Thursday 17 December 2015

20mm Jacklex Colonial Wargame

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.

 Hidden Madhists troops appear to try to halt the British advance.  In the mean time the Sudanese cavalry push on alone to try to reach the ramshackle fort and its defenders, but too late to stop the Madhists from overwhelming its defenders and capturing it.

Lancers clash with Madhist cavalry and see them off, only to discover more units waiting in the rear out of sight and who charge out to meet the weaken British.  Victory is in the air!!

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.

Madhist camels swoop down on Carstairs and Carruthers!  Tension, what will happen? You'll have to wait for a couple more pictures!

 The British flank is turned and despite inflicting heavy casualties they break and run back to the fort.

The Sudanese cavalry fail a charge test and run into crossfire from riflemen hidden in the Mosque and in the town and rapidly turn tail.

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.

and what of Carstairs and Currathers I hear you ask? My camels didn't charge home and got badly shot up by the Highlanders and retreated. Our two heroes returned to the fort.

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.  


  1. I’d been pestering Jack to get these figures out and it was lovely to see them again. We haven’t played with the TFTS rules for a few years, and have been experimenting with rules for my Thirty Years War armies. So I was used to thinking of shorter rangers for infantry fire. If I’d been more familiar with TFTS I’d have used the longer rifle ranges to stop Alan’s Madhists. However it made the British act in an arrogant manner – it was their superior firing and morale that gave them a sort of victory.
    Carruthers and Carstairs were Mentioned in Despatches and a Board of Enquiry has opened on the actions of the Royal Navy.

    Great Fun.

  2. Superb! Richard Catton Woodville brought to life.

  3. Hi Wellington Man, glad you liked it. Battle report from the game we played with Jack himself will be up soon.

  4. Intense and atmospheric report, beautiful units and pictures, love your cavalries (and camels) especially...