I had command of the British (natch) brigade which I had split into two components one under General Fraser Cameron VC and the other under General Humphrey "Bumbling" Cavendish, Stuart commanded the Indian Army brigade on my left, we had to take supplies to a small contingent of Egyptian policemen holding a fort just outside a hostile village. As we neared our objective we met a large host of the enemy attempting to foil our relief plan, I decided to split my forces to go around a small oasis and as I did not see any cavalry to my front simply engage and shoot them down in droves, Stuart was to take a large hill with a part of his force to defend his flank while moving a second force, with the supplies, towards the fort.
|My brave boys.|
Things started very well for me, but not for the natives opposite, two large warbands just refused to move and spent the time chewing some drug or other and whipping themselves up to a frenzy, their mates rushed towards my right hand force with the brave boys of the Royal Navy ready to repel them. I had slowed the Naval advance as there were rumours of Mahdist cavalry about to appear and this would have been typical of the Evil Rob who lulls players into a false sense of security then ruins their day. I had formed square with the matelots but all it did was slow them down, so back in to line just in time to help stop the Mahdist rush. The Gatling gun chattered and the Suffolk riflemen brought the enemy to a halt, things were looking good, eventually Cavendish had seen fit to move his men up and I was forming a nice line right across the battlefield.
|Then enemy get their dander up.|
It was too much to ask of course as a bunch of fanatics ran pell mell into the Suffolks and routed them, much to my chagrin, this left a large hole in the line and the Jack Tars isolated on their little hillock, my dodgy lancers, who had already retired once, now came back and I flung them into the victorious fanatics, sure enough the tribesmen won and off went the lancers never to be seen again. However the matelots and the Gatling gun were throwing so much lead at the enemy that their advance was brought to naught. These Fuzzy Wuzzies had shot their bolt, also Cavendish's men were playing merry hell with the enemy to their front, what could go wrong.
The drug addled 'second wave' of the enemy now came screaming out of their village as darkness approached, they hit Cavendish's firing line and ran through and over it, the Derbyshires and 9th Sudanese melted into the desert. Just in time Stuart's men began to arrive and it looked like weight of numbers would finally put a halt to the Mahdist threat, at the same time Stuart had reached the walls of the fort and as night fell the garrison was relieved, a British win, but a hard fought one.
|Stuart gives up the hill.|
|The end, just in time.|
On my left Stuart had taken the hill only to be assaulted by a vast horde of mounted and foot Mahdists, he was eventually forced off but managed a last line of defence at the bottom which only just held off the by now exhausted enemy. Although it took some time for General Cavendish to move his backside my die rolling up until halfway through had been excellent, the only thing saving an early enemy collapse on my flank was the equally excellent saving rolls Ryan made. I was very chuffed that the Royal Navy had come through and despite being on their own had repelled and stopped several warbands, Rule Britannia. In fact on reflection only the Matelots had covered themselves in glory while most of the rest of my forces ran in the end, but on the plus side I had held the enemy up until the last moment and the brave stance of the Navy meant they could not simply sweep around and attack our centre. Well that's what's in my report, yours Fraser Cameron VC.