Monday, 17 October 2016


Some games being played at the club:

The Alien settlement grows on Endura.

Kernowyn elite sniper, ever watchful while the rest of the party are salvaging.

More alins advance through the jungle

Some little blues advance under cover.

Some fun with Firefly, any more expansions to this game
 and we will run out of space :D

Reavers on the hunt

A small firefly class ship docks.

Some WW1 dog fighting

...and some 40k

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Lord of the Rings Campaign continues....

  So this time we we look at another 2 turns of the campaign, which will include some recruitment so you will get to see how that is achieved in this campaign.

Year 1, Month 2

Year 1, Month 2 North
  In North it was relatively quite this time round. With the forces of Good in the Northwest deciding to push their advantage into the Misty Mountains. Unfortunately evil side had seen and moved both they banners to the location.
   So a quick run over some rules. If i haven't mentioned before cavalry banners move 2 spaces. At the beginning of the turn both sides right down all their orders for their banners and are all revealed at once. In the case as in here where two banners have moved to a fighting location, then each banner is built as a separate force, which will break as individuals too. Though for scoring VP in a scenario, count the whole force as one. This makes rapidly formed banners a little more fragile than a single banner of the same points.
   Even with the help of Arathorn and Paladin Took, the forces of good were pushed back but with few casualties.
  While in the East the successful Rhun force marches back to the Iron Hills to try and bring aid to Erebor.

Year 1, Month 2 South

  In the South Evil push on, putting Dol Amroth under siege, and taking Edoras. In the center good pulled back our depleted forces to Pelanor Fields, which was in turn attacked. But at Pelanor with 3 seperate forces we managed to force back the Evil army. In the battle special mention must go to my lone surviving warrior of rohan with an axe, who after passing courage tests every turn to stay in the battle till the end slew no less (with the help of piercing strike) 3 Morannaon and killed the Ringwraith: The Knight of Umbar. Giving us our first named hero death.
  Unfortunately as we had pulled our forces back we lost Cair Andros without a fight.

Year 1, Month 3

Year 1, Month 3 North

Year 1, Month 3 South

 This is the last turn before we have some recruitment, as such it was rather peaceable. Evil took Helms Deep with what was slight miss understanding of the rules (So the Evil side said). 
   Whenever you create a banner whether new from recruitment or from dividing banners no banner created (or that remains in the case of a divide) may be of less then 200pts. After a battle, if the remaining points is less than 100pts then the banner is destroyed: though any named characters are only destroyed if they died in the battle, else fate has intervened an the may be recruited to another banner.
 Other than that players were happy where it stood and just traded some port towns, so it was on to recruitment.
  During the first year recruitment occurs at the end of every third month, in the second year every fourth month and in the final year every fifth month. These means the later in the campaign the harder it becomes to recruit.
  To work out your team recruitment points, add up all the recruitment values (the number in the bottom of location followed by a R) of the territories that you started with and that you still own and are not under siege. Then add to that the enemy territories you have gained but count their recruitment values as halved (rounding up fractions), but are also not under siege. The total is the amount of points you have to spend adding to banners or creating new ones in any territory you own, though you may never spend points to bolster banners that are under siege as new recruits cant get to them.

So we're a quarter way in to our first year and it is looking rough for the good in the south!

Till the next time, Dha Weles!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016


Recovering Ariab from The Mahdi

Situation Report – 12th February 1883

  In the aftermath of the brilliantly managed defence of Suakin, the reputation of our Gentlemen soars both on the British press, in The Sultan’s Court and Khedive’s administration. Pasha Drydon-Spunck is immediately ordered to Cairo, while Warburton is promoted to Colonel (with a field promotion to Brigadier) with orders to reorganise the Egyptian forces in Suakin. At the request of The Khedive, Smith-Dorian is temporarily seconded to The command of Brigadier Warburton. Again, the Gentlemen are showered with presents from a grateful Ottoman Empire. However, at this point a dangerous, indeed poisonous seed starts to grow in the mind of The Khedive. While everywhere else on The Sudan, his forces are being routed, here at least is a command that consistently wins against the enemy. Perhaps they are the key to destroying The Mahdi?

Anglo-Egyptian Zariba

 Behind the scenes and throughout February telegrams are exchanged between London, Cairo and Baghdad. The British ae anxious not to embroil their forces in the interior of The Sudan any more than necessary. The Ottomans quickly conceive of a blow to the centre of The Mahdist control of northern Sudan via Ariab to Berber. The British caution against this, and refuse to commit British forces to such an adventure. But this only seems to harden The Ottoman position and a desire to unleash their imagined-powerful forces at Suakin. They are completely unaware of how close our Gentlemen have come to disaster on several occasions; something our Gentlemen are completely aware of. On then 25th February the fateful telegram arrives. Orders to take Ariab as a precursor to seizing Berber back! 

  Energetic work is now undertaken to prepare the forces for departure. Over a G&T the Times correspondent, Michael Trevelyan informs the group that British public opinion is strongly supportive of seeing British troops intervening on the Sudan, but The Government is against this. However, on the day of departure a telegram arrives for Smith-Dorian. Indeed British troops will accompany the expedition.

Reinforced by British regulars, the party plan their march to Ariab.

Anglo-Egyptian advance

Diary Entries of Captain Simon Heronimus Bladdington for 26th February 1883"

  Weeks pass peacefully after the battle of Suakin, civilians have calmed down and trade has restarted in the port. The region has become more peaceful and patrols have not met any resistance thus far. Things of Note: Col. Drydon-Spunck been sent to Cairo to meet with some high officials. Captain Warburton has been promoted to Colonel. Captain Hacker is still off on his grand tour of Egypt. Captain Smith-Dorian has been seconded with his navy fellows to the defences of Suakin until further orders.
  A week or so later. New orders have arrive that a force commanded by Col. Warburton will set forth to liberate the lost town of Ariab due west of Suakin, and on the road to Berber.

Troops at our disposal would be the:
15 company s of Sudanese troops,
8 company s of Egyptian troops
6 company s of Egyptian Lancers
2 Egyptian cannon
1 Machine gun section

  A plan of march was drawn up to take into account the amount of supply’s needed for such a long march of about 140 miles. It was decided to take 400 water wagons consisting of about half the water that we would need and to scout out for watering holes to refill the remaining requirements on the way. The scouting would be taken in turns by the 8 companies of Egyptian mounted infantry. The 9th Sundanese regiment would man the water wagons replacing the wagoneers and thereby reducing by about 400 mouths the water and food we would need to transport.

  Some wagons where modified to mount the machine gun crews on just in case we needed them to move quickly. 5 empty wagons where taken for use as mobile ambulances so that the column could keep moving if causality where taken. Our local forces where asked to keep a good lookout for spies that may report our departure and although Amir Sagh refused to accompany us this time, his men would follow part of the way to root out any that would betray us. On the day of our departure the British government (under pressure from public opinion) decided to bolster our forces to include:

8 Companies of British troops
2 Cannons
1 Machine gun section
4 companies of navy ratings
1 Navy machine gun section

This gave a great boost to our moral!!!

Initial British bombardment

  It took 12 day to march to Ariab with no enemy spotted. Our Scouts found the water needed for the trip and supplies were good and moral high although the Egyptian infantry where a little low, Col. Warburton managed to do himself some harm after a bit of sport hunting some wildlife. He was thrown from his horse and with little much to add won’t be walking upright for a few weeks said the Surgeon Renolds (a mighty swelling in the testicular region apparently).

  So it was left Captain Dorian and my self to lay the plans for the attack on Ariab. Our scouts didn’t manage to scout behind the town as enemy patrols where too numerous. From the high ground we did control it looked like an oasis to the left and more trees and hills to the right. We would split the force into 3 sections and decided for a frontal attack on the town as we didn’t want to get our troops bogged down with surprises in the hills.

  We would bombard the town for 10min at the crack of dawn with our 4 cannons sections plus 1 machine gun section if it could get close enough on the right flank. The far left would have our camp guarded by 3 Sudanese company s previously commanded by Captain Hacker and 4 companies of the navy plus 1 machine gun and the 2 British artillery pieces paid off to bombard the town.

  Our centre was hidden from enemy sight and would conceal the 8 companies of mounted Egyptians ready to advance and take them far enough forward to dismount and take up firing positions in front of the enemy’s walls, while the British troops marched behind supported by their machine gun.

  My position was to the right where I managed the Egyptian guns and machine gun fire at the far right tower that looked like it may have a cannon battery held within. And I put my Sudanese troops out of sight to advance after the 10 min bombardment. The lancers were kept back with the cannon as a mobile reserve and rear guard.

  The dust made by our bombardment made it impossible to guess if casualties were caused to the enemy for the exception of the tower on the right it exploded into rubble … guess our troops got a lucky hit on a magazine! Those officials back in Suakin may of heard the explosion!

  The advance started well, my Sudanese advanced in good order with orders not to fire until they got within affective range and hoping the dust would keep them concealed from the enemy. I could see Captains Dorian's troops advancing in the centre, I reckon he would have the harder job today locking horns with the centre of the towns defenses.

  A quarter of an hour went past as Dorian’s guns kept the left of the town bombarded “wouldn’t want to be in the towers thinks our troops … we’d had been lucky when we’d been seiged that the Mahdi didn’t have many guns”

  The guns to the right moved target to the walls but fired less often to preserve ammunition. The right hand machine gun advance with the troops. The Mahdists in the town where firing a few light guns back at us with no real affect as they where also blinded by the dust and smoke cased by the bombardment. There was only a light breeze that barely moved the smoke and dust across the front of the town.

  25min had gone by when by God I realised I may have made a pivotal mistake while advancing on the town. Myself and 8 companiess (plus machine gun) had strayed to far to the right of the town and had strayed too close to the tree line. I ordered 2 companies to halt and cover the tree line while the rest advanced.

  I could here Captain Dorian’s rifles to the left firing … guess they could see more through the dust than my troops. And darn it happened again like honey to a bee them Mahdists appeared at the tree line and on the hill at about 600yard with more behind “I thought back to Toker and how quickly the Mahdists had covered 400 yard and up a wall in such a short time”.

Dervish surprise attack

  I ordered my troops to halt and form line with the machine gun for the forthcoming charge. I also sent my messenger to send the lancers in to support and with orders for the cannons to change target. The enemy advanced in the open but the 8 companies of Sudanese and the machine gun did little to stop their advance. The cannon must of acted on their own initiative … good lads, I owe ‘em a drink when this is all over … Their timely fire slowed the enemy for enough time to allow the lancers to counter charge the enemy that had engaged the 10th Sudanese. The lancers drove ‘em back then the next group of Dervishes were upon us, the fighting intensified and 1 company of lancers and Sudanese 10th where lost … the cannons must of hit a Mahdist Emir on the hill as the enemy lost momentum for a moment allowing another well aimed volley before they where back into melee with their 4th wave of warriors. Yet we drove ‘em back and the Sudanese and lancers did it again!!! Pushing the enemy back again! one of the 11th Sudanese and another company form the lancers fell but their job had been done well.

  My messenger reported that the 9th Sudanese had fallen back from the fighting so I took my horse a rode to rally them leaving orders for the 10th, 11th and the lancers to reorganise and continue the advance now that the right flank was clear.

  I managed to rally the 9th Sundanese and start leading them back in to the fighting, I could see that Dorian’s British and Egyptians had almost made it to the walls of the town and the wall were stained with the defenders blood. The guns, machine guns and rifle frie had done great execution that day. There was a lot of dust off to his left and it looked as if one regiment of Egyptians where holding of a flanking force.

  The battle ended within the next 30 mins as the British and Egyptians broke over the sparsely defended walls to the front and the 10th and 11th Sudanese went through the right of the town through the ruins of the tower. The battle was over and the Mahdists fled.

  The town was made safe but it was dusk and before all the troops came into the town with the baggage.

 The following day the defenses of the town where shored up we had captured:
1 x mountain gun
1 x machine gun
1 x 6 pounder
Good quantities of food and ammunitions.

  Butcher Bill:
2 companies of Sudanese one from 10th one from 11th
2 companies of Lancers
1 company of Egyptian

Dervish defence at Ariab

Monday, 4 July 2016

Lord of the Rings Campaign

The club is currently running a map based campaign for LotR SBG/Hobbit SBG, to find out more click the link below:


GAME 3 – 
(look at The Blog Archive for previous reports from the 1883 Sudan games)

Situation Report – September 1883

In the aftermath of The heroic victory at the Battle of Tokar, orders arrive from Suakin for the victorious army (and friendlies) to retire upon Suakin. A Hero’s welcome is laid on, with local dignitaries and a jubilant Governor Suleiman el Niazi showering the small group of British Officers with gifts and praise. The Officers are billeted in Suakin’s finest Hotel (The Racasan) and receive First Class service wherever they go. Mobbed by journalists, every detail of the Battles of Wandi and Toker are transmitted by telegraph to Cairo and London. Within days, messages of congratulations arrive from The British Commander in Egypt, Lord Wolseley, from The Khedive in Cairo, and after a few days, a message from Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria. News arrives from Cairo that The Sultan has approved the minting of a Campaign Medal and at The Sultan’s direct command, each Officer is bestowed with honours (see attached sheet).

  The initial days of heady celebration give way to several weeks of waiting; to see what The Mahdists next move might be, and to await news of Hicks Pasha and the Southern Campaign to capture The Mahdi. Little more is heard of Osman Digna and his Eastern Tribesmen although the lands east of Suakin are clearly in enemy hands. Few patrols dare to penetrate away from the coastline where friendly gunboats provide reassuring support. A steady stream of refugees arriving at Suakin speak of detestable horrors perpetrated by The Jihadists. Aside from the gay parties and daily visitors, our band of Gentlemen busy their days training their men.

Mahdist attack on Suakin
 Then, most shocking news! On the 10th November, a telegram arrives with news of Hick’s Pasha march to capture The Mahdi. Hicks and 10,000 Egyptian Regulars have been defeated near the town of El Obeid in The Province of Kordofan and Hicks is dead! A terrible shock envelopes Suakin. The defences of the city are reviewed, guards are doubly attentive to their duty, and everywhere, a sombre pessimism descends. 

  A month goes by with little of note until a week before Christmas, a steamer arrives at Suakin. On board is General Baker of the Egyptian Army. He carries orders to take command at Suakin!

  A heated argument breaks out at the Officer conference between Baker Pasha and the kindly but aging Garrison Commander, Sir Percy Oswold. Baker is insistent that the only strategy is to bring the Dervishes to battle and that he will capture Osman Digna and re-establish Egyptian control of the main towns east of Suakin. At a recent conference in Cairo, General Gordon (recently arrived in Egypt) argued strongly to reopen the road from Suakin to Berber; an action Baker fully endorses. 

  Determined to bring the Dervishes to battle, Baker seems jealous of the high reputation of the victors of Wandi and Toker, he leaves our Gentlemen off the marching orders, substituting these with garrison duties. By late January Baker is ready, having reinforced with Egyptian Gendarmerie that have arrived from the North. These poor beggars bear no resemblance to the fine Fellas, both Egyptian and Sudanese, that our Gentlemen have trained up. Indeed, Baker seems most unwilling to take too many of these heroic men along, leaving many to Garrison duties under your command. Even the services of Amir Sagh are rejected out of hand.

Egyptian defences at Suakin

20th January 

  On the 20th January, news arrives that a Mahdist force has taken control of Trinkitat to the south. Energised by this news, General Baker commandeers all available local steamers and prepares to sail south to fight the Mahdists at Trinkitat.

22nd January 

The silent and sullen expedition boards the ships and leaves Suakin to the accompaniment of unseasonal, and perhaps portentous heavy rain. 4000 officers and men, accompanied by much of the garrisons artillery, sets sail. Once out of sight, our Gentlemen busy themselves in organising the defences of Suakin; an attack is always a possibility.

British sailing to Trinkitat

23rd January - 3rd February

  A number of conflicting messages arrive from General Baker. He seems determined to engage Mahdist forces in the vicinity of Trinkitat, yet his small army stays firmly positioned in Trinkitat. The General seems transfixed and unable to act. He seems only capable of sending a stream of messages requesting everything from more water flasks to more ammunition. These messages are copied to Cairo who continually request updates. Then on the 3rd February a message arrives from General Baker informing our Gentlemen that a large Mahdist force has been spotted entrenching at El Teb and that The General will move up on the 4th February to engage the enemy.

4th February

  Mid morning a Royal Navy ship arrives … as our Gentlemen stare across the bay at a fine if elderly warship, a runner arrives from the Telegraph Office (message for Drydon-Spunck) (message for Smith-Dorian).

Diary Entries of Captain Simon Heronimus Bladdington for January - February 1883

  The weeks after the withdrawal to Suakin where full of splendour! We all received a hero's welcome after our victorious troops marched in from the battle of Toker with Col. Drydon-Spunk at the head of the troops after a miraculous recovery to his health. Medals are received by all the British offices that took part and a medal was minted for all the troops that fought and boy did my Sudanese lads deserve it!!! Col. Drydon-Spunk was promotion as did I and Lieutenant Hacker who both made Capitan that should make father happy, and show the lads from the old regiment a thing or too.

  General Baker arrived with much banter as to how he would drive the Mahdi out of the region and he set off to retake Trinkitat. He left all the British officers and troops behind that had fought at Toker, and Wandi in favour of fresh troops and newly arrived officers. Constant messages came up the river by gunboat demanding all sorts of supplies that a competent commander should have seen fit to take with him and thus the garrison was stripped of more troops and cannon. The Newly Promoted Captain Hacker decided to take some leave to visit Egypt and the sites.

The insignificant port of Trinkitat was retaken by Baker after much dilly-dallying, and off into the desert marched General Baker in search of the Mahdists to give them jolly good thrashing. A week or so later came a message up river via a British Gunboat Delivered by Captain Horrace Algernon Smith-Dorian to report to Col. Drydon-Spunk to send a relief force to assist General Baker for he had got into a spot of bother and got himself surrounded!!!!!

  Col. Drydon-Spunk called an Officers meeting where Captain Warburton volunteered to lead the relief force with his troops and the Egyptians plus Hackers Egyptians troops supported by Captain Dorians Navel troops and a couple of machine guns, leaving that afternoon. I was Left with the enjoyable job to organise the defence of the town but unlike Toker the locals didn’t take kindly to the idea of demolishing buildings to improve the ports defences so as with Toker my Sudanese troops plus hackers Sundanise troops where spread thin.

  Some good reliable British troops left in Suakin were stationed aboard two boats ready to assist Warburton if needed. A day went past organising the defence of the port, I got the local carpenter to knock up a couple of fake guns to bluff the enemy spies into thinking the ports defence had more guns than we had. In the eve came a message from Warburtain that he had arrived at Trinkitat and found all sorts of horrors in the empty harbour and was unable to advance as he didn’t want to leave the boats unguarded. Col. Drydon-Spunk left me in charge of the port and set sail to the aid of Warburton & Dorian.

  So left as commanding officer I went about improving the defences. Orders Given to: Put extra guards on important supplies water ammo food ect; For civilians entering the town to be checked prior to leaving; For a chain linked ferry to be put in place across the harbour to make transfer of troops from the north to the south quicker.

  After a day or so with no communication from the Trinkitat expedition I decided to try and fool them darn Mahdists into a trap of my own making. I had the fake guns place on the north side of town with 4 section of Sundanese troops to the west I had both cannons stationed and the south the machine gun. I had half the Sudanese troops on the west and south side of the garrison given orders to stay out of sight making both walls look the weaker to any outsiders, and to complete the ruse I sent civilians dresses as soldiers out via boat in the direction as Trinkitat but with orders to sail to a friendly port after sailing close enough to the coast to be observed. Also the gates where closed to civilians traffic the port would be locked down. Then scouts came riding in to report enemy forces on the horizon; numbers unknown.

  Col. Drydon-Spunk, Warburton and Smith-Dorian arrived back to tell of their adventures and how the had rescued the now delirious General Baker and his battered troops from the teeth of the enemy. The ports troops where reorganised including all the force that had returned from Trinkitat in preparation for the Mahdi’s immanent attack.

  Col. Drydon-Spunk held the south of the port with British troops and a maxim machine gun, The Sudanese troops held the west and north of the port with half the west walls troops hidden from site, Dorian’s navel section held the NW tower of the old walled section and Warburton’s troops where held in the center ready to fill the gaps and react to where the main attack should come from.

  When the Mahdists arrived they came from the NW and South in great numbers not countable by eye. Col. Drydon-Spunk’s keen eye directed his maxim machine gun to wipe out some captured guns being set up to bombard his southern side of the port. Meanwhile the navel section and the west wall fired with cannon and machine gun causing light damage. As the the Mahdists came into affective range of the west wall I orders the Sudanese troops to stand up and give ‘em a volley … not sure if it surprised them but the results of gun practice worked oh so well.

  Time went by the firing to the south continued but a new sound came of spear and bayonets to the west and NW as two massive waves of Dervishes were repelled. Warburton sent troops to support the NW and it was a close run thing. Thankfully Captain Hacker’s troops held the line and almost left Their post to chase off the attackers.

  I went to help repel the Mahdists near the Gate House on the west wall and three times we threw them back and thus ended the Battle of Suakin. With light casualties, another great victory for Col. Drydon-Spunk !!!

Monday, 25 April 2016


GAME 2 – 


(look at The Blog Archive for previous reports from the 1883 Sudan games)

Situation Report – 13th September 1883

The Forces of The Mahdists’ Amir Ahmad Fadil and Amir Mohammad Tamal have been roundly beaten. A head count of dead and seriously wounded Mahdists is in excess of 1100 warriors. The best estimates of the remaining combined Mahdist strength is 6000 warriors. The main body of Mahdists appear to have withdrawn to the East. Amir Musa Wad Sagh (Friendly Christian Amir) has sent men to shadow the Mahdists and to report on their movements.
The action at Wandi is a triumphant Egyptian victory. Casualties are just 32 men killed and 75 men wounded. These are all from the 10th Sudanese Battalion, although one man from the 14th accidentally shot himself in the foot. The men however are elated by their victory. In particular, the Sudanese conscripts keep making shrill calls, and chant ‘Bey Bladda, Bey Bladda’.
Lt. Bladdington has risen considerably in the eyes of his men and benefits from +1 Imperial Reaction Roll when within 50 yards (1”) of Sudanese troops under his command.

While The Egyptian forces move east towards Toker, Amir Osman Digna moves to cut the Egyptians off from Suakin. The local commander at Toker, Lt. Benjamin Hacker, sends a message to urge his comrades to hurry to Toker where their resupply awaits them. However, upon arrival at Toker, our stalwart heroes discover Osman Digna is nearby, and will surely attack them at dawn. Hurriedly they prepare their defences and await the onslaught of 20,000 Mahdists.

 Defences Prepared at Toker. Note the denuded defences in preference to the Eastern defences in the next picture.

The heavily reinforced Eastern defences.

What follows is the Official record from Officers’ reports: 

Diary Entry of Captain Hugo Warburton (in temporary Command) for 16th September 1883 – The Battle of Toker

Having soundly beaten off up to 10,000 Mahdists at The Oasis of Wandi, I decided (Colonel Herbert Drydon-Spunck still being indisposed), to rest the men overnight and the following day to force march to Toker , which we reached a few hours before dusk.

    Shortly after our arrival at Toker, I received intelligence that up to 25,000 Mahdists were heading for our location, and were expected to arrive the following day.  Given our relative speeds on the March, I decided to remain at Toker, using what time we had to improve the local defences.

The Mahdists attacked from both East and West in large numbers; I chose to place myself before the main thrust of the enemy attack, and although a close run thing, with the assistance of Lt Hackett (Adjutant Commander, Toker) I managed to beat them off.  By this time Lt Bladdington had been forced to abandon the perimeter and had fallen back before the Mahdists, so I took a Btn of Sudanese under my direct command and rushed to support his crumbling defence; on seeing what I was about, the remaining Mahdists realised the game was up and turned tail and fled. 

Respectfully, Warburton (Captain)

Lt. Bladdington supervising the thinly held western defences

Mahdist breakthrough NW corner of town

Mahdist second wave following up, NW corner.

Third and forth waves following up.

Diary Entry of Lt. Simon Heronimus Bladdington for 16th September 1883 – The Battle of Toker

The morning of the day after the Battle of the Wandi a messenger came in from Toker. The new orders told of how lieutenant Hacker was waiting at Toker with his men and supplies to continue our march to the coast and our scouts had reported enemy activity on the other road.

It was decided to march in quick time to Toker.  A messenger was sent a to tell Lieutenant Hacker to make ready to leave for the following day. We arrived in Toker late afternoon (of the 14th) and met with Hacker who had news of a large force of Mahdists ahead of us 3 times our number. Captain Warburton decided that we would make our stand at Toker, as Colonel Drydon-Spunck was still too ill to give orders.

Order where given to:

fortify the town as best as could be done;
clear trees blocking line of sight;
extra guards placed on wells stores;

Lieutenant Hacker’s own quarters where knocked down to help fortify the town. Civilians where advised to leave the town.

The defence of the town was set with all Hacker’s and Warburton’s men plus cannons and artillery plus 1 third of my command set to defend the Eastern end of the town where the enemy where expected to attack from. The remaining two thirds of my Brave Sudanese troops where set to guard the rear and sides of the town but with so much ground to cover there numbers where a little thin. One artillery piece was set on top of the Amoury in the centre of town to give supporting fire in all directions although at limited angle of fire.

Early in the Morning (of The 16th) an assassination attempt was made on the British Officers. My Sudanese troops stopped the attempt on my own self, Warburton and Hacker had a much closer encounter. Warburton emptied the brains of his foe with his pistols and Hacker managed to wound and capture his would-be assassin. Under Egyptian interrogation the ring-leaders where rounded up and put under lock and key until they could be questions properly.

(Back to The Battle) The first of the enemy came from the West of the town from the cover of a nearby hill. My Sudanese troops only managed to get two rounds off off before the Mahdists where up the walls and upon us. I took a half company of men to help clear them, the battle went back and forth; two company’s of brave troops where lost. More Mahdists in greater numbers appeared from the (Western) hill and dust from other enemy could be seen by Warburton and Hackers troops from the front of the town (East). I sent orders for my men from the North and Southern ramparts to return to help defend the Eastern position. The Western section of the town was now undefendable with the numbers of troops at my disposal and the closeness of the hill that concealed the enemy’s approach, so I ordered my troops to consolidate ground around the Armoury and the main food/ stable block.

After the second wave of Mahdists came down the Western hill and third and fourth waves appeared supported by cavalry it was now clear that the rear (West) of the town was the true intended place of attack and the forces against Hacker and Warburton where a feint to distract our dispositions.

Warburton took command of the troops I had left with him at the front of the town ad led them to my aid with the Gatling gun in tow, and Hacker sent his Egyptians to help defend from the overwhelming odds.

The second wave of enemy warriors broke over the undefended north side of town and attacked Hacker’s Egyptian troops and the remains of the mauled Sudanese guarding the Armoury. I led the defence from the balcony and roof over part of the reinforced stable/store building which now drew the attention of the second wave of Mahdists. Both parts of the second wavered from our now improved fire power, and yet more came. No sooner had the second wave been driven off than the next wave was at the walls of the town. (Thanks-be for the musket drill with live ammo, there is nothing like the real thing to train troops to noise and the sound of battle!). The third Mahdist wave was felled like corn to the fire-power of our Sudanese troops and the forth wave faltered and retreated. The attack from the front of the town faltered and fell back. The battle for Toker was over.

Lt. Bladdington

Mahdist’s high point. Egyptian reinforcements arrive from the eastern ramparts to support the hard-pressed defenders.

The Diary Of Lt. Hacker; ex Welsh Guards now in the service of The Khedive of Egypt (does Lady Khedive ride around naked?)

                Ah when you're big in Sudan-tonight
                Big in Sudan-be-tight
                Big in Sudan ooh the eastern sea's so blue
                Big in Sudan-alright,

                Things are easy when you're big in Sudan
                pay! then I'll sleep by your side 
                                (Mr Kipling, the one that makes cakes).

Tuesday Morning
Three years. Three long long long years. I suppose being in the service of The Khedive could be worse. If nothing else I’ve learned to walk like an Egyptian, though I still haven’t got the hang of Egyptian reggae. It’s not the Welsh Guards, I can tell you. No sheep.

Gordon’s got his Khartoum. Hacker of Toker doesn’t have quite the same ring, which is ironic as I’m stuck in the bottom hole of Sudan (a country that has more bottom holes than a naturists yoga class)

Ah! Here comes dinner “Tiffin wallah! What’s on the menu today, and for God’s sake man put your jibbah on when you come to see me!”

“Effendi; harissa spiced lamb, chicken tagine with tabbouleh, Baba ganoush, finished off with a choice of halva or falafel”

“God!” “I can’t believe anyone would eat this stuff. Have we run out of bully beef and spotted dick?”

There you see, dear Diary, what I have to put up with out here. If I have another of those dreadful honey oozing almond nut confections encased in delicate yet crunchy filo pastry they call baklava I shall shave off my moustache, stick it to Doris the donkey and start calling her Brian.
I don’t know how many times I’ve asked the Cook Wallah to rustle up some good old rock cakes. That’s the thing to keep spirits up. We British haven’t conquered half the world by eating foreign muck. I’ll go as far as drinking Scotch whiskey but that’s it.

Strangely, however, being out here has given me an unexpected penchant for interior design. I’ve just done up my quarters. Do you know how difficult it is to source Farrow & Ball ‘Mole Breath’ grey out here? It looks absolutely spiffing now, goes superbly with the local rattan furniture and Egyptian cotton throw. I’ve also framed my watercolours of local scenes and put them on the wall. The Colonel said to me they are pretty good and I should exhibit them in Cairo. Who knows, if I sold enough I could buy a farm back in the home country and retire as a country squire.

Tuesday Evening
I’ve just heard that Drydon-Spunck has arrived with his force from Tipilli. Apparently they gave the Mahdi’s men a bloody nose but expect another attack soon. I remember meeting Drydon-Spunck’s matelot cousins Stains and Bates on the RN gunboat HMS Cocksure.

Just had dinner with Cpt Warburton, temporarily in charge due to Col. D-S being indisposed with a bad rash to the nether regions. We are to prepare for action tomorrow with the enemy expected in front of the main gate in the morning. I’m to defend the gate with my Sudanese and Egyptian boys. I’ve graciously agreed to let Warburton have my quarters tonight.

Wednesday Morning
Apparently that bimbashi Warburton decided early this morning that my quarters were blocking the gun’s line-of-fire and has knocked them down. Destroyed my rooms completely, burnt them, trampled on, totally despoiled and desecrated. Even my Afghan rug is gone, ground into the dust. Has the man no heart or vestige of civilisation. Frankly I don’t care a jot about their silly little war. Who’s the mad one eh? The Mahdi with his 72 virgins, his daily massage, camel’s milk baths, collection of Afghan rugs and endless supply of bully beef, roaming free through the verdant valleys and oases; or us stuck in this God-forsaken dive swatting off the flies and having all our precious paintings trashed by a vandal in a topee?

Wednesday Evening
Predictably the Mahdi’s men attacked the rear of the town so I didn’t really see what went on. The clouds of what looked like brown dyed cotton wool puffs in front of me turned out to be giant puffs of cotton wool. I sent my two Egyptian companies to the other side of town to take a shufti. A Fellah soon reported back that they spied a few Fuzzies as they broke into the fringes of town but were soon seen off with the proverbial whiff of .577” bullets. I personally took command of the cannon overlooking the main gate and turned it round to fire at retreating Fuzzies. Unfortunately, a stray shot set fire to the town market. Napier can show off his wit with ‘Peccavi’  and Campbell has his “Nunc fortunatus sum”. I suppose I’m stuck with ”I have smoked Toker”, whatever that is in Latin.

Still, tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

The Battle of Wandi 1833

A couple of club members are running a campaign set in 1833, in Sudan. Here i will post their reports
 and information for players. So without further ado...

GAME 1 – 


 Situation Report – 11th September 1883

  Tensions are running high in Eastern Soudan, with a number of Beja tribes going over to the Mahdi. Others however still vacillate, and others still, resist the call of Jihad. Fakir Hicks and a large Egyptian army have started on a major campaign in Southern Soudan and everyone awaits news of the progress of this expedition.
  At Souakin, Governor Suleiman el Niazi is fearful of the town falling to Mahdist forces. The Eastern Soudan is dotted with small garrisons mainly used for policing the ever-restless tribes, and in tax collection.
  Tipilli is one such garrison of some 2000 souls, consisting mostly of various Beja tribal families. The Garrison itself is commanded by British officers in the service of The Khedive, with mainly Turkish, Armenian and Egyptian Subalterns and NCO’s. The rank and file are mainly Soudanese riflemen, with a force of mounted Egyptian infantry. The British Officers at Tipilli, although few in number, project the very highest standards of martial ability and moral hegemony. While demonstrably the best world has to offer in terms of fighting skill and command, few can doubt the moral and intellectual superiority of the quintessential, British Gentleman.
  The enemy forces consist of fanatical jihadists inspired by ‘The Mahdi’, a prophet sent by God to free the Soudan of infidels. In the Eastern Soudan these consist mainly of Beja tribes, notably the Hadendowa. They are fast moving and ferocious warriors, capable of travelling great distances and still fit to fight a battle. While some Amirs are more skilled in the political rather than martial arts, the very best of the Amirs are cunning and ruthless and need to be treated with great care.

Tripilli and the Eastern Sudan

Diary Entry of Lt. Simon Heronimus Bladdington for 13th September 1883 – The Battle of Wandi

Early Eve on the 13th September, a messenger arrived at the fort with a message retrieved from a previously dead messenger for our Colonel (Herbert Drydon-Spunck). Unfortunately our Colonel was ill so Hugo (Capt. Warburton) took the message and upon reading it summoned me.

The recently retrieved message was from HQ ordering us to retreat from our location to the coast with the entire garrison and civilians to avoid an impending attack from fuzzy wuzzys of overwhelming force. The message looked genuine and had the seal intact.

So orders where given to ready the troops to be equipped for the march the next day and civilians of note would accompany the baggage. I ordered that all stores that where not to be taken including surplus ammunition to be destroyed.

The march went well on the first day, no enemy was sighted and we made good time, the picket were set overnight and also no trouble was entered.

The second day I decided to head for the Oasis of Wandi instead of the ruins of Sebu for if the enemy turned out to be in force ahead of us it would give more option to advance from that position.

Nearing late afternoon our scouts reported that the oasis had already been taken by a small force of the enemy, and we continued the advance into effective long range then opened fire. This caused the enemy to advance a little so we also advanced and gave them a double volley causing half their men to run. The ground ahead was slick with their blood.

Meanwhile scouts from the rear of our column reported camels advancing from behind. Hugo and his company of Egyptians dismounted and readied themselves for the attack.

The fight from the front of the column continued and another 2 groups of fuzzy wuzzys appeared before us. The second groups almost made it into hand to hand combat but thanks be that our training in musket drill paid off and they fell before our guns like scythed corn, all brave warriors.

The camels to the rear charged and again the good commands and musket fire decimated them into a rout. Meanwhile a new threat found itself on the left flank, a force of horsemen! No sooner had the front enemy been finished than they where charging towards us, ammunition was short and one company of troops was lost and by Jove where they broke through was right before me and my small command group, thankfully we dove them off.

And thus ended the second day. We made camp where we fought, treated our wounded, set pickets and made ready for the next day.

Note to self: ammunition for the rear guard and front and left flank company ran close to breaking point. Will arrange for one half company from each section to fetch and carry ammunition from the mules, as they cannot be supplying ammunition to the rear of the column as well as the front.

The Hero of Wandi. Lt. Simon Bladdington in the Officer’s Mess at Souakin prior to despatch to The Garrison of Tipilli. Lt. Bladdington’s timely intervention saved the square ! (actually a sort of interesting, curved rhomboid).

The Battle of Wandi  -A view from the East. In the foreground, Soudanese Regulars decimate warriors under the command of  Amir Ahmad Fadil. In the distance, the charge of warriors under the command of Amir Mohammad Tamil are halted.

So until next time....

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Games played in North Cornwall

  A cracking day of games at the Dice and Dagger Gaming Club

Lord of the Rings

Blood Bowl

Across the Dead Earth

 Space Hulk

 Kingdom Death