Death in the Jungle – Part 1 (a Colonial Adventures Game)

In this post, I’m turning my attention to the large battle game – Colonial Adventures. Colonial Adventures was published by Two Hour Games and now sold by Rebel Minis in both print copy and PDF. The first edition was published in 2009 and the second edition was published in 2012 with minor changes and additions (mostly in the army lists).

The game calls for twenty figure units, which was the norm for colonial era games at the time – The Sword and the Flame and the older WRG (Wargames Research Group) rules come to mind. However, in an errata posted on the old Yahoo Group, Ed said Colonial Adventures could be played with ten figure units with no problems and he was right. In this game, I’ll be using units of varying sizes. The rules have a section on paper strength versus field strength.

Map of the area around Enping and its relation to Nobelongga

In our story, the French have gotten wind of the arrival of a British sloop in Mission St. Mary to provide security of Lord Hamilton’s safari. The French have decided to send a few troops to protect and further French ambitions in Nobelongga. They started in the trade city of Enping, a crossroad of trade caravans from Lung Ho, Chang Wang, Shambalya, the Masai country, Zululand and the Kingdom of Nobelongga. The force consists of a company of Colonial Marines, a company of Askari, Ruga-Ruga guides and a mountain gun. It wasn’t an entirely military column, M. Raphael Montenant, his family and porters accompanied the soldiers – M. Montenant was a minister of trade who was being reassigned from Lago Dal to Mission St. Mary.

Their plan was to march through Walking Bird Pass* to the headwaters of the Longga River and follow the river to Mission St. Mary. Just as they reached the headwaters of the river, they were attacked by an army led by Isawannayu herself.

* Walking Bird Pass takes its name from an old myth in which the mountains were so high the birds could not fly over them, but there was a place where birds could walk across.

French route from Enping through Walking Bird Pass to the headwaters of the Longga River

French Order of Battle

The French begin the game marching in column along their table edge in the following order from right to left (yes, right to left – I’m left-handed and it is natural to do things right to left).

  • Lead Ruga-Ruga Detachment – Lt. Jean Brehaut, commanding (Rep 4), with 9 Ruga-Ruga (Rep 4) armed with rifled muskets.
  • 1st Platoon, Company A – Lt. Louis Foucquet, commanding (Rep 4), Sgt. Maurice Juigne (Rep 4), with 14 Colonial Marines (Rep 4) and 4 Senegalais Tiraileurs (Rep 4) armed with rifles.
  • Company A Command – Capt. Claude de Regnier (Rep 4).
  • 2nd Platoon, Company A – Lt. Roland Lamont, commanding (Rep 3), Sgt. Francis Guines (Rep 4), with 14 Colonial Marines (Rep 4) and 3 Senegalais Tiraileurs (Rep 4) armed with rifiles.
  • Commander-in-Chief – Maj. Philippe Rousteau (Rep 4).
  • Civilians – Trade Minister Raphael Montenant, Mme. Monique Montenant, daughter Jeanine, companion Marie Bardot and 15 porters (all civilians are Rep 3).
  • 1st Platoon, Company B – Lt. Rene d’Escars, commanding (Rep 4), Sgt. Pierre Cleron (Rep 5), with 18 Askari (Rep 3) armed with rifles.
  • Company B Command – Capt. Louis Chievre (Rep 5).
  • 2nd Platoon, Company B – Lt. Henri Ouran, commanding (Rep 4), Sgt. Rene Gabriel (Rep 4), with 17 Askari armed with rifles.
  • Mountain Gun – Lt. Nicolas Flandre, commanding (Rep 4), 4 Askari gun crew, mountain howitzer with 3 pack animals.
  • Rear Ruga-Ruga Detachment – Sgt. Richard Dufort, commanding (Rep 4) with 9 Ruga-Ruga armed with rifled muskets.

Nobelongga Rebels Order of Battle

Nobelongga is a kingdom in turmoil. Isawannayu, a woman in the Northern highlands has become a powerful war chief leading several clans and villages in rebellion against the King and the European powers currying his favor.

First Wave (left to right)

  • Mountain Song Impi – Delu, commanding (Rep 4), 19 Amazon warriors (Rep 4, Ferocious) armed with spear and shield.
  • Forest Song Impi – Ode, commanding (Rep 4), 19 Amazon warriors (Rep 4, Ferocious) armed with spear and shield.
  • Charging Bull Impi – Bongani, commanding (Rep 4), 19 tribal warriors (Rep 3) armed with spear and shield.
  • Leaping Gazelle Impi – Jabari, commanding (Rep 4), 19 tribal warriors (Rep 4, Ferocious) armed with spear and shield.
  • Tippu Tib’s Slavers – Tippu Tib, commanding (Rep 5), 19 Arab slavers (Rep 4) armed with rifled muskets.

Second Wave (left to right)

  • Owl Song Impi – Nomusa, commanding (Rep 4), 19 Amazon warriors (Rep 3) armed with spear and shield.
  • Water Song Impi – Akua, commanding (Rep 4), 19 Amazon warriors (Rep 4, Ferocious) armed with spear and shield.
  • Roaring Lion Impi – Jelani, commanding (Rep 4), 19 tribal warriors (Rep 5, Ferocious) armed with spear and shield.
  • Crocodile Impi – Dakarai, commanding (Rep 4), 19 tribal warriors (Rep 3) armed with spear and shield.
  • Mtagamoyo’s Slavers – Mtagamoyo, commanding (Rep 4), 19 Arab slavers (Rep 4) armed with rifled musket.

Third Wave/Reserve (left to right)

  • Wasp Impi – Lesedi, commanding (Rep 3), 11 Amazon warriors (Rep 3) armed with bow.
  • Lioness’ Guard Impi – Raakel, commanding (Rep 5), 19 Amazon warriors (Rep 5, Ferocious) armed with spear and shield.
  • Heron’s Wing Impi – Kael, commanding (Rep 4), 19 tribal warriors (Rep 3) armed with spear and shield.
  • Hornet Impi – Kaholo, commanding (Rep 4), 19 tribal warriors (Rep 3) armed with rifled musket.
  • Lost Sheep Impi – Waiola, commanding (Rep 4), 15 Amazon warriors (Rep 3) with mixed arms.
  • Buhle’s Retinue – Chief Buhle, commanding (Rep 4), 7 forest people warriors (Rep 4) armed with spear.
  • Commander-in-Chief – Isawannayu (Rep 5) armed with spear and shield.

Terrain Layout

If you’ve played several Two Hour Games or Two Hour Wargames where miniatures are placed on the table top, then you know the playing area is divided into nine sections. Each section’s terrain is determined by a dice roll on the Terrain Generator Table.

The grid dividing the table resembles a game of tic-tac-toe. But did you know that the # symbol corresponds to the Ancient Chinese symbol for a well? The “well” was the go to formation for deploying troops of T’ang dynasty armies. This idea of deploying in a left wing, center and right wing with three waves made its way to the West – particularly in the large battles of the 18th century and the Napoleonic era.

Back to the topic of generating terrain. This game takes place in an area of Nobelongga where the mountains have begun to give way to the jungle forest. For the odd numbered sections I used terrain from the Clear/Hilly column and for the even numbered sections I used terrain from the Woods column.

The table layout
The Nobelongga Rebels are deployed in Sections 1, 2, & 3. This is a view of section 1.
Rebel forces in section 2.
Rebel forces in section 3.
The French column stretches through sections 7, 8, & 9. This is the head of the column in section 9.
The rear of the French column in section 7.

I don’t have a dedicated gaming table, so I’m using the table in the breakfast nook of my kitchen. If you smell onions, garlic and peppers, I’m making sloppy Joes for supper.

This game is picture heavy, so I’ve broken it into several posts. The next post covers turns 1 and 2.

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