The Brontes created for their characters ( the Twelve young men) heroic scenarios that could be adapted for the gaming table.
Interesting scenarios for a range of small skirmishes can be found amongst the Bronte juvenilia stories such as this in Charlotte Bronte’s juvenile Two Romantic Tales.
Setting and terrain ideas to be sketched onto a gaming map:
A tropical island, unexplored, maybe a continent?
A. small natural harbour around ship under repair.
Travel through about two miles of the following terrain –
B. Cultivated grain fields, plantations of palm and almond trees
C. Olive trees groves
D. rice paddies / enclosures
Any of these (BCD) can be deemed impassable as required or require movement at half pace.
They can be random terrain scattered about or cluttered around a path.
Your characters: 12 named characters ( plus assorted ship’s crew if needed)
Your opponents: Twenty men ‘well armed’ – natives?
What happens next?
Here is the Bronte version of this Battle Narrative. Yours may end differently and be ‘game over’ for the adventurers.
The joy of gaming is that this story could have gone very differently. What if the natives won or captured some of the Twelve adventurers?
The characters in the Bronte juvenile stories are inspired by their imagination but also real people of the age.
Once the characters were established, the following scenarios are set out for the Twelve Young Men:
The Bronte family’s knowledge of the tropical realms of the expanding British empire was through books, atlases and periodicals like Blackwood’s Magazine.
The Ashantees were no doubt generic natives or tribesmen, but Britain did fight the first Anglo Ashanti war in west Africa (now Ghana) around 1824, news of which would have been in the Brinte’s reading matter. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Ashanti_wars
Whilst the real early Ashanti wars were fought over the slave trade and Britain’s abolition movement, one of the interests of gaming is to turn tables and see the Twelve Adventurers as imperialist invaders.
Thundering Cannon, naval Landing Parties, trumpets, war drums, wild wailing natives trying to repel the colonial invaders who man the walls in their city, burning fields, mountainous strongholds – this is the stuff of colonial gaming!
Exotic landscapes and terrain.
A releif party or news from England.
AW ‘Arthur Wellesley’ (based on the duke of Welkington, victor of Waterloo) as the Brontes had been born into the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.
Figures needed for gaming this Bronte period could be culled from a mix of Napoleonic and early Victorian figures versus any available natives.
Lots of interesting ideas here to develop into games scenarios.
Illustrations from the Ashanti Empire Wikipedia entry show an Ashanti warrior with a simple musket and powder horn.
You can read more about the Brontes and their real and imaginary worlds at:
Blogposted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN.