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Bill101

German East Africa AAR!

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Well, that was a surprising landing at Bukoba on Lake Victoria! The question is, do I stay or do I withdraw by sea to Mwansa?

Looking at the supply levels for the enemy forces, and comparing them to my own, I’m going to stay and fight it out. Their supply is low, as is mine, so hopefully we’ll be able to resist for a while yet.

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Victory near Ujiji as we destroy a Belgian regiment! Had Colonel Potts underestimated our potential here?

Our brave Askaris in action against the Belgians

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The Graf von Goetzen is undergoing repairs in port, and her crew are enjoying a well earned rest ashore.

All is quiet near Neu Langenburg where the enemy have withdrawn after the bruising we gave them, and in the north east we are also withdrawing to better positions. Merry Christmas everyone! :)

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We boldly decided to follow up our success against the Belgians, and this turn the Belgian Nord Brigade has been destroyed! :)

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Our victory was not without losses, and we have placed our African Levies in front of our most damaged Askari unit in the hope that we’ll be able to save it from Tombeur’s revenge.

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This makes us feel much better after the loss of Bukoba.

All is quiet elsewhere. Kraut is witnessing the enemy’s advance from Kondoa Irangi, and he is plotting his next move. The enemy here in the north east do appear to be spreading themselves a little thinly. Maybe an opportunity will arise to inflict some damage on them?

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August 12, 1916 Action Reports:

No action at Neu Langenburg, although British reinforcements have moved up to the line.

Things are also quiet on the Portuguese front.

At Bukoba, Belgian forces suffered another setback and have withdrawn several miles to the north, awaiting help from the British who have started to move west from Bukoba.

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Our levies were sacrificed in securing the defeat of Tombeur’s Belgians, but the victory was certainly worth the cost. Wahle calls off the pursuit, as we need to prepare for the advance of Crewe’s British who are undoubtedly on their way to assist their Belgian allies.

Further south, we go on the offensive near Neu Langenburg, badly damaging the 1st South African regiment, and revealing that we have increased our strength in this area.

Tanga, the site of a great victory in 1914 when we defeated the enemy’s first invasion attempt, has been declared an open town and the garrison has retired to the south. It will be better to concentrate our forces than to let them be defeated in detail.

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Utterly fascinating AAR. And the pictures give it a rich flavor.

If it is not out of place, I have a technical question: How does one scout toward a position with a single unit, then seeing it is strong, pull that unit back?

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Glad you're enjoying the AAR! :)

The way to do it would be to advance to just within your visibility range of the objective (with infantry that is within 2, and with cavalry within 3 tiles) and that will disclose any enemy in the place.

If you don't like the look of it, then you can either dig in or withdraw in your next turn.

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September 1, 1916 Dispatch from Nairobi:

Morale is a bit of an issue at the moment, and in most sectors British troops need a bit of a rest. General Smuts' idea of a good rest is digging entrenchments, and that's what the Empire's forces are doing right now, except in the area west of Neu Langenburg, where Northey's troops are a bit more active.

The Belgians and Portuguese have no action reports to file at this time.

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Utterly fascinating AAR. And the pictures give it a rich flavor.

If it is not out of place, I have a technical question: How does one scout toward a position with a single unit, then seeing it is strong, pull that unit back?

I took a bit of literary license, just to make it sound more interesting. As Bill says, the truth of the matter is that one cannot move up, dislike the look of things and then move back in the same turn. But of course with the one extra tile sighting range of cavalry, it amounts to almost the same thing.

Glad to hear that you're enjoying our efforts. This is a fascinating scenario to play.

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We put further pressure on the enemy at Neu Langenburg, battering both the 1st South Africans and the 1st King’s African Rifles.

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In the north east, Major Kraut decides to evacuate Kondoa Irangi as the enemy forces massing to attack the settlement are now in overwhelming numbers, and we would rather fight them again when their supply lines are more overextended than they will be now.

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Major Wahle is resting and refitting his forces at Ujiji, ready to oppose the British who are now advancing southwards at top speed down the western side of Lake Victoria.

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Victory at Neu Langenburg, as a unit of the King’s African Rifles bite the dust!

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Practicing for the Victory Parade in Neu Langenburg

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In the north east, Major Kraut has abandoned Morogoro and withdrawn his forces. We could have fought there, but have decided to keep mobile for the moment.

Judging from the reports we’re getting from the area to the west of Lake Victoria, Crewe hasn’t joined up with the Belgians but is instead advancing on his own. Interesting.

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Taking advantage of the tiredness of General Smuts’ troops, who were thinking that capturing Morogoro meant that they were safe from attack, we’ve battered the 1st South African cavalry and their accompanying East African Brigade of infantry!

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Another unit of the King’s African Rifles succumbs near Neu Langenburg! This isn’t the way to invade German East Africa, especially not when von Lettow-Vorbeck is in charge.

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Mimi and Toutou aren’t looking very ship shape after their brush not only with the Goetzen, but also with some artillery from the Konigsberg.

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It also looks as though the British have advanced up to replace their Belgian allies in the attack on Ujiji. Can this place really be that important?

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October 31, 1916

While there is absolutely nothing going on with the Portuguese in the south, the other fronts in East Africa remain fairly active.

The following reports have been filed:

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General Smuts has walked into our trap! Thinking that Dodoma was undefended he ordered an advance on the town, but now his forces are being attacked from three sides. They are low on supply and weakened by long marches, so they can expect heavier casualties to come next turn.

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All hail our brave African levies and their great stand near Dar-es-Salaam. This has held up the enemy advance and we can see that the British forces here are also rather low on morale. They seriously need a rest!

All is quiet at Neu Langenburg as we rest and refit following our successful defence of this position.

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Things are also quiet near Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika as the enemy are no doubt building up for their next attack there.

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ANOTHER VIEW OF THE GOETZEN

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AND ITS LATEST RIVAL ON LAKE TANGANGYIKA, BARON DHANIS!

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Now the Germans face St. George, Baron Dhanis, Toutou and Fifi when they next encounter the Entente.

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The British offensive is turning into a complete failure, as we destroy two units and another is surrounded and will easily be destroyed next turn. Kilosa and Dodoma remain German!

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Some skirmishing at Neu Langenburg also goes our way, while our heroic African Levies on the coast near Dar-es-Salaam are still holding out at Bagamoyo.

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It is nearly the end of 1916. Morale remains high in our colony and the enemy have shown that they can be defeated as it is fairly easy to outmanoeuvre them.

Major Wahle reports from Lake Tanganyika that he is expecting the enemy to make a move in this area shortly. They will need to, as otherwise they will have nothing but bad news to report to their high command in London for Christmas.

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Bill,

Those ambushes are very interesting. I will also argue that they represent a very old tactical strategy, which this game system shows better than most: induce the enemy to rush forward, in low supply, non-fortified, and in less than optimum organization, then ambush those "victorious" units. That tactic is, I am sure, pre-Roman. The weapons may change, but the idea is the same.

Again, with the supply issues, and the deadliness on mass surprise concentration of units, a relatively simple game mechanics simulates reality beautifully.

I will be getting Breakthrough as soon as I finish my latest Campaign in the original.

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You're 100% correct Rankorian, the victor needs to be careful how they pursue their foe, because we are still in sufficient strength to bite back, and bite hard!

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Again, with the supply issues, and the deadliness on mass surprise concentration of units, a relatively simple game mechanics simulates reality beautifully.

I will be getting Breakthrough as soon as I finish my latest Campaign in the original.

Rankorian, you're quite right about the way this game models the historical reality. It's a very elegant system, and there is so much that goes on invisibly yet effectively, such as surprise. You will find that when you blunder into a superior force, it really hurts :)

Happy to hear that you will be getting Breakthrough; it is a solid system and tons of fun.

This is my third or fourth go-round with Bill in this scenario, and it is still enjoyable and surprising each time out. Each of our games (always me as the Entente) has been different than the one before, although I am sad to say that I have not yet vanquished the Germans in any of them. Perhaps this time, although I'd better start learning how to be patient and not rush into situations that get me into a mess such as I have at Dodoma.

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You're 100% correct Rankorian, the victor needs to be careful how they pursue their foe, because we are still in sufficient strength to bite back, and bite hard!

Could somebody please pass the ointment and bandages? Ow!

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