This is a first for the Situation room. A battle in 28mm!!! This is the Relief of Jandu, organised by Dave Docherty who has his blog "One Man and his Brushes". The rules are the "Sands of Sudan" by Carlo Pagano. Carlo has his own blog called "With Pyjamas through the Desert". We also had Stephen Scott in our ranks who is a long wargaming friend of Dave's going back many many, many years. I met both guys at the "Wargames Holiday Centre" in about 1988.
Dave had organised a game where an Egyptian forces has to be rescued form the dastardly bad guys. Steve commanded the garrison, I commanded the relief force and Dave controlled the nasty pasties. Like any set of rules, this was the first foray and we got some things correct, some things wrong, learnt a lot and still came up with ideas for mods/tweaks we would like to try.
Dave pondering the rules. This is my relief column. Guns in the centre, flanked by 2 btns infantry and then in turn flanked by 4 squadrons of cavalry. The camel corps are in front and would soon dismount to act as the initial skirmish screen.
The Egyptian garrison of Junda. They were facing all four sides as an attack could appear from anywhere.
The Egyptians had a single artillery piece. The relief column had 1 machine gun and 3 screw guns.
Steve is surveying my wonderful relief column and the poise with which it advances!
Spearmen erupt from behind a hill. The right flank cavalry, Hussars, deploy. They would charge and drive these heathens back.
The garrison came under attack from the hordes led by an Emir. The Egyptian company defending that quarter of the village succumbed to the man. The defences were breached. Would relief arrive in time?
The relief force is half way there. The infantry are still in columns in an attempt to move quickly. Skirmishers have been deployed by both Btns to act as their eyes and spring any hidden ambushes.
This is approaching the climactic part of the battle for the relief force. A sizeable spear armed force are advancing on the main British line. This force would be led by an Emir
The enemy highpoint at Junda. As the enemy regrouped after wiping out the Egyptian company, the Egyptian nerve held and controlled volleys and change of circumstance (a ruley thing) saw the attack falter. The defence would stand!! The surviving spearmen would rally with the Emir and attack the relief force.
This was immediately prior to the main attack. Some smaller Arab formations were thrown back and then the main line deployed.
Now, everyone should buy the rules. The machine gun mechanics are really quirky. It can fire between 1 and 20 rounds. There are mechanics for it jamming. If you fire say 10 rounds, roll a single d20. If the roll is above the number of rounds you are firing, say it was 11, then the machine gun has fired all 10 rounds safely. If the d20 roll is lower, say you rolled 6, the machine gun gets to fire the 6 rounds and then jams. Jammed machine guns need to be cleared and this is not guaranteed!!!! You can see the risk in firing a large number of rounds!!
The climactic attack. The Emir would lead an assault. The previous round had already seen withering fire poured into the mass, killing 350 men.
This turn would be brutal!! The machine gun would fire and this glory was given to Steve (with an appropriate smirk on his face). He would fire 19 rounds!!!!!!!!!!! Having averted my eyes away for the d20 die roll, Steve proceeded to roll 20. After a few jigs on the spot and some giggling (not sure Officers did this, but he was supposedly the Egyptian commander), hoards of spearmen were moan down as the machine gun fired its 19 rounds, didn't get jammed and then the supporting fire from 2 Btns and a battery of screw guns added to the slaughter!! that's just 525 dead!!!!
Just to add insult, the spearmen were charged in the rear by the Bengal Lancers.
Well, there you have it. Great fun. Some questions did arise and Dave will try to write all these down. My obvious queries are:.
the turn sequence needs a bit more explanation, especially charge declarations and when/how these are done in the sequence
Who pursues? What are the mechanics? When/how does this happen?
I think the cavalry v infantry engagements need "understanding" better from us. From how we played it, if cavalry attack infantry and get a big win, if the defender stands (not too difficult with an Emir) then the cavalry are minced. I'm not too bothered about the frontal charges, but am about charging the rear. I think we are going to try some mechanics where the cavalry, for large victories (whatever they become) get the chance to break off. It is just a musing at present.
We are also going to look at a morale system for both sides that expands what is already there. No doubt Carlo will be involved in all of this.
But in a nutshell, it we have been captured and enthused by our first experience. Onwards to wherever the desert goes!!