Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Mahdi saves Khartoum !

Anglo-Egyptians (Jim & James):
4 British inf brigades of 4 units each, British cavalry brigade of 2 units, 1 cannon, 1 Maxim gun.
1 Egyptian infantry brigade of 4 units,  1 Egyptian cavalry brigade of 2 units.

Fuzzy Wuzzies (Mike, Mark & Chris):
4 infantry divs of 4 warbands & 2 skirmishers each.
2 cavalry divs of 6 cavalry units each.
The Anglo-Egyptians march over the plain towards the oasis.  The Egyptians are on their right (left in pic). The Mahdi has a division in the village and the rest are behind the ring of hills each side of the village and down the short table edges.
The action started with a swarm of Arab cavalry charging over the far hill at the Egyptians, supported by an infantry division on their left flank.  The Egyptians turned to face the onslaught while the Brits sorted out into a battle line and plodded forward.
The camera has been moved behind the Egyptian line.  It was the Egyptian first battle.  The figs are plastic British colonial infantry or US cavalry with fezes salvaged from Zulu & Arab boxes.  The usual form here at camp Cromwell is that new figures always run away in their first battle, but the Fezes broke the rule.  To everyone's surprise they beat off the first charge of Mahdi's cavalry.  
The Mahdi's cavalry charged again as more Arabs appeared on the far end of the table.  The British cavalry was sent over from the left to support the Egyptians.
Once again the Egyptians held firm, but Shock! Horror! the Brits on their left have broken & the Mahdi's horse has made a hole in the line.
The British cavalry charge in to plug the hole as the Egyptians hold on.  Some poor command dice are mercifully delaying the Mahdi infantry.
The British brigade on the left of the Egyptians have been destroyed.  Two Mahdi infantry divs have now charged home on the British infantry in the centre. Another is advancing out of the village and the last is still blundering around on the far hill.
The Mahdi's charges have now all been repulsed all along the line.  On the near flank the gallant Egyptian cavalry have finally broken, but the Mahdi's victorious horse is too shaken to exploit this & the Egyptian foot is still pouring fire into them.
The near flank has now stabilised, safely held by the Egyptian foot while everyone's cavalry is either broken or too shaken to do anything.  But on the far side the Mahdi's men still want their virgins and are charging again.
On the far flank the Brits are finding out that a bad Break Test for them makes a hole in the line, while the Mahdi's Broken units are just replaced.
 Quite suddenly the British line collapses & the last two units form a forlorn square.
 The square is swamped form three sides.
Only the Egyptian infantry and the British cavalry in te foreground escape the carnage.

It was a very enjoyable battle as these colonial actions always are with Hail Queen Victoria, our colonial version of Hail Caesar.  I was so pleased to have a newly painted division actually do well for once.  But they do look pretty scruffy in their dirty white tunics - maybe the dice gods didn't realise they were new. 

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