Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Is Gordon alive ? An heroic rescue or a major disaster....

 

A few weeks back I finished my city of Khartoum (OK its a generic walled desert city) and judging by the comments received here and on the forums/facebook it was quite popular. Well there is no point in building something and not using it so I decided to create a fictional game set in the Mahdist uprising.



A mix detachment of British troops have made their way down the Nile in a gunboat with the aim of rescuing as many European civilians trapped inside the walls of the city. The city itself is under attack with both the gates and two wall sections breached. This is a race against time. Can the rescue mission accomplish its mission.

Scattered across the city are a number of green tokens. Each token represents a potential rescue target, a local or perhaps even a screaming band of dervish. Until it is turned over it remains unknown. Shuffled into this deck of cards is Governor Gordon. Each civilian escorted to the gunboat is worth one point and Gordon is worth three points.

The Civilian cards


For every civilian left behind or killed the Mahdi player gets one point. In summary the side with the highest point count at the end of the game wins.


The Rules of the Game

The game used Black Powder as it core with some special rules including

1. Each British 'unit' consisted of one squad of 4 figures - these could be brigaded together to form larger units.

2. All rescue units could be combined to use closing volley fire as described in the Zulu Wars supplement by Warlord Games

3. Each unit had an independent command rating of 8, if an officer was attached the rating increased to nine.

4. Entering/Exiting building cost one action and retrieving a civilian (ie turning over a counter) cost one action.

5. Fighting/Defending buildings afforded the defenders +1 in morale saves

6. Each unit could shoot/move for each successful command action. 

The Colonial Forces started with

4 units of Egyptian troops - three started at the residency in the centre of the city, the fourth started at the Northern gate. + commander ( Captain Mark al Wok)

3 units of Highlanders + commander (Captain John McCharger)

3 units of Royal Navy Sailors (Lieutenant Colins)

3 units of British Line Infantry ( Major Hedgerow)

Unit Stats


All movement for colonial forces is 6” & Dervish 8”– 

 

Move

Shoot

HTH

Morale

Stamina

Weapons

British

6”

4

4

4

3

Rifle

Egyptian

6”

3

3

5

3

Rifle

Dervish

8”

1

6

5

3

Hand Weapons

Dervish Muskets

8”

3

4

5

3

Spears & Muskets

Dervish Fanatics

8”

1

6*

4*

3

Hand Weapons


The Mahdi's forces were commanded by myself - The Enlightened Shed one but could easily have been run as an automated force.

Each turn a set of cards would be used to 'spawn' more Dervish.  The Dervish player draws a card from a separate deck, depending upon the card the following units will appear on the table.

Card Type

Unit Type

Ace/King

Fanatic unit (+ draw another card)

Queen

Dervish Musket unit

Jack/10

Dervish unit

2-9

No units appear

Joker

One regular unit at every entry point and Reshuffle deck

Their entry point will be determined by the suit of the card. A separate card was p[laced next to each entry point to show each suit.


Whereas the British and their Egyptian allies can freely move across the city the Dervish must move according to a die roll. For each unit on the table roll 3d6 (one of one colour - eg red and two of another eg blue) and then consult the table. 

Command Phase: Dervish

If in 8” of target will always have initiative and charge

Roll 2d6 of one colour and d6 of another

2d6 (Blue)

Dervish

Dervish Muskets

Fanatics

12

Blunder

Blunder

Blunder

11-10

No Action

No Action

No Action

9

No Action

No Action

One Action

8

No Action

One Action

Two Actions

7

One Action

Two Actions

Three Actions

6

Two Actions

Three Actions

Three Actions

5 or below

Three Actions

Three Actions

Three Actions

 

1d6 (Red)

Dervish

6

Move towards/ shoot nearest enemy unit

5

Move towards/ shoot nearest enemy unit

4

Move directly forward

3

Move Left

2

Move Right

1

Move Backwards (unless this takes them out of town in which case stay still)

 

Any Dervish unit that has more than one action and can ‘hit’ an enemy unit in subsequent actions will attack.

Any Dervish unit after moving that can see an enemy and is in range may shoot

The Dervish have no commanders

Any Dervish unit inside a building at the end of their turn may potentially set building on fire – on 5+

Any Dervish unit entering a building with a civilian kills them on a 4+

Any unit inside a building on fire takes three shooting attacks with no morale bonus – any civilian inside a burning building perishes on a 4+ 

How did the game play?

Once set up the four rescuers (Mark F, Rolf, John and Colin) decided on who would play which force with the following results

Mark F - Egyptian garrison)

Colin - Naval Troops

John  - Highlanders

Rolf - British Line Infantry

I would act as adjudicator and activate the Dervish attackers

Quick Summary of the Game

As the rescue forces entered the town from the riverfront it became evident that this was going to be a tough ask. Do the players 'collect' and recover those tokens nearest the exit point first or do they press on into the city and go for the ones furthest away. Trusting in their superior fire power our gallant heroes pressed on deep into the town. Quite quickly the rescue squads racked up a number of cheap victories against marauding dervish bands and discovered several civilians hiding in the outskirts of the town.

John's highlanders, ably supported by the local Egyptian militia (Mark) pressed on right up to the northern gates and soon had several civilians in tow. Elsewhere Rolfs infantry and Colin's Naval brigade were clearing the eastern edge of town. As the game progressed more Dertvish pressed on into the city and soon all four detachments found themselves under immense attack.

The first to go was the Naval brigade - caught out in the open the brave Sailors were overrun and only a few made it back to the safety of the boats. The second to get caught were the Egyptians, these chaps bravely sacrificed themselves in the hope that the Highlanders might escape with the civilians. Sadly their actions were wasted as the Highlanders fell to more Dervish the following turn.

As far as Rolfs line infantry were concerned they were last seen delivering volley fires into hordes of dervish outside the governors residence. What of Gordon? Gordon was never found but rumour has it that he was one of the unknown casualties in a fire that broke out in the north eastern edge of town. 

Photos from the Game - apologies these are in no particular order







































9 comments:

  1. That looks and sounds like a grand game! Nice to see the Shedettes in action again.

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  2. The cat reminds me of a famous ‘Goodies’ episode! Lovely game.

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  3. Superb, a real pleasure to watch...

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  4. Absolutely brilliant game in every respect. Top marks for getting that 500ft cat monster in as well, though I’m not clear which of the two factions it was aligned with?

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  5. Superb set up! No wonder the cat wanted to get in on the action. The game puts me in mind of the 'Rioting in Alexandria' games published in the old SoA Slingshot magazines.

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  6. It seems that Gordon Pasha had finally met his match

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  7. That’s an epic table! Games like this are a lot of fun to put together (both the design and play).

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