Wednesday 19 December 2018

Christmas in the Caucasus

For the last club night of the year, Mark excelled himself by running an 8-player game for us. This was the fifth in his now legendary annual series of Christmas Specials. (For previous years, see here.) This followed Mark's standard format: there were four of us on each side; each player earned Victory Points for achieving certain specified objectives, in keeping with his historical character, and secret from the other players; at the end of the game, the individual VPs for each side were totted up to determine which side won overall, while maximum kudos went to the player with the most VPs.

Our setting this year was the Caucasus in the 1840s, when Imam Shamyl was leading the Caucasus Imamate's resistance against the Russians. I found myself cast as Shamyl. A large column of the infidel Russian dogs under Viceroy Vorontsoff was marching to take our base at Dargo Aoul. My cunning plan (the scenario brief told me) was to leave nothing worth taking and lure them in there, while harrying their flanks and baggage train from the forests either side of the road; I myself would hold our real base at Gherzel Aoul, further down the road.

Imam's-eye view at game end. My force ensconced in Gherzel Aoul and its associated barricade; Russians linking up in the woods nearby;
others rampaging down the road towards me, brushing aside my ally Kabeet Mahoma.

The game generated the usual raucous medley of confusion, glee and disbelief. My most gung-ho henchman, Akhvadi Mahoma - "First of the Naiks" - with commendable aggression got most of his force slaughtered, leaving one flank open for the starving enemy to link up with their relief column; my less-than-loyal lieutenant Hadji Mourad, who I hoped would at least descend on the Russian baggage, left it too late to make a difference. I not only held Gherzel Aoul but destroyed most of the column attacking it, but to no avail. The fiery young upstart Russian who killed the most of our Murids and achieved the link-up scored the most personal points and ensured an emphatic victory for the soldiers of the Tsar.

Never mind, it was a brilliant game, and I reckon we won the banter if not the battle. (All in as good taste as you may imagine, so I'll spare you any samples.)

A Merry Christmas to all!