Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Border Incident at Oasis Hakeem - Part 1


The PA loudspeakers crackled dustily into life.

"Citizens of Oasis Hakeem!  This is Commandant Mustafa Mustash speaking.  Owing to continued unrest and public disturbances in recent days I am declaring a state of Martial Law, effective forthwith!  Citizens!  You are required to retire into your homes and off the streets.  My men will be making a sweep of the town in fifteen minutes.  The law abiding will of course obey this ordinance at once; those still in the streets after those fifteen minutes will risk being detained and questioned as suspected insurrectionists.  Armed dissent will be met with armed force.  That is all."

The PA clonked into silence.  A halcyon haze seemed to descend upon the desert town; a peaceful, somnolent air that belied the seething factional passions that were about to burst into violence...

This weekend just gone, Brian (A fist full of Plastic) and I got together for a bit of a stoush based on his Harad project.  It seems that political and religious unrests and discontents were reaching a head in the remote desert town of Oasis Hakeem (Hakim), sufficiently serious for the local Governor-Commandant Lieut-Col Mustafa Mustash to call his superiors at the Provincial Capital to send him help.

During the morning of dd/mm/1979, the situation was indeed complex: the Commandant, with his company of regulars in the Police Compound cum Governor's HQ, another of militia and a company (squadron) of Saladin armoured cars, was alert, ready for trouble.  But so was the Arch-Mullah Abdullah Dafullah and his fanatical horde of fighters, swarming in and around the mosque in the south of the town.   Just outside the town, a group of armed desert riders uneasily debated among themselves their options and loyalties.


As the Government and Insurrectionist forces waited tensely for the spark that would ignite the flame of armed rebellion and repression, the situation suddenly became more volatile and, for the harassed Commandant, more complicated and difficult.  Beneath the dust cloud approaching from the northwest no doubt rattled the relief column he had requested from the Provincial Governor the morning before.

Well and good, but his relief was unpleasantly alloyed by word arriving of a mobile column approaching at speed from the southeast.   Khandist Separatists!   They could be none else.  As matters now stood, it was clear that the renegade Arch-Mullah had contracted some sort of traitorous deal with them...

The worthy Colonel, getting on in years, and aware that his Governorship was the plateau of a career that could never more aspire to greater heights, was fatalistically determined nevertheless to carry out his duties as he saw them.  Entrusted to defend the town against enemies within and without, and to maintain the rule of law and order, that would he do.

That the band of armed desert riders had responded to his PA announcement by a offer of help, he accepted with thanks to Allah the All-merciful - an unlooked for aid in time of need.  Perhaps he could quell this insurrection after all...

Such was the situation (more or less) as Brian presented, having laid out the table at the Woolston Club with the terrain and forces you see in the pictures.  Then he offered me the choice of any of the forces - Separatists, Insurrectionists, Desert Riders, Garrison or Relief Column.  Had I examined them in a different order I would probably have chosen differently.  The Relief Column I saw last; the Relief column I chose.

Then Brian laid out the remainder of the forces... I should explain right here that everything you see, bar the Club's base cloth, was from Brian's collection: terrain, vehicles and figures. 

All I had to do was figure out how I was going to handle this situation.  Well: I had made a start.  The PA announcement I had suggested proved plausible, and had brought in the horsemen (a die roll), an unexpected bonus...

To be continued...

4 comments:

  1. Lovely looking set up. More please.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ooh interesting what will happen next???

    ReplyDelete
  3. It just makes me want to get weaving with the peoples repbublic of R'haghedia nice one chaps

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very curious to learn what happens next. Loved the rather cinematic pictures and the written introduction. Great to see "clonked" used as a verb. Brilliant.

    Cheers,

    Mike

    ReplyDelete