Saturday, September 15, 2007 dry desert sands... last part

..and so we come to the final installment of this first colonial adventure - definitely some food for thought in the following as you'll no doubt see!

You may remember that we left the last installment with the British facing a potential threat from Dervish foot to their left, and cavalry to their front (see left..)

To counter this the British commander ordered the Egyptian cavalry to charge home on the Dervish cavalry – there was no reason to assume that this would not be satisfactory given that they were already shaken from the previous small arms fire, and they were a threat to his continued advance.. true enough they withdrew rapidly towards the other Dervish units (rule explanation: the Dervish tested to see if they would stand the charge, but got a "withdraw to nearest friend" result from the relevant reaction test)

The British commander also ordered the mounted infantry to dismount and open up on the Dervish foot on the hill to their front.

In return the Dervish open up some sporadic, but ineffective, small arms fire (rule explanation: the Dervish have a number of modifiers limiting their small arms ability!)

In face of the determined advance by the (now dismounted) infantry - further Dervish units become
revealed (rule explanation: cards turned over in terrain features 5, 6 & 11)
, and some of these Dervish foot (at 5.) immediately start charging towards the Egyptian cavalry.. (rule explanation: all these units test for first sight of the enemy, and the unit in question got a "Charge!!" Result (12 on 2D6 will do that!))

The Egyptian cavalry fired on them and caused enough casualties to stop them in their tracks, but things were looking increasingly fraught (a number of reaction tests for the Dervish units recently revealed lead to them forming together into a far bigger group) and they charged home on one of the units of foot..

In the meanwhile the Imperial infantry deploys into line and covers gap between the two hills – their flanks are covered by hills, but the British commander curses his slow progress..

The mounted infantry fire has caused the Dervish to go to ground in the rocky ground, but are later seen to be moving fast towards the river (failed morale test resulted in a "shaken" going to "suppress")

Things were going from worse to worse for the Egyptians (see left) - their commander was beginning to wish that he'd withdrawn earlier! Three separate Dervish units were now threatening them when all of a sudden they all withdraw (three separate reaction tests – one "withdraw to cover", two "withdraw to small arms range" results!)

Elsewhere, the mass of Dervish foot on the right start to charge towards the imperial infantry. The Dervish cavalry continues to withdraw to friends in 7. in the face of continued aggression from the Egyptian cavalry...

The mounted infantry advance towards the rocky broken ground with the intention of winkling out the Dervish but come under concentrated and accurate fire – causing significant casualties, and causing them them to break, and eventually run (a particularly unlucky set of results lead to them losing 2 strength points from the Dervish rifle fire, and they then failed two successive morale tests causing them to rout) from the
enemy! Questions will be asked in the house....

British infantry charge the massed Dervish foot but only half the assault goes in (the Sudanese infantry were shaken, and therefore unable to advance, by rifle fire from one of the Dervish units) – the Imperial infantry smack into Dervishes but are in turn routed!!
(Another very unlucky set of results - the Dervish tested successfully to charge home, and in the ensuing melee throws 5 to the British 2 on a D6, which with bonuses equates to a delta 5 difference ie., lose 2 strength points and rout in these rules, and probably anyone elses!)

In the face of continued/concentrated fire, and with a number of units routing or shaken, the British commander decides to retire, and leaves the field to the Dervish - at least for now!

In the next post I'll give a post match analysis - but this definitely didn't turn out as I expected it to... J

1 comment:

  1. Remember the axiom, Steve. "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."

    I will be interested in what your reactions to the rules are.

    One factor that I feel is important is the nature of the "command vision". By which I mean "who was in command (and at what level)".

    I don't think that the overall field commander should be able to dictate the actions and re-actions of the units under him. He should be able to give them general orders, but the details of their movement and actions should be determined at a level below that of the overall commander.

    From what you wrote, it seems like this MIGHT have been the case (or was it too random?) . . . but I'd like to hear your feelings about this (as well as your overall impression of the rules).

    -- Jeff