Monday, 22 September 2014

Return to the Sudan

The last time Steve and I fought an action from the Sudan was at the Sunday game following the Phalanx Show in June.  With 8 players the pace of the action was quite slow and did not really reach a conclusion, so Steve decided to reprise the scenario on a slightly smaller table.  I took control of the Dervish forces and noted their deployment on my map.  I placed two units of riflemen forward, hoping to disrupt the Imperial advance, with further units of melee troops behind them in support, taking advantage of the broken ground.  I placed a 'brigade' of Hadendoah in the rear and a mixed 'brigade' in Ad Dueim itself in case the steamer attempted to land the blue jackets.  Off table I had some cavalry and a further 'brigade' of Hadendoah.

The initial Imperial deployment and as you can see my riflemen found themselves rather out on a limb.  Steve sent troops around both flanks of riflemen and pinned them from the front with a battalion of infantry.  I initially got the better of the rifle fire, but when a second Egyptian battalion joined the first the weight of fire proved too much and my men gave way, heading towards the rear.

The Egyptian camel corps was pressing forward and one of my melee units broke cover charging towards them.  Surprisingly, the Egyptian troops dismounted and formed a firing line to meet the charge.  As my men bore down on them, the Egyptians fired a volley.  This was ignored by the Dervishes and the two sides met in melee.  Against the odds, the Egyptians prevailed and it was the Dervishes who were driven back in confusion.

The Egyptians had little time to dwell on their success as a second Dervish unit now crashed into them.  This time the Egyptians were defeated, almost being wiped out.  The Dervishes carried on, but their next opponents were British regulars, whose rapid fire stopped the attack in its tracks.  As the natives tried to reform they were hit by the Egyptian cavalry and cut down.

On the river, the gun boat was making steady progress towards Ad Dueim, firing on the Dervish formations as it passed.  Although under fire from from Dervish artillery, the gun boat reached the village, where Dervish troops waited to charge up the jetty to attack it.

On the Imperial right the brigade of British troops had made good progress towards the small village.  Dervish charges towards them had been defeated by rifle fire.

 A flanking manoeuvre by the Imperial cavalry and camel troops arrived just behind the village, hoping to outflank any defensive line.  However, this was why I had placed one 'brigade' in reserve and these troops charged forward, attempting to stop the attack in its tracks.

Attacked by three units, the British cavalry was really struggling, suffering very heavy casualties.
This was where matters came to a close, with good progress being made towards Ad Dueim, but the Dervish reinforcements were still to arrive.  Action will recommence next week.

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