Thursday, 11 March 2021

Operation Big Stick scenario and forces

 Operation Big Stick!

 This is fictional game, based very loosely on the marine landing at Tangier scene in the movie Wind and the Lion. I am taking great liberties with forces and armament, so please don`t get offended.   


The year is 1916, American journalist and adventuress Mrs Emelia Andersson has been kidnapped by the infamous Brigand/pirate El Rougi!!

Mrs Andersson was cruising the African coast writing yet another of her famous world travel guides, when a storm forced her yacht "The Wild Woman" ashore on the coast of what would years later become Spanish Sahara. The area is barren and inhospitable and also occupied by various rather wild Arab/Berber clans who are happy to fight against each other as well as the Spanish Colonial authorities, who are weak and have little or no control.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, Mr Andersson and her party were quickly located and taken to the palace of a local chieftain El Rougi, a man of huge reputation and legend. El Rougi has set a ransom of 100,000 gold Spanish crowns for the prisoners safe return!!  

Now President Wilson already has political problems at home, Pancho Villa crossed the border and attacked Columbus New Mexico on March 9th and Wilson has been forced to send General Pershing and an expeditionary force after the famous Mexican bandit chief! The war in Europe shows no signs of abating and American looks more and more as if she will be forced to take sides too. An now Mrs Andersson`s capture has added to the bad headlines!!

Wilson remembers Roosevelt`s actions back in 1902 when the businessman Ion Perdicaris was taken by the brigand Raisulli. The world situation is similar, Pres. Wilson cannot afford America to be shown as weak in the eyes of the world press in such troubled times.

So he has decided to launch a rescue mission code named "Big Stick".

 El Rougi

A local Caid, old and wily lives in palace inland from the sea port of Amoraldi on the Atlantic coast.

The port was a Roman settlement and dates back to the first century BC. It features a good sheltered dock with stone wharfs and a modern (1860) lighthouse in a bay protected from the Atlantic by high cliffs topped by the ruins of old fortifications.

Spanish/British and French intelligences all believe El Rougi has a standing "army" equivalent to a couple of companies which includes some horsed cavalry and maybe the odd piece of ordinance.

Operation Big Stick US landing force

Capt Hardy (9th Infantry)

Carried in 2 landing barges & the coast gunboat "Heston"

The Heston and landing barges

Provisional Battalion 9th Infantry

HQ – OC + staff (aboard the Heston)

2 infantry companies each with –

HQ 2 officers & 2 NCOs

30 men inc a 2-man BAR team (2 platoons of "B" company aboard the Heston)

Support company with –

Colt MMG 4 men + mule

Vickers-Maxim 2.75" howitzer with 5 men + 2 mules

Provisional motorcycle platoon with: M/C combination with MG, 2 x M/Cs (5 men)

The Heston

6" gun, 1 MMG

Naval Landing party

2 x 10fig platoons (rifle armed)

Bashir’s forces

Harbour defences

2 rifle platoons (10 men each)

Gatling gun & crew

70mm cannon plus crew

Town defenders

2 units of local militia (poor quality) 10 men each

1 regular rifle platoon (10 men)

Palace defenders

1 regular platoon (10 men)

A regular cavalry troop (10 men w/sabre & carbine)

Le Rougi plus wives and hostage

Mrs Andersson you are a great deal of trouble

Berber Bodyguard (10 men plus MMG)

German military mission

Colonel Eric von Stran, Capt. Hines & 5 men

Potential reinforcements (after turn 15)

Dice once every 5 turns, forces arrive on a role of 6+ on 2D6

 1-4 Arab native cavalry (10-20 mounted natives armed with rifles/swords)

5 pirate vessel with 10 + 1D6 Arab pirates

6 armed pirate vessel (as above + a 37mm trench gun)


  1. You shoud write scripts for Hollywood besides having fabulous and unusual armies.

  2. I used to design role-playing scenarios and run campaigns back in the day. Story writing is a big part of that :)

    Once again this is more about getting toys on the table rather than pure history :)

  3. I love 20 mm pulp! Awesome, excellent!
    Added to my blog list!

    1. Thanks
      This is a bit of a change for me, I usually only do historicals, but I`ve been planning this game for ages.

  4. Where do You buy MrsAnderson figurę and regular cavalry?

    1. The Mrs Andersson figure is from Elhiem Figures (she may have been a prostitute of vampire i can`t remember).

      The regular cavalry are my own conversions creating French Spahis Morrocaine - if you cut/paste this link it will take you to the correct page on the blog -

  5. Great set up and scenario there.



    1. Cheers Pete, I`m writing/designing like I used to way back in my days as a D&D DM :)

  6. Your narratives always whet my appetite for more, Mr Baber! And this one is no exception. I'm looking forward to the next episode 👍

    1. Very kind, I`m hoping to get a chance to run this tomorrow, been a busy couple of weeks.