Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reconnaissance in force to Trinkat : Moves 1 to 4...

As per my last post, here's a start on the write up for the Sudan game using the "A Good Dusting" rules.... I'm playing this game solo using the automated Dervish elements of the rules and am being fairly leisurely about it, I tend to do a move or two before I leave for work in the morning, accordingly, despite have started the day before yesterday the following shows the game up to move 4 only.. Free Happy Smileys

First impressions are that the game flows very quickly (as I expected it to, to be fair) though there are some 'holes' in terms of interpretation of what specific rules may mean... I find that adopting the spirit in which the rules were written helps to get round these... I'll highlight where this is the case as I go through..

So without further ado - let us again to the sands of the desert...

Orders of battle:

The rules indicate that for largely Imperial forces (ie. fewer or no Egyptian or native contingents), then a ratio of 3:1 is advised for a close game. Now I could 'recycle' the Dervish, but I can actually do this if I limit the Imperial force to a couple of battalions and as this is a first game, that's plenty big enough anyway..


All the following are under the overall command of Major the Honourable St John Wade-Smith, and accompanied by his Majesty Leopold II's observing officer Captain Lucien Verbeek (and his horse Teufel.. )
  • 1st Battalion - North Middlesex Regiment
  • 10th Sudanese Infantry
  • Gatling contingent "HMS Thunderer"
  • 4 units of Arab sword/spear men
  • 1 base of Arab rifles
  • 1 base of Arab horse
  • 1 base of Beja sword/spear men
  • One smooth-bore cannon with Egyptian prisoner crew

The Imperial force has been landed by gunboat (just off table) in order to complete a reconnaissance of Trinkat, a native village, where rumours of Dervish activity have been reported.

In order to complete this mission the column needs to get to the village and return to their home base edge..

The Game:

A view from behind the Imperial force towards Trinkat..

Move one - the Imperial force enters the table, I decided to deploy in brigade square but with four bases per Battalion it's a small square and there isn't room for the Gatling in the centre.

In the Mahdist move I dice for the first time for their arrival, but with no success...

Move two - the Imperial infantry continues to advance towards the village, but this time in the Mhadist turn the throw to see if they arrive is successful, and in the subsequent throw to see how many units arrive a "1" comes up...

As per the rules a direction dice is thrown, followed by a movement distance dice and this lead to my first query - one, the rules are not clear on what a "direction" dice is; by a process of elimination I've identified that I think it looks like a Warhammer scatter dice (a D6 with five sides covered in arrows, and one side with an X). The second query was as to where the Mahdists actually appear, I've picked table edge as the rules are not specific - but in the spirit of the rules I guess I could make my mind up - where the dice lands? A distance from the dice? A distance from the nearest Imperial unit? etc.) Either way a unit of Arab sword/spear men arrive - this is them arriving..

Move three - the Imperial infantry is still behind a dune and can't see the Dervish who arrived in move two - they continue to advance.

In the Mahdist phase they again throw successfully on the percentile dice and another unit arrives - this time Beja sword and spear men. I again start them from the table edge..

Move four The Imperial infantry moves forward again and is now at the end of the dune entering the gap between dune and rough ground - the Arab sword and spear men can be seen, but not the Beja.

The Dervish units both move forward (based on their automated move die roll). As the Arab sword and spear group are in range the Imperial infantry decide to open fire. Range is long, so only the front rank of the front edge of the square can fire - 9 figures throw 9 dice (!), and any of those that scored hits throw again for kills resulting in two casualties to the Dervish... I'm tracking casualties with those little mini-D6's to save paper work.

(Note: I can already see that for me one small problem is going to be tracking Dervish "ranks", as I have my units based Gilder style on larger single bases. One suggestion discussed was to treat each of these as two bases - which I am doing - but then I need to figure out how many figures I have so that I can work out how many in front and back ranks.. I think I will just say that all foot bases have 6 figures in two ranks of three)

Onwards and upwards - move 5 beckons


  1. Very good especially like a few moves before going to work in the morning.

  2. Yes, its a dice with an arrow on, like GW scatter dice, which in fact I think we used. You are correct, Steve, it moves quickly, especially with people who are 'in the spirit' of the game/rules. David
    PS Full of admiration for early morning gaming!

  3. The game looks good! and the rules sound interesting, after some trolling about, sounds like you have the author's attitude right.

    Have to say though, if I'd played a turn or 2 before going to work, my mind would have been on the game all day:)

  4. Back in the Sudan, Huzzah!! Additionally, I really like the new header and graphics.