21 May 2018

Theatre of Operations Overview

The overall campaign map - direct photocopy from an early Wargames World


With two battles having been fought and a wonderful series of orders from players with some hopefully entertaining returns, the campaign was kicking along nicely.  It was always important to be able to have an overall understanding of who was where and with whom, almost the plot for most episodes of "Real Housewives" but I digress...


The campaign map was given to the players showing them approximate locations of reported enemy as well as their exact positions.  It certainly did not contain the level of information as shown in the particular image accompanying this post.


The squares with the orange "x" designated areas where the Mahdi's influence was growing and where Imperial encounters with enemy forces would be of a more "voluminous nature"!  In other words, "There would Mahdists sir, thousands of 'em".


You can see from the map that the railway is taking shape and is making its was to Otoa having already linked with the village of Handeb.


Garrisons can be seen in their last reported positions and the columns and Gunboats are slowly making their way across the desert and down the Nile.

17 May 2018

Major General Davis victorious at Osmar Wells


These lads always have a lot of work to do on the campaign.  Lovely Connoisseur Miniatures model through
Bicornes Miniatures in the UK.  Great looking piece of equipment in my opinion.
As reported last  post, the good Major General Davis is very keen to take on the Mahdists at Osmar Wells despite the enemy being present in great force.


Original photos from the battle all those years ago.

The Royal Marine Light Infantry have since been given their correct uniforms

The very rudimentary early paint jobs have all been revisited thoroughly here as well

An early effort at the reporting of the campaign from Fleet Street

What a stirring account!
Roger Fredericks really does have a way with words especially with a victory in the nostrils
and a stiff glass of brandy and a cigar of course alongside his Remington Typewriter

As always the Campaign Roster makes interesting reading

A mini-unit history as every battle and action unfolds

The Royal Marine Light Infantry are already looking a little thin in the ranks

Summary of the columns state of play


Next post will provide an overview of the entire theatre of operations and a map to detail where everyone is at this stage of the campaign.

15 May 2018

The Battle of Osmar Wells - OOB and Victory conditions









Not Osmar Wells on this occasion however another vital feature in a game played last year


Apologies once again for the tardiness of campaign updates.  As you recall, the previous series of returns had found our intrepid Major General David facing hostile forces outside the village of Osmar Wells on March 14th. 1884.


As always the players were provided with a detailed OOB

Deployment and initial dispositions were always vitally important.  As the umpire
it was always critical for me to ensure previous standing orders and instructions
were followed to a tee in order to...ahem..hamstring the lads where necessary.

A few added snippets just to stir the rum punch a bit!



Another more recent photo which I really like.


The actual battle report and a few old nostalgic shots towards the end of the week...I promise.



9 April 2018

Bengal Lancers at the ready

Two squadron's await orders in a game played last year.


One of my all time favourite units in the collection has to be this unit of Bengal Lancers.  Beautifully designed sculpts from Peter Gilder, they still maintain the character and details within their poses and faces despite having been first made nearly forty years ago.


This particular unit was painted for me by Gerry Web of Castaway Arts fame many ,many years ago.


The Captain signals the advance. Lovely Connoisseur Miniatures available through Bicorne in the UK


Apologies for the delay in posts this year as the other blog has been a bit more active with Napoleonic's and WW2 action.


I promise that this Sudan blog will be re-entering the fray with more campaign updates and some new models relating to the railways during the campaign.

9 February 2018

Sudan Heliograph team now complete - is it a sign?

Looking for the enemy or simply communicating with the column.


Finally I have managed to get a few hours to devote to a project that has been on the table for quite sometime:  My Redoubt Miniatures Heliograph team.


This will be in use for the forthcoming games and testing out some scenarios etcetera for possible future articles and publications.


Another view of the excellent equipment kit from their often forgotten Sudan range.




These Redoubt Miniatures have been in the collection for many years.  When I say collection I do mean "lead pile" and has painted up very well.  I have based them on an irregular footprint so that they can have a suitably rugged environment to do their vital work in.


The table covering is an excellent desert mat recommended to me by the very clever
Dave Docherty of "One Man and His Brushes" fame.

A nice Connoisseur Miniatures animal handler and mule managed to make their way onto the base as well.

Hopefully these will be on the table very soon.

23 January 2018

"Where is that wily fox Osman Digna?"

Not a photo depicting action from this weeks returns but a favourite nevertheless.


The week two returns were a joy to put together.  As mentioned in the previous posts, the fact that the players who were in the campaign took to the colour and atmosphere of a Victorian Colonial campaign with gusto absolutely made it a breeze.






The first page of Bullers returns from the Umpire, namely me!

Page two...always nice to have a bit of poetic license.

General Stewart appears to have a few things on his mind...

...as well as some challenges.

Scope for a bit of colour is the aim on these returns.

Despite the occasional grammatical error and question marks being omitted I like to
think it still reads well all these years later.


Not all correspondence is one way.  Major General Davis sends off a missive to his
Commander in Chief to make sure he knows whats' going on...


...and to ensure that vital supplies are not lost ion transit.


Gin may not be the first thing on his mind though.

Nothing like the battle being taken up to the boys in khaki.

Short and to the point methinks!

15 January 2018

The Campaign starts to warm up as order changes abound!

Time for some relaxing activities in camp outside Suakin.  "Now one needs to get some practise in before those lads
from the colony of New South Wales finally decide to arrive!"  Captain Lambton certainly looks the part.
The Sudan Campaign started up again shortly after the victorious action at Tukar Plains.  The forces continued to push on and the efforts to relieve the desert of the enemy was certainly gaining some momentum despite the occasional "challenge" put in front of the players.



Revised orders from General Graham start to make their way around the desert

Nothing worse than a message signed off from the boss in "disbelief"

Add caption



Redvers Bullers notes to the umpire prior to returns.  Very well written sir!

Now that's a lot of camels...whatever you do, don't get caught down wind.


As one can tell, the players were certainly getting into the spirit of the campaign and the correspondence and general esprit d'corps was outstanding.  The campaign was about to start to heat up literally as the forces of the Mahdi and his very trusty Lieutenant's were about to make life difficult for the Imperials...well in a gaming sense at least.