Saturday, 19 December 2015

Updated December 28th, 2015
Here are the C&G House Rules used for Tamai. Feedback Welcome!. 

Victoria’s Wars

A Carnage and Glory 2 Adaptation of Von Moltke

These are the adaptations I used to play the battle of Tamai so, is for the moment, focussed on Sudan and does not cover the full colonial period.

Troop Classifications:

Imperial: (French)

British Infantry -Chassepot (Martini Henry*), Elite or Guard morale, Crack experience, Excellent firing
Indian Infantry - Dreyse (Snider-Enfield)*, Line with Veteran Experience, Good or Excellent Firepower
Egyptian Infantry - Dreyse (Remington)  Line with Veteran or trained
Early Egyptian Infantry or Garrison Troops - Chassepot or RML.  Line or militia, trained or green. Poor combat and fire.
Sudanese Regulars, Dreyse (Remington), Line with Veteran Experience, Good or Excellent Combat.
Irregulars - (Bashi Bazouks or Bazingers), similar to dervish skirmisher

British Cavalry - BL rifled carbine
Indian Cavalry - BL rifled carbine
Egyptian Cavalry - BL rifled carbine
Irregular Cavalry - as dervishes

Imperial Artillery 9 pdr: RML8#, Screw Gun :RML4# (horse artillery to represent mobility)
Egyptian Artillery: BL6#

Nordenfelt \ Gardener Gun* - Gatlings

Mule Supply 50 infantry of poor quality
Camel Supply 50 light cavalry of poor quality

* Imperial Firepower. Noting that the Martini Henry had a longer range and higher rate of fire than the Chassepot and the same could be said for the Snyder Enfield vs. the Dreyse, these weapons will use a 1:37.5 paces per inch scale for firing. This will increase the range (x1.5) and, effectively, also increase close range damage. I am applying the same to Imperial Machine Guns but not to Artillery which seems not to have made the same kind of advances since the FPW. I am very interested in opinions from other gamers on whether this is weighted appropriately.

Character - 25 infantry or cavalry with poor fire and combat to represent one hero.  At Tamai I had a Colonel Fred Barnaby Officer and created a unit called Fred’s shotgun. Both unit and officer had the same number.  This created a fighting officer hero who could operate outside of the chain of command. rallying troops or fighting himself. In his case, he suffered a serious arm wound in the first combat he got involved in and was carried from the field and never got to use his shotgun.

Dervish (Prussian)

Foot Sword and Spear Mass Unit: Open column only, Revolvers with contemptible or poor firepower to represent spears, wide variety ratings.  Beja better quality. (approx 800 men)
Cavalry Rub: Squadron column only, (approx 400 men) Horse is light, Camel is medium. Generally poor quality.
Jihadiya Skirmishers: Open line only (approx 100 men). Various rifles.  Contemptible and poor fire and combat
Artillery: 2 or more SB cannons of poor quality
Captured Egyptian Artillery with enslaved gunners: BL 6# with trained experience, poor fire.
Elephant Guns: 1 SB cannon of poor quality which may only fire in cannister range.


Hidden Dervishes:  Are offboard and may be deployed to the table at designated areas so long as those areas have not been scouted or seen by the Imperials yet.

Grass tufts reduce Imperial move 50 paces

Rough terrain is half movement for all but no difficult terrain input for dervishes

High Heat in Environmental conditions.


Imperial Troops may resupply ammo if they begin their turn attached to the mule and do not move, fire or melee. Use the Edit OOB function. Camel supply does the same for Imperial Artillery.

Imperial Troops with same weapon type may also “share” ammo by remaining adjacent full turn and do not move, fire or melee. Redistribute using Edit OOB

Dervish may not resupply.

Imperial Squares.  

A brigade of Imperials may form a square with one unit on each face in line.  Supply and leaders can take shelter in the square.  A battery placed behind any line will fire up to 50% out of each of the two corners for that line. Batteries may not be targeted for melee without also targeting a supporting line.  No unit may be taken in flank while in Brigade Square. Lines that recoil 150 paces may return to their part of the square during movement despite having a no move marker on them. Note: this won’t help if they are charged again or if the dervish player moves first.

Individual imperial battalions may form a battalion square by a formation change to line but forming up the figures as a square. 25% may fire out of each face.  Movement is as sidestep or reform line system input. Full Batteries may not shelter in the square however screw guns may (firing 25 % out of each corner), or one supply unit.

Cavalry Vs. Dervish Foot

Dervish Mass units may go prone as a formation change as a response to a charge, C&G2 will determine if there is enough time to do that. Units that go prone in such manner do not need to undertake defensive fire and the corresponding morale check. If prone, the cavalry will ride right over the dervish unit (unless lance armed in which case they can stop and melee)

Dervish Mass Units Vs. Cavalry

While foot charging cavalry is not normally permitted in C&G2, Dervish Mass units will be permitted to undertake charges against cavalry flanks and rear or against front if it has a Halt Marker on it. This should have the effect of making Imperial Cavalry more cautious about charging into the middle of the enemy host!

Army Morale

Dervish: 75%
Imperial: 65%

The game will be called when the result is obvious and no later than when a side is at 50% of original army morale.

In a Dervish vs.Egyptian only game before British intervention:

Dervish 65%
Egyptian 75%

A Note on System Messages and Flavour:

It’s Important to maintain flavour by tweaking the system messages and the printed order of battle for the players, especially for the dervishes.  Just use the leader names or Emir, Caliph...etc.  rather than general, colonel etc that the system generates.  Also, Dervish rubs do not fix bayonets and charge...they brandish their swords and spears!

For character Officer\units the story should tell of an individual not a unit.  For example, Instead of  Burnaby suffered five casualties, he was shot  through the shoulder...or his helmet was shot off.

Tamai 1884 - An Inglorious Moment for Empire

Our battle of Tamai appeared to be a pyrrhic victory for the forces of Empire at the end of the day of battle.  Colonel Davis's square had been annihilated and Buller's Square was in disarray, however holding fast on heartbreak hill. 

Had Davis held on, Buller would have stood firm however the full dervish host was now unleashed upon him from three sides. At this time exhaustion started to overtake both sides and as the sun rose high in the sky toward full noon it started to become very, very hot!  At this time Mahsud Musa, the Dervish commander, received a mortal chest wound and the remainder of the army melted away, carrying their fallen brethren, and pulling away what remained of the shattered guns and looted supply of Davis's Brigade. 

The next day end of battle status showed an inconclusive action as most of the missing on both sides returned to the ranks. While this was not a British massacre it was certainly very bloody for them, much more than what would have been the norm.  No doubt the British press would have classified this as a stunning defeat. Now I don't want a totally realistic game as that would mean the Dervish side would win less than 10% of the time. At the same time I do want the balance to be fairly historical so that if the mob prevails they can savour their victory. Even while the battle was 15,000 Dervishes against 4,500 British, it was not uncommon for the British to inflict 10-20 casualties for every one of their own historically.

The Right Dervish wing, flushed with victory over Davis, swing around to try
and encircle Buller. Get those 9 Pounders in action men!

Heavy canister at close range flies into the mob cutting down the first wave
but not stopping them.  Two guns are lost as the battery limbers up and retreats.
The supply is also overrun,

Here is the order of battle that was used: 

Note: I used community names from a map of Sudan to name the Dervish units, leaders were named by using a current listing of generals in the Sudanese Army,,,except for the commander's name of Mahsud Musa which was known. Very colourful!!

Mahsud Musa - Attack
  [ 103] Generalleutnant Mahsud Musa - Active D+ [650 paces]
[ 101] Gezira Arabs                      0/ 592      C-
[ 103] Dervish Artillery                 0/  50 [ 2] D-
[ 104] Elephant Guns                     0/  30 [ 1] D-
    Brigade Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein - Attack
    [ 120] Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein - Active C- [300 paces]
[ 121] Kosti Beja Rub                    0/ 782      C+
[ 122] Wad Madani Beja Rub               0/ 813      C 
[ 123] Quadarif Ansar Rub                0/1042      D+
[ 124] Fashir Ansar Rub                  0/ 810      D 
[ 125] Kosti Jyhadiya                    0/ 105      D 
[ 126] Wad Madani Jyhadiya               0/ 102      E+
[ 127] Quadarif  Jyhadiya                0/ 103      D 
[ 128] Fashir Jyhadiya                   0/ 103      C-
[ 129] Daen Cavalry                      0/ 400      D-
    Brigade Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir - Attack
    [ 110] Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir - Active C+ [500 paces]
[ 111] Nyala Beja Rub                    0/ 775      B-
[ 112] Bahri Beja Rub                    0/ 991      C 
[ 113] Khassala Ansar Rub                0/ 825      D+
[ 114] Ubayyid Ansar Rub                 0/ 766      C-
[ 115] Nyala Jihadiya                    0/ 103      D 
[ 116] Bahri Jihadiya                    0/ 100      E+
[ 117] Khassala Jihadiya                 0/ 103      D 
[ 118] Ubayyid Jihadiya                  0/  99      D 
[ 119] Baggara Cavalry                   0/ 414      D 
    Brigade Mustapha Osman Obeid Salim - Attack
    [ 130] Mustapha Osman Obeid Salim - Active C+ [300 paces]
[ 131] Damazin Beja Rub                  0/ 802      B-
[ 132] Geneina Beja Rub                  0/ 824      D+
[ 133] Rabak Ansar Rub                   0/ 839      D+
[ 134] Damazin Jyhadiya                  0/ 100      D+
[ 135] Rabak Jyhadiya                    0/ 105      D-
[ 136] Geneina Jyhadiya                  0/  98      D+
[ 137] Sennar Camelry                    0/ 305      D-
    Brigade Ibrahim Aboud - Attack
    [ 140] Ibrahim Aboud - Active B [500 paces]
[ 141] Managil Beja Rub                  0/ 791      C-
[ 142] Nahud Beja Rub                    0/ 837      C 
[ 143] Damir Asar Rub                    0/ 824      C-
[ 144] Managil Jyhadiya                  0/ 101      D+
[ 145] Nahud Jyhadiya                    0/ 102      D-
[ 146] Damir Jyhadiya                    0/  99      E+
[ 147] Atbara Camelry                    0/ 301      D-

     0/ 13736 Sword and Spear
     0/  1420 Sabres
     0/    80 Artillerists
     0/     3 Cannon

     0/ 15236 Total of all arms
            8 Standards present 

Division Sir Gerald Graham VC - Attack
  [ 502] General de Division Sir Gerald Graham VC - Active B+ [950 paces]
[ 508] Bashi Bazouk Scouts               0/  48      D+

    Staff Fred Barnaby
    [ 540] Colonel Fred Barnaby - Active B [950 paces]
[ 540] Col Fred Barnaby's Shotgun        0/  25      B+

    Brigade Sir Herbert Stewart KCB - Attack
    [ 510] General de Brigade Sir Herbert Stewart KCB - Active B [450 paces]
[ 521] Naval Brigade                     0/ 190      B 
[ 511] 2nd Dragoons                      0/ 190      B 
[ 512] Bengal Lancers                    0/ 199      A-
[ 528] RA Screw Gun                      0/ 100 [ 4] B-

    Brigade Sir Redvers Buller - Attack
    [ 520] Colonel Sir Redvers Buller - Active B [450 paces]
[ 531] 3rd Bombay Native Infantry        0/ 391      C 
[ 532] 7th Bombay Native Infantry        0/ 385      C 
[ 533] Camel Corps                       0/ 411      A-
[ 534] Yorks and Lancs                   0/ 405      B 
[ 526] Royal Artillery, Bty A RML        0/  97 [ 4] B-
[ 535] Sikh Screw Gun                    0/ 114 [ 5] B-
[ 529] Mule Supply Caravan I             0/  63      D 
[ 518] Camel Supply Caravan I            0/  69      C 

    Brigade Davis - Attack
    [ 530] Colonel Davis - Active B- [500 paces]
[ 527] RA 9lber                          0/  99 [ 4] B-
[ 522] KRRC                              0/ 390      A-
[ 523] Royal Irish Fusiliers             0/ 415      B 
[ 524] Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers      0/ 381      B+
[ 525] The Black Watch                   0/ 413      A-
[ 506] Naval Nordenfelt                  0/ 105 [ 4] B 
[ 539] Mule Supply Caravan II            0/  63      D+
[ 520] Camel Supply Caravan II           0/  69      C 

     0/  3532 Bayonets
     0/   575 Sabres
     0/   515 Artillerists
     0/    21 Cannon

     0/  4622 Total of all arms

Meanwhile the stoic Guards Camel Corps (aka the "Posties") pour volley after
volley into Masud Musa's Arab Guard.  They hold fast but are finally wear

Final battle results can be found here:

The Army of Allah has suffered losses of:
[ 32%]   5095 men of all arms
   incl.[ 20%]   3266 prisoners of all arms

[ 32%]   4617 Sword and Spear
[ 31%]    449 sabres
[ 12%]     29 artillerists
                    2 cannon[s] lost
Honors: [ 119] Baggara Cavalry

Losses include 3 standard[s]:
        [ 101] Gezira Arabs [1]
        [ 112] Bahri Beja Rub [1]
        [ 119] Baggara Cavalry [1]

Losses include 2 Leaders[s]:
        [ 103] Mahsud Musa - Mortally wounded
        [ 110] Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir - Captured

The Suakin Field Force has suffered losses of:
[ 32%]   1547 men of all arms
   incl.[ 17%]    813 prisoners of all arms

[ 34%]   1223 bayonets
[ 17%]     98 sabres
[ 33%]    226 artillerists
                   11 cannon[s] lost
Honors: [ 512] Bengal Lancers

Losses include 2 General[s]:
        [ 540] Fred Barnaby - Severely wounded
        [ 530] Davis - Severely wounded

 Indecisive skirmish in rough terrain.
Carnage and Glory 2 worked very well for this period even though it was not designed for it.  The ability to define troop types and weapon's allows a game designer much flexibility to achieve their scenario objective.  Here are a couple of things that needed tweaking and are reflected in my rule adaptations.

The Imperial cavalry was much too powerful when attacking sword and spear.  The minimal damage done to the attackers by spears (revolvers) usually meant that the mass unit would flee in the fire phase.  Quite often they were taken in flank but hey...who are dervishes to be worrying about flanks?  Even a 48 man unit of Bashi Bazouk scouts managed to put at least three units to rout...(2400 sword and spear).  One problem was that I forgot to mention to the dervishes that they could attempt to go prone against cavalry (except lancers) and the cavalry would ride right over them without causing damage. Historically, this was a common tactic of the dervishes as the horses would avoid the prone bodies but it would not protect them from lancers.  Furthermore I would not allow foot to charge horse.  Some of the players argued against that and in retrospect Dervish Mass Units will be able to do so in a quite medieval manner (according to Ed).  While that won't prevent extreme results by cavalry it will give them something to think about if there are other mass units nearby. 

British Dragoons hold Buller's flank.  There will be no encirclement.
The Dervishes were a little too successful in breaking into the squares.  It was not easy but it was not too hard either. Once the square was broken the British could be picked off by overwhelming numbers. I rated the British very highly but needed to go back and bump them up yet again.  Firepower also seemed insufficient to stop many dervish charges.  I was trying to figure out which formation, open column or closed column would be more susceptible to fire. I assumed that would be closed column and did some tests but there did not appear to be any difference in casualty rate.  I had originally decided an Open Column would best reflect a loose dervish mass, but found it to be not enough of a target to make the Imperial firepower as effective as it should be. The answer seemed to be to have the Dervishes in closed column however, that did not appear to make for a more susceptible target.  There does not seem to be a good solution to this from a formation point of view but I did go back and make sure all British had Excellent Fire.  That should help. As an alternative, I have considered using different range sticks for movement and fire.  I am currently using 1:50 for everything but could limit it to just unit frontage and movement with firing using a 1:37.5 stick or 1:25 to reflect the 14 years of weapons development that had taken place since 1870 for which the rules were designed.  

Further research on the web (Google Books) finds a Contemporary Analysis, Starting on page 343 of the Martini-Henry (1871) vs the Snider-Enfield (1853) and the Chassepot (1866).  It show the Henry to have three times the accuracy and twice the rapidity of fire. Clearly the minor tweaks above that I envisaged for the British Army lists are not enough and not necessary.  British Rifle fire should be done at either 1:37.5 0r 1:25 vs.1:50 for all else. 

Furthermore I have created an ability for troops in square who have recoiled to return to their position in the square even though they should not be able to long as the dervish have not moved first. I also bumped up the caliber of the British 9 pounders from 6#RML to 8#RML and have increased the battery size from 4 to 6 guns. 

In real life Dervish skirmishing was not very effective. I feel that in the game they were causing many more casualties than would have been the case...even though at the end of the day, they were still very ineffective!  Jury is still out on that one. 

More waves of dervish advance from the right flank after
dealing with Davis, finishing off any wounded infidels as they go.

Captain Ritchie of the Yorks and Lancs offers words of encouragement to
his men.  "Steady Chaps". 

The Last Fresh Reserve barring the way to he British Camp.  All appears lost
when the Dervish army abruptly turns away and vanishes as quickly as they came.

"Ere's to you Fuzzi-Wuzzi!"

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Tamai 1884 - Part II & III

Tamai continued on for a couple more game sessions with the action really only beginning in session II.  The Dervishes did a gradual encirclement of Colonel Davis's square which, after much pressure, resulted in it's complete destruction. Colonel Buller's square held strong during session II but by the end of session III was in complete disarray.  Fortunately this dervish wing was not able to bring as much pressure to bear on Buller's force and it was able to hold its own.  By the end of the third session Buller's column was attempting to redeploy in an all round defence on the hill in front of the British base camp to await the onslought of the full dervish host...or what was left of it. The steady trickle of bloodied, redcoat refugees from Davis's square suggested a taste of the drama about to unfold.

This picture shows the beginning of the dervish encirclement of Davis.

The Royal Irish Fusiliers prepare for the first human wave attacks

The Black Watch were facing Buller's square and did not come
 under any pressure until the square collapsed.

See the sneaky dervishes giving the square a wide berth
as they move around the flank.

The Dervish Camelry now gets involved.

Meanwhile Buller's square continues to be sniped at but holds firm.

The 7th Bombay Native Infantry.  There were no Indian troops at the real battle.

Work continues in the British basecamp, now protected by improved Zaribas

Valiant Colonel Redvers Buller confronts an angry Dervish elder who shakes his fist at him.
Go home infidel.  You are not wanted here!  30mm Willie figure form the 70's.

A never ending mass of dervishes approach Davis.

The Dervish Chorus Line....alalalala

The rear of Davis's square is punctured.

The British are now in disarray, pouring a panicky volley onto their tormentors.  

Captain O'Malley of the Royal Irish Fusiliers  keeps a stiff upper lip.

Another shot of Howard's fine Zaribas

General Graham monitors the debacle in the valley below.  Colonel Fred Barnaby
is dispatched by General Graham to take control of the situation but is quickly wounded
and out of action.. You can see his lone figure in blue just before a mahdist hacked
off his left hand. Burnaby punched the offending Mahdist out cold with a right cross and calmly picked
up his unused shotgun and trundled off the field for medical attention.

Its said that the severed hand was eventually covered in gold leaf and presented by Mahsud Musa as a trophy to
the Holy One...the Mahdi.

See also a journalist from the London Times quickly sketches the action.
This will be front page news.  Read all about it! 

Captain Mad Dog Fielding of the Royal Warwickshires implores his men
to advance against the dervish mass.

Dervish success is bought with heavy casualties.  Dervish Army morale
is starting to crack.  A few troops begin to leave the field......
however the dervishes can afford them. 

The red line gets thinner...

....and thinner

The front of the square continues to hold...for now.  The boys in green
are the King's Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC) affectionately know as
Colonel Saunder's KFCs 

Fighting for their lives.  

Finally the dervish mass troops slam into Buller.  The Camel Corps repulses
several waves.

The two dozen devils of the Bashi Bazouk Scout Troop rout thousands
of fatigued mass dervish troops to rout before becoming
engulfed in a swarm of jihadiya riflemen.

By now Davis's square has totally collapsed with the British
fighting back to back where possible.  

Here they come again!!

The encirclement is now complete.

The last moments of B Co. 9th Royal Artillery Regt.

Colonel Stewart's Cavalry arrive from
their meandering tour. Too late to save the day.

Buller's square is also cracked open but there is no panic and the troops hold firm.

The Yorks and Lancs prepare to deliver another volley into  their
worthy opponents.

Out of frustration, General Graham orders the Sikhs to indiscriminately
bombard the swirling mass in the valley below.

The remnants  of Davis's command form
battalion squares in a last stand effort.

Somewhere in the valley a bugle began to sound the call for retreat....nothing more was then heard from them....

Tune in for the conclusion of Tamai. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Tamai 1884 - Part I

November 2015 we started the battle of Tamai in the Sudan, 1884.  Tamai was the second battle of the Suakin field force in their objective to clear the mahdists from imperiling navigation on the Red Sea. Rules used were computer moderated Carnage and Glory 2 using the Von Moltke version with a number of house rules to account for colonial warfare.  Unfortunately the author, Nigel, has not yet been convinced to write a colonial version of his rules, but nonetheless Von Moltke plus mods is working like a charm so far. I am beginning to think that the colonial era is the perfect place to use these rules in 28mm due ot the small scale of the battles.  No bathtubbing necessary at all.  

Two British columns, Brigadier Buller (foreground) and Colonel  
Davis advance towards the dry river bed where the 
dervish encampment has been reported. 

The columns start off  at 7am. It's warm already.  The British need
to put their enemies to flight before high noon.

The first line of resistance are a few dervish riflemen in foxholes
who keep up a desultory fire against the advancing squares.  

The Camel Corps in the vanguard of Buller's column.  

Davis's column begins a parallel advance lead by the KRRC
(King's Royal Rifle Cops).

Buller's Column takes a few casualties from sniper fire before they 
form up on a small hill to return fire and await developments from 
the otherwise unseen enemy.

Davis's column encounters disruptive terrain as they
march into a depression.

Meanwhile the Cavalry brigade under Stewart 
prepares to leave the Zariba to support the squares.

Bengal Lancers 

 Some of the new British arrivals are overcome by the 
heat already.

Nurse Fowler attends to the stricken man.  

General Graham, the overall commander, oversee's 
the advance of the columns.

Still no sign of the dervish...a small contingent of irregular 
Bashi - Bazouk try to scout out the riverbed and this 
arouses a group of Dervish horsemen who decide to 
drive them off. 

As the horsemen approach the ridge they discover an 
unwanted presence in the gully below.  

They are soon joined by friends.

Before long more groups of dervish are advancing
from the riverbed.

Form Square!

The British columns await the onslaught!

Colonel Davis's men are still in column advancing through
rocky terrain.

On come the Fuzzi-Wuzzi's

Kill the infidels!

More Dervish horse advances.

Colonel Davis's Square is at risk of encirclement.

After driving off the Dervish Cavalry vanguard the Bengals
ride into the flank of an 800 man mob of Hadendowa..
killing over 300 in their devastating charge.

We will match those lancers with camelry!

Not sure why the colours are so much more vibrant in this pic 
and the next but I like them!


Storytime with the Mahdi

Davis finally forms square...not a moment too soon.

More fuzzies appear!

Buller's square hold's firm. 

The Camel Corps mow down the first few half hearted  waves 

Colonel Fred Burnaby, reputed to have been the strongest man
in England, leaves the square to go hunting with his Shotgun. 

The full dervish host has arrived. 

More next time.....