Tuesday, May 18, 2021

A Dark Day in Darkest Aithiops...

This posting is a hard one to write. Did you ever have a day - or even a sequence of events - that started bad, and you knew it was going to start bad, but it carried on bad - unrelentingly bad - and ended bad? Observe the use of the adjective in place of the adverb. Ever had one of those? Chief-King Barra Kuta did. Did he what!

Lt.Col Relaxado's first distant glimpse of the fabulous 
Montanhas Diamantes - Diamond Mountains.
(Picture by Paul 'Jacko' Jackson)

Following his repulse from the Azeitonian column at the edge of the jungle, he drew his army off up the Limpopo River trail towards the market town, Kachinga, which lay at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Great Grey-Green Greasy Limpopo River. Perhaps the wound received at the battle had impaired the Chief's faculties, or left him tired.  The retreat was slow and as early as noon the next day, the colonialists caught up with the m'Butu on the road. It was probably as bad a stretch of country as could be imagined to face a foe superior in numbers, firepower, technology - and even had an edge in mobility. Here the country was flat - several casual undulations of ground, and hardly any scrub, brush or trees in sight. There was no question but to accept a hopeless battle - and hope for the best.

This was one of those occasions that crops up in a campaign in which the outcome of a battle is certain, right from the get go.  It then becomes a matter of how bad it's going to be. The first battle had ended the Azeitonian run of activation cards (Red), but the m'Butu drew one Black card only, a number, which gave it one grid area of movement for one force.  Barra Kuta's army drew back along the road one space. Back to the Red cards: n, K, n, n, n. Unlike the number cards, the King allowed 5 (!) activations, which could be used all by one force, or shared among as many as 5 forces.  

Now, rather than make the moves card by card, I proposed drawing the cards as 'strings', ending when the colour string ended by the appearance of a card of the other colour.  At a slight reduction of the 'fog of war', it does speed up proceedings. But nine activations -  no wonder Tenente-Coronel Relaxado's expeditionary force ran down the m'Butu.  

Meanwhile, far to the south, a secondary colonial force penetrated the jungle west of Oportonovo, following a trail that soon led to a small, palisaded kraal. A reconnaissance indicated the presence of a small garrison (1 warrior stand). The Azeitonians declined for the moment to press the matter.  Meanwhile, the garrison, alerted to the presence of the enemy, were for the moment unable to determine their strength (having to wait for an activation card to carry out the recon).

Events were developing far more quickly along the Limpopo trail. Chief Barra Kuta threw out his line in much the same formation as he had to begin the earlier battle. As the Azeitonians approached in a broad column, he hoped that by enveloping its open flank he might do something to offset the disparity in numbers. There was no question of defending. He had to carry the fight to the enemy.

It did not go well.  

The m'Butu army comprised 11 warrior stands plus the Great Man's entourage - 12 units in all: 50 Strength points all up; exhaustion point 17. As Barra Kuta counted as a brilliant commander, he might activate 6,7, or 8 stands per turn. 

The Colonists were far more powerful, though their cavalry had been halved by the previous day's action. Their strength points had been reduced by 10 to 82, exhaustion point 28. He had available 20 units - 1 cavalry and one infantry stand lost, plus a couple reduced to 3 SPs, - so, the Colonel counting as an average commander, could activate 9,10 or 11 units per turn.

m'Butu advancing  to close quarters...

Now, to the ground.  As my table is rather larger than uses for examples of Bob Cordery's terrain generation method, I made certain adaptations.  
Second Battle of the Limpopo - terrain 

Now, the river and the road/ trail, were a given. The river was placed first, but the road could wait upon the rest of the terrain. This was flat grassland, so any rises in the ground were merely casual undulations - enough to create dead ground.  


  • Rolled for number of hills, 2D6 + 1D3 gave us 10 hills.  
  • Rolled 2D6 and counted down the left hand edge for the starting row.
  • Rolled 4D6 and counted along the horizontal rows 'ploughman's fashion'. 
  • When a hill was located, rolled to determine whether it was part of a larger hill (5 or 6 confirming)
  • If part of a larger hill rolled 1D6 and, counting from the upper right counted the hexes clockwise to locate the next part
  • Then or otherwise, rolled 4D6 and continued, until all 10 hills were located.

The large rise at the upper left seems somewhat to exaggerate the size of that rise.  It began as a 2-hex hill, but another appeared right beside it, to extend its size.

Patches of bush/ scrub:
The method was the same.  This time the 2D6 + 1D3 roll gave us 1+1+1 = 3 such patches.  You can see the extent to which the Fates, the Gods, Karma, and Providence had it in for the m'Butu, eh?  Man, what a miserable piece of country when you have nothing - nothing at all - going for you!

Hamlets/ Villages:
To determine whether there were any, I figured that, as this was a fairly sparsely populated country, I'd stay with 'the book' on this.  The D6 - 3 roll was a '2', so there was no habitations.  

The Road/ Trail:
I simply laid down close by the river as seemed sensible.

The battle:

Figuring that to close with the enemy (if they could not retreat betimes) would be better than to stand about to be shot to pieces, the m'Butu advanced rapidly to close the distance. Losing several SPs in the process, they found they could do little better in the close quarter fighting. They were completely outfought all day. Unfortunately I failed to take any pictures of the actual fighting, but an after picture might at least partially tell the story.

...m'Butu retreating, much reduced.

The attack failing to make the least impression, the m'Butu fell back, close to their exhaustion point. Nor was that withdrawal to remain unmolested. Although they managed to put some distance between themselves and the enemy, not a few could not get beyond rifle and artillery range. And the colonists' shooting this day was desperately accurate.

This was a terrible defeat for the m'Butu - a massacre, withal. As the m'Butu dragged themselves from the field they mourned (well, I did) the loss of 20 Strength Points. The Azeitonians had lost precisely two.

Now the battle losses, as before stated are divided in 3 - 
  • one-third permanently lost as killed and seriously wounded
  • one-third will be replaced after a number of campaign turns (roll 1D6) as recruits or recovered
  • one-third are returned immediately.
Rather than dice for the remainders, I find it simpler to form the losses into a species of palindrome.  The single remainder goes to the delayed replacement; two remaining will go to 1 permanently lost and the other immediately replaced.

The net effect of this 'battle' was that the Azeitonians lost exactly one SP.  The m'Butu lost 7 outright, 6 to be returned later, and 7 returned immediately - a loss for the moment of 13SPs, on top of the 16 lost the day before. That there would be 14SPs available some time in the future was small consolation to Barra Kuta.

At this point in the campaign, recall that the Azeitonians still had 4 campaign moves to play. Strictly speaking, they could probably carry out a recon, then attack along the road, drive the m'Butu into Kachinga Town, to finish the outstanding moves with a reconnaissance. It would simply have been a pressed home pursuit of a defeated enemy. The drawback to this would have been that, handling the m'Butu, I would simply have refused battle, and drawn off the remnants of the army.

So Paul and I negotiated the subsequent events, allowing the m'Butu to retreat all the way into Kachinga. That saved the Azeitonians a campaign move, which meant that they could, after a successful recon, end the sequence with a battle. To make absolutely certain this was to be a great day for the Azeitonians - and an utterly miserable one for the m'Butu - their recon roll was a '6'. Of course it was. One suspects a local entrepreneur in this market town wished early to ingratiate himself to these enterprising strangers...

Chief Barra Kuta had left a small garrison in the place, 2 warrior stands (8 SPs). Added to what was left of his field force, brought the m'Butu strength up to 45SP, as follows:

Chief Barra Kuta (brilliant commander) plus entourage = 6SP
6 Warrior units, spear @4SP = 24SP
3 Warrior units, musket @4SP = 12SP
1 Warrior unit, spear = 3SP

11 units, median = 6 + 1 (Brilliant commander) = 7.
45 Strength points (37 [main army] + 8 [garrison]); exhaustion point = 15.

To be continued: The Assault on Kachinga.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

In Darkest Aithops - The m'Butuland Expedition: Battle of Limpopo Bend

Something of an encounter battle, both sides advance
the m'Butu perhaps more eagerly...

 As the Azeitonian expeditionary force began to leave the jungle along the Limpopo River trail, they entered a region of scrubland as they approached the great bend in the river.  There awaited the m'Butu army.  Given time, Chief Barra Kuta might perhaps have refused battle, though where he could find a favourable battlefield east of Kachinga Town, might have been problematic, to say the least.  For the moment he could at least count on some superiority in mobility, especially in that final tongue of jungle forest that reached, seemingly, for the road.  But where the regular forces of the Azeitonians might have some difficulty negotiating a patch of scrub, the m'Butu's looser formations could pass through with ease.  

(Note: Although scrub patches offered cover for those within and concealment for those behind, the natives could walk though as if they weren't there.  With one exception, the colonists had to take one turn to enter such a patch.  The exception for the Azeitonians was a bunch of bush-fighting volunteers, who, for celerity of movement through hard country were to be the equal of the m'Butu.  I forgot to remind Paul of this - just this moment remembered it in fact - so I don't know whether that Militia group were these fellows or not).

For their part, a m'Butu regiment - amabutho Wa Nnabe - lay in wait within the jungle, ready to leap upon the flank of the column whilst the remainder of the army - the impi ya masoshe - awaited the enemy in the scrub.  
Campaign area.  The red lightning denotes where the battle
takes place, not far from the great river bend that gives
the battle its name.

Taking no chances, the Colonel brought his forces in a solid body, close by the road and the river.  However, one troop of horse - 'A' troop - rode forward of the main column to reconnoitre, and perhaps to spring any ambush.  Sure enough, the m'Butu responded, a band of about 40 warriors charging around a patch of scrub to engage at close quarters.  Though getting the better of the first clash, the cavalry quickly found themselves in trouble.

'A' Troop runs into warriors coming the other way...
Within moments, a second band burst through the scrub to join their comrades.  To the horror of their fellow soldiery, still barely within rifle range, they saw their lone troop surrounded by five times their numbers.  There was no hacking their way out; the troop died where they stood.  But the losses among the m'Butu were severe enough: 5 SP lost to kill off a 4SP stand.
'A' Troop surrounded by 5 times their numbers.
But the m'Butu are taking heavy losses.
It was probably fortunate that, apart from artillery and machinegun fire, the Azeitonian column was unable effectively to come to the rescue of the doomed 'A' Troop.  The leading units met the warriors' attack in a coordinated line. The m'Butu surged forward in a somewhat ragged line to engage the Colonialists in close combat with assegai and short ranged musketry from Wa Tusi.  Although successfully inflicting losses and driving back parts of the Colonists' line. the m'Butu were taking rather heavier punishment.  Barra Kuta himself took a hit bad enough to knock him back (rolling '11' in the effect dice for Army commander with the band that received incoming rifle fire).
'A' Troop finally overrun, as the m'Butu close with 
the colonialist column.
The action spread along the front as more m'Butu surged out of the jungle.  This brought more of the colonists into the fight - not quite the hoped-for effect, as the warriors found it hard to bring numbers against isolated bodies of troops.  Although the m'Butu were exacting a toll of casualties, they were rather getting the worse of it.  Meanwhile, the river boats continued chunking upriver, where their gunfire, aided by the artillery in the road, chased a native band out of a riverside patch of bushes, and cleared the open ground a considerable distance from the trail.  
Coordinating bush fighting ain't easy, even for the locals. 

Early attacks repulsed, the m'Butu pull back...
The main action going against the m'Butu, Chief Barra Kuta, blood streaming from a shoulder wound, called his men to give back.  This was no rout - rather a coiling back to draw the enemy on.  Fading back into the scrub and jungle, the m'Butu successfully placed some distance between themselves and the enemy.
...putting themselves as much as possible out
of rifle range.

The river boats advance...
They were not yet done; of that Col. Relaxado was persuaded.  This was the snake coiling for a strike.  On the other hand, there was nothing to be gained by standing still.  If the expedition was to go ahead, the column must advance.  The gun boat led the transport thrashing upriver behind the m'Butu flank.  Once past the riverside brush, the Solenta transport unloaded its cargo of rifle-armed sailors.  Greatly daring, the nearest m'Butu band charged alone through a hail of machinegun fire and chopped down several seamen before themselves finally being scattered.
The Azeitonian column yet to lurch into motion

Sailors disembark,.  The covering gunboat's machine guns
fail to discourage the m'Butu from attacking
This bold, self sacrificing action served to cover the gradual m'Butu withdrawal on the river flank, but, as the colonists slowly followed up, they merely kept their distance out of rifle range.  
General overview of the battlefield late in the action
As time passed, it became clear to Barra Kuta that his army had maybe one more counter-attack left in it.  As the Azeitonian left drew near to the jungle, where the Chief had placed himself in the position most crucial, several bands charged out of the undergrowth and threw themselves upon the lead element that had strayed perhaps too unwarily, and too close.  Or perhaps The Colonel had cannily hoped to draw the warriors out of hiding.
Final counter-attack of the m'Butu.
However it was, the m'Butu did some damage, and received some themselves - enough for them to call it a day.  Thereafter, the warriors made use of their celerity of movement to distance themselves from pursuit, and draw off from the field.
(Poor photo) the m'Butu withdraw 
alogether form the action.
This action was never going to have any other result but an Azeitonian victory.  They had the numbers; they had the firepower; they had the support weapons.  All the same, the m'Butu had given a good account of themselves.  Of 660 warriors who entered the battle, some 160 were killed and wounded.  The Azeitonians had some 900 or more troops, rifles against the few muskets the M'Butu possessed, artillery, machine guns and a gun-armed riverboat.  All the same, they could congratulate themselves upon a fine start to the campaign - the early victory being easy enough to feel this was a great adventure, and hard-fought enough (100 k + w, and no one would soon forget the fate of 'A' Troop) to bring a thrill of jingoistic pride.

(In game terms, the m'Butu had lost 24SP, a little over their 'exhaustion point', the threshold being reached during the final counter-attack.  Of these 8SP are immediately returned to the army (stragglers, grazed and the like; 8 are returned to the army after 1D6 turns (I call them recruits rather than, say, recovered wounded); 8 are lost permanently.  The latter 16 count as battle casualties; at 1SP representing 10 men - 160 men lost.  The Azeitonians lost 15SP up front, they being split 5, 5 and 5.  Ten SPs lost for the moment, the histories will relate how they lost 100 men in the expedition's first fight).

The early pull back enabled the m'Butu to put a few kilometres distance between themselves and the Azeitonians before halting.  Perhaps this made them complacent.  For their dilatoriness subsequently, they were to be asked a high price to pay.  That is to say, the Black card that terminated the Azeitonian moves proved to a string of one only: the Reds that followed went number, king, number, number, number before the next Black card turned up.  This was a fine portent for the colonists' expedition into m'Butuland; and an ill omen for Barra Kuta's realm...

A word on the figures, terrain and the rule set(s) used.

All the figures in this action, apart from the machine gun and the boats, were from Paul's ('Jacko's') collection - ESCI and HaT.  The boats were my scratch-builds, the transport from the fleet I made originally for American Civil War riverine operations about 25 years ago, and the gunboat specifically for this campaign.  The machine gun aboard O Ra Desvairado was a HaT Gardner gun.  The name of the gunboat, by the way, was a nod to the late George Macdonald Fraser: an incarnation of La Grenouille Frenetique, or, in English, the Frantic Frog, that features in The Pyrates.

The Campaign and Battle rule sets were from Bob Cordery's Portable Colonial Wargame - the latter being The Gatling's Jammed... 

To be continued...

Monday, May 3, 2021

In Darkest Aithiops - The m'Butuland Expedition


Azeitonian expedition advancing
up the GreatgreygreengreasyLimpopo River

Perhaps it was the good Reverend J. Eglington Juggins, DD, as well-meaning amiable fellows  so often are, who was the cause of it all.  At the end of June, 1876, his ministry in the land of the m'Butu came to an end.  Under an honorary escort of m'Butu warriors of the highest rank, he made his way to Vertiginus, the seat of the recently established Azeitonian colony, and, after several weeks' wait, took ship to the Cape, and thence to his home in Ruberia.

During the course of his stay in the Azeitonian town, Rev. Juggins was entertained more than once at the governor's invitation to dinner, where he did much to repay his host's hospitality with accounts of his missionary work with the m'Butu - largely ineffectual - and his impressions of the people and their country.  If his eye-witness account of the disaster along the Limpopo Trail was not so agreeable to Tenente-Coronel Relaxado's ear, his interest was very much piqued by his guest's mention of the semi-mystical Montanhas Diamante - the Diamond Mountains.  Somewhere between 60 and 70 kilometres off, they rose out of the grasslands almost due west of the Colony.

Campaign map of part of the East Coast of 

Following the disaster of the first just one year before, the Colonel had devoted a deal of his time organising a second expedition, this one far batter prepared, partly as an exploratory mission, partly to visit a punitive action against the m'Butu for their attack the previous October that came within an ace of overrunning the satellite town, Oportonovo. The Montanhas Diamante offered a more attractive objective and purpose to the planned emprise than empty vengeance.

Such is the generating circumstance, if we can call it that, of the narrative that will be titled 'In Darkest Aithiops', a project Paul 'Jacko' Jackson and I have been off-and-on developing over the last few months.  I guess it's more Paul's than mine - his was the concept, and, most of the forces involved are his.    The above map is of the theatre of operations, and these are the 'characters' of the story:

  • New Azeitonia - a Europeian colony (vaguely Portuguese) established upon the east coast of Aithiops in 1871, and whose existence has been amiably tolerated by the local indigenes for reasons of economy and status. The Governor from the beginning has been Tenente-Coronel Joao Pablo Relaxado.
  • the m'Butu - an indigenous people whose realm occupies much of the jungle, scrublands and steppe south of the Limpopo River.  Its Chief, Barra Kuta rules with an iron fist.  Although disposed to be friendly towards New Azeitonia, he rather objects to being imposed upon.  The m'Butu settlements are to be found at Barra Kuta's Kraal, the Kachinga market town, Kreepin Kraal, Rutintutin Kraal, and a small, unnamed village in the middle of the coastal jungle.
  • The Touaouin (Twawin) - 'The Forgotten of God' - desert dwellers, fierce, armed to the teeth with rifles, pistols and assorted close-quarter weaponry with which the adjectives 'sharp', 'keen' and 'edged' pointedly call themselves to mind. Nomads of the Great Sa Haroh desert, Oasis Akbar the eastern end of their annual migrations.  Call themselves traders, but rather similar to the Corsairs of Zanzingabar in their approach to commerce. Led by Sheikh El Bazir.
  • Zanzingabar Corsairs - Slave traders, robbers, pirates and all-round bad guys that have been the plague of the Coast for over a century.  Until the arrival of the Azeitonians, the only real naval presence in this part of the world, but still reliant upon wind-driven dhows, feluccas, xebecs and settees.   Established at Zanzingabar and Dar Es Oualdo, governed by Wazir Yezdi.
This campaign is run on the lines of the 'More Trouble in Zubia' described in Bob Cordery's The Portable Colonial Wargame (PCW).  The campaign moves are limited to the trails (in orange on the map), the navigable parts of the GreatgreygreengreasyLimpopo River and its branches, and the Indic ocean for sea-going craft (Azeitonian gunboats and Zanzingabar dhows, etc).  

The moves are determined by the draw of cards, Azeitonia drawing Red, and the denizens of Aithiops drawing Black.  
  1. From a shuffled deck, the cards are drawn one at a time, but continuing until there is a change of colour.  
  2. At that point the side whose colour it was, makes his moves according to the schedule given on pp108-9 of PCW.  
  3. Having finished, he announces all the grid areas in which his forces are located.  The composition of the forces are not stated at this point.
  4. Carry out reconnaisances, if any.
  5. Fight out battles, if any.
  6. Beginning with the card that signalled the change, the cards are drawn for the next player, again until signalled by a change in colour.
  7. Note that this card draw process goes, without replacement, right through to the end of the deck.
The locations of the forces begin as follow:
  • Azeitonia: Vertiginus (2108), Oportonovo (2011)
  • m'Butu: Barra Kuta's Kraal (0313), Kachinga (0709), Kreepin Kraal (1212), Rutintutin Kraal (1712)
  • Touaouin: Oasis Akbar (0202)
  • Corsairs: Dar Es Oualdo (2002), Zanzingabar (2202).

The alert reader will no doubt have observed that the Black movement cards will be distributed rather thinly among the three peoples represented.  The effect will be that one of the three will be getting most of the attention early on, with perhaps the others moving slowly as opportunity indicates.  So far, the m'Butu have been very active, but the Touaouin and Corsairs haven't been completely idle.

Finally, for the purposes of this campaign, a single stand represents a platoon or troop, each strength point (SP) or figure representing 10 men.  Each vessel represents a single vessel.  For the Azeitonians, 3 foot stands is a company, and there being 6 stands each of Regulars and Legionaries, they represent half-battalions of 2 companies each. The cavalry amount to a two-troop squadron; each gun a section or troop of 2 guns.

The Expedition Begins...

Upon the first day of November, 1876, the expedition set out from Vertiginus, leaving behind garrisons at that town and Oportonovo.  The main column took the trail of infamous memory, accompanied by the two vessels alongside upon the Limpopo River. The gunboat O Ra Desvairado, and the transport Solente, between them carried a company of sailors - some 120 officers and men.

Certain navigation problems slowed down the expedition, some 8 kilometres beyond the colonial frontier.  As the trail and waterway parted company from time to time, coordination of  column and flotilla became problematic until they reached the shallow tributary friendly porters identified as Kofi Creek.  It was there that they received the first indications that the m'Butu were nearby, in numbers and in no welcoming mood.

Meanwhile, a distant whisper of drums, less a sound than a quiver in the air, seemed to be coming up from deep within the jungle to the south.  What could that portend?

A rather smaller expedition set out from Oportonovo along the trail leading southwest from that little town.  Penetrating the jungle, they travelled some 4 to 6 kilometres before encountering within a small cleared space a palisaded kraal.  Silence reigned over the place - had it been deserted? Capitao Ferdinand da Gama, commanding this probe, contemplated a reconnaissance. 

In the opening campaign turns, the black cards were far more in evidence than the red.  The odd ace and picture card gave the Touaouin and the Corsairs a chance to set their forces in motion, such that the people of Vertiginus has some reason to apprehend a descent of corsairs from the north along the sea-coast.   But the m'Butu drew most of the benefit, speedily gathering a sizeable force that met the Azeitonian column as it was crossing Kofi Creek.  

The m'Butu reconnaisance was a poor one, but even so the news wasn't good: a column far more powerful than had been anticipated - '22 units' - which seemed to argue a force rather larger than the m'Butu had available.  Perhaps the m'Butu might have attacked whilst the colonials were still astride the stream, but they were too slow to organise (they ran out of black cards).  The Azeitonian counter-reconnaissance was little better than the natives' - but the news - the m'Butu having 66 strength points - was to the colonists most encouraging.  The column at once moved off to attack.

Unable to retreat betimes, the m'Butu resolved to attack in the hope of administering a sharp reminder that they could fight.  

Having left the jungle, now entering the scrublands
The respective forces were:

Azeitonian Limpopo Expedition:
  • Commander: Tenente-Coronel Relaxado, staff etc (Average) = 6SP
  • 6 Regular infantry platoons (stands) (avg) @4SP = 24SP
  • 6 Legionary platoons (avg) @4SP = 24SP
  • 1 platoon-strength Civilian Militia band (poor) = 4SP
  • 2 Regular cavalry troops (avg) @4SP = 8SP*
  • 1 troop field artillery (avg) = 2SP
  • 1 section machine guns (avg) = 2SP
  • Gunboat O Ra Desvairado (avg)  = 6SP/FP , carrying capacity = 4SP
  • Transport Solente (avg) = 4SP/FP, carrying capacity 8SP
  • 3 Platoons of Sailors (avg) @4SP = 12SP
23 Units (counting command), median = 12
92 Strength points, exhaustion point = -31SP 
* The cavalry ought to have been 3SP, but Paul forgot and I didn't notice at first.  Never mind, they have 40-man troops.

m'Butu warriors advancing to attack through 
scrubland and jungle.

The m'Butu:
  • Commander: Chief Barra Kuta (Brilliant) = 6SP
  • 3 musket-armed bands (poor) @ 4SP  = 12SP
  • 12 assegai-armed bands (avg) @ 4SP = 48SP
16 Units, median = 8+1 (brilliant commander) = 9
66 Strength points, exhaustion point = -22SP.
Note: the m'Butu were allowed to move more 
quickly (2 hexes) than the colonists through scrub and jungle. The hexes empty of foliage counted as open.

Battle about to be joined!

Before continuing on to the battle narrative, I should state that there will in future be some small changes in future orders of battle.  
  1. Henceforth all m'Butu stands that have a musket-armed figure will be deemed capable of shooting.  They will count as 'average', but will require a '6' to hit when shooting, rather than the standard 5 or 6.  This is to reflect the paucity of firearms among the indigenous peoples.
  2. The Strength/Flotation points and carrying capacities of the gunboats will be amended more in keeping with the rule set.

To be continued: Battle!