Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Success at last!

Lt. General Humphrey Cavandish MBE at your service sir, no, it's just me giving you a taste of what's to come, club night and this time we find ourselves in the Sudan on the edge of Empire giving Johnny Dervish what for, I love that when everyone was 'Johnny' something or other. There were five of us with Rob umpiring, two British and three Dervish commanders, I was the dashing youngish General Cavendish and in charge of the 29th Brigade consisting of the Derbyshire and Suffolk regiments along with the Black Watch and Seaforth Highlanders, an elite brigade. I have to say that I have heard that kind of thing from Rob before, see the Musket and Tomahawk posts.

The Brigade will advance!

Our objective was to relieve a small force besieged in a smaller town, I wasn't bothered personally about the Egyptians but there were Jack Tars in there and by god Johnny Dervish wasn't going to have them. Although it looked easy there was a lot of uneven terrain and scrub between us and our target which we were warned could hide any number of the enemy, so promptly changed our mind about march columns and formed brigade squares.

The Navy and some other guys hold out.
 We duly advance in a cautious manner, well I did and twice I failed to move at all, deja vu thought I. I watched as Stuart went for glory and assaulted the Dervish works, it was semi-successful but his square had opened up just as a large dust cloud was seen on his left flank, I managed an ineffective fire with a couple of companies as I stood trying to convince my boys to go forward. I had a large mounted force to my right front but being in square I ignored them. Stuart was now hit by a horde of maniacs and a bitter fight ensued which I could only watch, but at last I managed to move again, my fire was now starting to have an effect on the Dervish trenchline.

Stuart gets ready to charge.

Our left flank under vicious attack.

The trenches in front of 29th Brigade.
 The British cavalry had arrived by now and the Imperial horse on the left had charged and been rebuffed which surprised their commander, his less than trustworthy Bashi-Bazouks were now thrown in as a stop gap, but did surprisingly well. I suspect it was the fact that they had been insulted as useless since arriving on the table which enraged them, I have seen this have an effect before on wargame tables. Anyway my cavalry swept forward and took out some Dervish horse, they were then countercharged by more enemy and although they eventually dispersed they took another unit with them and left one badly beat up. I began contemplating my despatch in my head, a Lordship at least.

Desperate fighting on the left, I love this picture.

The Seaforth's deliver deadly accurate volleys.
 It was all over for Stuart on the left, his brigade had beaten off the Dervish but had suffered horrendous casualties and the survivors could do nothing but seek shelter in my stalwart square, which meanwhile had seen off another couple of enemy units and taken their trenches (an Earldom would not be out of the question methinks).

The 29th about to take the trenches.
 By the end the Dervishes had shot their bolt, a brave effort to overwhelm the British left had come to naught but had finished Stuart's brigade as an offensive unit, my own it was deemed would eventually lift the siege and save the matelots (a Dukedom perhaps and the thanks of a grateful nation). So both sides could claim a victory, things may have went in a different direction earlier as several Dervish units seemed reluctant to advance to contact, but such is war. Great game.

I have yet to get my head around the ethos of Black Powder where you can move units seemingly at will which I am not used to, but once you do it does do a good job of giving you a decent and exciting game without a headache. It seems to be popular at the club but at £30 it is way too expensive a book just to take part in the odd game, I am fortunate that the other guys all have the rules and Rob is happy to umpire. I do manage the basic mechanics once I play so I am not merely moving troops around.

I almost forgot, this was a lovely game to play in and the different uniforms of the Imperial forces and the mass of Dervishes were a treat to behold, my photographs do not do them justice, sadly I do not need another period at the moment.

1 comment:

  1. Can't beat giving the fuzzy-wuzzies a darn good thrashing eh what!?
    BP is good fun for big multi-player games.