Saturday, July 16, 2016

British Encampment at Dongala

The British Encampment at Dongala is Established

Colonel Archibald Sinclair of the Seaforth Highlanders regiment, stationed in Egypt circa 1884, has been assigned the task of taking his brigade up the Nile to Dongala, where he is to establish a beach head or base camp for the the rest of Major General Pettygree's army. Pettygree is part of the Khartoum Relief Force under the command of Garnet Wolsey.

Colonel Sinclair brought a brigade of 100 figures (about 1,000 men at 1:10 ratio), traveling to Dongala via Nile river gunboat and quickly set to work to create a zariba of thorn bushes to protect the men from a possible Dervish attack.

The first square and zariba are establish at the Dongala beachhead. A band of Haddendoa and Ansar make a feint attack on the square to assess its strength.

Several times the Dervish mounted feint attacks on the square in order to assess the quality of the defenders (would they break or stand fast?), but never brought the attack home. The zariba also had the support of the Nile River Gunboat with its Krupp cannon.

Nile River Gunboat supports the zariba. A squadron of British lancers also disembark to provide scouting and support for Sinclair's brigade.

Colonel Sinclair (on the left without his sun helmet) holds a staff meeting to assess the progress of the base camp.

Work party details unload supplies while other soldiers try out the new water wagon to slake their thirst.

Next to arrive is the artillery, which brings a sense of comfort to the British. Note that the zariba has grown in size and now abuts the Nile River.

British 7 pound guns face to the front while Gatling Guns watch the flanks. The Camel Corps detachment provides a back stop to the artillery position, just in case the Dervish break through.

Camel Corps Gatling Gun

Overhead view showing how the camp has grown in size.

More cavalry arrives: detachments from the 21st Lancers and several regiments from India.

Sinclair holds another staff meeting to check on the progress of the camp. The assessment: everything is ready for General Pettygree's arrival next week.

Colonel Sinclair rides around the camp to inspect the progress. At his side (wearing fez) is young Brevet-Major Herbert Kitchener.

The table set up is coming along nicely now. We have approximately 430 Dervish foot and cavalry and we will probably place 200 foot and 36 cavalry on the British side of the table.


  1. Now they are pretty damned cool:)

  2. Brilliant Jim - looks fantastic!

  3. Oh yes, that is just marvellous!

  4. Amazing! Had I seen this set-up way back in 1983, I might have gone Colonial instead of Napoleonic. 'Inspiring' is an understatement.

    Best Regards,


  5. I remember saying the game was four weeks away a month ago. It seemed like an eternity. "Are we there yet?" Now it's days away. Your stunning terrain and collection will make this a very appealing game experience. Congratulations Jim,
    Bill P.

    1. Thank you Bill. I enjoyed your post on the Pettygree blog yesterday

  6. Truly astounding! What an awesome 54mm collection. It looks like the game will be big fun. I'm looking forward to the AAR's.