So a quick e mail exchange with old friend Gerry resulted in a visit to Gerry's "Situation Room". A finer set up I doubt you will find. We used a mere 18 feet x 6 of the total available. While there we were able to survey the setting up of part of his upcoming battle of Borodino - the wing around Utitsa which you can see in the background.
The weather gods have not been good the last few weekends for completing the large playing mats so we played on the base green surface with my added terrain items.
The scenario saw two Egyptian battalions and a gun - with limited ammunition, lets not make it easy eh..- under siege in a village from a larger force of Mahdist.
The besieged village of Jandu
The relief column - the Black Watch, R.I.F. , RMLI, a Naval Brigade detachment with Gatling gun, and a squadron each of 19th Hussars, 9th Bengal Lancers, and Guards Camel Regiment. These were also accompanied by supply baggage, engineers and war correspondents.
The Camel Corp squadron dismount in open order to see if there are sneaky Mahdists hiding in the brush. Rather than have hidden map deployments we usedf "blinds" so blank cards and some ambush cards randomly filled each feature so it was completely random as to if "hostiles" were present.
Pressure builds on the village - time for some "rapid fire" and damn the ammunition!
Meanwhile a few ambushes had been sprung against the advancing column ,time to deploy the Gatling and get into line lads!
Steady lads - take aim! pick your targets! fire at will... the mobs just reached the battery under withering fire - hacking down the lead gunners - before turning tail...and fleeing
A reformed spears of 1300 Mahdists led by an Emir picked up a head of steam and headed for the fray, the Column commander let them come - whole swathes fell under the disciplined volleys , but still they came - they hit the line , and the Naval Brigade - who suffered a round of Melee before the mob were finally subdued by being charge into the rear by the Bengal lancer - pressed front and rear the mob withered.
At that we called it a day - the garrison had been saved - and the war correspondants had a fine story in the bag for daily papers!
All tidied up.
Gerry and long time gaming buddy Steve
We had used the Sands of the Sudan rules - as with any first run out , we got a few things wrong, and identified a few things we thought needed tweaking.. we wrapped up and headed for the Curry house.
Overall a great first game , and day out. A big thanks to Gerry for his hospitality as ever. Looking forward to the next one.