Monday 26 August 2013
They don't like it up 'em.
The mission was to take the supplies from one table edge to the opposite side. the carts could not cross the hills but everything else could. So we planned the best route and set of moving at the speed of our infantry (4" a turn).
There were two obvious "pinch points" which we would need to take the wagons through. And then the Mahdists turned up. My cavalry scouting ahead trying to secure the first pinch point was met head on by the native cavalry who managed to get the charge in and melee was joined. A melee that was to linger on and on and on. I won each round of combat but the heathens just would not break no matter how hard I tried. My infantry were the advance guard and ever so slowly caught up with the meleeing horse. First I tried a firing line behind them thinking my own might run before the native fanatics then I fanned out to either side to counter the approaching Beja.
My second unit of cavalry were caught in the open and shot up thus retreated and let the foot-sloggers get involved. Eventually they dismounted and formed a skirmish screen on the columns left flank to counter more Mahdist troops streaming in from that side. (Mahdist troops were set up randomly by use of a scatter dice with a chance of more arriving each turn.)
Madist camel troops and a very few fuzzy wuzzies turned up behind the column but Grahams troops made very short work of them. While a horde turned up on my left flank and my cavalry skirmish screen had to edge backwards each turn giving fire and ground in equal measure.
Eventually the Mahdist Cavalry died to a man having refused all decency and not routed and the pinch point opened enough to get some wagons rolling through. But seriously it did take all day to get that result they just would not run the blighters! So I swung my now free horse into the flank of the closest Beja and launched a bayonet charge with a foot unit at the same time.
We ran out of time but it was clear that Her majesty would have been pleased with the action in the Sudan this day. All my troops had taken losses but none had actually broken and disgraced themselves.
There were a number of issues that the rules and situation bought up. I think the British had about twice the number of troops they should have and the fact that the Mahdists turned up in dribs and drabs which meant Tim would never be able to make a strong concerted effort. Which did not lead to a very balanced game in the end which is a shame as I would like to do more of this period. A string of emails have been sent both ways with ideas and suggestions and Tim has amended some of the rules to suit our club more even sending updated quick reference sheets to Graham and myself. I can't say I out played Tim in any regard despite the clear win it was just that at no stage did the poor chap manage to get enough troops on the table. Then when he did get troops into the game they were so scattered that the long range of the rifles (30 inches when foot move 4 inches a turn) meant they could be severely weakened to the point that they could not really impact. So Other than the native horse I initiated the charges with my infantry. We all like a bayonet charge after all!
A slightly disappointing game I have to admit, but lessons learned so with luck next time we play a more even result has the potential to emerge. That's it for today thanks for reading and I will blog again on Wednesday. Best wishes Clint.