- A Tape Measure in inches and / or centimetres.
- Dice – at least one D4, D6, D10 and D20.
- Troop Rosters for both Imperial and Mahdist forces as per those included in these rules.
- Troops representing the Imperial forces of the Empire and the brave Mahdist forces that fought them.
24 June 2013
Peter Gilders "Sands of the Sudan Rules" - Introduction and Chapter One
The Sands of the Sudan - Introduction
The British Campaigns in the Sudan and Egypt during the latter part of the nineteenth century first came to my attention as a young gamer through the articles and photographs of the late Peter Gilder throughout the older Wargames Illustrated and Wargames world.
These rules are based on the same ones that Peter Gilder used in his many games at the Wargames Holiday Centre as well as bits and pieces that have been retrieved from articles, parchments, letters from Peter and wargaming icon Gerry Elliot who took over the The WHC after Peter sold it.
These rules became very popular at the Napoleonic Wargaming Society in
many years ago when Perth, Western Australia Phil Cook, who had played the game at the Enchanted Cottage, and Mike Ward, started playing several games at local conventions such as Arena as well as at the club itself.
The game can be played by several players in the role of the various British commanders. The role of the Mahdists is taken by the umpire who, along with the die rolls for random actions, “controls’ the masses hell bent on the destruction of the Imperial Infidels.
This period has everything one would want for from a wargame – open battles, sieges, relief columns, gunboats steaming down the
Nile, ambushes by hordes of angry natives behind every dune and wadi and the stiff British upper lip being tested at every turn by the wily and brave Fuzzy Wuzzy.
Many thanks to the Gerry Elliot and the late Mike Ingham for allowing me the privilege of compiling these rules together from the late Peter Gilders files, personal notes and gaming reference sheets all those years ago when they owned the WHC. Thanks also to Mark Freeth who now owns the WHC.
Also it would be remiss of me not to mention the absolutely brilliant rules that Peter Gilder originally based these games on. “B Company aint coming back” or “Pony Wars” by the remarkable Ian Beck has to be one of the most wonderfully written and put together sets of rules in the history of our hobby. Originally published by Table Top Games, if you ever by chance see a copy in a store, second-hand shops etc. don’t hesitate – buy it immediately. You will not regret it for a second.
Every reference to the rules in this composition is as “Sands of Sudan”. Please see this as “Peter Gilders Sands of the
” which has been edited for purely design reasons. They are his rules – we are just ecstatic to be able to get the rules all in one place for wargamers everywhere and anywhere! Forgive my graphic design skills in putting this together – I am a luddite at heart! Sudan
So without further delay, prepare the port –sippers, ensure that your servant has packed the playing cards, kiss your sweet hearts farewell and make ready to defend the honour of the regiment!
The Sands of the
is a game designed for fighting table top battles. Suitable figures representing Imperial and Mahdist forces are required as well as: Sudan
No pre – measuring of charge ranges, firing distance etc is allowed. It just wouldn’t be what fine Gentlemen do after all! If you declare a charge and cannot close then you are simply moved your normal move distance and not allowed any further actions that turn.
Similarly for shooting, if you declare you will fire and are out of range, the shots are considered spent and an ammunition marker is crossed off on the appropriate unit roster.
The game can be played on any scale that suits your local club, gaming companions and friends. These rules are set out for use with 28mm scale figures however 15mm or smaller scales can be easily accommodated by simply replacing inches for centimetres in ranges, movement charts etc.
In terms of playing table requirements, we usually play on a table at least 12 feet by six feet in dimension and often as long as 18 feet. However this size table is obviously only a guide and can be reduced if using a smaller range of figures etc.
Depending upon the scenario, terrain is set up by the umpire allowing for the type of varied terrain the
was famous for. Not every battle was fought over a dessert devoid of buildings and terrain; in fact the areas near the coast were quite lush at times. Of course the vast majority of battles were fought over barren scrub land and plains with dried wadis, creek beds and the famous Mimosa bush in abundance. Sudan
Any potential ambush points should be noted by the umpire.
The Imperial Player then sets up as directed by the umpire – perhaps at the end of the table marching to relieve a town, in place within a temporary zeriba fortification, within a town awaiting reinforcements etc. The permutations and scenarios are many and varied.
If fighting a campaign, of which this period is perfectly suited, then the order of March should be noted in advance and reflected upon deployment.
The Umpire should also divide and make a note of the table edges, 1-10 in order to assist in determining where the Mahdists enter from. This will be needed when he needs to make a location role.
Remember that visibility is considered to be table edge to table edge and line of sight. Nice and simple.
Turn Sequence - Explained
1. The Umpire draws an Event card and determines what needs to react, any special event or occurrence. If the card calls for Mahdists to appear the umpire rolls a location dice and then places the appropriate number of bases on the field within six inches of table edge. If the drums are beating then more cards may well be drawn as required. All cards are immediately acted upon unless the drums are beating in which case the cards denoting any Mahdist reinforcements are hoarded until the drums stop, when they are then all placed simultaneously on the appropriate part of the board.
Some of the Event cards are divided into two halves. Generally these can be described as Level 1 or Level 2 effects, the latter are generally much better for the Mahdists. These can be used to help in scenario driven games or allow a certain number of turns of Level One events and then Level Two takes over to force the issue with the Imperial Players who may simply wish to set up behind Zeribas and fire at the Fuzzies as they approach without endeavouring to complete their mission etc. The permutations are many.
The Umpire then also rolls for Ambush if any Imperial troops are approaching an area that may have enemy lurking in wait.
In normal games the battle is concluded ten periods/turns after the last card has been drawn or in the case of a scenario or campaign game, once the Imperial troops objectives has been achieved or have died to a man trying to do so.
Next post - Troop Types and Organisation.
Please note that the purpose of putting out the chapters in this format is to give everyone a feel for the rules system. It is definitely the intention to also make available a free PDF download of the rules in a few weeks once I work out the best way to manage that - Juan has suggested a widget may be available for that as well.