Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Mungo Mah Lobeh Congo Campaign Adventure 5

Adventure 6 – The Mountain of The Gods
Campaign Journal compiled by Alan, of Tring Wargames Club

Background
“Our journey is nearly at an end. For the last few days, we have seen Mungo Mah Lobeh, the Throne of Thunder, looming over the tree-tops. Our final destination bears well its name!
There are several paths leading up to its storm-wracked summit, be it the one used by smugglers, or that used by Sir Burton. I intend however that this expedition go down in History, and for that I must find my own path up.
I can feel my enemy breathing down my neck. Whoever he is, he has not spared us during this quest. I must add, however, that it would not have been the same without him. He has forced me to go beyond my breaking point, to endure what I thought I could never endure. 
For that, I am thankful!  He too has shown great strength of character, and through it has acquired renown throughout the region. I do not think it would take much for him to gain sway over all the tribes hereabouts.” – Mary Kingsley

Travelling to the Next Adventure
As the winner of the last adventure, Ujuwa got first pick (for a nice change) of the travel routes to this ultimate adventure of the expedition. He elected to travel “Through Thriving Jungle”, but this was not a great choice for him. He failed his success roll, so the journey cost him two of his Spiritual Link points, although he did locate two new specimens of medicinal plants.
Ujuwa has earned two domains of knowledge, so his character will use his 2-star card.
Mary chose to travel “Village To Village”. This is a slow route, and on this occasion she is not able to recruit any new followers. She makes the journey in 5 months, and once again her bearers did not help her complete the journey any quicker. 
However, she does promote a faithful servant to be the expedition’s flag-bearer for the ascent of Mungo Mah Lobeh.
Mary has earned four domains of knowledge, so her character uses her 3-star card.

The Forces
 Mary has the same core force as throughout the campaign - her Kirangozi guide Kiva and the reporter JJ, plus her Adventurers, Soldiers, Askaris, Ruga-Ruga, and Young Warriors.  Her Askaris are again accompanied by their pet leopard.
She also still has three Bearers, which she places with her Askaris, her Young Warriors, and her Adventurers. Mary herself accompanies her Young Warriors, her Flag-bearer accompanies her Askaris, while she sends JJ with the Ruga-Ruga, and Kiva with the Adventurers.
Her opponent Ujuwa is again accompanied by his allies, the outcast Fang chieftain M’Otowanfa, and the Werda-Fakawi Pygmy King O’Mi’Lordi. However, these were both “killed” in the last adventure, so it is necessary to roll for their status, per the campaign rules.
It turns out that the Pygmy King O’Mi’Lordi was only slightly wounded and has made a good recovery, but M’Otowanfa was more seriously wounded and is now classed as Poorly. This does not affect his performance, but it will incur a small penalty at the end of the adventure, unless Ujuwa expends Medicinal Plants trying to heal him; that will also incur a campaign penalty, so he chooses not to.
Ujuwa’s party also has the same make-up as previously - Warriors, Young Warriors, Bundukis, Archers, Pygmy Archers, and some Scouts.
Ujuwa decided to accompany his Archers this time.  The Fang chief will go with the Warriors instead, and the Pygmy King will accompany the Pygmy Archers this time.

The Terrain
“The thick vegetation at the foot of Mount Cameroon camouflages both trails and caves. The summit of the mountain is hidden in swirling clouds. Humidity hangs in the air, thanks to a constant drizzle, punctuated by intense downpours.”

This adventure called again for jungle terrain, and again this is leopard country. The terrain is more open however, so the scenario rules dictate that all terrain not otherwise marked has a cover value of D6.
Martin’s dining-room table was used once again for the game, with the standard Congo 4’x3’ playing area. His trees were used to mark out the areas of Dangerous and Blocking terrain called for by the scenario.
The scenario requires a central High Dangerous Terrain feature consisting of a large rocky area; this represents the mountain Mungo Mah Lobeh itself. This and the rocky cave areas on the rest of the board will be represented by aquarium models, acquired by Alan several years ago in a pet-shop closing-down sale.
The two sides will deploy on opposite sides of the central feature, and are tasked with collecting two types of tokens, as well as fighting their opponents:-
1) The green numbered “Hint” tokens, which are small and do not affect a unit’s movement. They give Mary clues about paths she can use to ascend the mountain, and give Ujuwa clues about the locations of caves in which he may cast his Sacred Ritual to drive out the hated white invaders. There are six in total, Mary can only use even-numbered ones, and Ujuwa the odd-numbered ones. There is nothing of course to prevent a faction from hanging on to tokens, simply to deny them to the enemy.
2) The yellow tokens, which in this scenario represent “Discoveries”. These are classed as Bulky Objects, and restrict a unit’s movement per the standard Congo rules.

Both types of tokens will count towards Victory Points, and also go on to assist Mary and Ujuwa in the end-game, which will follow this scenario and conclude the campaign.

Mary and Ujuwa must exit to the south and the north respectively, to claim the maximum possible Victory Points for this scenario.

The Adventure
For reference purposes, Mary will start on the northern flank of the mountain, and Ujuwa on the southern flank.
The first picture is a full table shot from the southern end, Mary’s deployment behind the mountain, and Ujuwa on this side.

1 - The table for this adventure , looking east

Ujuwa started with the Initiative token for this adventure, because he lost the last one. His plan is to quickly grab all the Hints and Discoveries on his side of the mountain, then hold on the eastern side, while most of his forces go around the western side of the mountain and seize Hints and Discoveries from as many of Mary’s units as possible, before exiting the table to the north to claim a victory.
By coincidence, Mary has come up with an almost identical plan, but she intends to go round the mountain in the opposite direction.

On turn 1, Ujuwa gets an Animal Encounter, and places a leopard in one of the Dangerous Terrain areas close to Mary’s Young Warriors. He also sends his Warriors and Pygmy Archers to guard the mountain’s eastern flank, while the Young Warriors, Bundukis and Scouts make the rounds gathering up the Hints and Discovery tokens in the southern half of the table. Ujuwa himself, accompanied by his blowpipe-armed Archers, moves around the western flank.
His Bunduki collect Hint #6, and the Young Warriors pick up Hint #4. Neither, of course, are any use to Ujuwa, but they decide to take them with them anyway.

2 – Ujuwa’s Scouts sneak quietly past a herd of grazing giraffes

Meanwhile Mary’s Adventurers move to grab a Hint token, but the Jungle Encounter roll reveals they have found a patch of quicksand. Fortunately they are able to escape the area without losing anything more than their composure.
Most of her forces advance in an easterly or south-easterly direction; clearly it is her intent to send the bulk of her forces around this flank of the mountain.

3- JJ and the Ruga-Ruga move southeast around the mountain

On turn 2, Ujuwa moves with his Archers and succeeds in grabbing a Discovery token from the Dangerous Terrain directly west of the mountain. Using an Extra Moves Action card, his Bunduki grab a Discovery in the southwest corner of the table, and his Pygmy Archers enter the Dangerous Terrain directly east of the mountain, successfully beating Mary’s forces to Hint #2.

4 -  The Pygmy Archers enter the Dangerous Terrain east of the mountain

Meanwhile, Mary and her Young Warriors, with their leopard pet, enter the Dangerous Terrain in the northwest corner; they encounter and kill a leopard, earning themselves a Hunting Trophy. They also pick up Hint token #1.

5 – Mary and her Young Warriors search for a Hint token

Her Askaris find Hint#3 in the Dangerous Terrain in the northeast corner, while her Adventurers move southwest towards Ujuwa and his Archers, and her Ruga-Ruga close to shooting range with Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers. In the ensuing exchange of fire, the Ruga-Ruga kill a Pygmy Archer, but the Pygmy King survives his Terrifying Death Roll, and in return the pygmies’ poison arrows kill two Ruga-Ruga. JJ also survives her TDR.

6 – JJ and the Ruga-Ruga duel with the Pygmy Archers

 7 – The Pygmy Archers have the advantage of being in Dense cover

Ujuwa moves his Bunduki and Young Warriors north to support his Archers on the western flank of the mountain, while Mary’s Ruga-Ruga reload and her Soldiers move southeast to support them.

On turn 3, Mary seizes the Initiative, and her Ruga-Ruga charge the Pygmy Archers. It is a disaster; they lose two casualties in the ensuing melee, and JJ subsequently fails her TDR!  To salvage the situation, her Soldiers continue south on the eastern flank of the mountain, only to collide with Ujuwa’s Warriors who are moving in the opposite direction.

8 – The Soldiers move south to deal with the Pygmy Archers...

 9 – While the Fang Chief and his Warriors move north

However, the ensuing melee is a draw, meaning that the Warriors have to retreat, and they then receive fire from both the Soldiers and the Ruga-Ruga, losing a total of four casualties. The Fang Chief survives his TDR, but the Warriors are suddenly a spent force, and Ujuwa’s flank on the east of the mountain is now defended only by his remaining Pygmy Archers.

10 – The Warriors are nearly wiped out

Meanwhile, over on the west flank, Ujuwa is having considerably more success. His Archers and Young Warriors both move north to confront Mary’s Young Warriors, and Ujuwa successfully casts his Bull’s Breath ritual on them, but Mary saves it. The Archers and Young Warriors open fire, killing three of Mary’s Young Warriors, but Mary survives her TDR.

11 – Ujuwa, his Archers, and Young Warriors face off with Mary and her Young Warriors

Finally, Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers are able to stabilize the situation east of the mountain somewhat, when they use their poison arrows to wipe out Mary’s Ruga-Ruga, leaving a dropped Discovery token up for grabs.

12 – The Pygmy Archers finish off the Ruga-Ruga

Turn 4 is a Downpour, so all missile and visual ranges are reduced for the turn. However, Ujuwa’s Young Warriors are close enough to fire at Mary’s, and incredibly they score no less than four kills! This wipes out the unit, including their accompanying Bearer, and their leopard pet; however, Ujuwa can’t claim this as a Hunting Trophy, as he already has one for a leopard.
Unfortunately for Ujuwa, Mary survives her TDR. She is left alone, and wisely retreats with her Hint token.

13 – Mary is left isolated after losing all her Young Warriors

Ujuwa uses an Action card to remove a Move Stress token from his Archers, freeing them to move north with a view to getting him successfully off the table. He also casts his Bull’s Breath ritual on Mary’s Adventurers, but Kiva is able to save it.
Seeing the threat developing in the west should Ujuwa break through to the northern table exit, Mary uses an Extra Move Action card to move the Askari west to support her Adventurers, while her soldiers retreat north out of range of the Pygmy Archers.
Ujuwa’s Young Warriors now charge Mary’s Askaris, killing one in the melee. The Flag-bearer survives his TDR.
However, Mary now draws an Animal Encounter, and the roll calls for a Hippo. She places this in Dangerous terrain near Ujuwa’s Bunduki, who are promptly charged; they lose 1 casualty trampled.

On turn 5, the Downpour ceases, so all ranges are restored to normal. Ujuwa’s Archers immediately fire on the Adventurers, wiping them out and killing the accompanying Bearer; however, Kiva survives his TDR.
Feeling very vulnerable on her own, Mary continues to head towards her Soldiers.
However, Kiva, also on his own since the destruction of the Adventurers, is not so quick on his feet. He is attacked by Ujuwa’s Young Warriors, who amazingly cause no casualties. Kiva is pushed back and somehow survives the encounter.
The Soldiers shoot at the Pygmy Archers, killing one.
Ashamed at their failure in melee, Ujuwa’s Young Warriors shower Kiva with their assegais, and finally down him, leaving another dropped Discovery token on the ground.

14 – Ujuwa’s Young Warriors drop Kiva with their assegais

On turn 6, to no one’s surprise Ujuwa and his Archers head for the northern table exit as fast as they can. Mary’s Soldiers move northwest to meet up with her, while she places some juju on Ujuwa and his Archers. As luck would have it, he draws a Panic Stress token – no movement or shooting for the remainder of the turn.
Mary and her Soldiers then shoot at the Archers, killing 2 of them; however, Ujuwa survives his TDR.
Stymied in his attempt to get off the table, Ujuwa has his forces focus on maximising their Victory Points; his Pygmy Archers and Young Warriors both gather up dropped Discovery tokens. 
He also tries to cast another Bull’s Breath ritual, which he has used quite successfully so far in this adventure. However, once again, his bad luck continues to dog him. He draws a Panic Stress token for the ritual, which means that it backfires on him catastrophically. This time, a giant scorpion appears out of a hole in the ground, and stings him into unconsciousness.
Mary’s Askaris charge Ujuwa’s Young Warriors, seeking to deprive them of the Discovery token they have just picked up. However, they lose a casualty in the melee, forcing them to retreat, and they pick up a Panic Stress token, which effectively immobilises them for this turn.
Mary’s Soldiers also charge the Archers, but the resulting melee is a draw and they are forced to retreat.

15 – Almost everyone is immobilised by Panic as the Soldiers melee with the Archers

On turn 7, the scenario rules require the holder of the Initiative marker, which at this point is Ujuwa, to roll before each Action Phase to determine if the game is over.
The first Action Phase is played normally, and Mary’s Soldiers fire on Ujuwa’s Young Warriors, but do no damage. Ujuwa’s Archers shoot at the Soldiers, killing one, but Mary survives the TDR.
Ujuwa then rolls a second time to see of the game is over, and it ends before the second Action Phase.
Tallying the Adventure
Because neither side attained its main objective of exiting the table, no Victory Points were earned for that objective.
Mary has two Hint tokens, but they are both odd-numbered, meaning they are Ujuwa’s, and of no value to her.
She also retained one Discovery token, worth 2 VP.
Mary can claim the leopard killed as a Hunting Trophy. It doesn’t give her any VP’s, but will contribute towards the campaign.
Despite being wounded, Mary’s reporter JJ was able to get her trip report into this month’s bulletin of the Société Géographique; this earned her 2 VP’s.
However, Mary’s forces were able to despatch M’Otowanfa, the renegade Fang chief, and Ujuwa self-immolated while casting one of his spell rituals. These “kills” earn Mary 2 VP each.

Ujuwa forces hold four Hint tokens, but three of them are even-numbered, meaning they are Mary’s, and of no value to him. The remaining one, Hint #3, is worth 2 VP.
He also collected five Discovery tokens, including two dropped by Mary’s units. In this scenario, they are worth 2 VP each, for a total of 10 VP.
Ujuwa’s forces were able to despatch both the reporter JJ, and the caravan guide Kiva; these “kills” earn Ujuwa 2 VP each. His forces also despatched two of Mary’s Bearers for another 4VP, as well as the Young Warriors’ pet leopard – we didn’t count this one for VP, and unfortunately Ujuwa already has a leopard Hunting Trophy!
Ujuwa cast two successful Sacred Rituals in this adventure, earning him two more Spiritual Link points. With no surviving Sacred Warriors, he is unable to roll for bonus Link points.
No additional domains of Knowledge were earned by either side.
That means Ujuwa earned a total of 20 VP, and Mary earned 8 VP, so Ujuwa has finally had a convincing win in an adventure.

The End-Game
JJ and Kiva were both feeling rather Poorly at the end of the campaign.
Ujuwa ended the campaign In Agony, while M’Otowanfa was feeling rather Poorly.
All of these effects, together with the Discoveries made in the final adventure, were recorded into the two sides’ Travel Logs, which provide an ongoing record of each side’s status. The Logs play a key role in the campaign end-game, because the Knowledge and Discoveries made throughout the campaign now contribute towards the two leader’s movement as they progress towards their ultimate goals.
Mungo Mah Lobeh’s end-game is played on a pair of A3 size boards, one each for Mary and Ujuwa.
These are supplied in the campaign pack, but they are printed as one double-sided board, and since you need to use both sides at the same time, we had to get A3 copies made by the local printing shop. An annoying and not-insignificant expense which could have been avoided by a little joined-up thinking, Studio Tomahawk!
These boards represent the final journeys made by the two leaders, “Scaling the Throne of Thunder” for Mary, and “Constructing the Ritual of Awakening” for Ujuwa. On each board, a path of linked circles track the different stages of the journey. Each player attempts to advance as far as possible during the journey, which represents nine days for Mary and nine nights for Ujuwa.
Also on each board, a chart describes the nine days or nights, and the domains of Knowledge that will be useful to each of them.
In essence, for each day or night, the leader has to either show possession in their Travel Log of a specific domain of Knowledge, in which case they  advance automatically, or alternatively roll a given number of dice and hope to score successes. Any Hints acquired in the last adventure provide bonuses which affect play at this stage, such as extra dice or re-rolling ‘1’s.
Once the nine days and nights are over, each player notes down on their Travel Log, the point reached, and the corresponding number of Accomplishment Points awarded to each.

The campaign then concludes by summing up all the Accomplishment Points achieved or lost during the entire campaign, according to a whole range of criteria:-
1) The adventures won.
2) The Journey Length for Mary (the quicker the better), and the Spiritual Link points (the more successful spell rituals cast the better) for Ujuwa.
3) Discoveries made.
4) The state of the Characters, with sick, wounded or dead characters costing points.
5) The domains of Knowledge acquired.
6) Medicinal plants located.
7) Hunting trophies bagged, one per different kind of animal.
8) Scaling the Throne of Thunder for Mary, and constructing the Ritual of Awakening for Ujuwa.
The final total of these Accomplishment Points determines the overall campaign winner. In our case the final totals were:-
Mary 37 Ujuwa 35

Friday, 13 March 2020

The Mungo Mah Lobeh Congo Campaign Adventure 5


Adventure 5 – Encounters In Hostile Lands


Campaign Journal compiled by Alan, of Tring Wargames Club

Background

“The men are not their usual selves. They are in the grip of fear; all singing has died out and they look nervously around them, expecting an attack at any minute. We are in Fang territory. Hardly anything is known of this people; they have no contact whatsoever with the outside world. Some claim they are cannibals. Despite the danger, we must push on, as this is the only means to attain our final destination.
With every passing minute, our African friends are increasingly nervous. I can only hope that they do not run off and leave us, as without them we are doomed. I have high hopes they will not, as after all they forgave me the mistake I committed yesterday. I had chosen to set up my tent close to the most enormous tree I have ever seen; this was not to the liking of some, as they held the tree to be sacred, the very domain of the gods.
They are such strange folk, but their proximity to Nature and to the Earth is touching. I hope that one day I will come to understand them better.” – Mary Kingsley

“There is no more dangerous place than that through which Mary is now advancing. The Fangs, with their reputation as aggressive warriors and flesh eaters, dwell here. If she had another choice, she would have opted for it.”

Travelling to the Next Adventure

As the winner of the last adventure, Mary got first pick (yet again!) of the travel routes to the next one, and she again chose to travel “Village To Village” to this penultimate adventure of the expedition. This is a slow route, but offers her the best chance to recruit new followers.
Again, this was not as good a choice as she has made previously; she rolled to make the journey in 5 months, and once again her bearers were unable to help her complete the journey any quicker.  However, her roll on the Encounter table allows her to recruit another group of Archers, for this adventure only.
Mary has now earned a total of four domains of knowledge, so her character uses her 3-star card, which makes her very effective at rallying her troops. No further upgrades are possible for her.
Once again, Ujuwa elected to travel “Through Thriving Jungle”, and again this proved to be a good choice for him. He made his success roll, so the journey only costs him one of his Spiritual Link points, and his roll on the Encounter table allowed him to locate two new specimens of medicinal plants.
Ujuwa has earned a total of two domains of knowledge, so his character will now use his 2-star card, which makes him more effective at rallying his troops.

The Forces

As before, Mary is accompanied on this adventure by her Kirangozi guide Kiva and the reporter JJ, and her party has the same make-up as the previous adventure, including Explorers, Soldiers, Askaris, Ruga-Ruga, and Young Warriors. She also has an additional group of Archers, recruited from one of the villages she passed through on her journey.
Her Askaris are accompanied by their pet leopard which they acquired in the last adventure. It provides the group with an additional 1D8 combat value.
Mary has retained her three Bearers, which she places with her Askaris, her Archers, and her Adventurers. Mary herself accompanies her Young Warriors, while she sends JJ with the Askaris, and Kiva with the Archer unit.

Her opponent Ujuwa is again accompanied by his allies, the outcast Fang chieftain M’Otowanfa, and the Werda-Fakawi Pygmy King O’Mi’Lordi. His party also has the same make-up as the last adventure, consisting of Warriors, Young Warriors, Bundukis, Archers, Pygmy Archers, and some Scouts.
Ujuwa decided to accompany his Archers this time.  The Fang chief will go with the Warriors instead, and the Pygmy King will accompany his Young Warriors this time.  Ujuwa has no Auxiliaries to assign.

The Terrain

This adventure once again called for jungle terrain, although the leopard-infested thickets are now also behind them; the scenario rules dictate that all terrain not otherwise marked is considered dense terrain here, which will increase its cover value to D8. This low, dense cover is elephant country!
“We were about to descend into a ravine when we noticed five elephants taking a mud bath. If an elephant charges at you, the only way to escape is to hide downwind behind a tree, so that they can neither see you, nor smell you.” – Mary Kingsley

As before, we used Martin’s dining-room table for the game, with his battle mat defining the standard Congo 4’x3’ playing area. His trees were used to mark out the areas of Dangerous and Blocking terrain called for by the scenario.
The scenario calls for a “barrier” of High Dangerous Terrain running diagonally across the table. This  is D10 cover, and is divided somewhat arbitrarily into six areas for the purpose of placing the Discovery tokens – see below. The two sides begin at opposite diagonal corners, and must exit at their opponent’s starting point, which means that they must negotiate the barrier as well as fight their way through the enemy forces.
The barrier of course, is where the Fang will be inclined to attack. Their modus operandi is very similar to that of Pygmy Archers, with their poison arrows. The scenario rules do not allow for the targeting of the Fang, and not even Scouts appear to be able to avoid the attacks, so there is no way to evade or eliminate them.
“The Fang are a highly aggressive tribe, and they hate intruders unless they are serving them up for dinner. Their favourite tactic is to hide up amongst the branches, and kill you with a poisoned dart before you even know they are there.”

The areas of High Dangerous Terrain also contain Discovery tokens. When collected by a group entering the terrain (and surviving the inevitable attack by the Fang), the group makes a roll on an Encounter table which is part of the scenario, to determine what type of Discovery is made. Some results come in the form of useful discoveries, while some are really bad news, up to and including a boiling cauldron of human body parts!
Naturally, the areas of High Dangerous Terrain also trigger Jungle Encounters, per the standard rules, which are then rolled for on the Encounter tables provided in the Mungo Mah Lobeh campaign pack. These may turn out to be good or bad, but if past experience is anything to go by, they are usually interesting.

The Adventure

This scenario calls for the two factions to deploy in opposite diagonal corners of the table, with the barrier of High Dangerous Terrain bisecting it along the other diagonal. Units which cannot be deployed on-table will enter via their respective corner.
For reference purposes, Mary will start in the NW corner, and Ujuwa in the SE corner.
The first picture is a full table shot from the southern end, with Mary’s deployment area in the top left corner and Ujuwa’s in the bottom right.  For now, the elephants are just for show.

1 – The table for adventure 5, looking north

Ujuwa started with the Initiative token for this adventure, because he lost the last one. His plan is to send Ujuwa himself with one of his units around the edge avoiding Mary’s troops, then quickly cross the Fang barrier and make a beeline for the target corner of the board. Meanwhile, the rest of his units will delay Mary as much as possible, hopefully bogging her down in the Fang barrier, while also protecting any Loot or Discovery tokens they have acquired. However, as all wargamers and military leaders know, no plan of action quite survives contact with the enemy.
On turn 1, Mary moves her Young Warriors with their leopard pet, her Adventurers, and her newly-recruited Archers towards the middle of the table.

2 – Mary’s forces advance in the centre

Meanwhile Ujuwa sends his Scouts and Young Warriors, accompanied by their Pygmy King, racing west across the table, clearly intent on grabbing the southernmost of the Discovery tokens.

3 – Ujuwa’s Scouts and the Young Warriors with the Pygmy King head west

Meanwhile Ujuwa himself, with his Archers and their blowpipes, move more sedately northwards.

4 – Ujuwa and his Archers head north

At the end of the turn, Ujuwa seeks to put some juju on Mary’s forces to slow them down, and he succeeds in drawing an Animal Encounter; this randomly places an Elephant on the northern edge of the table.

On turn 2, most units from both sides continue to advance pell-mell in the centre, and it becomes clear that some sort of confrontation there is only a matter of time.

5 – Mary with her Young Warriors and their pet leopard also head to the centre

Ujuwa’s Scouts enter the southernmost Dangerous terrain area, and grab Discovery token #1. They move so silently that they obviously catch the Fang ambushers napping, because they avoid taking any casualties.
They also encounter an old man who begs them for a drink of water. Taking pity on him, they give him some, whereupon he revives enough to perform a Mandrill’s Dance ritual, which earns the Scouts an additional totem card.
The Elephant wanders at random near the northern edge of the table, far enough away from both sides forces that, for now, it does not display any signs of becoming panicky or aggressive.

On turn 3, Mary’s Askaris and the reporter JJ grab Discovery token #5. Unfortunately for them, this is cursed, and they are pinned to the spot for the duration of the turn. The Fang ambush them with their poison arrows, hitting one, but his uniform prevents the arrow from breaking the skin and he survives.
The Askaris don’t have much luck with their roll on the Jungle Encounter table either. They are attacked by a large cloud of biting insects, forcing the group to flee back the way they came until they clear the Dangerous Terrain area.
Mary’s Adventurers are able to find Discovery token #4, and this time it is a useful one. Furthermore, the Fang ambush fails to score any hits, and they roll a No Effect on the Jungle Encounter table.
Mary’s Archer unit is able to grab Discovery token #2, which is another good one. They do lose a casualty to the Fang arrows, but at least their Jungle Encounter has no adverse effect.
The Elephant now starts to meander generally southwards, gradually bringing it closer to both sides’ forces.

Ujuwa’s Young Warriors now decide to take a chance and charge into the Dangerous Terrain, intent on getting to grips with Mary’s Archers. It proves to be an expensive decision. The Fang kill one of them, and they also disturb a lurking panther, which kills two more. The Pygmy King is forced to face the first Terrifying Death Rolls of the game, but he survives.
However, the Young Warriors do kill two of the Archers, and force them to retreat clear of the Dangerous Terrain; they carry their precious Discovery token with them. Kiva survives his Terrifying Death Roll.
Mary’s Soldiers and Ruga-Ruga now penetrate the Dangerous Terrain in the centre of the table. The Fang unleash their ambush upon them, claiming one of the Ruga-Ruga. However, they find a fetish, thereby earning a Loot token.

The Elephant continues to meander southwards.
Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers now move into into the south-central Dangerous Terrain, which under the rules of the scenario, trigger Fang ambushes on all units in the area or within S of it.  Much to her disgust, this means that only one of Ujuwa’s units is targeted, but three of Mary’s!

6 – Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers

Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers lose 1 casualty, but Mary’s Soldiers lose two to the Fangs’ poison arrows. The Fang also score hits on the Adventurers and the Ruga-Ruga, but Mary is able to save them.
On the Pygmy Archers’ Jungle Encounter roll, they find some tasty berries, which earn them two Loot tokens. Unfortunately they also lose another casualty finding out that the berries are actually poisonous!

On turn 4, Mary’s remaining Soldiers shoot at the Pygmy Archers, but fail to cause any damage. Her Ruga-Ruga target Ujuwa’s Bunduki, who are now within range, killing one. The Adventurers fire at Ujuwa and his Archers, but also fail to do any damage.
Ujuwa decides to cut his losses in the face of overwhelming odds. His Pygmy Archers retreat carrying one of their Loot tokens; they are forced to drop one, as otherwise they would be too encumbered to move at all. It is at times like these that Ujuwa really envies Mary her Bearers, which enable her units to avoid the penalty for carrying bulky objects.

All this shooting on Mary’s part achieves what is probably the effect she desires, considering that Ujuwa brought the Fang down on her forces in the last turn. The Elephant panics, and true to its capricious nature, it charges the nearest visible unit regardless of who is firing at who. This happens to be Ujuwa and his Archers, who suffer 1 man trampled to death, forcing them to retreat. Ujuwa is forced to make a Terrifying Death Roll, but he survives.

7 – The Elephant rampages through the jungle, blinded by panic

Ujuwa now steals the Initiative, enabling him to move first. He plays an Extra Move totem card, and he treks almost all the way to the eastern edge of the board, but it has the desired effect - his unit is now far enough away that they will not be charged again by the Elephant.
Ujuwa’s Bunduki return the fire of Mary’s Adventurers, with no effect. His Warriors then charge Mary’s Ruga-Ruga, who are still holed up in the Dangerous Terrain. The Fang perhaps take one look at the Warriors’ ferocious demeanour and decide not to interfere, and the Warriors then get a No Effect on the Jungle Encounter table, but they do just enough to the Ruga-Ruga to force them to retreat and draw a Stress token. However, the melee result means the Warriors have to take one too, which becomes two since they already have a Terror token. With the rampaging Elephant drawing ever closer, this is really not a good time to draw two Panic Stress tokens, but they are now firmly pinned in place for the rest of the turn!
Mary is not slow to take advantage. Her Adventurers kill two of the Warriors, and the Soldiers account for another. Ujuwa’s renegade Fang chieftain M’Otowanfa is forced to make two Terrifying Death Rolls, but survives – just!

The Elephant now transfers its attention to the Bundukis, trampling one, and forcing them to retreat.
The Soldiers continue to pour fire on Ujuwa’s Warriors, killing another one. M’Otowanfa survives yet another Terrifying Death Roll, but the unit is forced to flee as they are on the four-token Stress limit.

8 - M’Otowanfa and his remaining Warrior are feeling the Stress

Mary’s Askaris now move into the south-central Dangerous Terrain area, perhaps intending to pick up the Loot token dropped earlier by Ujuwa’s heavily-laden Pygmy Archers. The Fang fire on them, but without effect.
Desperate to win an adventure for once, Ujuwa now moves northeast with his Archers, trying to get around Mary’s flank and give himself a clear run to the northwest corner.
Meanwhile, his Bundukis move into the south-central Dangerous terrain area, and grab the dropped Loot token from under the noses of the Askaris. Once again, under the rules of the scenario, the Fang shoot at all units in the area or within S of it.  The Bundukis are hit but manage to save it, as do Mary’s Soldiers, but her Adventurers lose one casualty, and two of her Askaris succumb to the Fang’s poison arrows! It is JJ’s turn to face the Terrifying Death Roll, which she survives.
This time, the Elephant charges Mary’s Adventurers; they narrowly avoid being trampled, but they do have to retreat, taking them out of the Dangerous Terrain again.

On turn 5, Ujuwa and the Archers reaches the Dangerous Terrain up in the northeast corner and finds Discovery token #3. His men take two hits from the Fang, but are able to save them. However, their roll on the Jungle Encounter table sees them beset by swarms of giant mosquitoes; they are forced to flee. By bad luck, the random direction thrown sends them into the adjacent Dangerous Terrain area, where a second Fang ambush costs them a casualty. To add insult to injury, this time their roll on the Jungle Encounter table requires them to face a Terror test, which they promptly fail - once again, Ujuwa’s luck seems to be running true to form!
However, the mossies are not finished yet. Driven temporarily mad by their biting, all the other units currently in Dangerous Terrain areas must open fire on the nearest unit, friend or foe. The Soldiers kill one Bunduki, while the Bunduki and Mary’s Young Warriors trade shots ineffectually. The Askaris kill two Adventurers, which wipes them out and suddenly Discovery token #4 is lying on the ground unclaimed.

Desperate to end the elephant’s attacks on her forces, Mary orders her Ruga-Ruga to try and bring it down with their muskets, but they can only achieve one uncancelled hit, and three are needed.
Her Archers also kill another of Ujuwa’s Young Warriors, forcing the Pygmy King to make another Terrifying Death Roll, which he survives.
Mary uses an extra Action totem card to move south with her Young Warriors, intent on heading for her exit point in the southeast corner.
The Elephant charges Mary’s Askaris; they narrowly avoid being trampled, but they are forced to retreat.
Ujuwa and his Warriors now exit the Dangerous Terrain near the northern end of the table. Encumbered as they are, and without a Bearer, they are unable to pick up the pace, but they do have some Movement Action totem cards in reserve, so with a little luck they should be able to make it to their exit point. Ujuwa triumphantly casts a Bulls Breath ritual, succeeds, and piles a Stress token on Mary’s Askaris, the only unit which is in any position to stop him.
The Bundukis fall back away from Mary’s forces, carrying their precious Loot token with them.

9 – Ujuwa’s surviving Bundukis fall back to guard their Loot token

The Elephant charges Mary’s Soldiers; they manage to avoid being trampled, but are forced to retreat.
Both sides’ Young Warriors duel ineffectually with their assegais. However, Mary’s Soldiers then charge Ujuwa’s Young Warriors and win the resulting melee. The Young Warriors fall back, but now need to collect no less than five Stress tokens, because they already have two Terror tokens! This far exceeds the four-token Stress limit, so they flee once, and then lose their last figure. With three tokens still to draw, we decide that the only logical outcome must be that the accompanying Pygmy King dies, with no chance of avoiding the Terrifying Death Roll!  Ouch!!
On turn 6, the scenario rules require the holder of the Initiative marker, which at this point is Ujuwa, to roll before each Action Phase to determine if the game is over.
The first Action Phase is played normally, and much to Ujuwa’s surprise, Mary’s forces make no attempt to pick up Discovery token #4, dropped when the Adventurers were wiped out. In fairness to them, it IS practically under the Elephant’s feet!
Instead, Mary puts juju on Ujuwa and his Archers, trying to slow them down. He draws a Panic Stress, so he cannot move for the rest of the turn. This is precisely NOT what he wanted and could cost him the game, as the two sides are fairly even in terms of acquisitions at this point.
Mary and her Young Warriors advance into the south-central Dangerous Terrain area, triggering a Fang attack on themselves, and also on her Archers, and Ujuwa’s Bunduki. Clearly the Fang are getting tired, as they fail to cause any casualties at all.  However, the Young Warriors do run into a large anthill, which earns them a Stress token.

Ujuwa puts juju on Mary and her young Warriors, desperately seeking to slow down their advance. He also casts a Bull’s Breath ritual on the Askaris, and sends his remaining Warriors to block Mary’s path.
The Elephant charges the Ruga-Ruga, killing four and wiping them out, which leaves a Loot token lying on the ground.

10 – The Elephant wipes out the Ruga-Ruga

The second Action Phase is played normally, and Mary and her Young Warriors run round Ujuwa’s Warriors, now very obviously trying to get to their objective, the southeast corner.
Rather than trying to pick up the dropped Discovery and Loot tokens, the Askaris shoot ineffectually at Ujuwa and his Archers. As it turned out, this cost Mary the game.

11 – JJ and the Askaris ignore the tokens lying on the ground

As an extra Action, Kiva and the Archers move into the Dangerous Terrain in order to evade the still-rampaging Elephant. The Fang have gone quiet at this point, maybe they have run out of poison arrows?
However, the Archers do get an Animal Encounter, which places a leopard in the centre of the Dangerous Terrain, and they also run into quicksand; when they try to escape, the random direction thrown sends them smack into Ujuwa’s Warriors and their Chief. In the ensuing melee, Ujuwa rolls so poorly that the only realistic conclusion is that the last Warrior and the Chief are killed!
As a last-minute sweetener, the two surviving Pygmy Archers open fire on Kiva and his Archers, causing two casualties with their poison arrows, but Kiva survives his terrifying Death Roll. The Bundukis fall further back, putting their Loot token safely beyond Mary’s reach.
Ujuwa then rolls a third time to see of the game is over, and it ends before the third Action Phase.

Tallying the Adventure

Because neither side attained its main objective of exiting the table, not many Victory Points were earned in this adventure, and so once again the tally was very close.
Mary has retained only a single Discovery token, in Flora, for a total of 4 VP.
She also collected one Loot token; the scenario rules call for them to roll 3D6 for each token, with only successes earning VP’s. After the dust has settled, she has earned 1 VP.
Mary’s reporter JJ let her down by failing to meet the deadline for publication of the trip report in this month’s bulletin of the Société Géographique; clearly they are now too far from civilisation to despatch them reliably, so she earned no VP’s.
However, Mary’s forces were able to account for both the Pygmy King and M’Otowanfa, the renegade Fang chief. These “kills” earn Mary 2 VP each, and we will discover what actually happens to them at the start of the next adventure.
Ujuwa managed to find and hold on to two Discovery tokens, in Remains and Sacred Stones, for a total of 8 VP.
He also collected two Loot tokens, and after rolling for each, he had earned 2 VP.
That means Ujuwa earned a total of 10 VP, and Mary earned 9 VP, so Ujuwa has finally won an adventure.
Ujuwa was still feeling rather Poorly at the start of this adventure. However, he suffered no additional ill effects, so he retains his Poorly status and that will carry over to the next adventure.
No additional domains of Knowledge were earned by either side. Ujuwa will therefore retain his 2-star status for the next adventure, and Mary will retain her 3-star status.
No Hunting trophies were earned this time by either side.
Ujuwa cast two successful Sacred Rituals in this adventure, earning him two Spiritual Link points. With no surviving Sacred Warriors, he is unable to roll for bonus Link points.
As usual, travelling to the next adventure will be resolved prior to playing that adventure.


Friday, 6 March 2020

The Mungo Mah Lobeh Congo Campaign Adventure 4


Adventure 4 – Unknown Species... and Stone Statues


Campaign Journal compiled by Alan, of Tring Wargames Club

Background

“The region through which we are now advancing is thickly forested, and heavy downpours are frequent. My guides have told me that this paradisiacal jungle is home to numerous unique species of birds, monkeys, and plants. The very thought of coming home laden down with such treasures, unknown to my fellow Britons, quickens my blood. Not to mention the interest that it would stir up at the British Museum.

One of the guides reported back to me this morning, saying that he had discovered, scattered throughout the forest, elements of stone statues. He dared not pick them up for fear of what might haunt them. I must say I am greatly intrigued: is this the remains of some lost civilisation? Or the shattered remains of a temple of some sort?
Unfortunately this was not the only news brought back by the guide. Numerous warriors, led by the witchdoctor that has shadowed my expedition from the very beginning, are moving parallel to us through the very same jungle. Our scout however went unseen, and so we are thankfully forewarned. Whatever their intentions, I will not let them stand between myself and those stone relics. – Mary Kingsley
Both forces make slow progress through the dense jungle, while contending with the inclement weather and hostile animal life.

Travelling to the Next Adventure

As the winner of the last adventure, Mary got first pick (yet again!) of the travel routes to the next one, and she again chose to travel “Village To Village” to this fourth adventure of the expedition. This is a slow route, but offers her the best chance to recruit new followers.
This time it was not as good a choice as previously; she rolled to make the journey in 5 months, and this time her Bearers were unable to help her complete the journey any quicker.  However, her roll on the Encounter table did earn her another Bearer.
However, since she has now earned a total of four domains of Knowledge, her character gets an upgrade to her 3-star card, which makes her considerably more effective at rallying her troops.
Ujuwa elected to travel “Through Thriving Jungle” this time, and he made his success roll, so the journey only costs him one of his Spiritual Link points.
His roll on the Encounter table also finally brought some good news.  He located and collected a specimen of a medicinal plant.

The Forces

As before, Mary is accompanied on this adventure by her Kirangozi guide Kiva and the reporter JJ, and her party has the same make-up as the previous adventure, including Explorers, Soldiers, Askaris, Ruga-Ruga, and Young Warriors. However, she does not keep the additional group of Archers from the last adventure.
She now has three Bearers, which she places with her Askaris, her Ruga-Ruga, and her Adventurers. Mary herself accompanies her Adventurers, while she sends JJ with the Ruga-Ruga, and Kiva with the Young Warriors.
Her opponent Ujuwa is again accompanied by his allies, the outcast Fang chieftain M’Otowanfa, and the Werda-Fakawi Pygmy King O’Mi’Lordi. His party also has the same make-up as the last adventure, consisting of Warriors, Young Warriors, Bundukis, Archers, Pygmy Archers, and some Scouts.
Ujuwa decided to accompany his Warriors again, intending to free up his Archers to counteract the White Men’s firepower.  The Fang chief is sent with the Bundukis this time, and the Pygmy King accompanies his Pygmy Archers, as usual.  Ujuwa has no Auxiliaries to assign.

The Terrain

This adventure once again called for jungle terrain, although the mangrove swamps and quicksand have now been left behind. Instead of the crocs and hippos which infested the river banks, the jungle is now home to leopards, in addition to the usual types of possible animal encounters.
Once again, we used Martin’s dining-room table for the game, with his battle mat defining the standard Congo 4’x3’ playing area. His trees were used to designate the areas of Dangerous and Blocking terrain called for by the scenario.
Some broken walls and columns from Alan’s medieval and fantasy terrain collection were scattered about to depict the shattered statues called for by the scenario. Each statue is in three pieces, and there is one obsidian and one jade statue. Victory Points are earned for collecting the pieces, with a bonus if a complete statue is collected.
In addition, some areas of Blocking Terrain contain Discovery tokens. When collected by a group making base contact with them, the group makes a roll on an Encounter table which is part of the scenario, with possible good, bad, or indifferent results. Some of the good results are in the form of Discoveries, which provide various benefits for future scenarios, as well as contributing towards overall success in the campaign.
“The two columns are making only slow headway through the dense jungle.  To make matters worse, the clouds have burst once again and the forest is drenched by a heavy downpour.
The number of animal bones that litter the ground make certain the presence of a sanctuary of some kind. Moreover, this entire area being a hunting ground for local tribes, the presence of traps cannot be ruled out.”
The roll for the type of sanctuary indicated that the scattered bones were from gorillas, meaning that these are likely to appear if any animal encounters occur.

The Adventure

Unusually, this scenario calls for both factions to deploy from the same end of the table, which has arbitrarily been designated as the southern end.


The first picture is a full table shot from this southern end, with Mary’s deployment area in the left corner and Ujuwa’s in the right. Units which do not fit into the deployment areas are allowed to enter on subsequent turns (Note: NOT action phases).


1 – The table for this adventure, looking north

The scenario opens with a Downpour, which means that firing ranges and Line of Sight are restricted to M for the first full turn.
Ujuwa got the Initiative for this adventure, because he lost the last one. He immediately sends his Scouts racing up the table, and lays some juju (i.e. our codename for Stress tokens) on Mary and her Askaris.
Mary’s Soldiers are also quick off the mark, and immediately occupy the southernmost Dangerous Terrain area. This earns them a Statue piece (part of the obsidian statue, as it turns out), and their roll on the Terrain Encounter table means they have found a young leopard, which they adopt as a pet. This turns out to be quite useful; the Encounter rules specify that it confers an additional D8 in combat, and we decided to treat it as an Auxiliary character, which means that it can be carried over to future adventures. The flipside is of course that, like any Auxiliary character, it can be killed.
Mary’s Young Warriors make contact with the nearest Discovery token, but their roll on the Encounter table was a disappointment, earning them nothing at all. Meanwhile, Ujuwa’s Scouts found a piece of the jade Statue in the easternmost Dangerous Terrain, and their Encounter table roll located them a safe path back out of the terrain. Unfortunately, since they are now encumbered by the Statue piece, that is as far as they can go for now.
Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers move towards the southernmost Dangerous Terrain area. If they can reach it without heavy casualties, they can engage the Soldiers on more even terms, and they know from the previous experience that the Soldiers are very worried by their poison arrows!
Sure enough, the Soldiers open fire on the Pygmy Archers, despatching one of them. However, the Pygmies do make it into cover with the Soldiers, while the Archers move up to support them, as their blowpipes have the range which the Pygmy bows lack.


2 – The Soldiers find a Statue piece, and a pet, but soon face opposition
Ujuwa’s Scouts press on to capture a Discovery token, which earns them an extra totem card.

On turn 2, the Downpour ends, so firing ranges and Line of Sight are no longer restricted.  The Pygmy Archers immediately go to work on the Soldiers with their poison arrows, killing two of them without resort to any saving throws. The Soldiers fire back, but can only despatch one of Ujuwa’s Archers.
The Soldiers fire again, hitting another Archer, but he is saved. Mary’s Young Warriors, accompanied by her caravan guide Kiva, advance on the Pygmy Archers and then fire on them, killing two, but the accompanying Pygmy King manages to survive his Terrifying Death Roll.


3 – Mary’s Young Warriors advance to tackle the Pygmy Archers
Ujuwa hopes that piling Stress onto Mary’s Soldiers, Young Warriors and Askaris, will slow down her advance. Despite that, Mary and her Adventurers use their own move plus a bonus Move action to advance almost to the centre of the board. She also brings on her Ruga-Ruga, and her Askaris move up in support. When they move into the Dangerous Terrain area on the western side of the board, they find a piece of the jade Statue. It must be the season for collecting pets, because their roll on the Terrain Encounter table also earns them a pet leopard.


4 – Mary’s forces advance in the centre
Ujuwa also brings in more troops, deploying his Warriors, Bunduki and Young Warriors onto the table. He also casts his first ritual of the adventure, the Bull’s Breath, on Mary and her Askaris, which earns them a Stress token.

On turn 3, Ujuwa seizes the Initiative, puts some juju on Mary’s Soldiers, and then moves his Young Warriors in to attack, but the plan fails; they lose the melee and have to retreat.
Mary’s Young Warriors attack the Archers in return, killing two of them. Mary is able to remove some Stress from her Ruga-Ruga, but fails to do so from the Soldiers, who are now very nervously hanging on in a corner of the jungle, while Ujuwa’s forces close in from both sides.
In an attempt to relieve the pressure, Mary’s Young Warriors shoot at Ujuwa’s Archers, but they miss. However, her Soldiers have slightly more luck, killing one of Ujuwa’s Young Warriors.
It does appear, however, that her Soldiers have good reason to fear Ujuwa’s Pygmy Archers. Peering through the dense undergrowth, they unleash another volley of their poison arrows, killing two more Soldiers with no saving throw. To make matters worse, Ujuwa’s Young Warriors kill the last remaining Soldier; they also kill the pet leopard, so they claim it as a hunting trophy as well – the scenario doesn’t specify how old an animal has to be when it is killed!
The demise of the Soldiers leaves a piece of obsidian Statue up for grabs in this corner of the jungle, and Ujuwa immediately sends in his Young Warriors in to grab it. Mary tries to put some juju on the Young Warriors, but they draw an Animal Encounter token; they elect to place a gorilla in the centremost piece of Dangerous Terrain, which looks like becoming the objective of Mary’s headlong push up the table.
Mary is determined not to give up a piece of the Statue without a fight, so her Ruga-Ruga, accompanied by the reporter JJ, advance on Ujuwa’s Young Warriors to have a discussion about its ownership; the Ruga-Ruga are not satisfied with what’s on offer, so they give the Warriors a volley with their muskets. This confrontation quickly balloons into the focus of much of the fighting at this end of the table.


5 – Mary’s Ruga-Ruga discuss ownership of the obsidian Statue piece with Ujuwa’s Young Warriors
At the end of turn 3, Ujuwa’s Archers manage to kill one of Mary’s Young Warriors, but Kiva saves his Terrifying Death Roll.  The Bunduki move up into the centre of the table, being careful to remain far enough away from the centre Dangerous Terrain area, because approaching within S will now automatically trigger an attack by the gorilla.


6 – The Bunduki cautiously move around the gorilla – with good reason, he’s HUGE!!

On turn 4, a new Downpour commences, so firing ranges and Line of Sight are restricted to M for the complete turn.
Mary Ruga-Ruga fire on Ujuwa’s Young Warriors, obtaining another kill. These are now heavily outnumbered by the Ruga-Ruga, and they elect to retreat, carrying the Statue piece with them. However, encumbered as they are, they are unable to pick up the pace, and therefore do not get very far.  To prevent them getting away with the Statue piece, the Ruga-Ruga charge the Young Warriors, wiping them out in the ensuing melee. The obsidian Statue piece changes hands for a second time.


7 – The Ruga-Ruga re-capture the obsidian Statue piece, watched by another gorilla
There is now a flurry of movement in the centre of the board, as both sides square up to each other for what looks like becoming the ultimate showdown. Mary’s Young Warriors charge Ujuwa and his Warriors, and kill one in the melee. Ujuwa bucks the trend developing in this campaign by surviving his Terrifying Death Roll.


8 – Mary’s Young Warriors attack Ujuwa and his Warriors
However, when both sides draw their Stress token for having been in melee, Mary’s Young Warriors find it is their turn to have an Animal Encounter. They happily place a second gorilla in the Dangerous Terrain area right next to Ujuwa’s Scouts, who had been sneaking up the eastern edge of the table with a view to grabbing another piece of Statue. Suddenly, entering that area of Terrain doesn’t look like such a good idea.

On turn 5, Ujuwa’s luck seems to return to par for the campaign, when he fails to remove any Stress from his Warriors, and also fails to score any hits with the Pygmy Archers. Perhaps their poison arrows are losing their potency?
In contrast, Mary takes three Stress of her Young Warriors and also manages to have her Ruga-Ruga kill another Pygmy Archer. The Pygmy King survives yet another Terrifying Death Roll.
Mary then takes another three Stress off her Ruga-Ruga, and her Young Warriors charge Ujuwa and his Warriors for a second time. The melee results in no casualties to either side, but Ujuwa and co. are forced to retreat back into the jungle. Fortunately, the Bunduki rise to the occasion, and fire a volley into the faces of the Young Warriors, killing two of them and hopefully discouraging any further pursuit.
The Pygmy Archers have clearly been working on their target practice, as they fire on the Ruga-Ruga, killing one of them. The reporter JJ, who is accompanying them, survives her Terrifying Death Roll.
Encouraged by their success, the Pygmy Archers loose another volley of arrows at the Ruga-Ruga, killing another one. Once again JJ has to face a Terrifying Death Roll, and survives. Ujuwa’s few surviving Pygmy Warriors charge the Ruga-Ruga, but are repulsed in the melee, and have to retreat.
Most of Mary’s forces are now virtually incapacitated by Stress; she and her Askaris have been immobilised for most of two full turns by Panic Stress tokens, and Ujuwa senses that victory might be within his grasp. She quickly changes that however, by successfully rallying her Askaris, her Young Warriors, and the Ruga-Ruga, and the end of the turn automatically eliminates the Panic Stress.

On turn 6, Mary is able to rally her Adventurers, and the Ruga-Ruga take a shot at the Pygmy Archers, but miss. It is now Ujuwa who needs to rally his forces, and he does successfully rally his Warriors, while his Bunduki reload their muskets.
The Bunduki then use their own movement plus a bonus Move action to hightail it up the table and grab a Discovery token in the northernmost Blocking terrain. Their roll on the scenario’s Encounter table yields them a Ritual Objects find.


9 – The Bunduki steal a march on Mary and grab a Discovery token
Mary’s Young Warriors attempt to follow up their previous success by attacking Ujuwa and his Warriors again. This time though, they lose their last two figures, and the caravan guide Kiva, all alone in the middle of the board, suddenly realises that discretion is the only part of valour that counts. Ujuwa tries to cast one of his Bull’s Breath Sacred Rituals on him, but the ghastly smell and thunderous farts are blown away by the wind – he’s not having much luck with his Rituals this time out!


10 – Ujuwa casts a Sacred Ritual at Mary’s caravan guide Kiva
With both sides looking around for Victory Points as the end of the game approaches, Ujuwa’s Archers fire on the Ruga-Ruga. Successfully wiping them out might mean that the obsidian Statue piece could change hands for a third time. No luck however - the Archers miss completely.
Meanwhile at the other end of the table, the Bunduki decide it’s time to go gorilla hunting. By cashing in some totem cards for bonus dice, they manage to kill the gorilla in the north-eastern Dangerous terrain area, earning Ujuwa’s side another hunting trophy.
Not to be outdone, Mary’s Askaris and her Adventurers let their volleys fly at the gorilla in the centre Dangerous Terrain area. This one is better at keeping his head down though, and both groups only manage one un-cancelled hit each, not enough to kill it because the hits don’t accumulate. It is enough however, for both hits to thoroughly enrage it, and Mary discovers an interesting fact about this species of gorilla – the angrier they are, the bigger they get, so the gorilla will now roll twice as many dice if any group is unwise enough to get close enough to provoke a charge!


11 – The gorilla before he’s shot at



12 – The now thoroughly enraged gorilla

On turn 7, the scenario rules require the holder of the Initiative marker, Mary at this point, to roll before each Action Phase to determine if the game is over.
The first Action Phase is played normally, and Mary and her Adventurers grab another Discovery token in the northwest corner of the table; this yields them an Artefacts find.
Her other forces play it safe; Kiva falls back towards Mary’s other units on the western side of the board, while the Ruga-Ruga finally secure the obsidian Statue piece which has been fought over for much of the game, by also retreating westwards.
Ujuwa’s troops however, have other ideas. His Scouts advance to the edge of the north-eastern Dangerous Terrain area, intending to enter it and grab another Statue piece now the gorilla which was guarding it is no longer a threat. The Bunduki likewise move on the north-western Dangerous Terrain area, and since they are not encumbered, they are able to enter it and claim another jade Statue piece.
Mary then rolled a second time to see of the game is over, and it ended before the second Action Phase.

Tallying the Adventure

By comparison with the earlier adventures, few Victory Points were earned by either side this time, and the tally was very close.
Both sides collected two Loot/Discovery tokens, but the scenario rules call for them to roll 3D6 for each token, with only successes earning VP’s. After the dust had settled, Mary had earned 1VP and Ujuwa none.
Both sides also collected two pieces of Statue - Ujuwa found two pieces of jade, while Mary found one piece each of obsidian and jade. Since neither side collected a complete Statue, there were no bonus points there, so both sides earned just 3 VP.
Neither side earned any VP’s for holding totem cards bearing a gorilla picture.
Mary found a single Discovery, in Artefacts, for a total of 4 VP.
Ujuwa also found a single Discovery, in Ritual Objects, for a total of 4VP.
Mary’s reporter JJ let her down by failing to meet the deadline for publication of the trip report in this month’s bulletin of the Société Géographique; she flunked her success rolls, earning no VP’s.
Somewhat surprisingly, considering the number of Terrifying Death Rolls which had to be made by both sides during this adventure, no Characters or Auxiliaries were killed; however, since the Soldiers’ pet leopard was killed with that group, we assigned 1 VP (i.e. half value) to Ujuwa, for killing one “semi-Auxiliary”.
Just for fun, we decided that Mary’s Askaris should be allowed to keep their pet leopard as part of that group for the next adventure. It will give the group an additional combat value of 1D8.
That means that this adventure was a draw, at 8 VP each. Under the scenario rules, if there is a draw in VP’s, the holder of the Initiative token is declared the winner; once again, that was Mary.
Ujuwa was still feeling rather Poorly at the start of this adventure. However, he suffered no additional ill effects, so he retains his Poorly status and that will carry over to the next adventure.
Since both sides had found an equal number of Statue pieces, we interpreted the scenario rules to allocate one additional domain of Knowledge to each side. Since he has now earned two domains of Knowledge in total, Ujuwa will upgrade to his 2-star card for the next adventure. Mary already has four domains of Knowledge, so she is using her 3-star card and cannot upgrade any further.
Ujuwa gained two Hunting Trophies during this adventure – Leopard and Gorilla.
Ujuwa cast a number of Sacred Rituals in this adventure, but only one was successful, so he only earned a single Spiritual Link point. With no surviving Sacred Warriors, he is unable to roll for bonus Link points.
Travelling to the next adventure will be resolved prior to playing that adventure.