27 November 2013

Skirmish formation troops for the Sudan

"Kents" off hunting...Connoisseur British on the job.

Just a quick post today to depict some of the new skirmish bases that have been completed in the past few weeks.  As those who have followed the rules and the blog over the past months know, Imperial formations can dispatch some of their companies into skirmisher formation in order to try and detect ambushes etc. well ahead of the main body.

The full three skirmisher bases in action.
 I also took the opportunity to put together three skirmisher bases of Camel Corps troops.  Unfortunately Connoisseur do not have any more variations in their range for these troops other than an Officer, trooper standing firing and ditto for one kneeling.

Fortunately Redoubt have some very nice figures that are similar in size to Connoisseur (if not a bit better fed!) in a wide variety of poses.

Redoubt Camel Corps Troopers and Officers in skirmish order. 

These are what I used to depict these lads out and about looking for some forage and coming across some locals that may need them to be at their best in order to get back to camp!  Enough variation in pose I think you will agree to give the right look to the unit.

17 November 2013

Indian Screw Gun - Sudan

With a keen intent these 7 pdrs are ready to unleash upon some
enemy skirmishing Hadendowah to their front - mix of Foundry
 and Connoisseur gunners and connoisseur screw guns.

Smoking my pipe on the mountings, sniffing the morning cool,
I walks in my old brown gaiters along o' my own brown mule,
With seventy odd gunners behind me, an' never a beggar forgets
That it's only the pick of the Army that handles the dear little pets - 'Tss! 'Tss!

For you all loves the screw guns - the screw guns they all loves you!
So when we calls round with a few guns, o' course you will know what to do - hoo! hoo!
Just send in your Chief and surrender -  it's worse if you fights or you runs:
You may go where you please, you can skid up the trees, but you don't get away from the guns!
Excerpt from 'Screw Guns' by the great Rudyard Kipling.

The Sands of the Sudan project continues on despite life's distractions.

For this post I thought it would be an opportunity to bring out the old Indian Screw Gun battery that has seen a good deal of action over the years.  These figures are actually from the excellent Foundry NW Frontier range and despite the purists I am sure being able to pick a few details out they serve the purpose admirably for me and fellow gamers.  The fez topped British Officer, chap with binoculars (observant young fellow from Harrow I am told!) and the mounted officer are all Connoisseur as are the guns, the camels and the Indian handler.

Doesn't light make such a difference when it comes to colour
perception through the lens of an amateur cameraman!

These figures were all painted by me quite some time ago however I took the opportunity to tidy them up recently with some medium shade army painter dip and the complete repaint of the bases which I think has brought them up quite well.

Another view of the battery defending the old molasses store.

By the way the wonderful extract from Kipling at the top of this post was first seen many years ago at school when reading "The Man who would be King and other stories" from the wonderful Rudyard K.  I was reminded of it when visiting the excellent site "Diary of a Gaming Magpie" and thought it was quite apt to place in here as well.  If you get a chance, visit his site for some very, very nice work.

3 November 2013

Sudan Rules - Final Chapter

Spot of bother here for these Highlanders a long way from home.

After Combat

Once all casualties have been calculated it is necessary to determine the melee result.

The Mahdists are able to “Win’, “Be beaten” or “Be beaten badly”.

To win they must simply cause more casualties to the Imperial troops they are in contact with during the bound.  Remember that if this is the first round of combat, the Imperial player is able to count his shooting casualties upon the Mahdists as part of the casualties he has received for determining who has won.

If the Mahdists do win, the melee continues into the next bound.  However, the Mahdists are now able to fight with double the number of Imperial Troops fighting them as long as they have that many figures in their formation.

The Mahdist forces are beaten if the total number of casualties in terms of FIGURES LOST from the first round of combat, in addition to the shooting casualties as they came into contact, exceeds those of the Imperial player.  If this occurs, the Mahdist forces must take a reaction test and act accordingly.

If the Mahdist happens to get a positive reaction test and continue to melee they are then able to fight again next round with all the advantages already detailed.

Finally the Mahdists can be beaten badly.  This occurs when their force has suffered three times as many casualties as they have inflicted upon the enemy and those casualties are at least 10% of their total force in the unit.  Once again this figure must be calculated in FIGURES.

Troops that are “Beaten Badly” roll their reaction test on a different level on the reaction chart making it much easier for the Imperial troops to force an enemy withdrawal. 

Camerons await their noble foe on the plains.


The First Battalion, Cameron Highlanders, 48 figures strong arranged in four full-strength companies, are in line awaiting the onslaught of the Mahdist horde of 16  bases (the equivalent of 160 figures) to their front and slightly uphill.  Their fifth company has been seconded out scouting to the South for the purposes of this example.

The reaction tests are completed for all Mahdists troops and this particular unit rolls the right dice to charge the Camerons.  They are then moved into contact though this does not prevent the unit being fired upon by the unit they are charging.

The Mahdist Emir likes the look of this isolated regiment!

All fire is calculated at the closest point after movement so the Camerons open up with 48 rifles at point blank range (under 1’).  First they need to roll a d10 to ensure that they hit – at this range anything but a 1 is fine normally however as the unit is also charging they need to roll greater than a 2.  They roll 4 so a hit is scored.

The fire factor for Imperial troops firing at close range at foot is 4.  The Imperial player then rolls a d6 to determine his random factor and rolls a three giving him a plus one for a final factor of 5.

He then cross –references 48 figures firing at a factor of 5 (24 figures firing at five doubled since the chart only goes so far!) resulting in 202 casualties.  The Mahdist player records this on his roster and prepares for melee.

Roll the to hit and random factor dice together - it will save time.

Combat ensues.  Let’s assume that the Mahdists frontage is very close to that of the Camerons as we always try and maximise troops fighting.  In the first round we have 24 Camerons fighting and thus only 24 Mahdists fighting as well as they can only fight back with the same number.

The Mahdist horde hits like a tsunami - can the Camerons hold?
The melee factor for the Camerons against foot is 4 with no other additions.  They roll a 5 on a d6 for the random factor giving a -1 result.  A final factor of 3.

The melee factor for the Mahdists are 2 for fighting foot  with plus one for charging with the advantage of ground (remember they were uphill.  They roll a 2 on a d6 and have a net +1 result in melee for the random factor.  Final factor of 4.

White Imperial dice and blood red Mahdist!!

So lets see, 24 Camerons at a factor of 3 inflict 71 casualties on the Mahdists in combat.  In addition to the 202 shooting casualties they have received this turn a total of 273 casualties are on the unit.  We need to break this down to actual figures so a d10 rolled for the .3.  A 5 is rolled so only 27 figures are removed.

The Mahdists have 24 figures at a factor of 4 inflicting 85 casualties on the Camerons.  They also roll for the potential additional loss and roll a 4.  Unfortunately they lose 9 figures and the commander elects not to roll again on Officer Casualties as he feels they should be ok this round.

A full base of Imperials are removed and a further three are marked off their roster.

A view from the top of the rise.  Surely overwhelming odds!

The Mahdists have suffered three times as many casualties and certainly well over 10% of their force total in figures lost.  This means they have been beaten badly and need to roll on the appropriate Reaction Table.  Only a roll of 3 or 11 will allow them to “stick” and remain in contact.  They roll a 5 and a 6 on 2d6 and decide that there is more fighting to be had today.

The Imperial troops groan in anticipation of a fierce second round of combat.

Let’s assume no other troops enter the fray and the next turn is arrived at with the same situation.

In this bound, all the remaining Imperial Troops can fight which equates to 39 figures.  However the Mahdists can now fight back with twice that number i.e. 78 figures.

Second round of combat with the casualties on the Mahdists
shown with two bases removed from the rear of the "formation".

The Camerons have 39 figures fighting at a factor of 4.  They roll a 1 on the Random table with a d6 giving them a +2.  Thank God they cry!  Final factor of 6 results in 195 casualties to the Mahdists.

The Mahdists have 78 figures at a factor of 2 and roll a 4 on the random factor giving them a +0 and a final factor of 2.  Using the table this gives us a total loss of casualties on the Imperial troops of 200. 

This now needs to be broken down into whole figures – the Camerons have lost 20 figures so no rolling is required.

Still very tight in the trenches despite the Imperial +2 in the random die roll!

The Mahdists have lost a minimum of 19 figures with the potential of a 20th.  A roll of 6-19 on a d10 will mean they have only lost 19 figures and have won the melee.  Very bad news for the Camerons.  They roll a 3 and instead end up with the same losses of 20 figures and must react again.  Remember they can only win or lose a melee; a draw is an Imperial win all the time.

This time they roll a 6 on the reaction table and get an L result which means they must withdraw out of range at evade speed for at least three turns.

The Camerons have hung on by the skin of their Highland teeth!

The reaction test provides sweet relief for the boys in Khaki.

"Never in doubt my boys - now lets have a belt
of Scotland the Brave on those wee pipes now young Tavish!".
  Looks like I need to dull coat this particular shiny new officer.

Winning the game

For the Imperial troops, completing their assigned tasks in the allocated number of turns results in their victory.

Obviously for the Mahdists, they are the victors if this is not achieved, with the knowledge that the greater losses inflicted upon the Imperial forces, the larger the headlines in the Fleet Street papers back in London and around the Empire trumpeting the disaster in the “Sands of the Sudan”!

Happy soldiering.