In the current issue (No.242) of Nugget (the journal of Wargame Developments), Richard Brooks has written an interesting piece about battles where British squares (armed with single shot breech loading rifles) fought Mahdists. This was followed by rules for a game where the square has to advance across a 15-square long table to reach the safety of a river (and gunboats etc) while subject to harassment and full scale attacks from Mahdist forces. On Wednesday night Martin Rapier brought his toys along and, wearing his fez, ran the game and the Mahdists. I took along my pith helmet (and a can of WD40 to un-jam the Gatling...) and commanded the heroic Brits, who as it turned out were mostly Egyptians. In the event we had time for two games (about 30 minutes each), and this post tells the story of the first of these.
|The square ready for the off. Apart from Gow Pasha on the horse, the most valuable items are the pack camels.|
|The Gatling operated outside the square, but the crew could take refuge therein if things became particularly unpleasant.|
A typical problem - the square is attempting to move through some scrub, but the rear ranks are lagging behind. It's that Sergeant Mubarak up to no good again...
There was no serious interference until the river was in sight, whereupon it turned out that the village was full of 'em. A volley and a burst from the Gatling soon reduced the initial 4 stands and a gun to the two survivors seen here.
|Needless to say, at this point a horde of Fuzzies with pointy sticks appeared. A volley of .45 soon saw them off!|
The lure of the river was too much for the front ranks to resist, and the square once again loses cohesion. I might have know that Corporal Nasser would be a troublemaker.
|The only casualty suffered during this game was a hit marker on one of the camels. Down to a single hump then.|
|Endgame - the Ansar riflemen couldn't prevent the square reforming and safely reaching the river. Medals all round!|