Wednesday, 10 August 2016

More VC's!

Club night and Colonial using Black Powder, it was a big game with three aside so the rules suited fine, and luckily enough no one had a run of bad command dice so everyone was involved, more or less. We had desert merging into fertile land along the Nile where sat a town which we Mahdists had to hold, Simon took this job and sat for a good while waiting for the British to approach, meanwhile I decided to play to the audience and if I was a mad Mahdist with fanatical troops then I would not hold back and charge straight in at the first opportunity, Paul had our cavalry and camels and would support my efforts. We also decided to hit the far right of the British force and hopefully roll it up or force the centre brigade to come to Julian's aid.

The view from the town.

My mad men go in.
  I managed to surprise the British in front of me as I had been allowed to hide in the scrub and a nearby palm grove, I duly urged on my madmen to be met by a hail of lead, this stopped two warbands but the others slammed in and shortly after once I held the attention of the Suffolks in came our cavalry on their flank, despite a brave showing the Suffolks were sent packing. We now turned out attention to the Derbyshires, my skirmishers meanwhile were putting some harm on the third battalion. We were notified of dust clouds in the distance and guessed it was the British cavalry but our blood was up and we continued to hack and thrust at the Imperial infantry.
The pressure on Julian builds.
 With the Suffolks gone Julian managed to get his two remaining battalions into a square, but this was not enough to save him and again I threw my warriors at the serried ranks. Despite some hard fighting off went the Derbyshires as well just as the cavalry turned up. I was more than chuffed but things were looking dodgy now the horsemen had turned up. Ryan in the centre had now moved forward to support Julian and my skirmishers were taking a beating, on the other flank Simon poured fire into Stuarts advancing square while keeping his warbands on a tight leash, the town was still ours and darkness was closing in.

Desperate hand to hand.
What to do next.
 I had shot my bolt, by now most of my warbands had been dispersed and it seemed only a matter of time before the Imperial cavalry swept the field, but in one of those moments which wargamers will talk about for years afterwards my guys saw off a squadron of Dragoons and Paul's decidedly un-elite cavalry defeated the Household Cavalry and routed them, the cheers from the Mahdist lines could be heard in Cairo. We had effectively destroyed Julian's brigade, halted the British cavalry and as planned had prevented Ryan's brigade from joining the fight for the town.

Household cavalry about to be routed.

 Outside the town Stuart had opened up his square and tried to charge some nearby Mahdist infantry protecting some guns, but his move failed. Simon now took the fight to the British as his hordes decamped from the town and slammed into the thin brown line. The centre battalion crumbled and fled, this left the others with their flanks in the air and fanatical tribesmen waiting to take advantage. The advent of night saved what was left of the British and they withdrew from the field, it was decided later in Whitehall to award several VC's posthumously to the battalions who did not manage to escape and who were cut down to the last man as the fanatical wave of Mahdists broke around them. 
Simon breaks Stuart.

An excellent game and one which at first looked like an uphill struggle for the Mahdists, the forces were almost equal given the superiority of the British firepower and my die rolling started out very shaky indeed while Julian's was very good, but this changed as the game went on and I had my moments.  I didn't have a lot of troops left as night fell but I had performed my duty as a mad mullah and smote the infidel.

I am again painting some British, I have a light mortar, flamethrower an observer and a couple of extra Bren's on the go, that should be it for my BA forces as far as infantry are concerned, I might eventually give each side a para squad but that is a long way away. I do want more vehicles for choices but again they will have to wait for now.

I have just finished some maps for a book set during the English Civil War and have been told another project for a book on the Italian 'Folgore' Parachute Division is on the way, I am still struggling on with the Mongol invasions which are proving a challenge.

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