Friday’s Forgotten Forces

By heck it is round to Friday again.

Braving winds and heavy rain I fought my way to the shed to locate something forgotten…. it wasn’t hard they were sitting in full view on the mini shelves I made out of scrap wood from the builders yard in Lerwick.

I remember really enjoying painting these chaps. They are for Science versus Pluck, not the main forces as they are in 10mm. These chaps are there for if things get tricky and a player is forced to resort to hand to hand.

The idea is that the player faces a random number of attackers who are trying their best to fill said player full of holes. The various sergeants and other ranks are there to help out depending on what their personalities their character has. A beloved officer will have a rescue force, a hated Officer will find very quickly if he is spear proof as the other ranks look the other way.

The rules themselves are somewhat Kriekspeil in their design. The players are all against an umpire or two who operate the terrain and the enemies. It is definitely not a case of I go, you go. Turns vary in length from hours to minutes and indeed in my campaign I am organising (well I started yonks ago) the allied forces begin the campaign in Blighty…they will need to organise forces to relieve Khartoum but from the Red Sea port of Suakim. One day I might actually get to run it. I have played a couple of games and the rules worked well.

So onto the forgotten forces…

British officers and other ranks:

Hussars and an intrepid reporter for the Illustrated Gazette

Some of the gentlemen whose aim is to fill the above full of holes…

There are also a pile of camel mounted ansar seen in the first photograph (not to mention a pile of undercoated infantry).

Because I am a wargamer, whilst looking at these photos I realise that there are some gaps.. naval brigade, a Gardner gun if for no other reason that it can jam after firing seventy rounds… Mounted officers, civilians etc….

All of the above models are Peter Pig 15mm miniatures. I toyed with the idea of going for Perry 28mm’s but decided to keep the scale smaller.

We as we are mentioning the Sudan war of 1885…

The sand of the desert is sodden red,
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of the schoolboy rallies the ranks,
“Play up! play up! and play the game!”

To be fair the square didn’t break, it opened up and let the enemy in, and it was a Gardner that jammed, not a Gatling…but now I am being a pedant….

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Back to the Sudan

On a course and I had to do homework… I mean Actual homework in a homework book.

Now I don’t want to be rude, but to be honest I checked twice in case I had been given a child’s spelling book in error.

We did a full day of training I then popped back to the office and ended up popping in for an hour and a half. This meant I had to go shopping later than expected, with the knock on effect that I haven’t had time to get anything painted tonight!

So tonight we have some of the terrain I use in my Sudan games.

These are 6mm buildings that work well to represent villages etc. The trees are imported palms from China. Cheap as chips, this is a small selection. The headless statue is a Hirst Arts one from some 28mm Egyptian stuff ain’t had spare.

The following hill was originally designed for my 6mm road wars stuff but to be honest it works for 10mm too.

Please ignore the pale splodge at the top of the slope. Some idiot dropped cream coloured paint on it.

Finally some figures. These are all 15mm. These were designed to act as characters during a battle. I should mention here that. I rather enjoy Science Versus Pluck. A set of rules in which everyone plays on the Anglo Egyptian side against an umpire.

In those rules if things get somewhat sticky for the brave souls it can lead to hand to hand combat. The larger figures are then placed on the side and the mini combat takes place. These are all Peter Pig miniatures. I decided on the 15mm as 28mm just sort of looked wrong.

Here we have a reporter in the foreground with various officers and sergeants further back. The reporter is there as one player didn’t want a combative role and was happy to send reports back from the column.

I also bought some cavalry as players can be cavalry or mounted infantry officers.

Finally the above need someone to spoil their day.

A selection of the chaps that poor Lieutenant Trapper is evidently about to meet, for what is probably an exceedingly short time.

Enemy Spotted…Battalion Will Form Square!

Now for the other side of the coin.

The Dervish

Before we go any further I suppose I should say why the Soudan and not Zulu or any other colonial game.

I suppose it was down to choice of forces with regards to the Zulu War. Basically the Impi..that’s it…..with a handful of rifles. North West Frontier and the Khyber pass, great selection of troop types but it is rather hilly in that neck of the woods and that would mean a rather large set of terrain, yeah I know they have valleys and the like, but the pass without the hills is just not the Khyber pass – if that makes sense.

The Boer War has never really interested me. Now the Boxer Rebellion, I was really interested in that conflict, however, at the time Pendraken wasn’t doing the Boxer Rebellion. Yeah I know there are other manufacturers out there but I like the Pendraken stuff and there I stayed.

I loved the four feathers from when I was a kid. Both the 1939 and the 1978 one. I haven’t seen the 2002 version.

My late father used to quote Kipling at times:

So ’ere ’s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your ’ome in the Soudan;

 You ’re a pore benighted ’eathen but a first-class fightin’ man;

An’ ’ere ’s to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your ’ayrick ’ead of ’air—

You big black boundin’ beggar—for you broke a British square!

And let’s not forget…

The sand of the desert is sodden red,

Red with the wreck of the square that broke,

The Gatling’s jammed and the colonel’s dead,

And the regiment blind with the dust and smoke.

We all know they didn’t have a Gatling gun with them but a Gardner gun, which incidentally scans perfectly in the poem!

Anyway enough of the waffle…

First up the mounted troops

Once again these are a mix of Sudanese forces and those from the North West Frontier. I added the latter to add a bit of variety to the force.

Next the camelry

Beja on the right and river Arabs on the left.

Command bases.

From my reading a lot of the Emir’s rode into battle and had a pretty high casualty rate as it was obvious who was in charge.

Now for the infantry

Beja first and river Arabs second

To be honest though they look better from my perspective:

Maybe not better, but at least more colourful😉

Rifles next:

And of course the captured artillery

Oh and the Museum piece

This was a GW empire cannon from the Warmaster range. I gave it a crew and it fitted in well as an archaic weapon.

Finally I decided to make the Mahdi himself.

This is what my Dervish force looks like in full

I really do like the Pendraken range for both sides of this conflict.

Further into the Sudan

Tonight I took some more photos of the Anglo Egyptian forces.

The infantry are quite numerous and only a selection have been shown here and the previous post.

first up the mounted troops.

Mounted infantry to the left with both the mounted and dismounted troops

And the hussars… before they realised the lance was preferable to the sabre when some sneaky chap lies down to hamstring your horse as it hurtles past.

Not to mention the obligatory spare figures to act as scouts and messengers.

Next up the Egyptian troops.

First some repurposed WW1 Askari that were already painted. These are my Sudanese. In the earlier campaigns they were dressed as Egyptian infantry. This way they are obvious on the table.

Next some Egyptian infantry

And finally some Bashi Bazouks – actually ACW zouaves. I ordered these and painted them before I found Pendraken actually did Some proper figures.

Next are some civilians with their camels.

Royal Artillery with some large ordinance and a Gatling gun…they decided to leave the mountain guns behind.

Some cuirassiers who wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Middle Age. Baker’s force had a unit of these, but armed with sabres and not spears. I use these for either side as required.

And finally for this evening….

Camels

Some of these have appeared in earlier photos. I just ran them around the back of the camera to make it look like I had more 😉. I actually think I am missing some of the pack camels, they may be in the box with the Mongols.

Tomorrow, if I don’t manage to get any painting done, I will show the Ansar.

Foray into the Sudan

I was having a mooch in the shed this evening and came across these fine fellows.

Chaps of the Guards camel corps. Dismounted to the fore and mounted at the rear (guarding the baggage camels). The individual figures act as scouts or messengers etc. I know that by the time of the conflict the colours were left at home but that didn’t stop me converting a standard bearer 👍

Next up we have the fine fellows of her majesty’s Royal Navy.

Royal Marines in the centre with matelots either side. Someone allowed them to hand haul a Gatling gun with them. Beresford can be seen mounted with the colours.

Then we move onto the mixed battalions.

Highlanders form the rear and sides whilst The Durham’s form the front. Pack camels hide in the centre of the square. Amazing beasts camels…they need a pint of water a month😂😂😂.

Finally in this bunch (my IPad ran out of charge) are the Guards troops (yeah I know they didn’t wear the red jacket…but I like them plus it makes them easy to recognise mid game 😉.

The one thing not shown are the hussars and mounted infantry, further British infantry and artillery,Egyptian battalions, Bashi Bazouks and the civilians….oh and lots and lots of camels.

These are all Pendraken. I may still get some Sikh infantry to add in the Indian battalions.

Tomorrow I will photograph the rest. Today was hectic and I didn’t get anything done painting wise. Cinema with the youngest then my eldest’s play this evening. My middle child is off gallivanting on Orkney for her 10th birthday shenanigans.