Monday, November 11, 2013

Colonial Battles III, Nov. 8-10, 2013, The Sheraton near Causeway, Metairie, LA

This is the 3rd (obviously) Colonial Battles, a convention devoted to Larry Brom's "The Sword and the Flame" and all it's variants.  It's also a gathering of old friends to celebrate what Larry has given us, THE colonial rules, and lots of wargaming friends.  I realize now that this will be a totally narcisstic report, since I only took pictures of games I was involved in.  the comraderie was too good to leave.
On Friday, I spent most of the afternoon kibitzing and buying Ral Partha from Dale Kemper.  In the evening, I played in Dale's 55 Days in Peking game, which took place entirely on top of an incredible Tartar wall, behind the legations.  As a Boxer, we were fed onto the ends of the wall each turn, while the US Marines stood us off at barricades in the center.  As usual with my dice rolls, I couldn't get my mob to die to a man so I could get a fresh one.  We eventually drove the Marines off the wall just as the Indians arrived to save the day.
Here the brave Marines, and their even braver Lt. (mounted) withstood our furious assaults.  The Chinese rockets performed as expected, causing little damage but great effects!
And here you can see our hordes unsuccessfully assaulting the baricades.  My troops are the dark ones just behind the white clothed Boxers assaulting the barricades.  After finally getting knocked off, I left at about 10pm, since I'd awakened at 1:30am, not seeing us drive the Marines from the wall, too late to matter.

I spent some more money, though I'd bought most of what I needed (wanted) on Friday.
Jim Pitts put on A Very British Civil War game in the morning, which I played.  I had intended to play in Terry Sofian's "The Hive and the Queen" game, but Jim's table was filled with Greffen paper buildings, and since I'm a paper building aficionado...
My troops, the Soviet Naval troops were stationed in the upper middle of the of the center picture, a unit hiding behind the blue fence, another in the building across from the church, and the third in the building across the alley from the blue fence, rather bad placement, since I was forced to come out the front doors of both buildings in the face of machine guns.  The black truck in the lower picture had a tarp covering a 4" naval gun with crew.
Here you can see some of my troops hiding behind the wall, as regulars approach.
And, on the left, my compatriots, both braver and better led than my sailors.
My erstwhile opponent, Gerry Webb, of  Castaway Arts of Australia who out-generaled and out-shot me.  Behind him are some of the Ral Partha drawers Dale Kemper brought with him.  I did do some damage to the Rolls-Royce armored car, but couldn't stop it.
Here is the battle on our left flank, where we did better than my flank.
Some of my dead from the unit in the building to the left of the blue fence.  My unit has been charged by Gerry's unit.  He unfortunately had a number of stragglers.
Here we are, lined up and ready to "put it up 'em", before my shooting.  The figures on the right are dead from a unit that Gerry put paid to, running them into the trees, before finishing them off.
The high point of the game for me.  My shooting and better die rolling saw Gerry's regulars bounce off me.  Off course, they did not fail their morale.  The game was declared a success for the enemy, since my flank crumpled, and I achieved none of my goals.
And these are photos from my "Carry On Up the Khyber"  game, in which the Burpas had discovered that the 2rd Foot & Mouth Highlanders wore underwear, and so no longer feared the "devils in dresses".  They tried to force the toll gate (?) at the Khyber pass.  Duane Bailius was unable to get his elephants to move slower than a crawl, so the Burpas were almost up to the defile that would allow them to bypass the gate before he got his Gatlings set up.
Some of the hordes of Burpas led by Al Himmel as Bungit Din, who were attacking the pass.
The elephants have finally reached their desired location, as the wave of Burpas lap the escarpment.
An overall view as the British horse arrive, soon to dismount, since there were no Burpas behind the walls for them to spear.
One of the elephants has disappeared as the Gatlings finally fire.  Unfortunately, we got a late start, and so called the game for supper, since the restaurant, though very good, was also very slow.  The British felt they would be overwhelmed, and the Burpas felt they could not break the pass, especially after the Gatlings did in the Burpa gun crew.
After we packed up. Al Himmel serenaded us with three tunes on his bagpipes, even though he was the Burpa leader.

Gerry Webb put on "Gunga Din", with the Highlanders trying to relieve the sergeants in the temple.
Mike and Martha and Mark Stevens await their assignments.
(Hmmm. That elephant looks familiar.  Everything else was Gerry's.)  The column heads toward the temple in close order.
As the British cavalry turns to flank the column, my cavalry bravely charges them in the flank.  We exchanged a single cavalryman each, but more of my men were pushed back, so I fled.  And when the Brits followed me, I ignominiously fled the field.
However the ground-pounders led by Jim Pitts and others kept the Brits from achieving their objectives, so it was a Pathan victory, in spite of my cowardly cavalry.

On Sunday, Mark Stevens ran "The Real Glory", in which a few brave Moros attempted to be catapulted over the wall.  Three landed unhurt outside the fort, one landed as a squashed bug inside the fort, and another landed on the wall in the midst of the defenders.
Here you see the corner of the fort, and my command outside to try and save Mother Superior and her orphans.
Bill Hamilton's troops have reached the bottom of the wall as their companion bravely confronts the constabulary on the wall.  
A bit later in the game, my reduced and somewhat scattered force faces three units of Moros and a jurmentado who is seeking the prize of Mother Superior.  (She escaped into the chapel).  John Murdaugh's incredible rolling on shots of from the Gatling ensured that I faced no complete units.  And they suffered heavy leader losses, and were never able to close to melee.
At far end of the table, the US arrives with a unit of regulars and 2 more units of constabulary.  By the end of the game, the Moros were almost without leaders, and so were unable to press any meaningful attacks.  They faded back in the jungle, leaving us to lick our wounds, and have a quiet celebration.
And here they, those who made our enjoyment possible for all these years.  Lori, Larry, and Chrissie Brom, our Sergeants Three!   In the background, you can see Martha Stevens back, my profile, Jim Pitts, and in the dark shirt on the right, Mark Mod.

I had a great time, got to play as many games as possible, and time to chat with many old friends.  From my viewpoint, a complete success!


  1. Looks like some great games. Huzzah!

  2. A great looking show, you were lucky to get in on some great games. Thanks for the pictures.

    1. Yes, I really enjoyed all the games I was in, even when I ran off the table. Ah! I just realized I pulled a Dusty Miller. That was my pilot's name when we played Aerodrome, and in my first 2 games I immediately flew off the table, ever since known as "pulling a Dusty Miller!" I still use that moniker on any computer game!

  3. Ken,

    Thanks for posting the pictures and brief description of my Very British Civil War game.


    1. Thanks for putting it on, Jim. It was a lot of fun. I'll need to get some of the source books for more info!