Captain Giglamps has been tasked with traveling up the Bomoo River to track down and cashier the rogue officer Colonel Blyng. Before the search begins he must first make landfall and get to the town of B'Water, however, D’Katha Bey and his 9lb gun may have a thing or two to say about that.
'I raised my pistol just in time only to have the demned thing mis-fire!'
from "Giglamps and the Halfling Eaters of Chavo"
Illustration by Bob Minadeo
Afri. While the Mordredian Wars raged throughout Urop, a different kind of war was being waged in Afri.
With Albion’s control of the waves, Great Britorcn, Al Garvey, and the “Free” Burrovian Konga carried on much as before. The Uropeans maintained trading stations along the West Coast and along the great rivers trading trinkets and cloth for the wealth of the Jungle. Ivory, gold, and some of the largest carrots known to Valon streamed out of the jungle to what had become known as the Carrot Coast.
Yet even here the reverberations of Mordred’s Wars were felt. The Ferach invasion of Aegypt had freed the Bilboist Halflings of their Othari overlords. Now in a frenzy of rapine and plunder the halfling Ansar and their mercenary Othari troops had descended on south from the desert, raiding and slaving their way through the jungles. Mostly it was the jungle Halflings who suffered yet even some Uropean trading posts had been overrun.
In an effort to stem the tide of hairy feet bringing death and destruction to their holdings, the Royal Halfling Land Company, with the blessings of the Queen of Al Garvey and the Directors of the Burrovian Konga, sent an expedition into the dark interior of the continent under the command of Sir Kev Blyng, Hero of Roo Di Shia’s Revolt.
At first things went very well indeed. Marauding was down and profits were up. Then strange rumors began coming out of the jungle. Soon these were followed by bizarre handbills proclaiming the formation of a “Blyng Free State”. These handbills declaimed the Company as having been too soft on the natives, of using kidd gloves where iron was required…
The Company needed to act before news of this development reached the shareholders in Urop.
So it was that Captain Giglamps, (bvt.), Halfling Land Rifles was ordered to make his way to Bugsville, Burrovian Konga, on the banks of the Ubangi River.
…Lost in a Halfling wilderness of pain, all the Conies are insane.
All the Conies are insane, waiting for the Serpent’s reign.
Can you picture what will be, so limitless and free,
Desperately in need of an Orc’s firm hand, in a Desperate Land?...
A Letter Home
Giggers woke with a start as if from a fever dream, the snapping of the warship’s sail in the wind replaced by the rhythmic swaying of the punkah.
Putting quill to parchment he scribbled:
Dearest Uncle Rogipoo,
Bugsville. Merde. I am still only in Bugsville.
Every time I think I am going to wake up back in the jungle.
I’ve been here a month now, waiting for a mission, getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room I get weaker, and every minute Bilbo squats in the bush he gets stronger.
Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a mission, and for my sins they gave me one.
It was a real choice mission and when it was over, I thought I would never want another.
I was going to the worst place in Valon and I didn’t even know it yet. Weeks away and hundreds of miles up a river that snaked through the Konga like a fuse plugged straight into Blyng.
Summoned to meet the August General Flam, I appeared in my best dress. After the social niceties and over plates of steaming beef and fine Madiera the General finally got the meat of the nut.
“Your mission is to travel up the Bomoo River with a small expedition. Pick up Colonel Blyng’s path at M’Kel Delving, follow it, learn what you can along the way. When you have found the Colonel, infiltrate his staff by whatever means available, and cashier the Colonel.”
“Cashier the Colonel?” I tentatively confirmed.
General Flam continued, “He is out there acting without any restraint, totally beyond the pale of Orc behavior, and he is still on the field, commanding troops. “Cashier” with pride and prejudice.”
“You understand, my Dear Giggers, that this mission does not exist, nor will it ever exist…”
I took the mission, what the Devil else was I going to do? But I really didn’t know what I was going to do when I found him.
I was being ferried up the Ubangi in a cutter, a small single masted boat. HMS Postchaise was a pretty common sight on anti slavery patrols. They said it was a good way to pick up information and move without drawing too much attention, and that was OK. I needed the air and the time.
Only problem was getting the ship into the Bomoo itself.
The crew were mostly just sprogs. Quadrilliers with one foot in the grave.
The sailing master, the one they called Chef, was from Orcshire. He was wrapped too tight for the Konga. Merde, he was probably wrapped too tight for Orcshire.
Lanz on the fore swivel gun was a famous Whist player from the Salons of So-So. To look at that dandy you would think he had never fired a gun in his life.
Kleen, Mister Kleen was from some South Lodonium Rookery and I fancy the light and the space of the Konga had really put the zap on his cranium.
Then there was Philipz, the Chief. It may have been my mission but it sure as merde was the Chief’s boat.
The Chief told me there were only two points where we could draw enough water to get into the Bomoo River. He said “They are both hot. Belong to Bilbo. “
I told him not to worry about it. Arrangements had been made.
Later the Chief said “About six months ago, I took an orc up the river past M’Kel Delving , he was from the Company too. Heard he hanged himself”.
Sink Me! What could bring an officer and Gentleorc to such straits?
After a few days sailing, Kleen drew our attention to some smoke billowing off of the bank.
Peering through the engraved telescope you had given me in happier days I could discern bunnies on mule back.
It was the Hare Cav, 1st of the 9th. Our escorts to the mouth of the Bomoo River, but they were supposed to be waiting for us another thirty leagues ahead. Well, Hare Mobile. Those bunnies just couldn’t stay put.
The 1st of the 9th was an old Cuirassier Regiment that had traded in their horses for donkeys and gone tear Arsing their way around the Konga looking for la Merde! They had given Bilbo a few surprises in their time here. What they were mopping up here hadn’t even happened a week ago.
I found their Colonel, Kilpaw, selecting playing cards to leave by the bodies of the Halflings his conies had just sabered.
I explained to Lanz; “Death cards. Let’s Bilbo know who did this”.
I presented myself and my orders to the Colonel. His scowl made it clear that shepherding orcs along the river was not his idea of a suitable assignment.
One of Kilpaw’s aides looked us over. “I think one of those Tarrs is Lanz Johnsorc, the Whist player”.
Colonel Kilpaw turned attentively. “Lanz Johnsorc! The Whist player? By Sentinel it’s an honor to meet you.
“We like to play a lot of Whist around here. I like to finish operations early for just that purpose”. Turning to me, the Colonel bowed gracefully. “Captain Giglamps, it’ll be a privilege to guide you to the Bomoo.”
With that he bade us tie up alongside his riparian camp.
Kilpaw had had a pretty good day for himself. They carted in the carrots and the fruit juice and they turned the battlefield into a Whist tourney. The more they tried to make it just like home, the more they made everybody miss their burrows.
Well he wasn’t a bad officer I guess. He loved his conies and they felt safe with him. He was one of those fellahs who had that weird light around him. You just knew he wasn’t going to get so much as a scratch here.
“Colonel, there are two places we can get into the river, here, and here, It’s a pretty wide delta but these are the only two spots I’m really sure of. “
“That village you are pointing at is kind of hairy, Captain Giglamps.”
What do you mean “hairy” sir?
“It’s hairy” Got some pretty heavy ordinance. I’ve lost a few patrols there now and again. What’s the name of that Sentinel damned village? S’water? D’water.. or…Watter? Demned halfling names all sound the same “
“Lt. Flopsy, you know anything about that village?”
Kilpaw’s aide replied: “That’s B’Water Sir. We lost Mopsy there last week. It’s a shame really as that’s where the Green Dragon Inn sits, and it’s the best Whist parlor in these parts…Green baize, whist markers cut from the living rock, opulent chairs, Carrot Ale and Brandy. The whole burrow”.
“Why didn’t you tell me that before, green baize? There aren’t any good inns in this whole soggy country,” said Kilpaw.
It’s hairy there Sir. That’s where we lost Mopsy. That’s Bilbo’s Inn.
I said “I’d like to get in with the tide, that would be early morning sir”.
After some short consideration, Kilpaw spoke: “This is the First of the Ninth Hare Cav, young Captain. We can take that port and hold it just as long as you like. Bilbo’s Inn? Bilbo don’t play Whist!”
Well my Dearest Uncle, I can hear the Conies’ Todoroni singer, Froggner singing assembly. The Colonel puts great Faith in the toad I must say. Says his very voice strikes fear into the wee hearts of the halfling foe.
Be that as it may, It’s time for me to prepare for battle.
Sentinel willing we shall dine in B’Water tonight!
Your ever obedient Nephew,
Giglamps, Capt. (bvt,) Halflingland Rifles (det)
Scenario Set Up
The game may be played on any surface roughly 6 feet long by 3 or 4 feet wide. For convenience we will say that the table’s length runs East-West and the short sides North-South.
The game actually takes place on a strip of beach so while we are in fact in the middle of the Afri rain forest the play are is pretty wide open.
They south edge of the table is the Ubangi River running east to west. No figure may leave the table from the south end.
The east edge of the table is the Bomoo River running north to south. No figure may leave the table from the east edge although as you will see certain figures may enter from there.
The north edge of the table is the edge of the great jungle. Any Orc or Burrovian figure leaving the table from that edge is lost and never heard from again.
The west edge of the table continues the beach and so any Halfling or Othari figures leaving the table from that edge are considered to have been captured by the colonial authorities.
The table itself is mostly open ground. There is a small earthwork, considered a linear obstacle running north-south across the table about one foot in from the east edge. This earthwork continues east along the Ubangi to the table’s edge.
Between the earthwork and the Bomoo must be at least one building, designated as the Green Dragon Inn, feel free to add other buildings to represent the small trading village of B’Water.
Section Leader: D’Katha Bey. A veteran, Irregular Halfling armed with a sword.
Slavers: Ten Irregular Halflings armed with spears. One is experienced, four are average, and five are raw.
Gun: A 9lbr Barking Dog with six mercenary Othari crew. One is experienced, two are average, and three are raw. The crew is armed only with the implements of their branch.
Section Leader: Colonel Kilpaw. A veteran Burrovian (Big). He is armed with sword and pistol and mounted on a donkey.
Singer: Froggner. An average Todoroni (Big). He is armed with a sword and mounted on a pigmy hippo.
Hare Cav: Ten cavalry Burrovians (Big) armed with sword and Burrovian Cavalry Carbine and riding donkeys. One is experienced, four are average, and five are raw.
Section Leader: Captain Giglamps. A veteran cavalry Orc armed with sword and carbine.
Phillipz, the Chief: An experienced gunner Orc armed with sword and pistol.
Chef: An average gunner Orc armed with a Bessie musket.
Kleen: A raw gunner Orc armed with sword and pistol.
Lanz: A raw gunner Orc armed with sword and pistol.
Note: Phillipz, Chef, Kleen, and Lanz are actually sailors but their classification as gunners allows them to crew the Barking Dog if the opportunity arises.
The Barking Dog is deployed in the corner of the earthwork able to cover both the beach and the Ubangi River. The gun crew is deployed in position to crew the gun.
D’Katha Bey and the Halfling warriors are deployed anywhere east of the earthwork.
The Burrovians enter the table from the west table edge on turn 1.
The Orcs have to wait until the Barking Dog has been neutralized before docking HMS Postchaise on the banks of the Bomoo. They may be deployed anywhere along the EAST table edge two full turns after any Burrovian figure has been adjacent to the Barking Dog.
The game can run up to 20 turns until one of the following occurs:
The Burrovians/Orcs win immediately after Colonel Kilpaw, Lanz, and any additional two friendly figures spend two turns in the Green Dragon Inn (playing Whist).
The game is a draw after Colonel Kilpaw, Lans, and any one additional friendly figure spend two turns in the Green Dragon Inn (playing Whist with a dummy hand).
The Halflings win if Colonel Kilpaw is unable to win or force a draw.
Expanding the Game
If you have the figures available feel free to increase each side adding figures in equal increments of Hare Cav and Halfling warriors per side.
An Orcs in the Webbe Original! "The Battle of B'Water" was written exclusively for Orcs in the Webbe and published on Sunday 9th December 2012 as part of the 2012 Advent Calendar.
You can read many more adventures of Giglamps over on Bob's excellent gaming blog.