THE TREASURES OF LHEDU
After a reasonable rest and recuperation you have continued your march towards Lhedu and the safety of the Italian garrison and a steamer home for the rescued treasures. The treasures are now secure in packing cases and the villagers that gave so much trouble are now carrying them for you. The slavers evacuated their mountain stronghold at your approach and blew up their two cannon and fled into the hills.
The heat is appalling and the glare from the sun reflecting off the stony desert is almost blinding. In the distance you can just make out some ruins and a smudge of cooking fires.
4 of the horses have recovered enough to walk, though none are fit enough to ride. All of the others had to be left behind.
As you approached you saw the excavation site and an Italian tricolour. And beyond the line of palm trees that marks the tributary Izastoni River. The tents of the camp are easily visible.
Off to the left you can see a small patrol of Italian Cavalry heading away into the hills.
Professor Incontinente, Riccardo b. 1838, Milan. Educated at the Universities of Milan, Rome and St Andrews. Professor of Antiquities of the University of Milan. Studied with Professor George Edward Challenger whom he met at St Andrews. Married with two daughters and one son. Currently working in the Lhedu district of Italian Zumalia searching for evidence to support his contentious claims that the Romans and Egyptians established trading posts in the region that outlasted both empires. Published works: “A Perambulation in the Environs of Lhedu”, “The Conundrum of the Roman Eagle in Morvalistan”, “Later Egyptian Exploration South of the Equator”, “The Realities of Travelling through the Ether”.
One longer table edge is the bank of the Izastoni River. The camp is three quarters way up the longer edge about 12” in from the river and sited on a small stream. The dig site is a further 12” or so inland and in a hollow between hillocks. The riverbanks and stream banks are covered in vegetation and boulders and the whole area was once quite fertile.
The general terrain is that of broken ground with characteristic steep sided hillocks between which run dry watercourses. There are thorn scrub clumps, boulders, standing stones and stands of dead trees. Along the river are a few scattered ruins of native dwellings, abandoned fields and so on.
There is a trail of sorts twisting its way along the riverbank, never on the edge and never more than 18” inland. A small track leads from this to the camp and on to the dig site. There is running water at the camp and a well at the dig site. Neither is fortified although the ruins at the dig appear defensible with some preparation.
The camp is not well fortified but stores boxes and such can quickly be fashioned into barricades. Some old animal pens make improvised sangars.
THE ATTACKING FORCE
You are “The Grey Ghost”. Your warriors are made up of the local tribesmen who have been whipped up into frenzy about the plundering of their sacred places. There are about 30 (hand weapon armed) Beja tribesmen, a similar number of Zumalis (about half have muskets), 10 or so Arab riflemen and 5 of the followers (Breach loading rifle, revolver, sword etc.) of the cult of The Eagle of Rumali lead them. All are under the command of the “Grey Ghost”. On their way are the bulk of your cult warriors (25) mostly musket armed but they have a smooth bore cannon with 10 shells. They cannot arrive before mid morning.
The infidels have been digging up the priceless relics. They are now planning to take them away. They have desecrated the sacred idols from the Eagle Temple of the Ancients. They have them in boxes and jars ready to go. The Italians are sending a small column with wagons to take them away.
Your scouts tell you that the Italians have already set out from Lhedu and cannot be far away. Indeed it is possible that they will arrive before you can get there. There are only a couple of Italians and a few Askaris.
If the idols are removed the Cult will lose its power and the “Grey Ghost” stoned to death.
Another scout tells you that a group of weary travellers is approaching from the desert. There are white men and women in the party and a WOMAN priest! Can you believe the heresy of women preaching? They are well armed and they are lead by the fearsome Binqi The Lion who has guns that fire promiscuously. Their horses are in very poor condition and are not likely to be much threat as cavalry.
OPTION: The attackers may have one of the Cultists inside the dig site. The figure selected must be identified to the umpire before the game and will be operated by the Defending player until revealed. The “plant” has only a dagger and a revolver as weapons. The first Cultist to reach him will be carrying weapons to arm him. (Spoil the story if he did not eh?).
AIM: To prevent the transportation of the treasures – 3 big boxes and some jars – away from the site.
VICTORY CONDITIONS: All treasures prevented from leaving the site – Maximum hero worship! Treasures get away but are returned – Average Hero Worship. Treasures get away – stoned to death. White prisoners taken will offset any detrimental effects of average hero worship. But they will not help if the treasures get away.
ONLY THE TREASURES BELONGING TO THE SITE MATTER TO YOU.
THE DEFENDING FORCE
The defenders are made up of Prof Incontinente, his assistant, a cook, a servant, a hunter, 4 askaris, a foreman, 4 diggers and 6 labourers. There has been considerable unrest amongst the natives and they are very restive the past two nights. So much so that you have not left the dig site and have had all the treasures
In addition a column of an Italian Officer, an Italian NCO, 6 Askaris and 3 wagons is due to arrive to escort the party to Lhedu.
The dig is finished and the Professor has his evidence. One wagon is for camp gear; one for the treasures and the other carries the rations, water and stores for the troops.
The adventurers may be in the camp by sunset if they force march.
The foreman, diggers and foreman must be paid before Prof Incontinente departs. But he is quite hard up.
AIM to get off the table with the ancient treasures and your dig record book.
Only the defending force is on the table at the start of the game. They may be set up in the camp and at the dig site.
The adventurers arrive according to a die roll.
All attackers move onto the table on the first turn.
The defender can also deploy sentries, one per trail.
All defending figures except sentries are asleep when the attack comes. All figures should be placed on the table lying down. As they wake up and grab their weapons, the figures can be stood up on their bases. The sentries are awake and on their feet from the start.
The slaves are herded into the cattle pens and are guarded – but the guards are asleep on a die roll of 3+. The slaves are chained up after all. The cattle that have not been slaughtered are roaming the tilled fields.
THE FIRST SURPRISE
The Grey Ghost and his band have moved into surrounding positions during the night. An early morning haze conceals them as they approach the encampment.
On the first turn, unless a signal is given, each of the attacking units rolls a D6 and the highest moves in on the first turn all of the remaining attacking units enter the table in sequence thereafter. They can enter on a table edge wherever the attackers want them to after studying the defenders' positions. They can come on using the trails or moving through the rough terrain. They can enter on all four sides, three sides, two, or just one. The river edge may only be crossed by troops armed with knives and revolvers.
The defenders can do nothing until an alarm is sounded. This happens when a sentry spots the attackers, when a sleeping figure is attacked but not killed, when a gun is fired, or when the haze lifts.
When a sleeping figure is attacked in close combat, the fight is resolved as normal but the attacker gets an additional 2 “wakey wakey” bonus in addition to all other modifiers.
At the start of every turn, the defending player rolls a d6 and adds the number of the current turn. If the result is 8 or more, the haze lifts (there is no chance for the haze to lift during the first two turns).
THE SECOND SURPRISE
Quartered in the Professor’s camp is a combined squadron of Italian Cavalry. There are 7 Colonial Lancers and 7 Penne de Falco. Each troop has one officer, one senior NCO and 5 troopers. They are deployed with one troop in the small fortification and one on duty on the high ground behind the camp. Which is determined by a die roll.
ARMING THE ATTACKERS
The Grey Ghost’s men know how to use firearms, but they haven't been able to purchase many (a restriction placed by the Europeans as a means of control). They are eager to capture guns, however. Whenever an attacking warrior kills a gun-armed enemy in close combat, the warrior rolls a d10 and will take the weapon and ammunition taking up half a turn if he rolls a 4 or more. If he does not the gun disappears (it is broken) - other attackers moving in behind can't pick up the fallen gun later.
The treasures are stored inside the compound. Any attacker who reaches the boxes can try to pick them up.
Small ones can be picked up by stopping a half turn and carrying it away. Medium ones take two men a half turn to lift and they carrying it away at –1”. The large ones take four men a turn to lift and they carrying it away at –2”. Carrying the treasure doesn't slow a figure down, but the figure can't shoot or attack. The figure defends normally against close combat (drops the treasure). Defenders can move the treasure as above.
The Grey Ghost wins if his men carry the boxed treasures off the table. He also wins if he drives away all the defenders or if they capture and carry away 10 or more guns. The defenders win by avoiding the attackers' victory conditions. The game ends when only one side remains, when the treasure or 15 guns are carried off the table by the natives.
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