Saturday, 18 January 2014

Captain Bertorelli's Drum

John kindly put on this late nineteenth century colonial adventure in darkest Abyssinia. It was the first outing for his colonial Italian Bersaglieri purchased at Triples many years ago. The game was run using Wessex Games 'Voyages Extraordinaire' and covered a mission entrusted to Captain Bertorelli to retrieve the sacred 'Drum of St Ursula' from the local church and return it to Rome for safekeeping. Tim got to command the Bersaglieri, I got the Askari, and Mark the bishop and his retinue, Kayte the congregation and bringing up the rear, Jerry was an Italian journalist along for the ride. The situation was complicated by the multiplicity of languages in use, few of which were familiar to the other participants.

The Italian askaris under the command of the multi-lingual Sergeant Welboy. Here seen chatting to a shifty Italian journalist. Our main job was to keep the Italian officer safe and avoid them making fools of themselves.

The church of St Ursula with the bishop in attendance.

The Italians march on, with the Bersaglieri rushing off ahead.

The bishops congregation in the distance, here seen being manouvred by 'the hand of god'.

A priest intervenes as an unfortunate shooting incident thins the worshippers ranks considerably.

The journo approaches the bishop.

Hot on his heels is Captain Bertorelli, with Sgt Welboy and his bugler not far behind.

Captain Bertorelli investigates the remains of the church band,  the victims of another unfortunate shooting incident.

He returns clutching not one but two drums as the bishop and Sgt Welboy arrive on the scene of carnage.

Ignoring the bishops protestations of ignorance, the Captain sets off while the journalist sniffs around.

The Bersaglieri scamper back to their base, proud possessors of the 'Drum of St Ursula'. Meanwhile Sgt Welboys conversations with the bishop have determined that there is no such thing.

The bishop is left rather disgruntled at having his congregation and band shot by the Italians, Sgt Welboy is left despairing at the ineptitude of his colonial overlords but Captain Bertorelli is rather pleased with himself. At least until the journalist gets back to Rome...
So there we have it, poor Sergeant Welboy is left having successfully protected the Italian officers from harm, but not from a slavish obedience to silly orders. I suspect the game turned out to be more bloody than John anticipated, but it was good fun nonetheless, particularly the bishops numerous and loud interventions.

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