Jack kindly lent Bob and I his Colonial Armies to sort out and use. Having worked out what there was and in advance of a game with Jack which will feature in a later battle report, Bob and I tried a game using the TSAF rules.
It has been a long time since either of us have used the rules and there was a bit of initial looking for the answers in the book, but we soon got the hang of it.
I set out the Mahdists and placed some cards to show hidden troops, took a picture and then removed the cards so that when Bob arrived he didn’t know where things were.
The British position. The British occupy the fort at the edge of the table. In the port town there is a rather ramshackle fort with no gates and in need of repair. It is occupied by Sudanese Infantry. They also have a company of infantry in the nearby treasury building. The Sudanese have a unit of camel troops who are out on patrol.
British and Sudanese cavalry camped outside the fort.
A Highland regiment occupy the fort, whilst a British Infantry regiment and support machine gun are camped to the left of the fort and railway line.
Sudanese camel troops on patrol. Just visible on of the markers showing Madhist troops hidden in field.
Sudanese troops in Treasury and gate less fort.
Mahdist forces gather at nearby Mosque complex and move through fields and occupy buildings in preparation for their surprise attack on the Sudanese.
Meanwhile others prepare to intercept the British if they attempt to relieve the Sudanese. Jacklex snipers line the ridge overlooking the fort, and Jacklex conversions I bought off of Ted Herbert many, many years ago try to lure the British cavalry into an ambush.
A British launch towing a contingent of marines makes its way up river to the town. The captain was the subject of much criticism for his very slow approach!
A Madhist surprise attack on the Sudanese camel troops fails and they are routed.
A plea for help before the telegraph is cut results in British troops moving from their base. The Sudanese cavalry supported by the British Infantry advance to relieve the town, whilst British lancers and the highlanders supported by a mountain gun advance to clear both the Mahdist cavalry and the snipers on the ridge.
Having seen off one attack, the Sudanese camel troops unable to reach their colleagues in the fort dismount and fight on foot against a second Madhist attack.
The Madhists hadn't counted on Carruthers and Carstairs who beat off the attack and sent them packing. The VCs are in the post!
But the British and their allies aren't having it all their own way!
Sudanese rifle fire doesn't stop the Madhsts this time and their superior numbers tell with the Sudanese being put to flight and their camels taken.
....and still the Navy comes on. But very, very slowly! Strong tides?
Additional Madhist reinforcements appear over the rise 'My Word' is the cool response from the British C in C.
Just when things are looking up for my troops, the British Camel Corp arrive, with no rifle armed troops and reduced numbers I decided discretion was the better part of valour and taking the British mule my troops retired to the town.
The game ended with most of the British and Sudanese retiring on the fort to lick their wounds and regroup. The town, except for the Treasury building where the Sudanese held on, putting up a sterling resistance was in my hands.
'Captain Pugwash' as he was eventually called was finally signaled to halt, although you couldn't tell the difference with the speed that he had advanced!
It was a good game and great to use the 20mm Colonials again, and this was only part of them.