Tally Ho!

Saturday 23 July 2022

The Sun Never Sets - grand finale

The final game of our colonial mini-campaign was Get Off My Land. In this scenario the British must patrol the table, looking to cover 8 points of interest. The Mahdists start with some troops on the table but the rest pop-up from behind cover. This was a double-sized game, so 48 points a side.

The Mahdists deployed several units of riflemen covering the objectives whilst the rest remained hidden, The British deployed in two columns, each containing a mixed-arms force.  

Eastern column

Eastern column

Western column

Western column

The eastern column (mostly Egyptian) pushed quickly into the table rapidly capturing an objective and forcing the Mahdists deploy many of their units before the patrol areas where all covered.

Fearing that they might be out manoeuvred the Mahdists launched a series of attacks in the east using both mounted and foot units. This proved highly effective as one unit after another was gobbled-up in the wave of Beja units.  

By about half way through the game the eastern British had captured 3 objectives but been largely destroyed by the Mahdists.  

In the west the British adopted a more defensive posture using a zariba thorn hedge to protect their position. This led to a slow build-up of Mahdist forces in the area as they sought to achieve a critical mass before attacking.  A series of attacks was rebuffed by the British, which slowly ground-down the attacking Ansar units.  

A brief foray by the 10th Hussars led to the destruction of a couple of enemy units but otherwise they made only limited attacking progress.  

10th Hussars

A game of two halves, but in the end a convincing Mahdists win due to the whole-sale loss of the British eastern column.

Sunday 17 July 2022

28mm Sudan - Egyptian cavalry

I'm very close now to completing enough figures for 2 * 24 point armies for The Men Who Would Kings. The final units for the British / Egyptians are some European officers and  a unit of Gendarmes.   

Slatin Pasha

Rudolf Carl von Slatin (Slatin Pasha) was a fascinating chap having found his way to the Sudan as a book seller before joining Gordon in Khartoum he survived a military campaign in Darfur, the fall of Khartoum, imprisonment by the Mahdists, escape, and finally the battle on Omdurman. He was knighted by the Queen but returned to his native Austria when WWI broke out to act as an advisor to the Emperor of Austria. He was friends with Baden Powell and founded the Austrian Scouts after WWI.

Slatin Pasha -28mm

Hicks Pasha AKA Stu Pasha

He enjoyed a rather shorter and less illustrious life and is best know for having his command wiped out at the Battle of Shaykan, where his head was cut off and presented to the Mahdi. Its a great figure though and the one I've selected to be me when I fight as the Imperial forces - hopefully I do better than Hicks!  

Egyptian Gendarmes 28mm

In game terms this are being used as a unit of Irregular Cavalry, so 10 strong but more focused on shooting than Regular Cavalry.

So that's my Sudan forces completed for now with two decent sized armies completed. Its a shame as I've really enjoyed painting them so I suspect I will end-up doing some more. The obvious next step would be some Camel Corps and some additional Mahdist cavalry.   


Friday 15 July 2022

The Sun Never Sets - week 5

 This week's game is certainly one that seems to favour the British forces - they are marching in column when ambushed by the Mahdists. Points are awarded for kills and Mahdists who escape,  giving them a chance to simply melt-away if things get too hot.

Game 1 - 28mm Sudan

Unusually I found myself playing the British so went for a larger number of Egyptians so I could include  the recently completed Gendarme cavalry. The British lined up in column with the mounted skirmishing ahead. 

Egyptian Gendarmes

As the Mahdists appeared the British quickly formed a defensive position and awaited the attack. Mahdist sniping proved fairly effective and was able to pin a couple of units, creating a chance to attack.  

To relieve the pressure the Gendarmes staged a couple of charges to clear away some Mahdist units. They could not though prevent the Ansar from destroying the Gatling Gun and threatening to overrun the rear of the column.    

Some accurate shooting was just able to pin the lead Mahdist unit and beat-back the attack. British Win. 

Game 2 - 20mm Sudan

In this game the British also deployed in a tight square but with the Hussars looking to rnage further afield in spoiling attacks. Due to the room layout the Mahdists were only able to attack from 3 sides. 

The square stood while the Hussars engaged the Mahdist cavalry to stop a complete encirclement.  

In the end the natives made little progress and were unable to get very close to the British, losing too many troops from shooting. British Win

Thursday 14 July 2022

Waterloo 2022

 Last weekend I popped-over to Northleach for an all-day refight of Waterloo. Cirencester played the French with Flint's All Stars taking on the role of the Allies. I was cast as Napoleon and so was in charge  of the French attack. 

The scoring scheme required the French to hit 12 VPs to win, with 4VPs for Hougamont, 2VPs for Le Haye Sainte / Papelotte and 4 VPs  lost of Placenoir falls. Additionally 1VP was scored for every unit north of the sunken road. 12 turns only were available.

Some quick maths showed me that it would be hard to hit 12 VP through capturing the villages / farms so it was key to get lots of units north of the sunken road. I therefore decided on a quick attack across the line, with all the available cavalry heading for the weaker eastern flank. The Guard would be committed immediately up the centre in the hopes they could score VPs for crossing the road.       

French positions

Allied positions



The assault against the centre and right proceeded quickly with only limited Allied resistance. By turn 3 both Le Haye Saint and Papelotte were in French hands and Hougamont was ready to be attacked.

French centre

Flanking attack by the French cavalry

Sadly the attack against Hougamont did not go as planned, with the small garrison pushing back the attackers. This delay enabled the Allies to begin filtering troops into the back of the chateau complex. 

The main attack met with more success though, punching holes into the defenders behind the ridge and slowly forcing them to retreat to the west, and away from the Prussian arrival point. 

As history dictates the Prussians arrived with a few hours to go but in the refight they were too late the the French flooded across the sunken road. In the final turn the French lost both Le Hay Sainte and Papelotte but had 13 units north of the road, so won by a single point.  

So a nice days gaming in the sunshine of Northleach, all played in a nice spirit. History was reversed but that's not unusual in Waterloo refights