Jan 22, 2015

Nova Hungaria - Adversaries

Two platoons of 1st company and a squad of the Penal platoon of the Vladislaus V battalion moved through the thick swamps between the rivers Pfongov and Vaga of Nova Hungaria. With the use of an old map, Lt. Vajdafy was navigating through the mud to find a passage to connect the two rivers with a canal. The experts in the Hofkriegsrat argued that connecting the two rivers would offer a route to establish trade with further parts of the island plus, as proven by previous encounters, the SMS Maria Theresa can disperse any foe that comes near the riverbanks, which means extended control without straining the supply lines. 
To achieve this, they only needed to drain a large portion of the swampland with months of hard work, then dig the channel without any industrial equipment and no available explosives, while keeping the natives from killing them to the last man during the process.
Anyway, not much was to be seen in the jungle ahead of them, but the freshly appointed commander  of the battalion, [name censored by the Imperial Secret Service] opted for caution, something very lacking of other members of the princely [censored] family.

Caution was not without reason, it turned out, because a little ahead of them some persons in funny dresses were up to something.

The vanguard of the penal platoon sensed movement in the woods to their right so one platoon of 1st company was designated there (enemy moving on false blinds).

Lt. Vajdafy trod forward and heard a wild hollering from the bushes. He grabbed on to his revolver but then nothing happened - it was either a very small, camouflaged elephant or somebody warning somebody else. The men had sensed more movement to their left so the most expendable man was sent there (there were many to choose from), a convict named [censored], a multiple felon and murderer, all in all, an average guy, considering the rest of the unit (moving on the Sentry card).

Chaos erupted as the enemy had been finally seen, a group of blue-and-red dressed, musket-armed fellows manning the bush and another two troupes coming from the two clear pathways next to it, all ready to fall on the divided (physically, by the swamp) Austro-Hungarians. (The KuK commander asked if he was allowed to cross the swamp, to which I replied, 'you can try'.)

Meanwhile, Private 2nd class [censored] reached the thick undergrowth north-east of them and found a hut with two armed men, who turned out to be left there from the first expedition... They've been living in the jungle for 13 years by adapting to local life and warfare. 'I'm afraid your commander is running into a trap', the man in the funnier dress explained, 'we better hurry to him. By the way, I'm Eugen and this is my partner Joe, who is an American.'

The white-robed people on the left stood there yelling unintelligible things, and then a man with a big knife stepped forward and waved it in a manner which, in the universal language of all humanity, was a challenge to a duel. Lt. Vajdafy stepped forward, asked for an axe from one of his men, and then beat the poor bastard to pulp. You gotta keep those convicts regulated somehow (he's had a physique of 6 and scored really well in the duel).
The penal platoon then charged the barbarians and threw them back in a swirl of fists, logs, shovels and picks. Come on, they didn't even stand a chance, four killed, two captured, while the working men lost only one wounded (that to friendly fire, erm, I mean, log). 

Meanwhile on the right the second platoon moved forward and shot ineffectively at basically everything that moved, including the leaves on the palm trees, the birds, the mosquitoes and each other. This gave enough time (on the turn of the Blank card) for the people inside the camp to turn a huge piece of ordnance towards them. 'What the heck's going on here???' asked the 1st Lieutenant trusted with leading the platoon.

'These are Agytpian, Ruslandian and Vekekamic troops, all varied', said Eugen von M. when they reached Commander [censored]. 'They know of your plans to connect the two rivers so they are building a fortification, laden with heavy guns, to prevent any attempts by your side. This plan is no doubt devised by Ali Qashbali, a vile Agytpian soldier of fortune. He must be around somewhere, leading his white-clad men.'

But so inspired was the Battalion's attack that the enemy fled back in shock after a few exchanged volleys. Now bullets were flying into the camp from both sides of the swamp and the allies' morale was shattered.

'This is not the last time you'll hear of me!', shouted Ali Qashbali from atop a wooden cart, as they succesfully saved their heavy guns from being captured. 

And he left the Agytpian regulars behind - they stood the first wave of the attack, but then lost their commander and surrendered.

Eugen and Joe investigated the camp and then called the officers aside. 'Do you know, gentlemen, what is the main strategic importance of this island?', asked Eugen. 'There is believed to be a huge deposit of coal under the central mountains, which would be easy to mine for anyone in total control', said Commander [censored]. 'And, suppose, do you know what else is there where coal is?', said Eugen, theatrically raising his closed fist, then opening his palm. Between his fingers the gathered men could see a handful of glimmering [censored by the States Office].

Now the Governor must break the pact of the three allies - at least the freshly found heroes could provide him enough information regarding the island.

Also appearing in this game:
Ruslanders - Italeri French gunners (will otherwise be Crimean War-era Russians)
Agytpians - the more civilized inhabitants, in this case a 20mm metal officer figure and Italeri zouaves
People of Vekekama - Esci Muslim warriors.

Rule set used was Sharp Practice, can't beat it for this sort of game. I'm wondering if I should get the ACW supplement, but so far everything works fine.