Mark Stevens' "Darkest Africa game set in the Jungles of West Africa
Fighting the Slavers

Notes by Mark Stevens, the game master for this game, and Jay Stribling, the British Commander.

An Anglo German force searched for, but failed to find and destroy the Zanzabari slaver outpost.

The German column was overrun by spearmen who took numerous captives, later destined for the cooking pos. The German force was reduced to 2 marines & a few ruga-ruga, who made their way towards the British column, screaming of terrible atrocities against thier peace-loving invasion force.

The British landing party commander went mad and had to be shot. this was one of the "Episodes" that continually pop up when playing "The Sword in Africa".

The Western powers were led by "Colonel" Jay Stribling, who had to shoot his mutinous subordiate. The Colonel is a veteran of these jungle expeditions, having had Malaria and blackwater fever so many times, that his men call him "Old Shaky" behind his back.

The colonel's servant brings him another whiskey as the old man looks at the body of the young major, lying in the grass, his still-white uniform showing only a few sweat stains. The major had been a fine officer till the heat got to him. He had turned on his men, firing at random with his revolver. The colonel had been forced to shoot him, a single bullet hole in the young officer's forhead, testifying to the older man's keen skill with a pistol.

Such tales come from any Jungle game, such at the ones that the Jackson gamers played at HOBBYTOWN in North Jackson on February 22, 2003. The rules were TSATF 20th, the "Sword in Africa" sub-game included in the back of the book. The players were a scurvy lot, Germans and British leading units of Askari, or piloting steamboads up the treacherous jungle streams. All because of the Methodist League's influence in Parliament.

Those calls for the abolition of slavery, had played so well in the newspapers, but the Colonel knew it was men, black and white, that had to go into the jungle to find those bloody slavers. And now a young officer was dead, and the Colonel reflected sourly that if the fever did not take them all, some brother officer would probably have to shoot him some day.

In the image above the young major is leading his troops forward, a few moments before he went crazy from the heat and the mosquitoes. A mixture of Foundry and Old Glory figures painted by Mark Stevens and Jim Pitts allowed us to have this fun time in darkest Africa.

The Steamer Reliant transports a unit of armed sailors as well as being armed with a 6-lb gun forward and a Gardner machine gun aft. This is the Resin Kit, manufactured by Redoubt, and owned by Mark Stevens - a beautiful toy boat.

The image above is of the steam launch Epworth which was chartered by the East African Methodist Conference. This addition to the force was ill-used despite being well defended by a 37 mm Hotchkiss revolving gun & assorted missionaries. Note the crocodile, sliding into the water just beyond the steam launch. The crocodiles had quite a feast on the river this day!

The slaver's village where they kept the newly gathered slaves till they were sent away by caravan. This was the ultimate destination of the Anglo-German force. The native huts are a mix of resin pieces belonging to Mark Stevens and some nicely re-worked paper-mache' items belonging to Jim Pitts which he obtained from the local craft store.

Another view of the Epworth steaming up-river. Her 37mm Hotchkiss revolving gun showed the effects of poor maintenance, jamming for the first two turns on which it tried to fire.

The first response to the naval incursion of the anti-slavery force is this dhow, speeding downstream with an old brass cannon in the bows. The 6-lb gun on the steamer Reliant tried to aim at it, but found the Methodist Launch Epworth in the way. After the lauch quickly fell back parallel to the steamer, a few shots from the 6-lb gun sank the Dhow, but not before it savaged the crew of the more modern gun.

Native war canoes, loaded to the gunwales with grim and heavily armed men, speed towards the Methodist Launch Epworth. They closed with both of the steam vessels but hideous casualties from the 6-lb gun and the Methodist's Nordenfeld machine gun and the stern pistol fire of the steamers' officers won the day. At games end, the native canoes were drifting down stream, filled with corpses.

A giant ape has carried off one of the German Askaris, obviously mistaking him for Fay Wray - (If you saw the orginal King Kong you will understand that line). The stampeding elephant is just for looks.

The Crocodiles were the real winners of the game

"The Hand" moves Natives out of the brush, attacking the German expeditionary force. Can you see the white coated Askari lined up along the stream on the left rear?

The same scene, next turn, bodies EVERYWHERE. The Askari mentioned above, along the stream have been decimated. The Main German force is falling back. This is going to look really bad in the Berlin newspapers.

The game was a draw. There was serious doubt among the players that the anti-slavery forces could penetrate to the village because the natives and arab slavers still had 8 uncomitted units.

This writer thinks the old Colonel would have finally reached and destroyed the slaver's village. The Jackson gamers, however, were hungry and so we cleaned up and ajourned our meeting to the local sandwich shop for rations.

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