Wilkinson's Campaign Rules

This is a terrific little campaign in issue 270 of Wargames Illustrated (pp. 98-107) that has a British expeditionary force travelling along a fictional river to stem the influence of local slavers. 

As written the campaign is designed for In the Heart of Africa, but it could easily be adapted for Death in the Dark Continent. I'm currently converting the campaign into something more suitable for The Men Who Would Be Kings (MWWBKs). 

Individual battles are fought using MWWBKs, but the remainder of the campaign is driven by scenario and special event cards. These rules expand on the campaign published in Wargames Illustrated. So full credit should go to the author Garry Chalk. To play the campaign you will need to refer to the original article. 


Scenario Cards
At the beginning of the campaign you should decide on the number of scenarios that you wish to play. There are four core scenarios to which are added one or more optional scenarios. 

Core Scenarios
By default, the campaign includes the following scenarios that were all published in WI: 

- McKenzies Trading Post
- The Wasimba Village
- The Arab Tembe (always played) +
- Random Optional Scenario(s)

The core scenarios represent fixed locations that Wilkinson knows are present along the River Bakambo, although he doesn't quite know which location he will reach first. Reverend Jenkins Mission is particularly important since it is where he is due to be resupplied by HMS Mayfly. Of course, he may be delayed, get lost or find that one or more destinations have already been raided by the slavers. 

Optional Scenarios
Optional scenarios represent more random encounters that may or not occur along the route. Optional scenarios include:

- Elephants and Pygmies (same scenario as published in WI)
- Jungle Drums
- The Arab Dhow
- The Slave Caravan 
- Azande Dawn
- The Raiding Party
- The Stockade 

Optional scenario cards are shuffled, one or more cards are drawn at random and shuffled together with the core scenarios. One of the shuffled scenario cards is then randomly discarded without either player looking at it. 

[Discarding a scenario means that Wilkinson cannot guarantee being resupplied by the gunboat, since Reverend Jenkins Mission scenario may be discarded and therefore not played. It’s worth noting that the more optional scenarios are played, the lower the chance of the mission being discarded, at the cost of taking much longer to reach the tembe.]

Remaining optional scenario cards can either be set aside or shuffled with the event cards. I recommend the latter. 

Special Scenarios
There are also several special scenarios that can only be played if certain conditions are met during the campaign:

- The Ambush
- King Solomon's Mines
- Run to the River
- Bride of Kong
- Skull Mountain 
- Attack from the Trees
- Sacred Bones
- The Lost World

[Design Note: I wanted to make the campaign flexible with additional scenarios so it could be played more than once. Additional scenarios help with this. I also hope to create an entirely new campaign with new scenarios that uses the same campaign rules presented here. As you can see there are a few rather pulpy special scenarios. The likelihood that one of these will be played can be increased or decreased as you wish.]

Event Cards
There are many different event cards. These include effects that can benefit or hinder the expedition. Unused optional scenario cards can also be included. Some effects are applied immediately and may be specific to a particular troop type. Other cards may be kept and played either as required or when specific conditions are met. 

[Design Note: The original campaign published in WI included just two event cards; Short of Rations and Low on Ammunition. Since I had some time on my hands I decided to expand on this. There are now many different event cards, but only a relatively small number will ever be played. The cards are intended to spice things up by introducing some African themed events. Some of the cards are aimed at this specific campaign, but I've tried to make as many as possible self contained so they can be used elsewhere. The card text is all completed and I'll post a link to a pdf another time.]

Campaign Deck
The Expedition Base Camp, Arab Tembe, special scenarios and all object cards are placed aside. 

Wilkinson should then shuffle the remaining event cards and without looking at them, randomly draw a number of cards equal to the number of scenarios that will be played. 

Drawn event cards and scenario cards are then shuffled together. The Arab Tembe scenario card is added to the top and the Expedition Base Camp card is added to the bottom of the shuffled pile to create the Campaign Deck. 

Extra Event Card Deck
Unused event cards are shuffled to create the Extra Event Card Deck. Players only draw cards from this deck when instructed to do so. 

[Design note: Wilkinson needs to get to the tembe as quickly as possible to ensure he still has enough men and supplies to defeat the slavers. Whilst marching along the Bakambo towards the Arab tembe, cards will usually be drawn from the Campaign Deck. However, if Wilkinson is distracted by side quests or otherwise delayed he may be required to draw cards from the Extra Event Card Deck.]

Drawing Cards
When drawing from a card deck, cards are taken from the bottom of the pile and any cards marked with a gorilla head are handed to the Arab slaver player to be read in secret. Unless otherwise stated all other cards are read aloud and played immediately. 

At the beginning of each Campaign Turn, Wilkinson draws a card from the bottom of the Campaign Deck. Cards continue to be drawn from the Campaign Deck and their effects applied, until a scenario card is revealed. 

Rarely, a player may be instructed to draw and play multiple cards. In this situation random event cards are always played before scenario cards in the order they are drawn. If two or more scenario cards are drawn, only the first scenario should be played. Any other scenarios should be shuffled back into the deck and replacement cards drawn. 

Expedition Base Camp Event Card
The Expedition Base Camp card is always the first card drawn in a new campaign. Wilkinson’s camp is located in friendly territory and visited by representatives of a local village who offer to trade one of the following for the indicated number of hongos (H):

- Scout (has a keen eye, lucky since it's his only one): 2H
- Unit of 10 Young Warriors as escort (stay until end of next battle): 2H
- Porters (4 strong lads): 2H
- Zebra Hide (already cured): 1H
- Heavy Stone Slab (good to sit on when ground is wet): 1H
- Bronze Amulet (supposedly a lucky charm): 1H
- Brace of monkeys (bush meat): 1H
- Polished Wooden Figurine (not pretty): 1H
- Elephant Tusk (one of a pair): 2H
- Bunch of Medicinal Herbs (pungent): 2H

If Wilkinson declines the villagers' offer of trade, they disappear into the bush. 

Object Cards
Object abilities are described on their respective card. Objects may be beneficial, granting various upgrades. They may be valuable, scoring Campaign Points if they remain with the expedition at the end of the campaign. Some objects may be cursed, inflicting penalties on one or more of the expedition's units. Certain objects count as food and all objects have a hongo value allowing Wilkinson to trade with the people he meets. 

Object Card Deck
Object cards are shuffled to form the Object Card Deck. Players only draw cards from this deck when instructed to do so. Some cards are reserved for specific scenarios. If instructed to take a specified object, search the deck for the object. The object may only be taken if it is still available. The deck may include all available object cards or a subset of cards that is specified by an event card, scenario or other instruction. When creating or recreating the Object Card Deck, cards are always reshuffled. By default the Object Card Deck includes items carried in Arab Slaver baggage

Expedition Objects 
Objects held by the expedition should normally only be carried by baggage units. Some items are heavy or bulky and count as two or more objects when carried. To simplify object card management, most cards can be kept in a single pile. If instructed to discard an object, a random card is selected. Some objects have special abilities (e.g. that may affect the unit carrying them). Such objects should be represented by a token that accompanies the unit.  

If a non baggage unit is required to carry an object that is obtained during a scenario, this must only be temporary. Objects must be transferred to baggage after the battle. Figures carrying objects may not fight or shoot. Any objects that are found but not collected whilst playing a scenario can only be taken if the expedition controls the table after the battle. 

If the expedition loses all of its baggage units, Wilkinson will find the remainder of the campaign very tough going! Wilkinson may either attempt to recruit new porters from local villages or draw men from existing combat units and reassign them as porters to create new baggage. Wilkinson will find that newly created baggage units are unenthusiastic about their new assignment. 

Tembe Supplies
Available supplies in the slavers’ tembe are tracked throughout the campaign. Supply levels will determine slaver morale and available ammunition in the final scenario. Supplies may increase or decrease due to various events as the campaign progresses. At the start of the campaign the Arab slaver player should roll 1d6 to determine the initial supply level modifier:
        Supply levels low (-1)
2 - 5    Normal supply levels (0)
        Plentiful supplies (+1)

[Design Note. This is one of several mechanisms to help ensure that the outcome of individual battles will influence the final assault on the tembe. By attacking the slavers’ baggage Wilkinson may find objects of value, rescue captives and decrease resources available at the tembe.]

Equipping the Expedition
Encumbrance limits for baggage are detailed more fully here. To summarise: Wilkinson is allowed one free baggage unit per eight points of field force. A baggage unit consists of either four porters (each figure carries one object), two pack animals (each figure carries three objects) or one heavy ox wagon (carries eight objects). 

At the start of the campaign Wilkinson should select objects from the following list of expedition supplies (he can refer to the object cards if he wishes). 

8 x Cases of Ammunition 
8 x Army Rations
2 x Barrel of Rum
4 x Animal Forage
1 x Tents
1 x Medicine Chest
4 x Glass Beaded Necklaces
4 x Brass Wire

These objects include important supplies for the expedition and there will be consequences for the expedition if they are lost. Although they may take up valuable space a few trade goods may prove useful for bartering with local people. Extra supplies including spare tents are carried on the gunboat. Some supplies may also be available at McKenzies Trading Post. 

When making his selection Wilkinson should be reminded that one Cases of Ammunition object card is discarded at the end of each battle. One Food object card and one Animal Forage object card are discarded at the end of each Campaign Turn (see section on Campaign Turn below). 

Expedition Bonus Card
"Now Listen Up Chaps!" is a bonus card that is given to Wilkinson at the start of the campaign and may only be played once, before any battle. The card provides a morale bonus to the troops, but if used it will cost Wilkinson -2 Campaign Points. Use wisely! 

"Now Listen up Chaps!" Expedition Bonus Card
Keep and play as required. 
Seeing that your men are flagging you may discard this card to give them a pep talk. The Discipline of all Regular units receives a +1 bonus until the end of the Campaign Turn. If the expedition still carries a barrel of rum it is opened and your words of encouragement seem to be particularly well received. The Discipline of all units receives an additional +1 bonus until the end of the Campaign Turn. 

Expedition Subplots
There are several side quests that Wilkinson may be distracted by whilst he attempts to defeat the slavers. These subplots can be triggered in different ways. Some require the expedition to find a specific object and/or special character, others depend upon a Random Event Card being drawn. The players can choose to increase or decrease the likelihood that one of these subplots will occur depending on whether they prefer the campaign to be more historical or enjoy including pulp like content. Optional rules for the various subplots are included with relevant scenarios. 

Players are advised not to include too many subplots in the campaign! Some quests may prove challenging and Wilkinson does have a tembe to deal with after all… 

Two introductory subplots involve escorting a lady and assisting a film crew.  

Miss Jenkins
Miss Jenkins is on her way back to her father's mission and requires an escort. She is a special character that Wilkinson may choose to escort when equipping his expedition. There are bonuses for delivering her safely to the mission, but also consequences if she comes to harm. Use the MWWBKs Escorted Lady special rule for Miss Jenkins. Of course, the presence of Miss Jenkins may lead to other unexpected events… 

Film Crew
A pioneering film crew aims to bring the perils of Darkest Africa to the streets of London via the newfangled silver screen. At the start of the campaign roll 1d6:

    Wilkinson’s orders require him to take the film crew at start of campaign. 

2-3  Wilkinson may choose to take film crew at start of campaign.

4-5   Film crew accompanies gunboat/river launch and then joins expedition.

6      Film crew organise their own transport and are never heard from again…

Whilst accompanied by the film crew, extra Campaign Points can be gained (see card details). Campaign Points gained in this way are discarded if the film crew are killed (or otherwise lost). 

The film crew are represented by a group of four suitable figures and treated as an additional baggage unit. They have enough of their own equipment to manage so can't act as porters to carry other objects. All other baggage rules apply. 

Campaign Turn
The campaign is played over a number of turns that involve individual battles played using the MWWBKs rules. Battles are interspersed with various random events that might befall Wilkinson's expedition. 

Each Campaign Turn includes a number of phases when different actions are undertaken. After starting a new Campaign Turn Wilkinson draws a card from the bottom of the Campaign Deck. Cards and their effects continue to be applied until a scenario card is drawn and the specified battle is fought. At the end of the battle casualties are counted and one Cases of Ammunition object card is discarded. Wilkinson then strikes camp and must discard one Food and one Animal Forage object cards. This represents one complete Campaign Turn. 

Immediately before drawing a card from the Campaign Deck, Wilkinson may choose to strike camp early to end the current Campaign Turn. The Campaign Turn may also end early due to the effects of an event card or scenario.

A typical campaign will likely include 4 - 7 Campaign Turns that will include a similar number of battles. 

Scenario Turn
A full Scenario Turn includes both Wilkinson's and his opponent's turn in a MWWBKs battle. 

In a normal MWWBKs game, each player activates all of their units with play then passing to their opponent who activates all of their units. In this campaign, the attacking player activates one unit. Regardless of whether the unit passes its leadership test, play then passes to the defending player who activates one unit. Play continues to alternate between players until all units have been activated. 

[Design Note: this alternate activation helps to balance one or two of the scenarios that were originally designed for a rules system that uses a similar mechanism.]

Counting Casualties
After each battle Wilkinson should roll 1d6 for each casualty in a unit to determine if they are really dead or merely stunned or lightly wounded. On a roll of 1-4 the casualty is dead and permanently removed from the campaign. On a roll of 5-6 the figure is deemed to have recovered and rejoins its unit. This does not apply to baggage units that are always destroyed if captured. 

Any figures in units that fail to Rally or have been forced to retreat off the table are also rolled for. On a roll of 1-2 they are considered lost or dead. On a roll of 3-6 they have found their way back to the expedition. 

Arab slaver forces are listed for each scenario. Leader and baggage casualties must be noted, but troop casualties only need to be recorded if specified by the scenario.  

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