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Author Topic: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?  (Read 472 times)

Offline Diablo Jon

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How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« on: March 23, 2020, 10:10:39 AM »
I don't have my Ruga - Ruga painted yet but I was just wondering how I will class them in " The Men Who Would be Kings" ruleset.

As musket armed soldiers who where, seemingly, happy to come to close combat I can't work out whether to count them as irregular infantry, which would suit their gun armed nature but make them naff at close combat, or tribal infantry which make them better at the close combat but rather negate their muskets.

Which way have other people jumped ( if indeed anyone has actually even pondered this question) with their Ruga- Ruga?

Cheers Jon

Offline Atheling

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 10:13:40 AM »
I don't have my Ruga - Ruga painted yet but I was just wondering how I will class them in " The Men Who Would be Kings" ruleset.

As musket armed soldiers who where, seemingly, happy to come to close combat I can't work out whether to count them as irregular infantry, which would suit their gun armed nature but make them naff at close combat, or tribal infantry which make them better at the close combat but rather negate their muskets.

Which way have other people jumped ( if indeed anyone has actually even pondered this question) with their Ruga- Ruga?

Cheers Jon

I'm sure I've read some suggestions for Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBK- (perhaps in the rule book somewhere  ??? )

If remember where I've seen the info to me I'll be sure to let you know

Offline guitarheroandy

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2020, 12:17:37 AM »
I don't have my Ruga - Ruga painted yet but I was just wondering how I will class them in " The Men Who Would be Kings" ruleset.

As musket armed soldiers who where, seemingly, happy to come to close combat I can't work out whether to count them as irregular infantry, which would suit their gun armed nature but make them naff at close combat, or tribal infantry which make them better at the close combat but rather negate their muskets.

Which way have other people jumped ( if indeed anyone has actually even pondered this question) with their Ruga- Ruga?

Cheers Jon

Why not make them irregular infantry and give them the 'fierce' upgrade? That'd make them fight at 5+ (if memory serves - I don't have the book immediately to hand). From memory, it may not normally be allowed to give 'fierce' to irregular foot, but if so, that doesn't actually matter - 'theatre-specific changes' are to be encouraged if it improves the realism of the games you're playing. We have a few things we do with our NW Frontier games that aren't 'in the rules' but work really well.

Offline Atheling

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 07:23:51 AM »
I still can't work out where I've read about stats for Ruga-Ruga but here's the jist of a short conversation on TMWWBK Facebook group:

"Would you class Ruga Ruga as irregular infantry or tribal?"

"We use them as irregular, it works well."

"That's what I was thinking."

"Irregular"


Link to the search:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/tmwwbkfangroup/search/?query=ruga-ruga&epa=SEARCH_BOX

Offline Plynkes

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 11:04:04 AM »
Why not make them irregular infantry and give them the 'fierce' upgrade? That'd make them fight at 5+ (if memory serves - I don't have the book immediately to hand). From memory, it may not normally be allowed to give 'fierce' to irregular foot, but if so, that doesn't actually matter - 'theatre-specific changes' are to be encouraged if it improves the realism of the games you're playing. We have a few things we do with our NW Frontier games that aren't 'in the rules' but work really well.


That would be my choice, though as you say it requires rules-bending, as Irregulars can't have that upgrade in the rules as written. If I ever get to play the game with Ruga Ruga I will try that out, I think.

Perhaps just for one or two elite units, rather than the whole army, though. As I recall Mirambo had units of untried young boys he would throw into the fight, and older, more calmer heads he held back as a reserve. The idea was that the lads tried extra hard to impress their leader for rewards, but the older men would be more cautious, as they had families to think about. The veterans were there as a steady core for the army to fall back on in case anything went wrong, while the boys would throw themselves like maniacs at the enemy. So you could have a couple of units with the fierce upgrade (representing the young warriors) and a couple with slightly stiffer morale instead (representing the old hands). The rest of the army could be ordinary irregulars.


Worth considering, perhaps, for a bit of variety in an all-Ruga Ruga army.


« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 11:11:18 AM by Plynkes »
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Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 11:39:05 AM »
Thanks for the help and insight guys. I figured I might have to tweak the rules to get what I felt was right. I had thought of adding fierce to irregular infantry but firing and fighting stats 5+ would make them almost as good as regulars admittedly with much worse guns.

One thought I had was taking them as irregulars, with antiquated muskets, but swapping their firing and fighting stats around to make them firing 6 and fighting 5 making them better at close quarters, than say Arab slavers, and better shooting range than tribal infantry.

I plan to use my Ruga-Ruga as Bemba to fight my British and Ngoni in central Africa rather than Mirambo's  lads but I reckon they can do double duty. It certainly feels like both the Bemba and Nyamwezi warlords armies should feel different to the Arab slaver armies in TMWWBK.

Offline Plynkes

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 12:30:07 PM »
I had thought of adding fierce to irregular infantry but firing and fighting stats 5+ would make them almost as good as regulars admittedly with much worse guns.

That's a good point, and perhaps another reason to limit it to one or two units in the army.



Offline guitarheroandy

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 09:41:09 AM »
That's a good point, and perhaps another reason to limit it to one or two units in the army.

Yeah, that is a good point. Most of my Pathan Irregulars (riflemen) in my NW Frontier games are given 'poor shots' (not because they were poor shots but to represent lower rate of fire than regulars - they also have 'obsolete rifles' or even 'antiquated muskets'. We do allow one unit to shoot as normal for irregulars as a kind of 'veteran' warrior kind of idea) but we also give them a 'sniper' upgrade where they kill an enemy leader on any double and we allow them to move without penalty in rough ground - because they are hillmen and obviously could (all at appropriate points cost of course). More examples of 'rule-bending' to suit the theatre of operations.

I know nothing about Ruga Ruga or any other native tribal groups in Africa, but the key to good games of TMWWBK is that they obviously need to not be as good at shooting (i.e. not put out as much lead) as European regulars (but probably/possibly as good at fighting hand-to-hand, especially the young warriors mentioned in an earlier post?) and you'll need to design your scenarios quite carefully so that the game is about the scenario objectives rather than a free-for-all 'kill-em-all' kinda thing. All my NW Frontier big multi-player games (50+ pts per side) we've put on at shows or the local club have been based on real events on the NW Frontier, for example.

Ultimately, the rules are flexible enough to create really good fun games in any colonial theatre if you use their flexibility well by using options, upgrades and downgrades carefully, if you keep a 'cinematic' approach to the gaming (i.e. you're not aiming for a complete 'simulation') and if you design the scenarios well so that the scenario allows good balance between the forces even if, on paper, they are highly imbalanced. 

Online italwars

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2020, 12:07:31 AM »
i do not know this rule systhem TMTWBK but...quite sincerly as everybody who had read books and primary sources about battles and skirmishes between Europeans and primitive Sub Saharian African warriors  during the conquest of Africa period ,except very some few exceptions, like the Zulus and the Azande i never read anything different from  great numbers of armed people shouting and gesticulating in front of few fire armed europeans and/or Askari only to  cut and run at first shots....as i said the only exception being the zulus and the less known Azande that, from my Belgian sources, charged again and again showing great courage vs Belgian Force Publique askari firing disciplined volleys..even the famous Masai were'nt noticeable in combat except for their flamboyant attire and shields .so those Ruga Ruga..that were in practice a sort of bandits or slave purchasers ,fighting for money and looting  could'nt be an  exception..from the German or Belgian sources that i read Arabs or Arab's African allies or mercenaires  like the Ruga Ruga were the worst among all the opponents of the European powers even if better armed than indipenent tribesmen..i would give them the lowest morale
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 01:13:34 AM by italwars »

Offline Plynkes

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2020, 01:58:34 AM »
Yes, they were never any great threat to the Europeans, but the Nyamwezi warlords and their men seem to have been holy terrors to their neighbours. Not everyone plays natives vs. Europeans all the time, and I think it's fair to make them different, and in some ways better than the more traditional tribes around them, if you are at all interested in such native vs. native encounters.


Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: How are people classing Ruga-Ruga in TMWWBKs?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 06:39:04 AM »
Yes, they were never any great threat to the Europeans, but the Nyamwezi warlords and their men seem to have been holy terrors to their neighbours. Not everyone plays natives vs. Europeans all the time, and I think it's fair to make them different, and in some ways better than the more traditional tribes around them, if you are at all interested in such native vs. native encounters.

It's a fair point in a game of Native on Native certain peoples of Africa  had a fearful reputation among there neighbours and should stand out as better in such games. The Ngoni around lake Nyasa seemed to have scared the crap out of their neighbours even the gun armed Arabs. If I was playing such a game I'd class them a cut above a tribe like the Nkonde. Against the British in the 1890s though they put up an abject performance so I wouldn't upgrade them from tribal infantry in fact they should probably be down graded but that would most likely make a pants game.