The Afriborian Campaign is situated in an imaginary world that resembles our own planet and its history (roughly 1874-1914), but events that took place in our world might be set at different dates or in different places in the Afriborian world, thus making any resemblance between Afriboria and real history, -people, -events and -places purely a matter of imagination.

The "AFRIBORIAN HERALD" is the campaign gazette of the Afriborian wargame/roleplaying campaign and reports on the events on the Dark Continent.
The rules used for the engagements are "The Sword and the Flame", translated into Flemish as "KLEINE OORLOGEN" (little wars).

***** THE AFRIBORIAN HERALD **** issue 3

Pirates' convention postponed...

When Lt Moore's colonial torpedocruiser HMS "Stingray" neared the southcoast of Afriboria to take on fresh water, his face turned grim when he sighted the smoldering wreck on the beach, which - by its prominent smokestack - he immediately recognised as the unarmed Italian steamer "Semovente". For weeks now he and his crew had been searching for pirates without result, but this was clearly the work of his elusive opponents... A second, closer look through his binoculars and he couldn't believe his luck: close to the wreck he discovered a sailboat, clearly manned by Europeans, although it was too far away to identify them exactly. Pirates for sure, but could they be Willy "B"'s men?

"...he couldn't believe his luck..."

The Italian survey camp.
He immediately gave orders to increase speed and man the guns. Meanwhile, the sailboat had changed its course, heading straight for the "Stingray". Had these pirates gone mad to confront HM guns with their unarmed vessel, or was it a trap?
Lt Moore was just about to give the order to open fire when a figure in the bow of the sailboat started to wave a white flag. At last the pirates seemed to show some sense: they were going to surrender!
However, as soon as the sailboat was alongside the "Stingray", Lt Moore was glad he didn't give the order to open fire: the boat was actually manned by Italian Bersaglieri and the famous ethnologist Dr Mark Stevens, who quickly told their tale of misfortune. The good doctor was accompanying an Italian survey team for which the "Semovente" acted as transport. While the survey team was working inland, suddenly and unexpectedly the dreaded pirate vessel "La Crise" under the command of Willy "B" appeared, thinking the "Semovente" to be an easy target. However, the Bersaglieri machinegun teams were still on board and opened fire on the "La Crise" but were no match for the pirate's guns and soon the Italian vessel was aflame. The very moment her captain succeeded in beaching her, the vessel exploded. There were no survivors...
Fortunately, the inland survey team was not spotted by the attackers and "La Crise" took off with no loot. All this happened two days ago and the Italians - deprived of their vessel - had been stuck in their camp. After hearing Dr Stevens out, Lt Moore decided to accompany the Bersaglieri ashore to speak with their commanding officer. He was not only welcomed warmly (Italians, you know...) but also learned from a native that a nearby village served as a base for the dreaded Willy "B" and his gang. From what he could make out another vessel - apart from "La Crise" - had arrived, manned by "yellow men". No doubt renegade Chinese: "kickers" short for the "harmonious rightfull feet". This was his opportunity for fame and glory! It didn't take much to convince the Italian commander to combine his infantry force with HM Navy to teach the pirates a lesson. The plan was simple: the Italians would advance along the coast towards the village and the guns of HMS "Stingray" would prevent the pirateships from escaping. Shortly before dawn the next day, the expedition was on its way, HMS "Stingray" steaming slowly to keep pace with the infantry and vehicles.

The Italians advancing at dawn along the coast.
Initially, the plan worked perfectly: the Bersaglieri surprised the complete crew of "La Crise" preparing for a BBQ on the beach and Willy "B"'s men were taken prisoner at the cost of only one Italian wounded. Meanwhile, "Stingray" was closing in on the Chinese vessel and had found the range. The third broadside hit the magazine and the pirateship was blown to pieces. The Bersaglieri had started their famous "run" towards the village. It seemed that nothing could stop the allies now...

The magazine of the Chinese vessel explodes.

The Bersaglieri are running towards the village.

The smoothbore gun in defence of the village.
The Italians counted on only a token resistance by the natives, but were in for a nasty surprise: the village was heavily defended not only by black warriors, but also by a number of "kickers" and... a smootbore cannon loaded with schrapnel! This proved too much, even for the élite Bersaglieri...

The Bersaglieri retreating from the village.

"La Crise" escapes, Willie "B" at the helm.
Lt Moore, who was about to turn his guns on "La Crise", had no option but to leave Willy "B"'s vessel alone to deal with the gun defending the village, thus not only permitting Willy "B" to escape, but also allowing him to rescue part of the Chinese crew from the water; amongst them their captain, "Tony" Wong. By the time the gun in the village had been silenced and the Bersaglieri had overrun the defenders under cover of the "Stingray", "La Crise" had long vanished. Although not a complete victory, Lt Moore could be very pleased with himself indeed: he did not only save the Italians and Dr Stevens, but - for the time being - postponed the Pirates' convention and Willy "B"'s dreams of empire-building.
A profile of some of the characters: (far left) Marie-Jeanne "B", nicknamed "Ma Baker" because of the double-barreled Baker-rifle she handles so well, both against the enemy and husband Willie (when he comes home late from "a night with the boys"). "I always like to give my husband a second chance" she states with a smile, waving her rifle... On board "La Crise" she runs the galley as well as the treasury. Next to her, the man himself: Willie "B", gentleman pirate and wouldbe empirebuilder. Right now, he is trying to become the number one pirate in Afriboria, but being an educated man, his ambition goes further than that. The goal of his planned convention (which was so brutally disturbed by Lt Moore's attack) was the creation of a true Afriborian, multicultural and multiracial state (he's a great advocate of colored people). He is a also an admirer of the Ancient Romans (he's actually nicknamed "Commodus" by his men) and his ultimate goal is to become emperor of "Belgae Com" ("Belgian Community"), the country he is planning to place on the Afriborian map. (Centre) The only two crewmembers - apart from Willie and Marie-Jeanne - of "La Crise" to escape capture by the Bersaglieri. (Centre left) Axel Hermans (second mate), nicknamed "the Carpet", because he claims (mostly during "a night with the boys") to have been a flying carpet salesman prior to his career as a pirate (?)... (Centre right) Johan Van Acker ("Scruffy"), chief engineer of "La Crise". The fact that he refers to his ship as "das Boot" not only displeases Willy "B", but is also the reason why many people believe him to be German (Hamburger, to be more precise). (Far right - in yellow & blue) "Tony" (actually: Li) Wong, Chinese renegade, pirate captain and important member of the "kickers", though there are rumours that he did not join the rebellion for religious reasons, but rather because he wanted to recruit cheap labour for his sugar plantations. Since the loss of his ship he is now acting first mate of "La Crise" and his Chinamen provide Willy "B" with a crew. Marie-Jeanne will have to learn to cook noodles instead of steak & chips...