Monday, March 5, 2012

Willoughby Pond's Expedition

Willoughby Pond did not give up his plans after an earlier attempt to establish a trading post in Ukraziland ended in abject failure when he was captured by the Ukrazi tribe. With Britain in firm control of the slaver port of Yabhouti, he has landed with a few companions and a steam exploration vehicle of the latest design, determined to succeed this time.

An offer by the chief of the Kumyonda tribe to lease him a plot of land has Pond champing at the bit. Hiring Sunny N'Sher and his merry band of mercenary musketeers, he has set off for the Kumyonda stretch of the Ukrazi River. We find him now, not long after noon, approaching the rendezvous with the Kumyonda chief. Unfortunately, the Kumyonda's hated rivals the Ukrazi tribe have learned of Pond's return to 'their' turf, and have set out to teach him a final, fatal, lesson...
The field of battle lies before the bold merchant adventurer. The Ukrazi River flows in the distance. On its bank the two huts of the rendezvous with the Kumyonda chief.

But the Witch Doctor of the Ukrazi tribe springs a nasty ambush! Three wooden golems, the animated trunks and branches of trees, emerge from the bush.  

Although horribly startled by the apparition, Pond quickly recovers, and lay fire upon the golems with telling effect. One takes a 3" shell in the midriff and lurches out of the line. On the other side of the clearing, the Ukrazi warband makes its rush, one of its number falling to a mercenary bullet.  

Closer to the river, a second Ukrazi warband forsakes its duty of escorting the golems for the easy (?) target of the Kumyonda warband. Filtering through the bush, they make enough noise to warn the Kumyonda chief of their coming.

Pond manages to swivel the Exploration vehicle to cover the oncoming golems. He fires and scores another hit, and stops one dead.

An attempt to swivel again and fire upon the onrushing warband fails. Wary of the hissing iron monster, the warband gets to grips with the mercenaries instead, just as a fusillade of musketry stops the last golem in its tracks.
What happens next will probably dog Pond's reputation for the rest of his days. Unnerved by the close proximity of the hostile tribesmen, Pond turns the vehicle and runs right through the middle of them, crushing six warriors beneath his treads...  
He goes on to run down and crush the second immobilized golem, before turning around for another pass.
Over by the hut, the Kumyonda warriors see the Ukrazi warband off the premises. 
Having failed to restart the golems, the Witchdoctor has made herself scarce.  Slipping away into the brush, she'll have some pointed words to say to the negligent leader of her escort.

And the end of the encounter. With their numbers literally crushed, Pond's vehicle gun menacing them, sporadic fire from the victorious mercenaries, and the Kumyonda warband hurrying over to join the fight, the Ukrazi survivors make themselves scarce.
So ends my first GASLIGHT game. I'll write a few thoughts on the rules and the playing of the game another time.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I always like reading peoples comments on rules . . . so I look forward to that article.

-- Jeff

Dr Vesuvius said...

A splendid little game. Thanks for taking the time to write up the report.

As for being a little one-sided, I know what you mean. That's why I shy away from gaming VSF in a colonial setting, the poor natives have enough odds against them matching spears against rifles, adding steam and steel armour to the mix just seems frightfully unsporting!

Love the scratchbuilt landship though!

Jiminho said...

Oh oh! While elegant in concept, it looks like the Spottiswode-Gallant Steam Exploration Vehicle Mk. II, is not the most agile of landships!

Thanks AJ, great fun as usual.


Colonel O'Truth said...

Wonderful stuff, Old Chap! Terrific entertainment!

Love the vehicle.

Keep it up and toodly pip!


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