Monday, November 7, 2011

47. Inter-Galactic Solo Wargaming Day

You may recall I played a solo game in appreciation of International Solo Wargaming Day, due to the fact that it was January 1, 2011 (or 1-1-11).  Well, as it turns out, there is another date with even more 1's coming up (and another date that is already past:  November 1, 2011 or 11-1-11).  The one coming up is November 11, 2011 (or 11-11-11).  [Even though it consists of 1's, you could argue that it is actually eleven's and is disqualified.  But if you want a good excuse to play a game, then don't argue.]

11-11-11 is being widely circulated as the definitive solo wargaming day, and I have therefore christened it Inter-Galactic Solo Wargaming Day.  (It is also Veterans Day, or Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, but as these are real and sobering things, they have no place in a day of warGAMING.  I will honor those fallen, separately from my gaming; my flag will proudly fly outside my house.)

Today is only the 7th, and I won't actually be able to play on the 11th, so I am going to play a game "in honor of" IGSWgD.  It will probably take me much longer than one day to finish it, since I will have to play in quick snatches of time stolen from Real Life's uncouth interruptions, so I likely wouldn't have been able to play it in one day anyhow.  But I wanted to show everyone that I am serious about playing.  The table is set up, the dice are warmed up, and I am ready to go.

Here follows the general table layout and scenario.
Looking from the Objective area, facing the direction from which the troops will enter.  The Professor and Bearers are at the lower left.
Looking from the Entry area towards the Objective.
On the Left:  French Foreign Legion, 20 men, with bugler (le clairon), Caporal and Lieutenant.  On the Right:  Tirailleurs AlgĂ©riens, led by a French NCO.

Arabic opponents:  Spearmen and Riflemen, 20 each.
More Arabic opponents:  20 Swordsmen.
A slightly closer view of the Objective area:  an Oasis, some ancient ruins, the Archeologist's hut, and the Professor (l'ArchĂ©ologue).
An even closer view of the Objective area, and in fact, the Objective:  the Professor who must needs be rescued.
The scenario is simplicity itself.  (Especially when playing solo, I like to keep the game simple:  no fancy motivations for the enemy, no complicated mission objectives.  I want to play, and I don't want to put any more hurdles between myself and playing than necessary.)

The rules I will be using are Pith Helmet 2, by Don Bailey (available here).  You'll have to scroll down to find them.

The situation is as follows:  a French archeologist, attempting an unauthorized dig deep in the desert, has sent word that he needs rescuing from hostile locals.  He has "acquired" many valuable historical relics from an ancient ruin, but he fears for his safety in getting them out of the country.

In response, the local constabulary has requested aid from the French garrison.  The officer commanding has ordered a squad under a upwardly-yearning Lieutenant to extricate the errant Professor as quickly as possible, with as little fuss as possible.

The Arabs would like to stop them.

In Game terms, the French must travel to the Objective area (the Ruins), make contact with the Professor, and escort him and his Bearers off the same table edge by which they entered.

The Arabs will be controlled by the mechanics of the game, using the Reaction System built into the rules.  Their arrival will be determined by triggering events (yet to be determined), and their sole aim will be stopping the French, either by killing/driving them off, or by capturing or killing the Professor.  They will win a minor victory if they stop the Bearers from escaping but everyone else escapes.

I will have more details in a future posting:  exactly how I will rate the Legionnaires and the Arabs, the triggering events, etc.

Thanks for reading, and for keeping me honest!  I will play a game, finally!


  1. The Legion never surrenders!
    Not a very auspicious quote - hope they'll not have to 'do Camerone' in the middle of the desert; but it would not be the first time, nor the last, that the Legion gets the... spoiled end of the stick because of influential civilians or politicians :)

  2. I look forward to the photos and accounts of the action.

    -- Jeff