Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rescuing the Outpost at the Oasis from the mad Mahdi

The Sudan 1898

Mark's detachment of 4 British coys holds the fortified village beside the oasis at one end of the table.  Mike & Chris's armies of Fuzzy Wuzzies are massing to destroy them.  Jim's relief column is on the way.   The Mahdists can win either by taking the village before the relief column gets to them, or by defeating the relief column.  The relief column has to move up a valley with hills on both sides hiding the two Mahdi armies, each of 2 infantry & 1 cavalry division.  The location of the Mahdi's divisions is unknown to the British until they come into sight.
The artillery & baggage moves up the road with infantry on each side.  Hussars have scouted both flanks revealing enemy infantry on the left on turn 1.  The hussars on the right were slower to move & have not yet reported back.
The hussars have fallen back harried by skirmish fire while the column deploys to face the enemy both ways.
 Blessed with good command dice, fanatical infantry & cavalry swarm over the ridges from both sides and charge into the British & Egyptian lines.
Three units at the head of the column broke under the cavalry charges while the Mahdi's infantry was beaten off.
The Mahdi's cavalry regrouped and charged again.  It did not look good for the Brits when the Gatling gun jammed and the Egyptian infantry gave ground.
The Gatling was over-run, but the 7pdr managed to beat off the attack.  The Mahdi's cavalry fell back, but his infantry attacked again and more appeared down the valley. 
The troops in the village have finally realised that it is now the relief force that needs relief & belatedly moved out of the village and formed up.
The Egyptians have finally broken.  The hussars are there to plug the line, but nothing is going right for England, they fail to break the shaken infantry and are now shaken themselves & can't follow up to finish off the badly damaged Fuzzies on the right.
Another fresh division charging the head of the column breaks another coy and the relief column is Broken.
Colonel Flashman leads the hussars through the Fuzzy skirmishers leaving the remaining infantry to their fate.  It si crushing victory for teh Fuzzies, but the battle was closer than it looked.  All the first 4 Mahdi divisions were very close to the breaking point, but the Brits never managed to get in a killing blow on any of them.
The sand of the desert is sodden red,—
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;—
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England's far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
"Play up! play up! and play the game!"
(Henry Newbolt, though it sounds like it should be Kipling).

1 comment:

Phil said...

Nice looking game!