So, as promised, we were off to the Sudan this week, and a “dress rehearsal” for the battle mechanics for Sandy’s campaign (or campaigns…he’s running 4 simultaneously!) The rules were Sandy’s “home brew” rules and were very easy to pick up. Thankfully, for the sake of my sanity (stop giggling) there were no zombie units and no disappearing villages (although this did not stop Messers Gillespie and McBean attempting to wind me up….)
We managed 2 games, with Neil and myself playing the British and Ali and MDF Michael taking the Dervishes. Neil took the Egyptian troops, the gatling gun and the Bengal Lancers, I had the Highlanders, British regulars and the cannon. With no clear mission objectives, it was a straight up kill ’em all fight. The rules allowed for multiple units to move in a “group”, so we deployed in a rather strange formation and went looking for the Fuzzy Wuzzies, who had a “hidden deployment”.
Egyptians and Lancers….
Things did not get off to a great start, as the Lancers found the only 2 units of riflemen amongst the native force, and were promptly shot up quite badly, taking 2 hits (3 hits and a unit explodes). Neil then decided that, if they were going down, they’d go down in a blaze of glory! So he charged the riflemen in the woods. They didn’t make it, as the native artillery hit them on the way in….
but not far…
Meanwhile, my Highlanders had advanced close to some scrubland, where a unit of Warriors were hiding. They decided to charge the Highlanders, but the boys held their nerve, and delivered a devastating volley, inflicting 2 hits on the natives. However, they lost the ensuing melee and took a hit themselves. The 2 other units ten deployed into line and the gun moved to the side of the scrub. The next round saw the Scots see off the warriors and then advanced to the edge of the scrub.
The Highlanders are charged….
…but kick native ass….
Neil’s infantry began firing on the native riflemen and their superior fire power made all the difference. The natives were soon disposed of. Neil also began moving a unit towards the right flank, to support my other Highland regiment, who were advancing on the village to drive out some natives who were trying a flanking move.
Neil’s Egyptians take on Michael’s riflemen….
…while we move into the village…
As my Highlanders moved through the scrub, they were charged again, but once again the superior fire of 2 British regiments meant the chargers were wiped out without striking home. Meanwhile, the native artillery had some success by killing an Egyptian unit, before being destroyed by counter battery fire. Finally, the Highlanders were charged a third time! Again, the boys performed admirably, and saw off the Dervishes. This reduced their force to 50% meaning the remaining units “melted away” giving the British a resounding victory.
The final charge…..
We then swapped sides, much to Neil’s chagrin, and started again.
Ali and Michael marched on in line and seemed reluctant to advance too far from the safety of their table edge! However, when they (well, Michael) did, they had some initial success, with the lancers exploding a unit of Dervishes.
The British march on….
…and stay there….
Ali moved an Egyptian unit into the village, so I moved the native rifles up to engage them, while taking pot shots at the other with my gun, until it was destroyed. As Ali showed no sign of advancing, we moved our warriors across the table to take on Michael’s command. This resulted in a series of melees in which Michael lost 2 infantry units, including a regiment of British regulars! (Questions will be asked in the Commons AND Lords!!) He also lost an officer in a “heroic action”. This left the British 1 unit away from defeat, with the Egyptians in the village and the Lancers 1 hit each away from routing! Unfortunately, the Dervishes were also just 1 unit away from defeat, and we had 4 units on 2 hits. It was a case of “next hit wins”. I fired on Ali’s unit twice and missed first time. The second time, I rolled a 6, meaning Ali would lose on anything but a 5+. He rolled a 5 and was saves. Next turn, his cannon exploded 1 of my rifle units and it was game over. However, Neil and I claimed a “moral victory” as we had killed more British units than Ali and Michael, and had destroyed a unit of British regular infantry and the Lancers were so damaged they retreated and refused to come back!!
Strangely, Ali and Michael were not convinced.
The British advance….
…and lose a regular infantry unit.
The Lancers charge into contact…..
….and then run away….
All in all, a good, fast system that should make for interesting campaign encounters and an enjoyable campaign.
Next week, Sandy will not be at the club, but Ali, Neil, myself and any other interested party will be in the jungles of Vietnam.