|The table from the Imperial right|
|The infantry beat off a Dervish attack|
|The Lancers in action|
We used the same OOB and once again I took the part of the Imperial commander. This time I opted to probe both flanks, ignoring the centre. The Egyptian mounted infantry and cavalry, plus the machine gun pushed towards the village on my right, whilst three units of British mounted infantry were to attack the village on the left. This left the Lancers and the Royal Artillery in the centre to support whichever flank needed help. It soon became apparent that it was the Egyptians who would need the help. The mounted infantry had dismounted and formed line before moving forward and the cavalry had moved to cover their flank. However, the machine failed its activation roll and its firepower would be greatly missed. A unit of Dervish infantry broke cover and charged the Egyptians from close range. Their closing volley was ineffectual and the Egyptians then failed their break test, falling back in disorder. Before they could recover, they were charged and again broke, this time in rout. On their flank the cavalry had been attacked by another unit of Dervishes. They had counter-charged, but had lost the melee; so they too fell back, leaving the machine gun crew as 'Billy no mates' facing two enemy units.
Fortunately, the Lancers were able to intervene, (the long move distances being a great help), and quickly dispatched one unit of Dervishes. The other was driven off by the machine gun, which then jammed.
|Egyptian cavalry attacked in flank|
Meanwhile, I was making slow progress on my left towards the village. A Dervish attack was held, but it pushed one unit out of the firing line. The two remaining units fired at the defenders of the village for a couple of rounds, but could make no impression. As a last resort I ordered a charge, one unit went in, but the other held back, surely the attack was doomed? Against the odds the Imperial troops prevailed and then for good measure beat off a counter attack, even without support ! As a bonus Steve's units routed, leaving me in possession of the village; which happened to have the cache of arms !! Mission accomplished !!!
Once again we sat down and discussed how things had panned out. "Blood on the Nile" gives a very different sort of game. Move distances are vast (up to 54" for cavalry, which even on a 8 x 6 table seems over generous). The ratings for the Egyptian troops seem a little low. It would be necessary to have mixed brigades of Imperial troops, without British units a whole brigade could be swamped. (especially with my ability to roll low dice). Rifle fire seems ineffective. Not one Imperial unit caused a disorder in a Dervish unit by rifle fire during the whole game (though allowance should be made for my dice rolling, 6's are like hen's teeth as far as I am concerned). The rules also have large Dervish units (4 times the size of Imperial ones, up to 60 figures strong).
One definite improvement was the ability to "rally off" casualties; which meant that a unit to step out of the action, recover and then join the firing line.
So the jury is out on "Blood on the Nile". I suspect that we will tweak the rules a little, try out some more scenarios and see how things go.