Well yesterday at the club we had a trial game of "Patrols in the Sudan" (PITS) by Peter Pig. I was the ref and Tim took control od the Anglo Egyptians (here after called British) and Graham and Matt took control of the Mahdist forces. Obviously we all make mistakes the first time we play any rules so I am sure mistakes were made yesterday but here is a very brief description of the game.
The Mission was mission 1 from the book and Tim had to Take a patrol up the board and scout a village for enemy troop concentrations. Graham and Matt had to stop him. It was a there and back patrol and being the first one in the book I assumed it would be straight forward.
As Tim's force had a single Cannon he bought that on first and set it up covering the battle field and sent his three scouts ahead. The Scouts failed to scout any terrain to begin with and when they did One scout was ambushed and died instantly Matt bought his poor quality unit out of hiding and managed to shoot the second scout down. Leaving Tim with just one scout. They then rolled on table 1 allowing then Sudanese to bring on an extra piece of terrain! (One of the peculiarities of the rules is that the terrain may change as the game evolves. This may not suit all players as the game does become something of a hide and seek game with the Dervish popping up and disappearing quite rapidly!) So Graham brought on a depression in front of Tim's gun, Creating some dead ground.
Tim then managed to bring on two infantry sections each with an officer and Sargent. Foolishly the young commander Tim split these two sections and rather than have them work together sent them as independent elements up the table. This meant no covering fire as they were out of each others firing arch and rifle range. One he kept in column to quickly advance up the board. And Boy yes it did! The other in line crept forward.
Tim's final Infantry section arrives and his last remaining scout comes back to search the depression in front of the cannon he has set up. Matt is able to move his poor unit to where the Column Infantry is and despite Tim's attempt at opportunity fire The Mahdist Unit fell on the column and forced a morale check which sent them fleeing from the board.
Mat was not able to hide the poor quality unit quickly enough and Tim's cannon opened up. Due to the long range and intervening terrain Tim only inflicted one casualty. And thus in the following turn they managed to Hide and reappear in the depression in front of the cannon! The following turn saw them reappear and fire a ragged volley into the cannon, killing the officer and the crew! They then about faced and close assaulted Tim's last scout. Being only a single stand scout it died quickly.
The following turn Tim was able to bring up his third section and Form an edge to fire into the Mardist troops. His other line section went into line and trekked up the table as fast as possible. Graham had a unit of uncommitted Dervish and made them appear by the British and led a charge into them from the flank! Tim's opportunity fire did not stop them and melee was joined. Matt and Graham both managed to get melee attacks onto Tim's foot troops but after 2 turns of melee that section of British heavily out numbered gave up the fight and fled the board as well.
So poor Tim only one unit remaining approached the objective in column. He mad a successful scouting check and located the rest of the Mahdists forces all he had to do now was get back. But due to the rules Graham and Matt were able to "teleport" troops from terrain to terrain and thus it was not long before the British were attacked again.
A veteran fuzzi-wuzzi unit was next able to charge the British. Being only melee armed they had no choice of standing back and firing so they just charged. Tim Rolled good dice and bought sufficient guns to bear. This was not enough to make the attack falter but it would mean that in a morale check the fuzzis would be up against it. In the melee though it was a fuzzie victory. Not sufficiently strong to make the British do anything else but fight on. So Graham hit them with another unit. Despite already being in melee Tim's men managed to fight this one of and sent the Mahdist reeling back with a failed morale check.
Recovering their wits the Mahdists once again charged and while causing casualties to the British were forced back again. But against the Veteran Fuzzies they just did not have sufficient troops being down to the officer and Sargent and a single rifle stand and eventually they also had to flee from the table routed.
Overall: The rules were a bit "Clunky" and did not flow as well as they might. They were adequate for the job and some nice ideas involving hiding troops and not starting with all the terrain on the board and being allowed to bring it on when dice rolls allowed. For me though they did not have the feel I was looking for. So next time I may well try Black Powder!
Thanks for reading and more again in 2 days . All the best Clint.