Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reconnaissance in force to Trinkat : Moves 10 to the end.....

So at the end of the last post you may remember that we left the Imperial Gatling gun and naval crew in a slight fix - taking advantage of the Christmas holiday period, and a little less general busy'ness I set out to see if we could save them, and complete the original orders..

...the answer to the former being, unfortunately not as a full unit of Dervish sword and spear men crashed home on the Gatling and crew and literally overwhelmed them... in game terms it was something like eighteen dice to four, so it was never really in any doubt!

Deprived of the Gatling, the British square anchored itself on the rough & rocky area to it's rear - things were tense but not unmanageable - in the picture above, there are three units of Dervish advancing, and in addition the Dervish are manhandling up an ancient smooth-bore cannon that will (at last) give the Dervish the opportunity to inflict some longer range damage. The other two bases you can see are fleeing, having taken sufficient casualties that they can no longer take a real role in the battle... ("pluck", or morale, tests every move!)

The cannon opens fire and immediately starts to inflict casualties on the Anglo-Egyptian Imperial force. Not deterred, yet again the crash of the Martini-Henry rings out across the desert, as three sides of the Imperial square pick their targets...

...and having summarily despatched the crew of the gun, the square continued to deal out death and destruction while continuing it's advance to the village - though by now it should have been clear that the 'rumours' of Dervish activity were well and truly valid! Free Happy Smileys

Post Match Analysis:
  • Major the Honourable St John Wade-Smith's mission was to "complete a reconnaissance of Trinkat, a native village, where rumours of Dervish activity have been reported". This was completed and accordingly I considered this to be a British victory.
  • Casualties on the Dervish side were heavy with only a couple of half units escaping the battlefield to fight another day. On the Imperial side, Wade-Smith lost the Gatling and crew (no room in the square so it was always exposed), one base of the Sudanese, and just over a half a base of the North Middlesex Regiment. Captain Lucien Verbeek (and his horse Teufel.. Free Happy Smileys) remained unscathed though slightly shaken by the ferocity of the Dervish attack
  • The rules played well - there are a few area's lacking clarity, but nothing that you can't very easily surmount with a little bit of thought, and by playing the feel of the rules.. I especially liked the pluck test though as mentioned before I'd be tempted to bring in some kind of casualty modifier. The best part however was the very simple Dervish automated movement feature - in three parts, first check their pluck (if required), then see if they move (a dice throw - which is not required at all for Beja), followed by a quick dice roll on a movement table to see what they do (usually advance towards the enemy but there are some other options..) I'm wondering whether I could incorporate these in my own Gilder/McNally based rules.
  • Steve the Wargamer rates the "A Good Dusting" rules as a solid 8 out of 10 and at just over £10 why would you not want them?!


  1. Glad your heroes survived! Did you have any of the "Imperial Brown Trouser moments"?
    I'm pleased you enjoyed your game, I hope you'll have many more in the months ahead.
    The Zulu War rules, "Washing the Spears" are back from the printers and will be off to the distributors next week.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Very nice report. You have sparked my interest in the rules.

  3. One quick question: Do leaders have any effect on the troops, command radius, inspiration, + to morale etc.? or are they just asthetic? I did not see a Mahdi leader on the table but did see command stands.

  4. Great stuff! Looks good and sounded fun. And a good review of the rules. Thanks


  5. Thanks for the comments, gents....

    What-ho Prinz Geoffrey - I hope you'll be pleased to see that Verbeek behaved himself on this outing, and in fact was the first one into the village at the end of the game... to answer your question, yes, leaders can have an effect on troops.. in this simple game I decided not to bother, but there are options to give leaders their own pluck rating, which they can use to steady units that may have failed their own tests - I don't have the rules handy to check the details...

    David - nice set of rules which I think the review reflected... put it this way, I will be playing again, and yes there was a brown trouser moment around about move 8 when the Dervish were coming at the square from all angles - some lucky dice throwing saw the Imperials through to their objective, but it could very easily have gone the other way.