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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Saturday 13th April, Devon Wargames Club Game , Exeter...

Sudan Game loosely based on the Battle of Tamai... using the Blackpowder Rules system...

The British forces (approx 3,300 men) fresh from their victory at El Teb (2nd) a fortnight later are advancing towards the primitive settlements of Tamanieb and Tamai, they are to be met on the field of battle by 9,000-12,000 Bija tribesmen...

The battle was fought on an 8'x6' board, objectives:- the British having to enter at one end and exit the other with the majority of the force intact, The Dervish, Kill the British...

"View from the British end, looking up at the Donga and the broken ground leading to the slope towards the edge of the board."

"View from the hill looking down"


The British forces GOC: Maj.Gen Sir Gerald Graham VC KCB (Gus and Vince)
1st Brigade - Brig. Gen. Sir Redvers Buller VC KCMG CB (Vince)
3rd Battalion The Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC)
1st Battalion The Gordon Highlanders
2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers
6th Battery Scottish Div. RA.
2nd Brigade - Maj.Gen. J. Davis (Gus)
Royal Marines (RMLI)
1st Battalion The Black Watch
1st Battalion The Yorks and Lancaster Reg.
Naval Brigade with Gatling & Nordfelts
Cavalry Brigade - Brig.Gen. H. Stewart CB (Vince)
10th Hussars
19th Hussars
Mounted Infantry Company


Mahdists Forces Commanded by Muhammad Bey Musa Ibrahim (Chas, Steve, and Andy) with 9,000-12,000 Bija Tribesmen...
Flag 1 (Andy)
6 x Bija Spearmen Warband Fanatics...
Flag 2 (Steve)
5 x Bija Spearmen Warband Fanatics...
2 x Bija Riflemen Skirmishers...
Flag 3 (Chas)
5 x Sudanese Spearmen Warband...
2 x Sudanese Rifle Warband...
Flag 4 (Chas)
4 x Sudanese Camel Spear Warband Skirmish...
1 x Sudanese Camel Rifle Warband Skirmish...
1 x Baggara Cavalry Rifle Warband...
1 x Baggara Cavalry Spear Warband...


The British arrive turn one, The cavalry are ordered to advance to the Donga and cover the advance, but fail, and only complete one advance, 1st Brigade advances onto the table one move in march column, 2nd Brigade fair better with a bounding move onto the table in Brigade square, reaching the Donga they realise its a bit steeper than they thought and will take one full move to cross next turn...
In turn one Chas's 3rdFlag was trailing the British column on the left, this was determined by the players having to roll a D8 & D6 for their arrival point, but 24" away from the British forces...

Second turn saw Gus get some of his Brigade across the Donga, but landed in rough ground, and deployed into line with the most of his force, Vince deployed his gun and 19th Hussars covering the rear dust clouds, the remainder of his brigade advances on...

"Gus and the 2nd Brigade crossing the Donga"

"Vince and 1st Brigade"


It was at this point that Steve and his 2ndFlag arrive on the table 24" away to the front of Gus' Brigade... Steady Lads... mark your aim...
there were some shots fired across the open ground to no real avail... just getting the aim right of course...

As the next turn came on, the remainder of the Mahdist forces arrived on board, Andy and his Bija on the hill, accompanied by Chas's Cavalry Flag, it was at this point that Chas chose to bring on the Sudanese in the rear areas of the British advance faced by only a gun and some hussars...

"Andy arrives with the rest of the Bija tribe..."

"View of the Sudanese coming of the hill and the state of affairs of the front of the line"

"Gus and his RN & Marines firing line..."

"Steady... form your line... Are you sure you don't want to be in square?"

Vince manages to get his 1st Brigade Infantry back to his guns to meet the arrival of the Sudanese in the rear areas...

"Thats what caused the dust cloud..."

"Mmmm, what to do next... Good old Bullers..."

"Take aim... Fire!!!!"

Vince's firing line rips the Sudanese to pieces and halts their advance, however Andy's Bija are swarming over the Donga at a fast rate of knots...

"Advance in the heat of the day..."

The Mahdists players seem to co-ordinate their attacks in the next few turns, Steve's Flag charges, Gus firing line, Chas annoys the hussars and threatens the centre area and Gus's flank with his camels and cavalry, his Sudanese Infantry Flag are just bullet bait for 1st Brigade, and Andy's flag storms through the Donga areas, cutting through the dismounted infantry scouts in the Donga and manages to catch Vince's Gordons in the rear, can the British survive this onslaught...

"We may be in trouble here..."

"Tough fight along the line..."

"Bloody camels..."

With Bloody hand to hand fighting between Gus and Steve, Gus's line broke with the RN and Nordfelt falling to Spears, then the RMLI, leaving just the Yorks, holding the line with the Black Watch yet to feel cold steel...

"Yorks Hold.... Hold..."

Then the Yorks Break as well, allowing the Bija to swarm around the rear of the remaining line...

"Yorks break... Bija swarming..."

The 19th charge several times cutting through various Mahdist Cavalry and Camel units, pushing back the Cavalry flag by themselves, but the bell is tolling...

"19th Charge..."
Meanwhile back at the 1st Brigade, Vince has been taken in the rear by Andy, to clarify the Bija, hits the Irish and the Gordons in the rear whilst shooting the hell out of the Sudanese to their front, the Gordons hold their morale, but the Irish, just because Vince slurred their good names, broke and fled...

"Gordons left on their own..."

After another round of combat the Hussars were making short work of the Sudanese infantry, cutting them down with flank charges, but the Gordons then broke not withstanding the swarms of Bija around them and still being in line, leaving just the KRRC on the hill with the RA, however as soon as the Gordons broke the RA packed up and went home as well... Gus's Black Watch retired back to the Donda to take cover from the next onslaught, however the RN and gatling couldn't move, and were left as the rearguard, before being swamped by the remaining camels and Bija to their front...

"Bullers and his remaining troops on a small rise..."

"Black Watch fall back to the Donga, leaving the RN as rearguard..."

At this point the British realised their lot was up, and we finished the game, a resounding victory for the Mahdi and his followers, lots of British dead on the field of battle, did I mention squares???
Newspaper reports "Massacre at Tamai"...
However the Hussars are able to dine out on their exploits in the field, having made several valiant charges...

All General officers have been reprimanded and are confined to the Mess until the next time...

thanks to Andy (Bija), Chas (the Mahdi), Gus (Gen Davis), Steve (Muhammed) & Vince (Bullers) for a great game and a fun day... 


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