there, they may leave the ship the turn after their rolls cumulatively reach 20.
Swiss Infantry - aboard a warship - Objective: Clear the town of the rebel scourge. They may not disembark their vessel until either (a) the Judge reaches it (b) the news of the Hotel Tivoli falling under attack reaches them. 2d6 per turn after the first shot is fired there, they may leave the ship the turn after their rolls cumulatively reach 20.
|Apia (L to R) Judge's home, Hotel Tivoli, Dock Warehouse, British Consulate|
Pirates!!!!!!! - Not historically accurate, but that is the fun of playing with gnomes. The pirates are looking to take advantage of any situation within the chaos.
British Highlanders - are there to keep the Pirates in check, as well as defend British interests, whatever they deem them to be.
The Judge sees the oncoming mob and decides to high-tail it to the Hotel Tivoli, but the frogs are way too fast. They surround the Judge, but he is slipperier than a greased pig in a July county fair and hides on the hotel's porch (successfully eluding 3 different men... err.. frogs.) The Russians by the warehouse move up to help the Judge, while the ones inside the Hotel trade horrific fire with the other units marching out of the jungle.
|The Judge high tails it out of Apia, but the frogs are fast...|
|The Judge eludes the rebel frogs, the Russians clean up the mess.|
|The second wave of frogs reaches the second floor|
|...and the third wave finally takes it.|
Over at the British Consulate, the Sikh Guards were getting slaughtered left and right, their only saving grace was that the attacking rebel frogs failed a morale check and routed (only to be redeployed 30 inches away). Four surviving Sikhs did think about leaving the compound, but the arriving Russians lifted their spirits and they defended against one more deadly wave of attacks.
|The rebels decide to attack the British Consulate|
|The survivors: One Sikh guard and eight Russians|
Our Judge friend? He decided to go on a well needed self-imposed exile, I mean, vacation.
|"Take me to Tahiti, it's a magical place!"|
Many thanks my friend, Mike Lung, for providing the frogs, trees, cool water, and co-GMing duties and pictures.