Thursday, September 3, 2020

Date: 2 September 2020
Situation: Khartoum Stormed By Dervish
Location: East Wall
Rules: Batailles de l'Ancien Regime Colonial Adaptations

In recent months Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz) scratch-built 54mm Khartoum fortress walls and buildings for our future annual BIG Colonial game. By big we meant lots of 28mm miniatures on large table surfaces. We still have those but for this game we are using 54mms from Armies in Plastic, William Britains and John Jenkins Designs to:

1. Play a game to move units, throw dice and be with pards.
2. Get Jim's new structures and our miniatures in a game.
3. Test rules and numbers of miniatures to use. 
4. Preparing for a larger game including a Relief Column.

Here They Come!
132 of approximately 232 Dervish approach Khartoum.
Hadendowah: Four bands of 40 plus one group of 10 Rifles.
Dervish: One 60 man horde.
The ratio of Dervish to Imperials was roughly 4:1.

Chuck The Lucky
The cannon in the previous image did 'orrible execution on the left-most Hadendowah band and rifles causing them to halt and reconsider the future. The other one made it to the wall. If a unit suffers 10% loss due to fire in a turn, it needs to check to determine if it will carry on or fall back.

Jim P. (Der Alte Fritz)
Jim's Hadendowah and Dervish warriors are unstoppable. Ladders show their intent to scale the walls to storm the Sudanese capital and capture it.

Natives move 18"/turn ignoring reductions when traversing light vegetation. Scenario design called for 3.5 turns to reach the wall which worked fine. It gave the Imperials time to fire.

Old School dynamics of single miniatures fighting single miniatures were in play. This enhanced individual performance and was a lot of fun. Remember Colour Sergeant Bourne in the motion picture ZULU in melee? That kind of thing.

Scratch-built ladders wide and tall enough do the job.
Egyptian defenders failed to topple foreground ladders.
Defenders trying to topple a ladder were not allowed to fire.
Remember John Wayne and Fess Parker's Alamo movies?
This scene shows set and toppled ladders. The Dervish did not have enough movement left to mount ladder rungs.

Things don't look good for the Dervish for now.

However, circumstances changed.

Improving for the Dervishes.

Right wall section cleared by the Dervish.
Ditto for the left wall section not shown.
Egyptian reserves and wall survivors form up to fire.
Game over.


1. Three turns each consisting of three melee rounds were played to the last photo. It was enough to achieve a conclusion; good for the scenario. This was a two-hour game. Seven turns methinks. Huzzah! --- BTW: Ladder games are a ton of fun.

2. Modifications under consideration:

(a) Toppling ladders was too hard needing 1D6 = 6.

(b) Once the scrum starts, individual fire will be allowed rather than using charts. 
2D6 = 7-12 will be a hit with a following saving throw.

3. Virus social distancing found the three of us separated usually by 4-8'. According to the most  recently revised stats from the US Center for Disease Control, under 10,000 Americans regretfully died directly from Covid 19. The other approximately 160,000 (94%) died because on average they had 2.5 other serious medical diseases or conditions when they contracted Covid 19. A huge proportion were in the state of New York and in New York City where Covid patients were wrongly placed in vulnerable nursing homes. A very large number were elderly. Anyhow the above is current as of the first week of September 2020. Draw your own conclusions and remember what Pontious Pilate asked, "What is truth?" I don't think any of us fully know what is real and unreal about all this including me. However, I'm not as anxious as I was in June. 

Will I go to a hobby convention in 2020? No.

Will I continue hosting occasional games with low numbers of friends using social distancing? Yes. How about former numbers of 7-14 friends? Probably not until 2021.

Some friends are out for all of 2020. I respect that decision. They have serious health issues. We miss them naturally but fully understand.

4. Best of luck and prayers for all of my readers.

5. Extra Photos from Jim.



Brent said...

Thanks for sharing! Obviously enjoyed by all. Best wishes, Brent

Der Alte Fritz said...

It was fun being able to roll dice again with good friends.

Greg Rigler said...

Great fun. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the next report.

Best wishes,


tradgardmastare said...

Amazing set up and game. Great to see all that preparation come to battle, excitement and spectacle!

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Great looking game, Bill.

Best Regards,


tidders said...

Super setup, the game looks like it was a lot of fun

Sgt. Guinness said...

A bit of a hard go! Eh???

Exciting stuff, this is the kind of action that memorable games are made of.

Sgt G

Joseph.Cade said...

Nice looking game. I like the idea of using simple 1 to 1 rules for stormings, perfect! Love the look of the guys pouring up the ladders.

Last Historicon 2019 I was lucky enough to play in a huge Viking storming of Paris game and that used 1 to 1 rules also. Had a blast.

Glad you guys could get some live face to face gaming in. We started up again in June locally - usually 3-5 guys. I agree, I won't go to a convention.

Mike from FDL

Gallia said...

Thank you Everyone,
for your kind remarks, support, interest and --- taking the time to write.
Jim, Chuck and I appreciate all you say very much. You encourage us.
Bill P.
Chronicler for The Adventures of General Pettygree

Chris Gregg said...

A lovely set of photos, well done to you all. Very much enjoyed seeing and hearing you and Jim talk about it on the Virtual Wargames Club.
Chris G