|The 9th Bengal Lancers continue to harass the enemy|
The drums had stopped beating and the forces that had been massing off table all appeared at the same time intent on charging the nearest Imperial troops and putting an end to the British hold in this region.
|As the sun shines in the east the Sudanese 10th Regiment prepares to receive the enemy assault.|
|Back at the outlying buildings on the plain the Dragoon Guards provide cover whilst the engineers set about their work.|
|Turning "D" and "E" Companies to face the enemy that has appeared out of the dust to their rear as the local Emir cavorts his local followers into an absolute frenzy. Surely nothing can save them now!|
|A view up the table as Fuzzies enter from the left rear of the relieving column.|
|Yorks and Lancs, Highlanders and the all important supplies head closer and closer to Osira. However will there be a force to relieve?|
|The 19th Hussars remnants protect the flanks of the column. The Mahdists have taken quite a few of them down with them as only 80 men out of 120 are still in the saddle at this point.|
|The enemy weapon supplies go up finally. First part of the operation complete. "Well done Carruthers!"|
Thankfully "C" Company managed to see off the enemy mounted to their front with relative comfort.
|"C" Company is hit on the flank as the Mahdist prepare to roll up the flank. The 6th Egyptians rapidly move up to try and stem what will no doubt be a massacre if the Mahdists are able to remain in combat.|
The Mahdist player (the Umpire) was feeling very confident at this stage and the game was only a good melee dice roll away from reaching the point of no return. Amazingly the Sudanese regulars won the melee through some great dice. Their was so much disgust that photographic evidence seems to be lacking.
|The 15th Sikhs, determined there would be no more nasty surprises in the mimosa set up a defencive line.|
|"The problem with this place Archibald is there is never anywhere to damn well park!"|
|All was not lost however for the Mahdists. The large forces advancing at rapid pace were still on a charge reaction and were closing with the Cameron Highlanders to the rear of the column|
|The brave Fuzzies hit the line after taking horrendous shooting casualties coming in. The rules carry over these shooting casualties into the first round of melee making a very effective combat system quite fluid and decisive.|
|A view from the Mahdist side...really need to finish some of those bases and touch up a few more figures. Wear and tear over the years can be a bit of a nuisance. At least the boys are on the table though!|
|Colonel Forster redresses the ranks and prepares to provide fire support|
|The supplies make their way to Osira.|
|As the Bengal Lancers mop up the battlefield in the background men take the opportunity to see to their mates and thanks God, Queen and Country for surviving another action in the desert sands.|
The battle had not been without loss for the Imperial players. The 10th Sudanese had lost two companies of men and the Naval Escort had lost 20 men as well.
The 6th Egyptian Regiment had lost 50 men and all other Imperial units were in reasonable shape though the Scottish Battery "A" Section had suffered 20 casualties from the counter battery duel between themselves and the captured Egyptian gunners in the rear.
The 9th Bengal Lancers, who had been decisive on the field at every turn, had lost 160 of 240 officers and other ranks from the action. The 19th Hussars had similarly only 60 survivors from their two squadrons and methinks General Graham may well be asking questions of how his valuable cavalry was so mauled in this encounter!
The relief column was assisted by an unlucky run of Random Event cards by the Mahdists who were slow to muster their forces and when they did, the numbers were not as great as they would have hoped.
The game was great fun and certainly helped highlight the benefit of the game system and how well it flows with many figures on the table and the constant changing events and circumstances of the battle. .
Some more thoughts on the game and some scenario tips and design notes to follow in the week chaps.