These are a few photos from Treb’s impromptu 20th Century SvP game.
When an expected game of NQM (hope you are well, Chris) went missing, Graham morphed SvP a little to cover the Spanish Legion’s actions against the Rif tribes.
I confess I knew very little about this (just an acquaintance with the basics from the French angle) … so in this case Wikipedia Rif War is a good source to me …
The Rif mountains form the northern boundaries of Morocco and were the home of fiercely independent Berber tribes with whom the Spanish fought a series of nasty colonial campaigns in the 1920s.
This game was an experiment to see how Howard Whitehouse’s Science vs Pluck colonial role playing game would fare given an early 20th Century spin …
Well, of course, as a player, I can’t really tell you much about the engine room (as a player, the less you know about the mechanics, the better) – but the feel was actually very good … Indeed, as modern Europeans, it may be easier for us to play out roles commanding forces that have automatic weapons, trucks and the like.
Our mission was classic SvP … a punitive/recce mission to the village on the far horizon … during which clouds of sand are seen, and thunder of hooves heard beyond every crest line, and out of every hollow, all round us.
Of course, this could all be colour and texture to spook us … but, delivering an evening game, indeed every gully our scouts peered into proved full of tribesmen. Very well-armed tribesmen (don’t believe those ‘ill-equipped’ briefings!) … Fausends of them.
In true SvP fashion we were quickly surrounded, and forming an ‘inter war’ version of a square.
Fortunately, modern machinegun companies proved to be as effective at suppressing insurgents as I’d hoped and we were able to stabilise our perimeter.
We had originally intended to fulfill our mission by firing a few warning shots at the village … ordering them to surrender any weapons they held and destroying the weapons along with any supplies we found hidden (and any dwelling where they were found) – quite a progressive approach, really.
However, as armed men had appeared from the town, and as dusk was approaching, we ranged the artillery in and did the job somewhat indiscriminately, but efficiently, from half a mile away. We may have missed a few of them, but we took no further casualties.
Of course, that, language excepted, is very much the report of the Legion officers. We moderns would not condone the persecution of this oppressed population, or the callous use of traditionally dumb munitions.
From a history and wargames perspective, this game did the job, leaving me interested to find out more.
Figures are mostly a mix of Treb’s Peter Pig SCW and Sudan figures, with an old jalopy and biplane from my box of tricks. I’ll own up to having ineptly retouched the pictures to give the plane Spanish markings …