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Umbiko Lale, 1915

The Great War, In the Heart of Africa / In the Heart of East Africa,   28mm

Colin Jack and Bill Gilchrist of the SESWC laid on a great WW1 game, set in East Africa. For this theatre we usually use Chris Peers’ Heart of East Africa amendments to the Heart of Africarules, but because this was a particularly large game we reverted to the slightly less complicated Contemptible Little Armies system. We certainly seemed to have a lot of lead on the table! My poor Germans were beset on three sides by Allied columns – the Belgians arrived by river, while the Nigerians & South Africans arrived on one long table edge while the British arrived from the other one, supported by a warband of Masai Warriors! In effect it was the trapping pincer movement the Allies always wanted to pull off in East Africa, but never managed.Huns4The German command was quickly chopped in two – my rearguard around the village picked on the Belgians, in the vain hope of wiping them out then escaping the trap by seizing their river steamers. The Germans were supported by a “Konigsberg” gun which fought and eventually won a due with a Belgian gunboat. Unfortunately for the rash “boat siezing” plan I ran out of Schutztruppe before the Belgians ran out of Askaris…! Huns3On the far side of the table Colin Jack conducted a spirited defence, cutting down a Masai charge, seeing off the Sikhs and clearing a path for the German bearers to make their way to safety. It was all good fun, even though  nobody seemed to be following much of a plan, and as you can see, the 6×8 foot table and the terrain seemed to swallow up the figures in a fairly realistic way. We should really play more of these WW1 games… Colin Jack supplied the British and half the Germans, while my Schutztruppe and Sailors made up the rest of the force.Huns2




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