Friday, November 25, 2016

The Sakbe Road at Anch'ke - It Seemed Like A Good Idea, At The Time (2)

Looking down the length of the set...

The Battle of Anch'ke was originally fought in Phil's campaign, as part of his 'Hekellu - Sirsum' micro-campaign. We, the Tsolyani, were trying to being the benefits of Imperial civilization to the tribal clans east of Hekellu; they, on the other hand, felt that they didn't particularly need the benefits of Imperial Civilization, thank you very much. Our little army consisted of Chris (Bear) Huddle's Legion of the Translucent Emerald (32nd Imperial Mediums) and my tiny Legion of the All-Consuming Flame (which may be descended from Searing Flame, 10th Heavies) as well as some Vridd clan troops. 6,000 - 800 - 600, respectively. Not a very big force, but a good one.

A day's march out of Hekellu on the dilapidated and not very big Sakbe road to Sirsum, we realized that the Young Master (the local version of the Mahdi) had the tribes out in force, and we were in deep trouble. Phil obviously knew his history of warfare on India's Northwest Frontier, and had us right where the Afghans had had the British on several occasions. In short, we were in deep trouble and likely to get wiped out.

What Phil didn't know - mostly because he didn't allow gunpowder weapons on his game table, I suspect - was that I really liked 'colonial warfare', and had read up on the history of the fabled Frontier in preparation for this micro-campaign. Phil sprang his ambush just that little bit too soon, and I attacked into him with my cohorts. It was the only time in over a decade of gaming with him that I caught him flat-footed; I won the fight, and kept us all alive to fight another day.

A number of years ago, as part of my series of Tekumel-based games at the FLGS, I built the battlefield from the map that Phil had drawn for us, scaled to fit the 140" table they had. Anch'ke requires a set of specific terrain, as it plays a major role in the fight; there's two ranges of low hills to hid the ambushing tribesmen, and the dilapidated Sakbe road that we fought around.

I varied from my usual practice of using extruded styrene foam, and used expanded foam instead; the latter has a 'pebbled' texture, which I thought would look good on the model. (This was my first project that I did with Third Daughter and Second Son-in-law, by the way, so I have kind of a special place in my hart for this model.) We went and re-fought the battle at the FLGS, with very bad result for the Tsolyani.

So, my question for all of you: I am standardizing my table sizes, and the largest table I use these days is 60" x 120". The big table at the FLGS is 140" long; I really don't do games there, at this point. Should I cut down the roadway (by lopping 10" off each end, most likely) or leave it as it and live with the extra length hanging off the 120" table?