Thursday, August 5, 2010

CLA – East Africa

It’s been a long time since we’ve played contemptible Little Armies. A long, LONG time. I kind of gave up on it as there were a lot of holes that I felt had to be plugged by too many house rules. Then I started playing other games and more or less dropped CLA in favour of trying other things. I’m not sure what had brought me back around for another try… Perhaps hearing that there’s a new edition. Or perhaps my friend John mentioning that he’d played a fun game of Ever Victorious Armies recently (a very similar game also by Chris Peers). Whatever it was I thought we’d have another go.

German East Africa, 1915


The opposing forces need to secure water and a base of operations for further campaigning against their foes...


This is a Meeting Engagement. Both sides objective is to control the village (and the well!)



C-in-C Major Bartholomew Daniel Woodsworth III

A Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment (14) – Tac 3 Mor 5

D Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment (14) – Tac 3 Mor 5

Coy, 5th Battalion, Kings African Rifles (17) – Tac 4 Mor 4

MG Platoon - Tac 5 Mor 5

Watusi Tribesmen (9) - Ireg Mor4 Ferrocious

Volunteer Scout (Johnny Bartlett) – Tac 5 Mor 5 Sniper


C-in-C Hauptman Heinrich Wienerschnitzel

23rd Schutztruppe FeldKompanie (18) – Tac 4 Mor 4 Single Shot rifles

17th Schutztruppe FeldKompanie (18) – Tac 4 Mor 4 Single Shot rifles

Abteilung Schnauzer (10) – Tac 3 Mor 4

Ruga Ruga (8) – Irreg Mor 3

Abteilung Schnauser MG Platoon Tac 5 Mor 5

German Volunteers (8) Tac 5 Mor 5 Marksmen

(I decided to make the British NOT marksmen – as they normally are – as two units of Marksmen versus two units of single shot rifle askaris seemed like it might make the game a little one-sided…)


Gary and Rick showed up and decided they should together play the Germans against me playing the British… Rick took FK. 23, the German Volunteers, and the Ruga Ruga and approached the village from the northwest. Gary took FK. 17, the sailors of Abt. Schnauzer, and the MG platoon and approached the village from the southwest.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The village viewed from the North.The British are approaching from the east (left) and the Germans are approaching fromt eh west (right).

The British force (“Bartforce”) advances towards the village. D Coy, 5th Battalion King’s African Rifles is in the center, flanked by A and D Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment.

FK. 17 and Hauptman Heinrich Wienerschnitzel, along with Abt. Schnauzer’s MG platoon are in the foreground. Beyond them are the Sailors of Abt. Schnauzer and FK. 23.

The Askaris of D Coy, 5th Battalion King’s African Rifles advance directly towards the village, led by Captain Percival “Pip” McGonagall.

D Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment is in the foreground led by Major Stanley Smythe-Barker. The other companies can be seen in the distance all advancing on the hapless village

A Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment, led by Captain Howard Lewis Coleman, sweeps to the south of the village to secure the flank.

The forces converge.

The Germans again…

Things are about to get nasty…

The KAR Askari arrive at the village, platoons are dispatched to the North and south blocks.

The Watusi Tribesmen spot the Ruga Ruga mercenary thugs and get ready to charge!

A Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment spots Feldkompanie 23 and begins to deploy.

The Ruga Ruga shoot up the Watusi as they charge!

The belligerents enter the town and begin occupying blocks.

D Coy, 8th Battalion, Burlington Regiment sweeps north of the village. The German Colonial volunteers deploy on a hill north west of the village and with a wary eye watch the Watusi charge the Ruga Ruga and the British advancing through cover.

The two companies south of the village deploy.

The Watusi continue to be massacred by the Ruga Rugas guns.

All Hell breaks loose in the village.

The British and Shutztruppe exchange long range fire south of the village. The British taking the worst of it!

The Shutztruppe of FK. 17 in the village are ground down by the relentless attacks of the Kings African Rifles and British. The Sailors of Abt. Schnauzer are finally in position and exchange fire with the rest of the KAR company.

Feldkompanie 17 break and route – but they have taken their toll from the British and Askaris. The Ruga Ruga try to flank the village from the North.

The remnants of D Coy ambush the Ruga Ruga – the mercenary thugs break and flee.

The relentless fire from Abt. Schnauzer finally breaks the KAR and the Askaris retire from the village.

With Abt. Schnauser firmly in control of the western end of town, the German volunteers occupying the northern district, and Feldkompanie 23, still fresh, advancing from the south to support the position, it looked pretty hopeless for the two remaining British companies, who were now both reduced to platoon strength.

Major Woodsworth had no option but to withdraw his troops to save the force from total annihilation.

Well that got that out of my system… for now.

I love the look of CLA – the masses of troops sweeping across a big table – and it can be lot of fun with the right people… It can also be super FAST – if you can avoid long arguments or rules debates… but there are so many opportunities for “gamey” play due to ill-thought-out or poorly explained/worded rules. Some could be fixed with some house rules and clarifications… others might require some thinking.

I’m curious to see what’s been changed in the new (third) edition…

I’d like to try it out again with a few changes – mostly involving Close Combat resolution and orders.

Perhaps I’ll outline some of my thoughts in another post…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More painting… Probably Russians.


  1. Nice report and great pics! Lots of cool terrain and minis there - I always enjoy pics of your own sculpted/cast minis.

    Maybe the Brits should've taken a few marksmen with them after all! ha!

  2. I was thinking the same thing - should have taken marksmen... but then, you don't get people interested in a game/era by utterly crushing them the first time you play... so...

  3. Great setup Tim. That's what wargaming is about. Great figures, superb terrain and a good set of rules.

  4. Good battle report. I am completely unfamiliar with the rules system but I enjoyed the account and the photos. Great work as always.

  5. I'm completely unfamiliar with them too, so I just make stuff up as I go...


  6. The rules certainly produced a very interesting game :) The one thing I noticed though is that you laid your figs down... I don't like rules that require me to lay my figures down :) Looking forward to seeing your next battle!


  7. Oh, the rules didn't require me to lay figures down. That's just something I do for battle reports to show where and how many people are getting dead. If I had dead markers I'd throw them down instead.