Friday, January 01, 2016

A New Year's birthday battle in the Sudan

To celebrate my 68th birthday we fought another Sudan 1898 battle:

Fuzzy Wuzzies v. British
Mahdi: Chris
North British column: Mike
South British column: Jim

The two British columns came on opposite ends of the table planning to rendevous at the oasis.  But the Mahdists have got their army between them. 
Mike's column has 4 Egyptian & 2 Scots infantry coys, 2 hussar squadrons, a Gatling gun & a cannon. 
Jim's column has 10 British infantry coys.
The Mahdists have 4 infantry divisions of 4 warbands & 2 skirmisher units and 2 cavalry divisions of 4 units.
The Brits deployed in their road columns first, then the Mahdists deployed all their forces anywhere he liked as long it was outside of charge range of the Brits.
The Mahdists will win if they breaks one column, if they breaks two it is a crushing victory.  The Brits win by breaking the Mahdist army by breaking half their 6 divisions. 
Mike's column coming on the north end of the table.
Jim's column coming on the south end of the table.
Mike sends his Egyptians towards the oasis, faces his Brits to the west and covers the space between with his artillery.
The Mahdists advance on Mike's Brits as Egyptian & artillery fire drives the fuzzies near the oasis back into it.
The hussars charge the Mahdi horde as the Mahdist cavalry charges the Scots.
The Scots have fought off the Mahdi cavalry, but not without serious casualties.  The hussars broke one warband and are reorganising off shot to the left.

Meanwhile on the other end of the table a Mahdi division charged the column front and flank.  The corner of the British line cracked and with the consequent sweeping advances 4 of the British coys broke under the onslaught.  But the others managed to reform a line and the fuzzy wuzzies ran out of steam.
The Mahdi's infantry in the south has retreated over the ridges.  The Brits are trying to catch them and finish them off.

Back in the north, the Scots have fallen back to the ridge as the fuzzy wussy infantry advance on them.  The 2nd Mahdi cavalry division has moved behind the infantry & charged the hussars.  The Mahdist infantry in the oasis have finally throw good enough command dice to come out again & put some pressure on the Egyptians.
The infantry from the oasis were mostly stopped, but one warband charged home and broke through the Egyptians.  The Mahdist cavalry have finished off the hussars and are coming to help.
The Mahdi cavalry have got away with charging across the face of the guns to hit the Egyptians in flank.  The Scots are holding off the hordes on the ridge, but the column as a whole has lost too many units and is now broken.  One of the Mahdi's infantry divs on the south front has broken, as has one of the cavalry divs, but while all four of the remaining divs are close to or on half strength, they have not broken - so the Mahdists have won.  The Southern British column has to retire.

As always with these colonial battles it looked great and was rattling good fun.  The result was in doubt right up to the end.  Chris balanced his force beautifully, committing just enough to keep the south column busy while having enough in the north to win.

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