Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Sudan 1884

In the past week I painted up 80 soldiers of the queen and 20 Zulus.  There being insufficient Zulus ready for a decent battle we conscripted ancient Numidians & Crusader era Arabs and invaded the Sudan to blood the redcoats in battle.  The Brits were supported by hussars & artillery that looked a tad French.  The scenario is based on the El-Teb scenario in the Black Powder book, tweaked a bit to suit the troops we have. 
The Mahdis have one division deployed in view of the enemy in the ruined fort near table centre.  The other 4 divisions are in hidden deployment behind the ridges.  The Brits start deployed around their camp at the far end of the table.  The Brits have to reach the oasis at this end or break the Mahdi army before 10 o'clock to win.  Otherwise the Mahdis win.  
The Brits sent hussars to each flank to scout behind the ridges as the infantry & artillery advanced in two columns.  They discovered infantry on the far flank and cavalry on the near flank. 
On the far flank the hussars retreated fast.  On this flank the hussars were charged by the Mahdi cavalry and routed.   Both infantry columns deployed facing the flanks to meet the threats.
On the near flank the Mahdi cavalry quickly retreated from the thin red line's hail of bullets.  On the far flank the Mahdi infantry charged over the ridge and got in close before the Martini Henri's could really hurt them.  One of the British units was broken, but the line held.
On the far flank the Mahdi infantry has been beaten off and is retreating.  Emboldened by some success Madani inb Ali has ordered the rest of his army to advance over the ridge against the British front.
The mad Mahdi charge at the British centre was stopped in its tracks by Martini Henri fire.  The Mahdi infantry on the far flank was broken by long range fire as they tried to retreat. 
In the centre the Mahdis are now withdrawing but they have renewed their attack down the left flank.
The second hussars were broken by the Mahdi cavalry, but they bought time for infantry to be rushed troops back to defend the camp and the Mahdi horse was forced to withdraw again.  In the centre the Mahdis have withdrawn except for a skirmisher screen.
A suitably hatted British commander looks happy enough at this stage.
The Mahdis renew their advances on both flanks.  The Brits deploy infantry to face them.  
British fire has stopped both flank advances and the advanced Mahdis are being withdrawn on both flanks.
With night about to fall the Brits rushed forward in pursuit.  They paid the price when Mahdi infantry suddenly counterattacked at pounced on two over-enthusiastic gun crews on the slope in front of the ruined fort.
10 o'clock had been nominated as nightfall.  The British have not reached the oasis and while the Mahdi army has lost 2 of 5 divisions and the other 3 have heavy losses it has not broken.  So the Mahdis have won.

We used Hail Queen Victoria, a quickly composed supplement to our Hail However house variants of Hail Caesar.  They worked a treat & it was a ripping good game.  The Mahdis didn't stand a much of chance face to face, but the scenario gave them a way to win by delaying with hit and run tactics.

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