This year’s Cold Wars had Mark, of Daddy’s Little Men fame, and I running the second day of the Battle of Tanga. This battle that occurred in German East Africa was to be the start in the Indian Army conquest of the German colony.
General Aitken had two brigades of 8,000 to face Lieutenant Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck’s 1,000 troops. But not all was to go well for the British troops. With little reconnaissance, poor and inappropriate troops, time on the ships, jungle terrain, landing in a mangrove swamp and African bees the British had a number of issues working against them.
After a number of playtests we thought it was going to be an even battle. Unfortunately the best-designed plan does not survive meeting with gamers.
Here is the story in pictures.
Mark and I setting up the table. The custom house is at the bottom.
The players around the table. The game is underway.
British Brigade approaching the African village.
Second British Assault on the rail embankment. It seems we never took a picture of the initial assault from the 27th (Banglore) Brigade. This second assault took the custom house.
After taking the custom house the British were unable to take the rail embankment.
This third assault was to be the end of the battle.
The end of the battle.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
End Game. The British hold the drainage ditch and are covering B and C Beach.
The heroes of the battle. Germans in the African village were never engaged so their machine guns were able to fire into the flanks of the British.
The Germans did win, but as typical gamers they were not as concerned about losses. Lieutenant Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was going to be hard pressed to recreate the campaign with the losses sustained amongst his European Officers and NCOs.
The British lost because they conducted uncoordinated and unsupported attacks. OK on that point it was historical. The British were also unconcerned with causalities. If they had regrouped after the second attack they could have been ready for an attack on the next day. (Than again we did not tell the players to keep their brigades ready to fight another day.)
I look forward to running this next year and at NJ Con latter this year.
Mark, thank you for running this game with me. Another well done game. Rules are If the Lord Spares Us by TOOFATLardies.
Things to add for next year:
Landings in the Tanga Harbor
Add a Table
And a Few Wild Cards