Friday, 4 May 2018

Darkest Africa: Smooth and Rifled

It's been a while since I posted...however, the truth is I have been pumping all of my time into making terrain and painting far I've completed:
  • around 150 figures, all from the Foundry range
  • 4' x 3' of terrain tiles, using the Sally 4th Terraformers range
  • loads of trees, all made using woodland scenic sprues and materials, together with some Gamers Grass from the Portuguese based company
  • some native huts, all from Grand Manner
There are a few things I still need to do over the coming weeks:
  • More terrain tiles (including a stream and a village base
  • native villager figures (these are done, I just need to base them!
  • domestic and wild animals
  • bric-a-brac....crates of food etc
  • oh....then there is a Force Publique army to paint up!!!
So I guess it is about time to start showing off some of the work, today using a set of rules called Smooth and Rifled, published by Dadi and Piombo, and available on Wargames Vault as a PDF.

There are also numerous period specific supplements all available for free on the S&R Blog.

The scenario was a simple one, as follows:


The Explorers have made a friendly alliance with a Native Village, and are enjoying their hospitality. The Zanzibaris are aware of their presence and wish to capture their supplies.
The Natives/Explorers must deploy within the central 2 squares of the 4’ x 3’ board.
The Zanzibaris move on table from any table edge (and a minimum of two table edges)
The Zanzibaris win by capturing the 4 x Bearers from the Explorer force. To capture, a figure must move into contact with the bearer, and lead him away. To lead him, he can only make 1 move per turn. 3 bearers captured means victory, any other result is a defeat.

The Table

The Forces

Zanzibar Force 1
AV=2/2/3; C=4; Impetus, Fast Mob
1 Leader, (Officer) small shield and sword, 24 pts
1 Leader, small shield and sword, 19 pts
5 Warriors, small shield and sword, Veteran, 5 x 17 pts = 85 pts
4 Marksmen, small shield and sword, Arquebus (16/3), Marksman, Veteran 4 x 24 Points = 96 pts
224 Points

Zanzibar Force 2
AV=2/2/3; C=4;
1 NCO (leader), muzzleloading rifle (30/2), sabre, 25 pts
6 Askari, muzzleloading rifle (30/2), 6 x 18 pts = 108 Points
10 Rugga-Rugga/Musketeers, muzzleloading musket (30/2), No Group Fire, 10 x 13 pts = 130 pts
263 Points

Zanzibar Force 3
AV=2/2/3; C=4;
1 NCO (leader), muzzleloading rifle (30/2), sabre, 25 pts
6 Askari, muzzleloading rifle (30/2), 6 x 18 pts = 108 Points
10 Rugga-Rugga/Musketeers, muzzleloading musket (30/2), No Group Fire, 10 x 13 pts = 130 pts
263 Points

Explorer Force
AV=1/2/3; C=4
1  Chief Explorer (officer-leader) with Breech-loading Rifle (30/1), 32 Points
1 Second in chief (leader), muzzleloading rifle (30/2), 22 pts
4 White Men, muzzleloading rifle (30/2), 4 x 18 pts = 72 points
1 Civilian, Revolver (10/0), 11 points (C=3)
7 Askari, muzzleloading loading rifle (30/2) 7 x 18 pts = 126 Points
4 Porters, 4 x -3 points = -12 points (Group Move Only with Leader/White Man)
Total = 243 Points

Native Force
AV=2/2/3; C=4; Ferocious, Terrain, Skirmishers
1 Leader (Leader/Officer), musket (20/2) 30 points
1 Young Leader (Spear/Shield) 22 Points
1 Witchdoctor (Standard Bearer / Musician), Curse (10/0), 24 Points
5 Warriors (Spear/Shield), 5 x 17 Points = 85 Points
6 Archers, Bow (16/0), 6 x 19 Points = 114 Points
Total = 271 Points

The Game

The game itself was an interesting affair, as we were learning, we decided not to use the morale rules....we would just finish when things looked bleak for one side!

The three Zanzibar commands entered the table on three sides, whilst the Explorers/Natives defended the village forming a perimeter round the Bearers.

Command inertia stifled the Zanzibar attack somewhat, but they were able to fire and reload from the treeline slowly picking off their opponents...however, a quicker re-loading time helped the defending shooters, and damage was done.

The Baluchi mercenaries charged home, and caught a few stragglers, however, they were shot down when stranded in no-mans land.

Eventually the Zanzibar Leader was shot down, and it was game over....but it was a close run thing!!!


On re-reading the rules post-game, I noted that We did do a fair few things wrong which we will correct for next time, however, the main error was in army list is clear that Officers as well as NCOs are needed to move the game along with group moves...the Zanzibar players suffered from this, 2 of their commands only having an NCO;

I also need to include the Superior Leader for a game as big as we did, to add the extra initiative where needed....this would also have helped;

I do think movement/range is too short, 12cm isn't a lot on a big table for movement...I would work in 1/2" increments rather than cm in future i think and will make measuring sticks up accordingly;

Evades are a bit odd, as it doesn't seem possible to catch evaders...unless I am mistaken (we forgot about the tests to stand as well for the natives who were Skirmishers, but Furious);


Excellent game all round though, with lots of promise...I have always enjoyed PiP based games (which is why I play ADLG regularly) and my regular gaming group enjoyed it too (there were 5 of us). We'll give it another go next week.


  1. That's a sexy looking table Graeme! Looking forward to seeing more of it over the next few weeks.
    Neil W

    1. Cheers Neil, it has been a lot of work over a long time period - this weekend I will extend it to 5' x 3', and do one of the tiles as a dedicated "village" area, so it is "ungrassed". Also working on animals and animal pens...!!! Once that is done, I have enough for the Show display game....anything else is a bonus!