War against the Mahdi in the Desert
A game using Carlo Pagano's Peter Gilder inspired rules. The Imperial troops are handled by one player whilst the Dervish actions and reactions are card driven and handled by the umpire/other player. There are also random event cards affecting any party involved - so plenty of battlefield friction and chances of things going awry.
The Mahdhist drums are beating right from the outset
The empty battlefield
British lancers head the column
and are immediately opposed by Dervish cavalry
a lot of Dervish cavalry
originally, these were hidden behind some scrub and broken ground and had quietly watched the arrival of the Imperial column
Next to the party are a band of Fuzzy Wuzzy spearmen
spotted by some British skirmishers sent out wide of the column
Not sure its really what they wanted to find !
A troop of the Lancers confront Dervish warriors over on the far side of the battlefield.
Meantime, British infantry deploy into line and a naval gun and R.A. gun are brought up in support
Now Dervish riflemen appear in broken ground to the north
Imperial cavalry and infantry deploy to handle this threat and the Dervish warriors arriving en masse
Meanwhile, Egyptian troops are sent to deal with another threat near the rear of the Imperial column
These chaps have a flag waving Emir urging them on
Imperial infantry and guns open fire on attacking Fuzzy Wuzzies
Here's a bird's eye view of Mahdist activity
The Egyptians prepare to deliver a devastating volley
Hello, the Dervish seem to have got their hands on a Machine Gun !
Dervish camels & cavalry charge the British infantry
and receive a volley for their troubles
British lancers attack the Dervish machine gun which has jammed !
The British column has been pulled in all directions because of the Mahdhists all around attacks
More Dervishes are skulking around the palm trees
The Naval Brigade deploy their gun as Bashi Bazooks file past
The Emir rallies his cavalry again
The Sikhs are having trouble with a wheel on their small cannon
The British have managed to push back the Dervish cavalry again
But more warriors get to grips with the Indian infantry on the far side of the battlefield
and they are pretty isolated
remnants of the Lancers return to take on these marauders
with a dust storm blowing, the Dervish congregate in the centre of the battlefield
with the drums beating, they are working themselves up into a frenzy again !
Even the villagers have thrown their lot in with the Mahdi ... and heading off to join in the fight
The British form up again and try to advance once more, with Egyptians following too
with one contingent of Egyptians with a gun warily watching the following Dervish camels
here come the Dervish cavalry again !
this time all the warriors are attacking from all points of the compass
well, except for the camelry !
who receive a volley from the Egyptians
The Dervishes that had been lurking by the trees rush the Bashy Bazooks and get into contact with them
Here the Naval Brigade beat off the attack to their front
and despite failing to inflict any fire casualties, the Egyptians face off the Dervish camels
But they just don't give up
Meantime, the irate villagers are streaming towards the fight with an Emir leading them with a bold banner in his grasp.
This fight took us the best part of a day and the British still have a long way to go to reach the village which is their mission.
I will leave this set up on the war-games table in the hope I may finish it over the weekend.
As for the rules ? Bearing in mind their origins lie back in the 1970s, they are a very clever set with mechanisms which were way before their time.
Many thanks to Carlo Pagano for having the determination to see these put together and into print at long last - good on ya digger !