Sunday 12 February 2012

Sudan Club Game. Battle Report

I am blogging early today, because I will be looking after my nephew a few times this week including tomorrow so I might not get time then. I hope to post again on Wednesday.
So it was club day today at the club, I was going to play Warmaster with Kev and Relfie but as Relfie did not think he could get the day of work I arranged a game with Tim. Playing a game with Tim is always good all his figures are well painted and based. He provides all the scenery and makes no fuss about all the work he has done.  The basic scenario was to relive a small detachment of Scots troops on the outskirts of a town. Tim Made and cast the town and is available from FRONTLINE WARGAMING so have a look. Thorn bushes had been cut down to create a defence position which we had to reach all the way across 6 foot of 15mm desert.
The Relief column is in the second picture and Graham and myself shared the responsibility of command. We used the rules "A Good Dusting" mostly as a playtest for the club as not one of us had used them before. My forces and a cavalry troop are to the bottom of the picture while Graham had two additional units not seen in the pic. The Ansar were to appear in "Random" locations at "random" times so all we had to do was advance to the objective at the pace of ox carts on the open desert, which is to say walking pace. So off we set with flank and rear guard units set out in place in a very organised manner.
The Mardi did not want to play straight of the bat and only sent a small probing unit of spears and sword into a rocky outcrop on the far right flank. Obviously I was not going to let that go unchallenged so I countered with a unit of infantry in open order to flush them out while supporting with my cavalry.
The column slowly advanced.
The following turn a unit of Camalry arrived on the British left and two units of Ansar with rifles decided to test the defending Scots in their defence position. Graham sent his cavalry against the camels and melee was entered. The melee was indecisive and a group of "Fuzzy Wuzzies"turned up in a box canyon previously unobserved by our Colonial powers. By now my fire power had halved the spear on the rough hill so I let loose the cavalry in an impetuous charge up hill on a rocky slope. They consequently bounced, but did not rout.
Johnny Foreigner then bought a smooth bore cannon up behind me. Just not cricket old boy not cricket at all. The shooting Madi at the Scotch defence forced the lowlanders back and made them regroup.
The Cavalry/camalry melee was still pretty much at a stand still each taking  equal casualties and thus a swirly mass of mounted troops hacking at each other. The Fuzzies tried to join the melee but the khaki line of foot poured a withering fire into them. It was decisive enough to give them a pluck test which made the halt before contact.
On my flank (the right) I pulled the cavalry out of the charge and turned them on the smooth bore. They would stop short and have to suffer cannon shot but if they survived they would fall on the gun and sweep it from the board. And If they did not survive It would buy me enough time to bring some infantry into place to bring Martini Henry's revenge on the cannon crew. Harsh but If I was going to loose any unit the cavalry were my choice. As luck (in the form of bad dice rolls) would have it they took very minimal casualties and ploughed into the Gun. I felt good. I finally got rid of those pesky spearmen with my rifle line my cavalry had survived assured destruction and the column was creeping up the board. More Ansar arrived, foot units on the left and a native horse unit near the smooth bore threatening to scupper my cavalry. Graham was not getting it all his own way. His cavalry finally broke leaving a gap for the Camalry to dash through and reach the baggage train. However Graham had anticipated and swung his rear guard unit into position to "muller" the Native Cavalry and his baggage train guard unit to a position to counter the Camalry IF they did close with the baggage train.
My Infantry by this stage had moved far enough up the table to take a couple of rocky hills (uncontested) and bring supporting fire for the Sottish contingent who were slowly getting whittled down. Platoon fire from these heights drove the locals back into the town and away from the Scottish defenders.
At this stage it was clear that we would make it through with sufficient force to relieve the defenders. My Cavalry scattered the gun crew. and Grahams infantry had overlapping fields of fire and could enfilade any attacking force that came close.

Conclusion: A good game, rules we shall use again, nice scenery and figures. Great people to game with all in all a very worthwhile experience.  It is clear the Tim needs more Mardist forces, they did well but needed more numbers to really challenge the British. Arriving piece meal ment they had no concentration and allowed me and Graham to focus on them when the arrived and we thus tended to outnumber them when it mattered most. (in terms of fire power if not always numbers).

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