Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Slight Pause

I'm slammed for free time these current weeks, so no gaming for a while. Luckily I have a permanent gaming table so General Graham can cool his heels undisturbed. As he closes on Haiya Graham faces something of a tactical conundrum in his latest encounter with the Mahdists. If he moves directly upon the Mahdist defences he could face a flank attack from Usman Digna's contingent on a low hill to the south of town. If he moves on Digna's force, other strong Mahdist contingents may appear to the British flank or rear when it's in a vulnerable position of maneuver. The wily old ex-slave trader is receiving a flow of reinforcements, as are the Mahdists defending Haiya, so either way Graham can't leave it too long before making a decision.

Digna himself has to stop the Imperial army before it reaches the Nile. He lost nearly 2,000 men in the battle before Gebeit, but he has sufficient reserves to make a credible contest of it.

In the end Graham decides he has only one viable option - he has to neutralise Digna's force before advancing on the town. To that end he deploys the Grenadier Guards and KOSLI, screened by the 5th Lancers. They will advance upon the Mahdist camelry and infantry gathered around the wadi.

To the rear of the British column the Egyptians have got themselves into a fix. The lancer troops failed to charge and intercept the mass of Mahdists before they made contact with the infantry. The Egyptian volleys failed to stop the oncoming horde and now it's hand-to-hand combat. The Egyptians have enough soldiers to absorb the punishment - perhaps - but it may well be a near-run thing.

Meanwhile, In Haiya the Mahdists are assembling quite a strong defensive force. (Under the rules all Mahdist entry points are determined by dice roll. It seems the Dice Gods have a strong tactical instinct...)

More on the game when I get time. The conclusion isn't far off now.

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