Yesterday Myself, Brian Buskell, Dave Lowe and Young Will got together and played a second round of 'The Sands of the Sudan' by Carlo Pagano. Admittedly this time round we played the rules with a far greater understanding of how they worked and from the faces, regular banter and high fives the game played better far better then the first game. Carlo has put together a great set of rules for having a few rounds of fun, with a couple of the lads, either as demo game or participation game or just simply to have an enjoyable game.
The rules are provided with a number of random events cards, which allow for the random arrival of the Mahdi forces and some really annoying cards for the Imperial forces like wheels falling off gun carriages, sandstorms, infantry columns wandering off in random directions and Mahdi machine guns!!...all of which makes for a fun game.
Our game scenario was for the Imperial forces to advance up the Nile, clear a small village on the river and then turn inland and storm a larger township....well that was the plan.
However on turn one the Mahdist players (Myself and Dave) started to turn the random event cards. We turned a card for every turn of the game i.e.: Turn 1 - 1 x card, Turn 2 - 2 x cards, turn 3 - 3 x cards etc. This allowed for a steady build up of enemy forces from different locations. So Brian well thought out 'Master Plan' started to show a few holes.
One Brian's great Sudanese command stand
The first little river village was only held by a few units of Mahdist riflemen and proved more of an annoyance more then anything however they did manage to draw in the best British troops and a gunboat. But by a couple of turns the combined fire from the infantry and gunboat drove the riflemen out of the village, thus leaving it to be easily occupied by a company of Naval troops and a mountain gun.
Two companies of conscript Egyptians advance out into the desert to clear the second objective.
But as luck would have it these are 200+ mad Mahdi followers hiding in some rough terrain.
The Camel Corps dismount and engage the first enemy warriors
More Egyptian irregulars move up in support of the Camel Corps lads
The Naval Brigade deploy the heavy guns and start laying down devastating covering fire.
Five companies of Imperial Mounted Infantry and regulars advance on to the first objective
The first objective - held by only a few riflemen
More Mahdi enter the table, closing in rapidly onto the Egyptian Battalion
Our gunboat shells the river village
After a rapid volleys from the Egyptians decimates the first few ranks of Mahdists they still charge on into hand to hand combat
The 10th Hussars out on the far left flank rides into a ambush
After a few rounds of continuous shelling the few Mahdists still in the village fall back into the desert and Objective One is now in British hands.......or is it?
By turn five the first objective has been taken, however pressure is starting to mount on the Imperial forces as more and more Mahdi arrive on the battlefield
Camel Corps vs Camels......the Imperial Camel Corps manages to hold onto this position for at least five turns, repelling no more then three attacks but were finally forces to withdraw when they ran out of ammunition.
The mass guns of the Naval Brigade help defeat numerous waves of attacking Mahdi
Turn seven and the Mahdi are everywhere. The Imperial commander made of stern English stock keeps his calm and directs fire into their ranks
However still out on the far left flank the 10th Hussars are attacked in both the flank and front. With numbers far out numbering them they are forced from the field of battle with heavy causalities
A charge on the Naval Brigade is defeat....close call
All was going as planned for the Imperial commander...until their was a village uprising and the natives slaughter the remaining British troops in the village
Then the Camel Corps lads are finally defeated
The Mahdi forces seem to great to over come today so the Imperial commander decides to call it a day and falls back to a more defendable position for the night.
Overall a great day for the lads and I would like to thank Carlo again for making such an enjoyable set of rules.