2 November 2015

Action at Azara - Part one

"No sign of those blighters Smythe?  Roll the lads on then my boy"

The past few weeks have seen the ongoing adventures of the Reconaissance Column under the command of Colonel  Ben and his second in command Lieutenant Colonel Alexander as the come to terms with the dangers that the Sudan can unleash upon the unsuspecting.

As you will recall,  Suakin High Command have been tasked with helping local and British Civil authorities to help construct a rail link between Trinikat and the outlying regions. A line is already in place from Suakin however activities in the west have curtailed progress for a time.
 
Having sent off three companies of Sudanese Infantry as well as a company of Kents', the engineering officers and surveyors have not been heard of for over two weeks. To make things more intriguing, the Gunboat Sapphire which was dispatched a week ago has also not been seen or heard from.

The column takes off with the Yorks and Lancs to the fore electing not to scout the rough terrain ahead
It is essential that the War Office knows what has happended and most importantlt that vital and valuable surveying equipmemt is recovered so as not to hold up work in the field.  To have to send to Cairo or even worse, Europe, for replacement gear would be dissappointing to say the least.

So the good old chap General Graham has sent off  our two intrepid lads with the following forces:

  • Yorks and Lanc - A, B & C Companies
  • Kents                  - A, B, C and D Company
  • 3rd  Dragoons (dismounted)- Two equivalent companies
  • "C" section - RA - one screw gun
  • Naval Escort - one company plus one Nordenfelt gun
  • 19th Hussars - 1st Squadron

An early surprise as Mahdist rifles reveal themselves

Early in teh piece our Imperial Comm anders know they are entering hostile teritory.

The Yorks and Lancs immediately are surprised by a hail of small arms fire as 200 marksmen make their presense felt. 
Despite their enterprise a -3 on their fire roll made the initial volley reasonably ineffectual

With a stout determination the Yorks and Lancs returned fire and the ensuing reaction test from the brave Mahdists called for them to withdraw out of range.  However the Nordenfelt decides to have a crack at range and succeeds in jamming the gun with sand and debris.  That will need some cleaning fairly rapidly I would imagine gentlemen.

A small force of Fuzzy Wuzzy warriors appear up ahead

The crack of rifles brings the field to life as some enemy appear from various points on the table, not in large numbers mind, however enough to demonstrate to both Ben and Alexander that some mischief has befallen the previous two expeditions.

Skirmishers are sent off ahead of the column

A force of Fuzzy Wuzzy warriors, their hair stiffened and high and look incredibly fearsome, observe that the first ambush has not been successful and decide to retire of the field to regroup and wait further instructions.

This may well lull our two commanders into a false sense of security perchance.


The Naval Escort and Hussars see what they can do to assist the situation...interesting little rise over there chaps...anyone having a look at whats on the other side??  

Thought not!

Camels appear in great force to the rear of the column

The 19th Hussars quickly turn to face the impending threat

The screw gun turns about to see what it can do to allay the threat from the camels

The Dragoons wish their horses were at hand as they also turn to face

We do like these figures in their boaters.  Better unjam that gun me lad!

A small Fuzzy Wuzzy force awaits reaction dice to determine what they will do.

The naval escort elect to face the enemy as well and all the while desperately attempting to clear the gun.

The Mahdist marksmen have rallied around the oasis and look on for further targets

And so as this instalment ends we find the column under some pressure early from local forces loyal to a yet unknown Emir.  The drums have not yet started to beat which would infer that the full forces of the Ansar are at hand just yet.

Colonel Ben has a strong force of Mahdist's Camels to the rear which need to be dealt with and already his formation is under a fair degree of harassment.

What will happen next?

  

30 comments:

  1. Cracking stuff mate. Looking forward to the next installment.

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    1. Thanks Michael - plenty of surprises in store mate.

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  2. As always a great yarn, looking forward to part deux.
    Graham

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    1. Thanks Graham - always appreciate a fellow Sudan man popping past.

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  3. Fantastic stuff Carlo. I alway love a good Sudan game

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    1. Cheers Nathan - great to see the boys out again and enjoying the fact that my sons are having some fun. Only a matter of time before they turn on each other:-)

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  4. Wonderful! Great photographs and narrative. All very pleasing to the eye.
    Regards
    John

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    1. Thank you John. Much appreciated.

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  5. Excellent stuff...time show a bit of good old Imperial metal I think!

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    1. Cheers Dave and I think your advice may well be put in place pretty soon!

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  6. Great stuff eh what. Time to let them have it ... whoever "them" is!

    I for one certainly hope that any intrepid press that have tagged along make it back to civiliistion to post a further report.

    Salute
    von Peter himself

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    1. We will certainly hope so Peter though these writer types can wander off at the drop of a hat as you know.

      One must be concerned though old man as these locals are obviously fairly determined to defend this particular patch of dirt!!

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  7. Atmospheric and fantastic pictures, a great looking game with spendid armies, well done!

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    1. Thanks Phil - appreciate your always positive comments.

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  8. I missed the earlier installment from last month, but I take great pleasure in catching up now. Excellent stuff, Carlo! Some of my most thrilling games have taken place in the Sudan, and I'm pleased to see your game is shaping up the same way.

    If 'twere me commanding, I'd have the hussars clear those Fuzzy-Wuzzies off that rise whilst the column marches a little way further. If the camels approach from the rear, a simple turn about will bring guns to bear. The 19th could pin the beggars if needed.

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    1. Hi AJ. Always tactically sound mate. I am keen to bring forward the next installment to show what actually happened however time is gainst me. This weekend for sure.

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  9. A fantastic Ripping Yarn in progress. Will this an example of the things to come for the campaign book? It would be great to see a train on the table at some time. It is on my shopping list at some point. Look forward to the next chapter of the Yarn.

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    1. Hi WB. Absolutely these type of games will be in the campaign and scenario book. The expedition is setting up for just such a scenario involving my lovely Redoubt Sudan Engine and wagons. Been in storage waiting a run for years!!

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  10. Hi Carlo in the first picture are the command group with the 2 mounted officers and one dismounted all Connoisseur.Im interested in the one with his hands on his hips I think it could be the General. Regards Steve

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    1. Hi Steve - it is a great figure isn't it? General Graham from the Connoisseur range. The link is at the bottom of the page mate.

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  11. Inspirational stuff which will have me dusting off my own colonials. Any news on the Zulu War supplement?

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    1. Hi Stuart and thanks god your comment. I have the Zulu supplement slightly on the back burner as I try and get my act together on the campaign and scenario booklet. It us a definite hoed though I gave a wonderful local resource which will make it very characterful - at least I hope so!

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  12. Any news on Part Two of this action? Also any news on the Campaign book which I have been hoping all year to put on my Christmas list.

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    1. Hi WB - still in early draft stages but definitely moving in the right direction mate.

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  13. Hello Mate,
    I am in WA when is the last meeting for the club this year?

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    1. Hi Stan and welcome home mate. We care meeting tomorrow night and again next Wednesday buddy at the North Perth Bowling Club from 6.30 pm. Will be great to catch up.

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  14. A superb classic collection and your work shows the period off at its very best.

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    1. Thank you Pat for your kind comments. Always appreciated mate.

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  15. Carlo, is there any news on a PDF version of this and will this easily translate to 15mm. I was bequeathed a load of Sudanese and need to make use of them.

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    1. Hi Nigel - PDF version is probably a no-goer now mate. Want to try and keep the tiles in a physical form with the cards and QRS. The current tiles can easily be converted for 15 mm Nigel with you replacing inches with mm.

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