3 July 2013

Dispatches from the front...great feedback and some new information comes to light.

Action alongside the oasis - amazing how plastic aquarium
palm trees can look OK with a bit of paint and sand!
When I launched this blog last month the purpose was to celebrate these wonderful rules from Peter Gilder and hopefully bring some more people into this great wargaming period.  It has been fantastic to get so much positive feedback from so many people around the globe and the encouragement is greatly appreciated.

One of the key opportunities of the blog was to also get feedback from people who had played the rules in their hey day at the Enchanted Cottage.  That has already begun...great stuff.

We have come across some new information in the form of Mahdist skirmishers.  Thanks to DC of Unfashionably Shiny blogspot he brought to my attention the fact that at the WHC the Mahdists had Rifle armed skirmishers in two's ala "In the Grand Manner" rules.  Though not able to totally recall the mechanism for them firing it was an interesting observation and one that, especially when you look at some of the old pictures of games in Miniature Wargames and Wargames World, is confirmed.

Wargames World picture with skirmishers in twos.  Copyright WI.

We however have always used rifle armed Mahdists in groups of up to five on bases the same size of standard Mahdist troops.  None of the Reference sheets from the WHC had references for skirmisher fire in the old Grand Manner fashion of  a 4,5 or 6 at short range for a hit and subsequent figure casualty, 5 or 6 for medium and 6 for long.  If anyone has any more information on this it would be great!

Also great to have some information from Steve at Steves Wargaming blog (link with my favourite blogs elsewhere on the page) - lots of thanks Steve and reinforces the dilemma in trying to get these rules out there - many versions of the same Reference sheets in Peter Gilders hand writing - apparently he loved being able to change aspects of the rules as required.  I would imagine this would be essential when hosting so many wargamers over many years. Fortunately yours and my sheets all married up - even the different versions!
In the meantime we will continue with the five rifles on a base awaiting more details from the frontiers.

Our five riflemen to a base in action at a recent battle. They may well be getting re based soon...

I also noted that I put up some incorrect information in the basing chart about the Camel Corps.  They are not based as Imperial Cavalry in twos but in threes as Mounted Infantry.  Please find the correct information at the bottom of this post.  Also, a great shot of the Desert Column from MW 5 with Camels on patrol in threes!

Camel Corps with limbered guns pass an oasis ...Gilder at his best.  Copyright MW

Basing of figures -updated.

These rules call for distinctly different basing of figures for the opposing forces.  It is recommended that some effort be made into decorating the bases to enhance the overall aesthetic effect of the game.

Troop Type
Base Size (width/depth)
Figures on base

Imperial Infantry
45mm x 40mm
Imperial Skirmishers
100mm x 45mm
Imperial Cavalry
50mm x 45mm
Imperial Camelry mtd & dismounted
80mm x 60mm
Imperial Field Guns
60 mm x as required
4 plus gun model
Imperial Gardner/Nordenfelt
45 mm x as required
3 plus gun model
Mahdist Spearmen
100mm x 45mm
from 7 up to 10
Mahdist Rifles
100mm x 45mm
Up to5
Mahdist Cavalry
75mm x 90mm
Up to 5
Mahdist Camelry
75mm x 90mm
Up to 5
Mahdist  MG
45 mm x as required
3 plus gun model
Mahdist Artillery
60mm x as required
4 plus gun model


  1. I like that idea of the Mahdist skirmishers; they look better than in a five models bases, IMHO.

  2. I don't recall seeing Mahdist skirmishers in the games played at the Enchanted Cottage and Filey. Basing such in groups of five or four makes sense.

    1. Hi Juan and AJ,

      There is no doubt in my mind that the Sudan games of Peter Gilders were an evolving beast - the array of different rule sheets, versions etc. demonstrate it quite clearly. Perhaps the skirmishers were an early concept however there are no factors for them anywhere. I am leaning towards keeping them as they are as they already qualify for being open order and I do like the look of the scenic base. Cheers