After Kofler’s (forgettable) first experience of colonial action in Darkest Africa (Kofler “benetzt seine Hose”), the column had regathered itself and slowly moved further into the hinterland, following the trail of the suspected Zanzibari Sklavenhändler (slavers). The trail led them towards the village of Kwuzlundi, near the edge of the regularly travelled parts of East Africa. Word was that the Zanzibari were due to pass by this way in the next few days heading to the coast with their victims, having stirred up the local tribes enough to preoccupy the Kaiser’s Imperial Forces!
Further assistance had arrived to the column in the form of two experienced and well travelled Hunters & Adventurers, Herr Hans Deutschlaender and Herr Arno Riedel – the latter famous locally for his garishly bright shirts & hunting jackets!
The two hunters provided the column with more detailed information of the local tribes and an improved ability to translate and communicate with the local tribesmen – and it looked like they were finally going to get the drop on the Zanzibari after nearly a month of trekking around the jungle!
Setting up camp near the village, Oberst Stuehmer (the column’s slightly eccentric but experienced commander) instructs Kofler & Muenst to establish a perimeter and stockpile the supplies – they are some distance from the furthest point the steamer can reach so its essential they get as much at hand as possible (the steamer having brought up fresh supplies and some replacements to reinforce the column’s earlier casualties – along with the 2 hunters mentioned above); some native porters are conscripted to cart the supplies the 3km or so overland. Since the river boat will return down river with their progress reports and to obtain further supplies they are effectively ‘on their own’ for now.
Believing they have a couple of days to prepare for the Zanzibari appearance the minimum pickets are put out around the camp, and Herr Riedel is confident they can rely on the friendlies in Kwuzlundi to also warn them of any approach… As fate would have it the friendlies turned out not so, and the minimal pickets were just enough to save the day and allow the camp to be called to arms at dawn just as large numbers of apparently aggressive tribesmen appeared – the report of the presence of possible Zanzibari Sklavenhändler being the final confirmation they had got themselves caught and although in serious trouble had narrowly avoided a potentially deadly ambush!
Deutschlaender & Riedel volunteer to head out and try and identify what is actually afoot, but as the rest of the force stands to around their makeshift perimeter, they do not get far before bodies of tribesmen appear from all directions and their mission becomes pointless; suddenly a volley of shots ring out and Deutschlaender goes down, hit by one of the dastardly Zanzibari! Too late Riedel realises the danger, and losing off a shot at the approaching slavers, frantically chases away the vultures (who miraculously appeared almost instantly) and begins dragging the seriously wounded Deutschlaender back to the camp…
Meanwhile Kofler is responsible for half the perimeter with his Deutsche Ost-Afrika Gesellschaft Askari Company, and Hauptmann Muenst with the rest with the Seebatallion, and the Maxim MG detachment covers the entrance. A small Brandbekämpfung Brigade is in reserve detached from the Seebatallion Company under its Senior NCO Feldwebel Orange-Haare. Riedel makes it back inside the perimeter with his wounded compatriot and soon the defenders are blasting away at the approaching enemy. The camp is swamped from all sides, as the dastardly Zanzibari ensconce themselves in a convenient patch of forest to snipe at Kofler’s Askari, while on the opposite side of the camp a group of Native Riflemen also appear and start shooting at Kofler and his unit… The Seebatallion have much bigger issues, having 4 groups of tribesmen charging down on them from multiple directions simultaneously – it’s going to be a tough fight!
The Seebatallion are quickly assaulted and throw back one group who try and cross the barricade – inflicting horrendous casualties with both rifle fire and bayonet in close combat, but the other 3 groups all arrive on top of each other! The 15 staunch Marines on the line have around 50+ opponents! And on the other side the Native Riflemen, their ammunition quickly exhausted, have now charged in against the Askari, preventing them from coming to the Seebatallion Company’s aid, and to make matters worse Kofler has gone down to a bullet from their last volley, he’s seriously wounded. Meanwhile the Zanzibari continue to engage the Askari with rifle fire from the other side of the camp gradually whittling away their number. And despite the Maxim’s hard work in support of the Seebatallion the tribesmen pour in and the Marines’ are engulfed in a vicious melee on 2 sides by nearly 40 opponents! Then, finally, the Zanzibari also charge in, their ammo obviously also exhausted, and a rolling combat flows all around the camp’s perimeter with the defenders outnumbered nearly 3:1…
A large group of fresh tribesmen, the last to arrive, then make a run for the entrance, planning to overrun the Maxim, and flood through the vulnerable point in the defence, Feldwebel Orange-Haare rushes the Brandbekämpfung Brigade to the MG detachment’s support, meeting the tribesmen head on in the entrance! Somehow the main body of the Seebatallion Company have thrown back another group of tribesmen, but taken significant casualties in the process! However the remaining groups get inside the perimeter, and despite the third group being almost annihilated to a man, one daring warrior manages to get well inside and singlehandedly down several of the Marines, including the Company Bugler, and is only finally stopped by the intervention of Hauptmann Muenst who personally dispatches him in individual combat as he’s finishing off another Marine! However Muenst now only has himself and a couple of other men still combat effective from his original 15! Meanwhile Kofler’s Askari are still trying to deal with the Zanzibari and the less well armed Native Riflemen along their perimeter, as the wounded Kofler lies vulnerable amongst them!
In a desperate final battle the Seebatallion survivors & Brandbekämpfung Brigade fight off the last group of tribesmen successfully but at great cost, the unit has effectively completely disintegrated (the Brandbekämpfung Brigade have 2 men killed or wounded, including Feldwebel Orange-Haare, of their 5, and the Muenst’s group is down to just 4 including himself, and the MG detachment has been all but annihilated – 1 man remaining of 4)! On the other side of the camp, as Kofler’s Askari draw breath, having successfully fought off their attackers (and managed to inflict several casualties on the Zanzibari especially), another group of tribesmen, the force from the first initial failed charge, have rallied and flood into the now unguarded rear corner of the camp that’s littered with Seebatallion wounded! And with that the unthinkable happens and part of the Seebatallion’s survivors rout (including Hauptmann Muenst) and flee the camp, along with the MG crew survivor! Leaving Feldwebel Buergerhoff and the Askari, assisted by Herr Riedel, Oberst Stuehmer, and the 3 shaken survivors of the Seebatallion Brandbekämpfung Brigade to try and defeat this final attack, and with the threat of the repulsed Native Riflemen and Zanzibari reforming for a final charge as well…!
Will Kofler survive; can Buergerhoff and his 10 remaining Askari save the day; what will become of the Seebatallion; and will Hauptmann Muenst be disgraced if he survives? Find out in the next instalment of Oberleutnant Kofler’s Adventuring for the Kaiser in Darkest Africa!
About The Game
All the figures (including animals) in this game are from the collection of Kieran Manony, and the terrain is from both Kieran’s & my collections…
Read the next instalment Kofler “befehle die Marines”.
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