Saturday, February 9, 2008

Return to the Sudan

A British and Egyptian square stand fast behind their zariba as they attempt to hold off hoards of Dervish and Hadendawa aherants of The Mahdi. All figures are Connoisseur Miniatures from the collection of Keith Leidy.

On Saturday February 8, 2008 I had the pleasure of taking part in a Sudan game hosted by Keith Leidy. Messers Protz and Frye accompanied me in our trek through the desert as we sought to occupy and protect the oasis at Dur Es El Bubba. We had not played a Sudan game in over a year, so we all felt that it was high time to bring the figures out onto the table and give the Peter Gilder Sudan rules another workout. The rules worked smoothly and our memories of how to work through the "shadowing of the Imperial forces" and the melee procedures were sufficient to make the game run like clockwork.

One of the things that we discovered was that placing the Imperial troops behind prepared defenses (the zariba) made it difficult for the Mahdist forces to build up enough gumption for an attack. They spent a good part of the game "shadowing", i.e. staying within eyesight of the Imperial forces, but outside of small arms range. We also came to the realization that the Queen's forces had to win the first round of melee and repulse the Mahdists, a high probability, or face certain destruction in the subsequent rounds of melee against overwhelming numbers. The native forces fight until they are beaten in a given round of melee. There are no morale checks otherwise.

It was a fun game and quite a treat to be able to push Keith's excellent Connoisseur figures across the desert sands. I will present a detailed battle report tomorrow, but for now, here are a few taster pictures of the action.

Hadendowa warriors (Fuzzies) attack and surprise a squadron of Bengal Lancers. The Lancers prevailed, amazingly enough!

Der Alte Fritz's brigade square forms up to fend off a Dervish cavalry attack early in the game.

A close up picture of the Dervish Emir, depicting the modelling skills of the late Peter Gilder, who sculpted, painted and based the figures. An interesting use of terrain materials.

As always, please click on the pictures for the enlarged view of these fabulous figures. And drop on in tomorrow to read the after action report.


  1. Nice to see some different eye-candy, I'm looking forward to reading the full report.

    The Emir by Peter Gilder is brilliant

  2. Wonderful . . . I love the masses of troops. It seems that "big battalions" work in other eras too.

    Thank you for these photos. (I think that the Colonial period is my next favorite after the 18th century.)

    -- Jeff

  3. Stunning, absolutely stunning... what a lovely looking game - I'm fired up to get my Sudan troops out now! I love the Bengal Lancers, and the emir is excellent!

  4. It's just wonderful to see these figures again. I had the great pleasure of playing many a game with them at the Wargames Holiday center in Peter's time. The rules give an excellent game. Although the Mahdists are controlled by dice, chart and cards, they fight even better and cause the Imperial force more trouble than most human commanders can manage.

    By coincidence my club played a Sudan game in 10mm size on Friday night. What with that and the pictures here, I'm itching to get my own collection out again. =)

  5. Jim
    super looking game - thanks for posting it on the blog!
    p.s where do you get a copy of the rules?

  6. Jim,

    Do you know if Peter Gilder's Sudan rules will ever be published in their entirety? I know snippets appeared in Wargames World magazine but not enough to play the game

    I sure would love to game with them.

    Great photos look forward to your next post.

  7. This was a great game! I was the one hiding in the zariba square all day, or until the end of the game. Keith was afraid I was not having fun, because my troops where not fighting. Actually that was far from the truth, how can you not have fun playing a game with good friends and a GREAT looking table!

    This was my first game in the Sudan and it was a blast! The top picture was of my troops being attacked within the zariba, after that turn I had lost the Egyptian battalion so I was going to most likely parish the next turn. However my troops where still brave! (Thanks to the morale rules, such as you do not have to worry about morale.)

    Well as I said it was my first time playing the Sudan and I hope it will not be my last, I enjoyed myself!


  8. The Peter Gilder figure is great! I like the way the base doesn't look like a base. :-)

    Interesting, 2 of our Imagi-Nations guys playing British Colonial/Sudan games almost at the same time.

    I'm with Jeff on this, too. The British Colonial period has long been one of my favorite periods for gaming (if mainly because of Hollywood movies, like Gunga Din, Lives of a Bengal Lancer, Bonnie Scotland and several others - and partially because of Kipling).

  9. Wow – looks fantastic. Gilder's collection inspired me to start my own with Perry miniatures. Sadly progress is very slow but these images and the report are hugely inspiring.

    I'd love to see these Pony Wars based rules with Gilder's Sudan amends published.