The last game of the year should be fun and this one was no exception. The British, consisting of five separate platoons of nine figures, including two Sudanese platoons, were led by each of the club members who had been able to attend, a further command consisted of the Colonel with a squadron of cavalry in the compound along with a maxim gun. The rules were slightly adapted from the set available from Battlegames as a free download for a participation game set during the Zulu war.
The game commenced with the British starting out across the desert towards the zariba and compound where the Colonel was waiting for his Christmas tree to be delivered. This same tree was the one on the wagon being transported across the sand by the approaching British.
One of the Sudanese platoons advances across the desert to warn off the approaching dervishes
The fuzzy wuzzies attack a British platoon, wiping them out to a man but the officer went down fighting and was mentioned in despatches as well as receiving one line in the local paper back home in Blighty.
The Dervishes, controlled by dice rolling and another member of the club, leaving me to umpire, appeared at random and in randomly generated numbers. They soon began to appear as the column marched across the desert and casualties began to mount up with the lead platoon being attacked by beja tribesmen and being soundly thrashed, although the officer in charge got a brief mention in despatches.
Slowly the British advanced across the baking sand with their cargo looking for gold along the route. This was marked by eldritch gems with number underneath to indicate the amount of gold found, if any.
The Sudanese protect the Colonel's christmas tree from the advancing hordes of dervishes as it makes its way slowly across the desert.
As the dervishes take their toll the Sudanese are in disarray protecting the wagon carrying the tree
At last the wagon makes its way into the zariba to the delight of the Colonel who came out of his cabin on the river boat to welcome the tree knowing that his christmas was safe. He then retired back to his cabin for a celebratory glass of port.
After much nail biting as more dervishes approached the column, some only coming to have a look then disappearing again, the British managed to fight off many attacks but losing casualties along the way. Eventually the Colonel decided to bring his cavalry out of the compound and was attacked by dervish warriors then the dervish cavalry appeared and managed to fight off the lancers killing them but losing many of their own number in the process.
Eventually the column marched into the compound having managed to march across the desert and deliver the Colonel’s Christmas tree. The gold was counted out and a number of chocolate coins were handed to the British.
All in all a fun game, just the type of game for a last meeting before Christmas. The dervish player was awarded the Mahdi’s chocolate orange and the player in control of the cavalry was awarded a box of Perry plastics for losing his entire cavalry command but allowing the wagons to enter the compound unmolested.