Friday, 26 July 2013

The Loss of the Bruschetta Column

Colonel Silvio Bruschetta hummed lightly to himself as his column snaked through the tall elephant grass, a light comic operetta song that reminded him of home and mama. Despite the heat and the relentless attention of the files he was enjoying the march through the lush landscape.
Suddenly and without warning the column ground to a halt.
"Wassa da matter" he demanded of Ravioli the banner bearer "Why we a stop"
He soon had his answer. Sergeant Limoncello, leader of the Bersaglieri, came running up.
"There's a tree a Colonel. A tree filled a with a skulls. The Askari, they say its a bad juju to go further"
"We go on Sergeant" roared the Colonel" Skull tree or no Skull a tree we go on!"

 The Italian Column approaches the Skull Tree

 Hidden in the elephant grass are signs of habitation

 Nervously the colonial troops press on

 Despite their fears the Askari lead the way

 A sudden commotion at the rear of the column as spear throwing natives burst from cover

 The raw recruits of the Stracciatella Regiment are suddenly assailed by musket fire

 As natives burst forth from all around Colonel Bruschetta begins to realise he has blundered into a trap

Fumbling with nervous fingers the young troops fresh from home struggle to load as the warriors bear down on them

 But too slow! The fierce tribesmen are upon them and casualties begin to mount

 Bafuko the tribal leader springs from the grasses to urge on his men (and fire his shiny new gun)

 As desperate bearers push the mules onward the jaws of the trap begin to close

 Frantic now Bruschetta urges his men to form a defensive cordon. But all too late as the Bersaglieri are caught in the open

 Briefly the Colonel himself is caught by the savages (which makes his eyes water), but cold Italian steel sees them off

Rallying his men around the flag Bruschetta begins to sing a sad mournful song of home.

 Undaunted by the racket Bafuko urges his men on

The final minutes now for the struggling column as whooping tribesmen descend on them

I was lucky enough to play a splendid game of Death in the Dark Continent with James last night. He provided all the lovely models, scenery and the rules. All I did was roll some dice and shout "Mama-mia!" as I led the ill fated column to its doom.
The scenario is an ambush one from the rule book but we agreed the odds were rather stacked in favour of the Azande.
The rules themselves seemed to work well, I liked the way morale slowly crumbled affecting all elements of the troops until they broke and fled the field. The difference between the warriors of the Azande and the more drilled European troops also seemed to work well (albeit based on my very limited knowledge of the period.
The only downside of the whole splendid evening was the fluttering awakening of interest in a new gaming period. I've been toying with the idea of some form of Colonial behaviour for a while and James, like some sort of lead crack pusher began to talk of having some "spare" Africans... 


  1. Great Batrep, and some great eye candy
    Peace James

  2. Great report and one doesn't usually see Italians on the table. Remember the first hit is free. :)

  3. Great AAR and nice photos.

  4. Greate looking AAR, splendid pictures !

    best regards Michael

  5. Thanks chaps.
    With James' figures and scenery the pics almost take themselves!