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Author Topic: Diablo Jon does Darkest Africa - Yet more Arabs for Africa  (Read 20127 times)

Offline FlyXwire

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Jon, I like the idea of battlin' the European Scramble with your explorer/colonial-company parties directly against themselves.

Offline Diablo Jon

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What a beautiful and unique piece of gaming board!

Jon, I like the idea of battlin' the European Scramble with your explorer/colonial-company parties directly against themselves.

Excellent work very impressive indeed  :)

Diabolically good stuff Diablo Jon  :-* :-* :-*


That’s a great assembly of figures and a splendid looking expedition  :-*
The beach scenery is extremely nice too.


Thanks for all the nice comments guys appreciate it.

Offline Diablo Jon

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To begin with I was planning to pit him against Sudanese slavers rather than Bari, as they'd require a bit of converting, more than I can be bothered with right now, and to be honest I don't find them all that interesting. I think I will give Sam some Madi allies, though, as they look like fairly easy conversions and they have interesting war paint that it might be fun to have a go at.

I've seen those drawings of Baker's infantry in immaculate uniforms, but our friend Mr. Peers doesn't seem to set much store in them, saying in action they barely wore their uniforms and had a much more ragged filibustering appearance. I'm thinking of using Perry bazingers for the rank and file, mostly because I already have some, but they do kind of fit the description. I might use some Copplestone Zanzibari regulars too, as they look like Egyptians, but they don't have the parade ground appearance of thePerry ones.

Not going to worry too much about getting the rifles exactly right on this, as long as they are roughly the right generation I'll be happy enough. :)


Edit: Just had a peek in my book, and according to Peers they did have Remingtons, but also Sniders and even smoothbore muskets loaded with buckshot issued to sentries at night(!).

I understand about the Bari as natives go they are pretty bland. No shields, no war paint, no clothes just a bow and maybe a throwing spear is not the most exciting army to model. I love those Perry Bazingers miniatures thinking about it the Perry Sudan range probably has some useful miniatures for the slavers to. I reckon a mixture of foundry scruffy uniformed Askaris, Copplestone Zanzibar regulars and Perry Bazingers would look damn fine.

I'm not convinced the Egyptians had Remington's under Baker. The Egyptians ordered their first batch in 1868 but defaulted on the payment to allow the French to buy them during the Franco- Prussian war and it wasn't until 1876 they got their full second order of rifles. Interestingly Remington held back an order of 10,000 revolvers from Egypt because they still hadn't paid for the rolling block rifles in 1875. So I think Bakers expedition circa 1871 is to early for Remington rifles to be issued.

 You are right though worrying about the rifles on a 28mm miniature is nit picking  :)

Online Plynkes

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I think you must be right about those Remingtons, Jon. It's just a bit too early, isn't it.

Had a quick dip into 'Ismailia' and Sir Sam makes no mention of them. His precious 'Forty Thieves' had Sniders (man he was enamoured of both them and their Sniders, never stops going on about either :)), while it seems the balance of his men had rifled muzzle-loaders of some kind.

Another little thing I picked up was that he says the Bari decorated themselves in battle, with ashes and also red ochre. If that detail was in the Peers book I had forgotten it. He also says that certain Bari were plentifully equipped with guns that they had taken from the slave-hunters and describes an incident when his own men had to fend off an ambush of such gun-wielding Bari. Suddenly I'm finding the Bari a much more interesting prospect. :)

Anyway, sorry, I've sidetracked your thread for long enough with my Sam Baker nonsense. I look forward keenly to your next update.



With Cat-Like Tread
Upon our prey we steal...

Offline gamer Mac

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Lovely work :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*

Offline Diablo Jon

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Offline Diablo Jon

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 771
I think you must be right about those Remingtons, Jon. It's just a bit too early, isn't it.

Had a quick dip into 'Ismailia' and Sir Sam makes no mention of them. His precious 'Forty Thieves' had Sniders (man he was enamoured of both them and their Sniders, never stops going on about either :)), while it seems the balance of his men had rifled muzzle-loaders of some kind.

Another little thing I picked up was that he says the Bari decorated themselves in battle, with ashes and also red ochre. If that detail was in the Peers book I had forgotten it. He also says that certain Bari were plentifully equipped with guns that they had taken from the slave-hunters and describes an incident when his own men had to fend off an ambush of such gun-wielding Bari. Suddenly I'm finding the Bari a much more interesting prospect. :)

Anyway, sorry, I've sidetracked your thread for long enough with my Sam Baker nonsense. I look forward keenly to your next update.


That's interesting about the Bari pretty I'm sure Peers doesn't mention any of that in his book. I don't consider it side tracking at all. This is one of the few places I can discuss stuff about obscure 19th century African history so its fine by me  :)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 07:46:47 PM by Diablo Jon »

Offline Diablo Jon

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This is the first of some Field Force lists I hope to create for use with “The Men Who Would be Kings” rules. I’m a fan of the rules but I did feel the Darkest Africa field forces, at the back of the book, were a bit pants and lacking in flavour. Mostly I’ll be tailoring my own Field Force lists for use with my interest in British Central Africa but this first one is a variant on one already available in the rule book. The lay out of my lists will be slightly different to one in the books as well. Instead of a set list of units my list will give a selection of possible units, with special rules and points costs, and leave the player to work out what to pick to create the 24AP field force. I’ve also tried to give some brief(ish) notes on each unit to help put my ratings and options into context

European Explorer Expeditions

 The second half of the 19th century was the heyday of European exploration of the African continent. While many early expeditions were purely for discovery  as the century wore on the these expeditions frequently became instruments of colonialism as the scramble for Africa reached it’s zenith. Armed conflicts with native peoples were not unusual during these expeditions. During the early years of exploration, expeditions frequently tried to avoid fights, their flintlock muskets where not technological advanced enough to give them a decisive advantage, in battle, especially given their supply of powder and shot was often limited. In later years backed up by breech loading and repeating rifles, and even the occasional machine gun, explorers had far less to fear from native peoples. The outlook of the expeditions leaders could also play a big part in how much conflict an expedition encounter. Some men like Carl Peters or Henry Stanley could seemingly start a battle in an empty room yet others like Joseph Thomson managed to explorer Africa without ever getting into a serious fight. The list below is intended to give you a generic European exploring expedition field force from circa 1850 to 1900.

Units

1) 1+ units of Askari




Every expedition took armed guards called Askari. The Askari where required to protect the expedition from both human foes, and dangerous wildlife, as well as acting as a police force for the expeditions porters. These men where normally hired, on behalf of the expedition, by a native headman. This process became somewhat regulated after 1873 when the British consulate in Zanzibar started keeping a list of reliable headmen.

The quality of the Askari could vary from poor to experienced veterans. The explorer Thomson described his men as not knowing how to use their guns and not having sufficient courage to stand when threatened. On the other hand Stanley’s askari fought numerous, almost daily, battles along the Congo river generally getting the better of various warlike natives.

Armament could also vary. On Stanley’s 1871 Livingstone expedition he had 24 Askari armed with muzzle loading muskets, in his 1876 Congo expedition his men had 29 Snider rifles and 32 percussion rifles finally on his Emin Pasha expedition in 1887 (probably the most lavish expedition in Africa) his askari had 510 Remington breech loaders, 50 Winchester repeater rifles and a maxim machine gun!

Uniforms were a matter of employers choice some Askari wore their own clothes but others were provided with uniforms for example Cameron in 1873 gave his Askari red patrol jackets, red fezzes, whites shirts and cummerbunds.

Irregular infantry – poor shots, antiquated musket, Mzungu’s Fire

 cost 2pts

Options

Training upgrade shooting to 5+ – cost 1pt

Sharp Shooters shooting 4+ – cost 3pts

Veteran Discipline becomes +1 – cost 1pt

Obsolete Rifles – cost 1pt

Well Armed – cost 2pts

2) Unlimited units of Porters




Porters were vital to any exploring expedition a lack of suitable roads or draft animals meant all supplies had to be carried by humans most places south of the Sudan and north of the  Zambezi river. Porters weren’t generally hired to fight but they did often carry weapons for self defence. In the early days spears and bows where common but as time went on muskets become the standard weapon for porters. In 1860 Speke and Grant issued 50 muzzle loading carbines to their most reliable porters. In 1874 Stanley’s 270 porters are described as “mostly armed with muzzle loaders”.  in 1887 Count Teleki issued his porters with 200 muzzle loading muskets.

Like the askari the military effectiveness of the porters could vary. Grant, in 1861 was attacked by 200 native spearmen and watched as all but three of his 100 porters fled despite being armed with muskets. In Stanley’s fight, against the Nyaturu, 1875 the second day of fighting saw a number of the musket armed porters volunteer to reinforce the askari who had suffered heavy casualties in the first days fighting. During the retreat from Elbejet Carl Peters armed porters where forced to deploy into line and support his heavily pressed rear guard. Peters also improvised red head gear for his porters, during the retreat to fool the Masai into thinking they were repeater rifle armed Askari.

Irregular infantry – poor shots, antiquated musket, Mzungu’s Fire

 cost 2pts

Options

Unenthusiastic discipline becomes -1 – cost -1 pts

3) Up to 1 unit of Baluchis




A number of explorers were provided, for political reasons, with escorts by the Sultan of Zanzibar. The usual soldiers for this kind of task were Baluchis, who were mercenaries, from around the Indian ocean and Persian gulf regions. Their main armament were obsolete matchlock muskets and swords. The explorer Cameron described his escort in 1873 as “covered with bucklers, pistols, swords, spears and matchlocks”. The explorer Burton (who was himself an acknowledged expert on swordsmanship) describes them as good swordsmen but he also witnessed some Baluchis firing for an hour, at a target a dozen paces away, and not hit anything. Josesph Thomson in 1878 said of his escort “There seemed to be literally no discipline among them”. Technically the Sultans Baluchis were disbanded 1881 but many of them continued to find employment as soldiers after that date.

Irregular infantry – poor shots, antiquated musket, Swordsmen  cost 3pts

Options

Unenthusiastic discipline becomes -1 – cost -1 pts

4) Up to 1 machine gun




Towards the end of the 19th century, as exploring expeditions became more heavily armed, machine guns started to occasionally appear in the explorer’s inventory. Stanley’s 1887 Emin Pasha relief column was given a proto-type of the maxim gun by its inventor which saw some limited use. The same gun was taken by Lugard on his expedition to Buganda in 1891, under the IBEA flag, though by then the gun had a reputation for unreliability. In 1891 the explorer J.W. Gregory took a private scientific expedition to explore Lake Rudolph with a surprisingly heavily armed expedition that number 250 Sniders and a maxim gun manned by ten Turks.

Poorly Drilled crewed weapon (machine gun) cost 4pts

Up to half your points on allies

1)Arab allies




Many explorers found that getting around in Africa was made easier by dealing with the local Arabs. Stanley not only allied himself with Arabs of Tabora against the warlord Mirambo but had several friendly dealings with the notorious Arab slaver Tippu Tib. I plan to write and “Arab” field force list at some point in the mean time you could just pick units from the slaver list in the rule book.

Native Allies

On occasion explorers found allies among the native peoples they encountered on their travels. In 1875 Stanley joined the Buganda army in an attack on the Buvuma island in lake Victoria. The German explorer Wissmann found allies among the Bashilange, a Luba people, who accompanied him in large numbers on three different expeditions in 1881, 1884 and 1886 in central Africa. If you want Natives allies I suggest using basic tribal infantry or for gun armed natives (like the above mentioned Bashilange) maybe use the porters entry above.

Special Rules

Mzungu’s Fire
The number of Europeans (often called Mzunga by the native peoples) in an exploring expedition were always low yet despite this their presence in battle frequently seemed decisive. This can probably be put down to (other than the fact they mostly wrote their own accounts of their adventures) them having the most advanced firearms of the day and, unlike most firearm equipped Africans, a modicum of skill and training to accompany these weapons. Whether it was Paul Du Chaillu dual wielding a pair of Deane and Adams revolvers, Serpa Pinto’s gun bearer discharging his elephant gun at point blank range into a band of charging Bartose warriors or Stanley bringing his trusty Winchester rifle out to play explorers with modern weapons could deal out some serious causalities. To represent this any Askari or porter unit can have a European leader.  There can be a maxim of four of these leaders in any field force. European leaders must lead Askari units, as a first preference, and can only accompany a unit of porters if all Askari units in the field force already have a European leader. Any unit with a European leader can roll one extra dice when shooting or attacking as long as the leader is still alive. This costs no points.

Swordsmen
Swords where a popular weapon among Arabs, Swahilis and Baluchis during the 19th century their popularity waning as better quality firearms become available later in the century. There were three main types of Arab sword the largest being the 4ft long “Frankish sword” wielded two hand the other types where smaller and could be paired with a small round shield. Burton describes Swahili’s often being armed with antiquated German cavalry sabres. To represent this earlier reliance on swords, to supplement their ancient matchlocks or trade muskets, any irregular infantry  with the swordsmen special rule becomes firing 6+ and fighting 5+ and their free action becomes attack. In addition swordsmen always count as armed with antiquated muskets. This costs no points.


« Last Edit: October 04, 2020, 07:14:46 AM by Diablo Jon »

Online Plynkes

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Nice one, Jon. Looking forward to seeing what other lists you come up with.  :)




(I do think that most of the times you wrote "where" you perhaps really meant to write "were", though. Sorry if that comes across a bit school-mistressy.)



Offline Diablo Jon

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Thanks plynkes.

Yes where and were are one of the main bugbears of my Dyslexia I work hard on it  but mistakes crop up often.  Honestly if it wasn't for spell and grammar checkers most of written stuff would probably be unreadable. I have  a horrible habit of adding letters that just don't exist, swapping vowels around and phonics is an absolute mystery to my brain. At least you where nice about it I have had some pretty angry emails and messages on other gaming sites about my grammar and spelling over the years.
Still I was told dyslexics use the arty side of their brain better so it's not all bad  :D


Online Plynkes

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Oh , I'm sorry, Jon, I didn't know you suffered from dyslexia. On the bright side though, it really doesn't show. I would never have guessed that if you hadn't said.


Offline SpaceGoblin

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I'm a bit late to the party, but that mat is great! I may have to try that :)

Offline Diablo Jon

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Oh , I'm sorry, Jon, I didn't know you suffered from dyslexia. On the bright side though, it really doesn't show. I would never have guessed that if you hadn't said.

No apology needed honestly.

Offline Diablo Jon

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I'm a bit late to the party, but that mat is great! I may have to try that :)

I say go for it it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Offline Diablo Jon

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I’ve decided October is Arab month in a bid to finally finish my Arab/Swahili army to face my African Lakes Company army.  I already have around two dozen Arabs, some baggage elements and a dozen Baluchis painted some of whom were painted before I even embarked on this project. However I need a lot more so I have another three dozen musket armed men, a dozen swordsmen, a dozen Arabs with modern firearms, a dozen more Baluchis and selection of extra baggage elements to paint up.

So this weekend I’ve managed to knock out 12 more musket armed Arabs to start the ball rolling.










 

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