Picking up those brushes again.

Hi and welcome to the occasional mutterings of Dave Doc, a military modeller and some time gamer. Gaming and model making has given me a real education, History & Geography(obvious really), Artistry, Politics, Economics, Logistics, Project Management -you try building miniature armies without the last 3.

I will use the blog to record my creations & the odd occasion I actually do some gaming.

I have always been inspired by the aesthetic side of gaming. Playing on well constructed terrain using excellently painted units is always a joy.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Sudan - The big game - Relief of Khartoum - thanks and phew!

It's been a really great weekend of gaming. Finally after 5 years of work on the Sudan project the long envisaged big game came off. We had the whole collection on the table, almost 3000 figures that I have painted , and all the terrain items. It’s a big itch scratched !

I had devised a scenario for 7 - 8 people to play in, based on the expedition to relieve General Gordon at Khartoum . We all met up at Marks Wargames holiday Centre just outside Basingstoke on Friday afternoon. The rules being used were Sands of Sudan with a few tweaks from me. I would be making changes as I went along while doing the umpire role to help balance things out. You can see lots of pictures in the  4 previous posts.

First off a thanks to Mark for hosting us and  to Carlo Pagano (Pyjamas through the desert blog)who managed to recreate the rules from various scraps of information. Carlo also supplied a bunch of extra play sheets for free. The guys (aka other loons) from the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge ,who have been encouraging the never ending painting over the many years- Paul O from the Tasmancave sent me a captain figure for my new steamer - cheers mate.  Chris (Itinerant Waragamer) for making a fine large river board for the steamers to play on.

A big thank you must also go to the players who really got into the spirit of it all - so Tony, John, Brian, Bob , Dean,, Andy and Mark - thank you! 

at the heart of the action!
The OOB and briefing and some mechanism notes over and above the quick reference charts were distributed with most players taking the role of imperial commanders. On Friday and Saturday there were to be two simultaneous games going on with each using half the tables - effectively a 12 x 12 table each. The various casualties and ammunition expenditure (a finite resource for the imperials ) were to be carried over into the final Sunday game. 

The Sunday game saw Khartoum in the middle of the table with the relief forces heading from either end. The twist was that any casualties a force caused would recycle back onto the table but opposite the other relief force. 

The imperial commanders were also vying for "prestige" trying to out do each other with prestige points being awarded or deducted for :-
winning / losing a melee 
wiping out enemy units.
capturing standards
acts of derring do - or buffoonery 
publicity - telling tales to the war reporters of their deeds , or their peers failings.
Being first to reach Gordon.

The guys really got into the spirit of this and there was a lot of laughter when they claimed their "prestige points" each turn . In the end Dean claimed the honours - well done sir! 

The classic one for me was Bob who was in desperate straights facing a horde of charging troops deciding he had to select to fire all 20 rounds from his Gardner gun - needing to roll a 20 to not jam it - who then rolled a 20 and accompanied it with a "1"  which made it the most effective hit possible, - the stuff legends are made of! Then again John had Major Kitchener carefully scouring the field looking for fallen mahdist flags when units had been destroyed and returning them to show off in front of the war correspondents. 

So a few things I will be working on coming up :-

Some extra rules tweaks to make it more a two side game with players doing more of the mahdists moves, but still retain the key elements of the random card and disc systems. Add in a simple moral system. Add in a simple random fire effect when being charged. 
Change a few of the modifier tables - getting my head around a 1 being good and 6 bad just seems counter intuitive. 
Get the new random events cards made up into a proper deck. (the memsaabs want to go shopping... leaving the column in a random direction, the Nile falls - to slow the steamers , who left that gate open for the city and a few more yet) 
Complete some more bits for the armies - horse holders and close order troops for my mounted infantry.
Extra terrain for a more accurate rendition of the walls at Khartoum.
Dhows for the mahdists forces to make more of river game.
I may actually need MORE mahdists, more Ansar to balance the Beja numbers. 
A few "big" guns for mahdist river forts . 
Some extra casualty markers .
work out how to weave my FFL into this too!! 

All in all phew - its good its done , and I have been in discussion with Mark and we will be looking to run the game again next May with luck.


  1. Excellent but more mahdists? Really

    1. Yep, I want to do some more ansar , rather than beja ...

    2. Your not wrong.. no skirmishes here

  2. Putting the wow into the Sudan!

  3. Terrific job Dave, I would have been great to participate in this game.


  4. Loved all of it. I was following the Facebook feed. One day I will have to make it over.

  5. Delighted to see that the good Captain arrived in the nick of time to take Command for this critical mission!

    An amazing layout that I'm sure the pictures dont do justice to. I'm sure you were rightfully chuffed at seeing it all arrayed before you. Congratulations on an amazing project

    1. Thanks Paul.. it’s been fun along the way

  6. Itches don't get any bigger than that.
    Very well done Dave.
    Pat. (Silver Whistle blog)

  7. Well done to you Dave, this was one spiffing looking game.

  8. All together now! "I've almost finished my Sudan project..."!

  9. A great fun game Dave, many thanks for all your hard work.

    1. Thanks John, glad you enjoyed it , and hope to see you again

  10. I'm sure it was a great experience!

    1. Indeed it was . Great feeling see all my toys in use , and the guys really enjoying it . Came away inspired for playing another bug game , and with ideas for adding to forces ..it’s all god

  11. Wow, wow, wow! What an impressive undertaking! To paricipate in a game of such magnitude is a bucket list item. I hope you succeed in having the game again next May, I want to see how the river game works out.👍👍👍

    1. Cheers. Over the years I guess I have been lucky playing in many large games. I am enjoying the organising ,umpiring and seeing the players working out problems etc. We will try and run it again next year for sure, with of course some improvements .. stay tuned

  12. What an absolute triumph, Dave! I had an enjoyable coffee break looking/reading through your various posts on this. I'm delighted that the Challenge had some small part in the amassing/painting of this wonderful collection. Bravo to you, Sir!

  13. Fantastic looking game!
    I thought myself well traveled in the blogosphere but somehow missed this one until now. Better late than never!


Work in hand


No more than 3 things on the PAINTING table at once. Nothing new added until something is finished.

PREPARATION work is done when I don't fancy detail painting. Cleaning up, converting, undercoating etc.

PLANNING is expressions of interest or things that have inspired me to be created with no definite timescale as yet.

28mm Napoleonic Brits

On the PREPATION table.

Storage wars