Thursday, May 4, 2023

A New Square In Plastic


Armies In Plastic British and Egyptian soldiers in square.

I set up all of my Egyptians and British from Armies In Plastic on the game table to see how they look in square formation. Each side of the square has 40 figures with Gatling Guns in the four corners.

I will be doing some more rules testing and I wanted to know what my readers thought about some of the firing results. Firing ranges are short range (1-16” hit on 4,5,6); medium range (17-33” hit on 5,6) and long range (34 -48” hit on a 6). I’m finding, through several dice throwing iterations, that British are knocking off approximately one figure per figure firing over the course of a Dervish advance and charge starting at 48”. In other words 40 British are killing 40 Dervish before the Dervish contact the square and start a melee. Thus a 100 figure Dervish war band loses 40-50% of its figures before it closes with the British square.

Does this seem like a reasonable outcome or are the casualties too severe? Mind you, once in melee the two sides seem to chew each other up considerably.

One thought was to make any casualties at Long Range only count for half a figure. So if 6 Dervish are hit at long range only 3 of them are killed.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.


  1. Fantastic photos Jim, the firing at long range and hits works for me Jim.


  2. Jim, I'm the guy who sent you an email a couple of days ago inquiring about your rules. Your thoughts concerning firing at long range seen appropriate, but WRT your Khartoum game would this upset play balance? Based on the game I played in, it was just about right.

  3. It seems to me that casualties are not the key question. The key question to me is, "What chance should the Dervishes have of closing with the square?" Put another way, "What chance is there that they are stopped in their tracks?" If the answer is say 50/50 and this is decided by casualties then it seems your outcomes are about right. If you want the Dervishes to only have a 1 in 3 chance then up the casualties and vice versa.
    Morale affects the chances of a melee, and firepower affects the chances of morale failure.
    I hope that's useful.

  4. Jim, I think casualties caused at long range really ought to cause the enemy to go to ground. I don't think that a unit that has taken that level of damage would continue to advance, let alone advance to contact. If my memory is correct, most close combat occurred when Dervishes were able to close unexpectedly. You know, for example if there was a covered approat, or an unnoticed wadi.