Today, I continue my Colonial gaming by playing the Patrol Encounter from Fortunes Won and Lost. Fortunes Won and Lost is a set of Colonial Era rules using small units by Two Hour Wargames (now Two Hour Games) and sold by Rebel Minis.
In this game, my character, Lt. Caroline Matthews, accompanies Major Maxwell Wembley on a patrol to learn the “lay of the land” in advance of Lady Hamilton’s safari. The game offers me a few choices (it’s always good to have choices), I can temporarily lower the Rep of Lt. Matthews and play my character as a grunt in Major Wembley’s group, OR I could play Lt. Matthews as a co-star in Major Wembley’s group, OR I could play Lt. Matthews as her own separate group and play the game with two groups.
Defining Figures and Groups
I’ve chosen to play the game with two groups. First, so Lt. Matthews can have all of the Star benefits and control her own group and second, to illustrate how to resolve a single PEF when there is more than one group in sight of the PEF. Lt. Matthews’ group consists of Lt. Matthews at Rep 5, armed with service revolver and saber, and Nyssa at Rep 3, carrying an Enfield bolt action rifle. Nyssa is a young teen-aged girl hired by Major Wembley to be Lt. Matthews’ servant and gun bearer. She’s a Rep 3 because she has no experience. Unlike Mission St. Mary, Fortunes Won and Lost does not use attributes this allows faster play with less bookkeeping.
Major Maxwell Wembley is a member of the British trade legation at Mission St. Mary. He commands a small group of Askari soldiers. When on patrol, the Major hires a Ruga-Ruga as a guide. His group consists of Major Wembley, Rep 5, armed with a service revolver, 4 Askari at Rep 4, armed with the venerable, but outdated, Martini-Henry Mk II rifle, and one Ruga-Ruga, Rep 4, armed with a tribal rifle.
There are six army lists in Fortunes Won and Lost. In today’s encounter I’ll be using three of them – the European Soldiers list for Lt. Matthews, Nyssa, Major Wembley and the Askari; the Tribal Nomads list for the Ruga-Ruga guide; the Tribal Natives list for the NPCs resolved by PEFs.
Generating terrain in Fortunes Won and Lost is a little different from other Two Hour Games. The table is divided into nine equal sections as with other games, but instead of rolling on a terrain chart for each section, you roll 1d6 and add two to the result – this number tells you how many sections will have terrain. You then place the terrain in the sections as desired. Once the terrain is placed, you roll 1d6 for each table side or table edge. The side with the highest result will be sections 7, 8 and 9.
I rolled a four, so my table will have terrain in six of the nine sections. For my scenario, the patrol covers the route from Mission St. Mary to Reichert’s Trading Post on the Napondi River and back, so section 1, 2 or 3 will contain buildings and all of the other sections containing terrain will be jungle forest.
When I placed the terrain on the table, I realized my jungle terrain is over 5 years-old. Maybe I should start thinking about building some new terrain.
The Encounter Background
Unbeknownst to Lt. Matthews when she first arrived in Mission St. Mary was that Nobelongga was in the midst of an uprising. While the king controlled Mission St. Mary and the coastal areas, a rebel, a woman who would be queen, controlled the rugged Northern highlands. At first, the rebellion led by Isawannayu, was very popular, but then to procure arms she allied herself with the Arab slavers. Though headquartered somewhere on the border of Ansar and the Ottomans, the slavers operate throughout Lemuria. While the alliance with slavers makes the rebels unpopular to some, the promise to drive out all of the “foreign white devils” makes the rebellion popular to many.
The objective of the Patrol Encounter is for a leader of one of your groups to spend one turn in the center of each section of the table. Your group enters the table in either section 7, 8, or 9. The opposition begins with four PEFs (one PEF for each point of Major Morale, which is a 4 in one off games).
For PEF markers, I use the best PEF markers ever for Colonial games – cocktail monkeys! I think I got 75 of them for $5.00. I glued a lot of them to clip on fake flowers and gave them away at Texicon to everyone who came by my table whether they played in the game or not. It was a Mission St. Mary game called “In Search of a Rare Flower” – explorers searching for the miracle new flower rumored to cure a multitude of diseases.
Playing the Encounter
You can play Fortunes Won and Lost like the newer Two Hour Games using pencil and paper until it is time to resolve conflict, which you can resolve on a battle board. I have to admit that sometimes I’m too lazy to set up the entire table and play the game this way. But for this post, I went ahead and set up the entire table.
Initial deployment finds Major Wembley and Lt. Matthews in section 7. PEF Red 1 is in section 4, Yellow 1 is in section 6, Blue 1 is in section 2 and Green 1 is in section 3. Wembly and Matthews win the activation roll and move first to the center of section 7.
PEF Red 1 moves to section 1, Yellow 1 moves to section 3, Blue 1 moves to section 1, and Green 1 stays in section 3. This concludes the first turn.
Turn 2: Wembley and Matthews win activation and move to the edge of section 4.
PEF Red 1 stays in section 1, Blue 1 moves to section 2, Yellow 1 moves to section 2, Green 1 moves into section 6. So far the PEFs seem hesitant to engage. What are they waiting for?
Turn 3: This turn the PEFs win the activation. PEF Red 1 stays in section 1, Blue 1 moves into section 5, Yellow 1 stays put in section 2, Green 1 also moves into section 5.
Wembley and Matthews move to the center of section 4 – sections 4 & 7 are complete.
Turn 4: The PEFs fail to activate. Wembley and Matthews move to the edge of section 1. Section 1 is clear of terrain, that means Red 1 is In-Sight – time to resolve a PEF. The PEF resolves to a group the same size as Wembley and Matthews’ group. The Native group consists of 3 Rep 5 warriors with melee weapons, 4 Rep 4 warriors with melee weapons and one Rep 3 warrior with a tribal rifle. Tribal rifles are mostly single shot with many actually being rifled muskets. Though a tribal rifle has a slower rate of fire it is much more accurate than the smooth bore muskets of previous centuries.
Wembley and Matthews’ group chooses to fire. Firing from left to right, Askari fires – Native ducks back; Askari fires – Native ducks back; Matthews fires – Native ducks back; Ruga-Ruga fires – Native ducks back; Wembley fires – Rep 5 Native obviously dead; Askari fires – Rep 4 Native goes out of the fight; Askari fires – Rep 3 Native goes out of the fight; Nyssa fires and misses.
The Native that was missed charges the nearest Askari who fires and misses. In melee, the Askari goes out of the fight. The rest of the Natives recover from duck back.
Next round on the Action Table: Askari fires – Rep 4 Native obviously dead; Askari fires – Rep 5 Native obviously dead; Matthews fires – Native ducks back; Ruga-Ruga fires – Native ducks back; Wembley fires – Native ducks back.
The Natives recover from duck back, but with odds being 8 to 3 and outgunned 8 to 0, the Natives lose the Will to Fight.
Turn 5: The PEFs fail their activation roll. Wembley and Matthews move to the center of section 1 – three sections completed with six more to go.
Turn 6: Wembley and Matthews win the activation and move to the edge of section 2 and In-Sight of Yellow 1.
PEF Yellow 1 resolves to “Something’s Out There,” all future PEFs will be resolved with 3d6. Blue 1 and Green 1 stay in section 5.
Turn 7: PEFs activate first. Blue 1 stays put in section 5, but Green 1 moves to section 2 and In-Sight of Wembley and Matthews. The PEF resolves to one less than Wembley and Matthews’ group as follows: 2 Rep 5 warriors with melee weapons and 4 Rep 3 warriors with tribal rifles.
Wembley and Matthews passed more d6 on the Action Table, so they act first. Matthews fires – Rep 5 Native obviously dead; Askari fires – Rep 3 Native goes out of the fight; Wembley fires – Native ducks back; Ruga-Ruga fires – Rep 3 Native obviously dead; Askari fires – Rep 3 Native obviously dead; Askari fires – Native ducks back. A frightened Nyssa loses her Will to Fight and flees.
The Natives recover from duck back and lose the Will to Fight.
Turn 8: PEFs fail to activate, Wembley and Matthews move to the center of section 2, securing 4 sections.
Turn 9: PEF Blue 1 activates first and stays in section 5. Wembley and Matthews move to the edge of section 3.
Turn 10: Wembley and Matthews fail activation. PEF Blue 1 moves into section 2.
Turn 11: Wembley and Matthews move into the center of section 3 – five sections have been patrolled. PEF Blue 1 moved into section 3 and resolved into 1 Rep 5 warrior with melee weapon, 4 Rep 4 warriors with melee weapons and 1 Rep 3 warrior with tribal rifle.
At long last, the Natives get to go first on the Action Table. The Rep 3 Native fires – the Ruga-Ruga ducks back; 3 Rep 4 Natives charge the 3 Askari, the Askari fire – one Askari misses, 2 Rep 4 Natives obviously dead; a Rep 4 Native charges Matthews, she fires – she misses; the Rep 5 Native charges Wembley, he fires – the Native ducks back. The Native in melee with Matthews loses and goes out of the fight. The Native in melee with the Askari loses and is obviously dead. The Ruga-Ruga loses Will to Fight and flees.
Wembley fires – the Rep 3 Native ducks back.
At the start of the next round of Action, the Natives recover from duck back. The Rep 3 Native flees and one of the Askari flee.
An Askari fires – the Rep 5 Native goes out of the fight.
Since there are no remaining Natives or PEFs on the table, Wembley and Matthews complete the patrol.
I won this encounter – today. It wasn’t an overwhelming win since Wembley and Matthews lost half of their force. I’ve lost this encounter as many times as I’ve won it. One time, I didn’t even successfully patrol 2 sections.
I will return to this game later and run an actual campaign with Fortunes Won and Lost. In a one-off game like this one, I did not use the capture or the “coup de gras” rules and did not do the after encounter recovery process.
For our next look at Colonial gaming, we’ll join a French force in the rugged jungle highlands near the border of Eastern Lung Ho.
As always, your comments, suggestions and loose change are welcome.