Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Action in the desert 1885

                                             "A trip down the Nile"

On Sunday we managed to get a second outing with my Sudan forces onto the table. We played alittle scenario where the British force split into two columns had to relieve the town held by a small Eygptian force which was under attack from a Mahdist force. The British columns would appear at random points on the table to represent the fact that they had been separated due to sand storms on their march to the town and the Mahdist reserves would enter at random points on tne table aswell each turn. A little extra we added to the game was if a one was rolled at the start of the turn a sand storm would occur during tne subsequent turn meaning movement would be halved as would shooting ranges and command distance. I tried my hand with the British this time round and my dad had the task of uniting the Mahdist force to try and cause an upset again.

The Eygptian garrison protecting the steamer which has stopped for supplies.

The opening moves of the battle saw the first British column enter from the far right table edge and the Mahdist cavalry brigade and Dervish infantry enter on the opposite side.

Lots of Fuzzies of the green flag move behind the cover of the hill

Mahdist cavalry enter the table but struggle with command rolls from this point on for most of the game.

The Guard Cammel and 21st lancers scout ahead of the column

The second British column enters the table right between the Dervish Warbands and Mahdist cavalry, but some good command rolls sees me able to deploy all this brigade where I wanted them ready to open fire, there first volley with the artillery support sees a Warband become disordered and shaken.

Mahdist infantry enter the table as the first British relief column tries to move more towards the centre of the table to link up with the 2nd column but progress is slow as the command rolls only see the column moving at one move a turn.

Mahdist camels and yet more Fuzzy Wuzzie Warbands join the attack on the British.

The first real action sees the Dervish Warbands charge the formed lines of the kings royal rifles and the   Gordon's  battalions. The Gordon's failed to stem the charge with fire power but hold their ground in the melee but the Kings royal rifles unleash a devastating volley which sees the dervish Warband shaken and routed.

The 10th Hussars charge the flank of a Mahdist cavalry unit (we play an home rule amendment which means to counter charge you need to pass a command roll, it's not automatic). However not wanting to be left out of the action the 19th Hussars blunder their roll and end up charging into a supporting position of the 10th Hussars, who in the following combat phase make short work of the Mahdist cavalry breaking and shaking them and then a sweeping advance move contacts a second Mahdist cavarly unit who in turn become shaken.  

The other British column sees the Royal Marines battalion become somewhat isolated as it covers the rear of the British column advancing for the town. The screaming Warbands sees the British troops retreat away from the combat as a second Warband threatens the Marines flank.

After scouting ahead the camel Guard unit finds the Mahdist camelry who blunder there command roll and end up charging into the guard unit, although the guard hold there ground thanks to their steady rule they become shaken.

The 10th Hussars fresh from their early sucess  counter charge a unit of armoured Mahdist cavalry. Despite both sides inflicting serious hits both our saving rolls were excellent and every single hit was saved leading to a stalemate between these two evenly matched troops.

After withstanding further attacks the Guard are finally broken when the Mahdist camels do a follow me order and charge into the Shaken dismounted Britsh who break.

The mayhem on the battlefield as a sand storm blows across the dessert which hammpers my 2nd British coloums advance on the town as the Fuzzy Warband brigade is broken and forced to retreat.

Still not content with everything they have achieved so far the 10th Hussars charge into a unit of Mahdists who they dispatch with ease.

The 21st lancers move towards the Blackwatch battalion who are involved in hand to hand combat with a dervish Warband who survived and held their nerve over coming the British closing fire. 

The Kings rifles fail their break test when charged by Mahdist riflemen but luckily get out of harms way as they are already shaken, the British CnC in response turns the Gordon's and the artillery onto the rifle men but all their shots miss!

The Navel batallion preform much better and shake the Mahdist Warband breaking another Mahdist brigade. 

The Eygptians lend their fire against any Mahdist troops who stray to close to the walls of the town.

The Lancaster & Yorkshire positions itself ready to engage any adventurous Mahdist camalery who have taken shelter behind the sand dunes.

Sensing an opportunity my dad orders a follow me with a unit of camels And go in the flank of the already engaged Blackwatch. These extra attacks prove to much for the brave scots who turn heels and flee, the 1st British column had become broken.

With one last crack at winning the game my dad threw his armoured cavalry against the British hussars, but they were no match for the British cavalry in this melee and as a result they were broken meaning the Mahdist cavalry brigade was now a spent force, at this point the Mahdist army was now broken.

The 2nd British coloum forms a solid gun line as the Mahdist infantry begin their retreat.

The end of the game, the second British column now have an unobstructed path to the town were they are free to relieve the Eygptian troops and travel futher down river on the awaiting steamer.

It was Another fun game in the desert using the Sudan period. My dads poor Mahdists turned out to be quite a unruly mob and didn't care to much to .listening to orders although they did have sucess in different periods of the game. My British troops on occasions showed how deadly their fire power can be against the Warbands of Tne Mahdists tribes but the true heroes of the day were the British hussar units who swept away anyone who stood in front of them. A British victory but if did come at a cost with the loss of some of the British Finest battalions.


  1. Very interesning scenario. Those random appear on the table and the sand storm sounds like very good idea, I need to use it in our games. I like your Sudan collection. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Looks great. I think you need a bigger river ;-)

  3. Excellent report and some god looking figures. May I ask what tiled you are using please?