Friday, June 17, 2016

Bad News For Whitehall: The Mahdi's Forces Are Growing

A gathering of the Dervish cavalry and camelry in the service of The Mahdi
 (Click on all pictures to enlarge the view)

I have been raising more forces for the Dervish uprising in the Sudan and the collection has grown to an awesome 182 infantry, 23 Camels and 33 horse for a total of 238 54mm toy soldiers. An additional 22 Beja/Hadandoa are known to be tracking Major General Pettygree when he arrives in the Sudan, bringing the grand total up to 260 Mahdists. It seems that tribesman from all manner of figure companies are flocking to the Black Banner of The Expected One:

Dervish infantry: front left (Aylmer), center (Homecasts), right (New Britains Fuzzies) and left rear (Old Britains Arabs of the Desert). Click on all pix to enlarge the view.

Trophy of Wales -- 38
Aylmer                -- 20
Old Britains        -- 44
New Britains      -- 42
J. Jenkins            -- 13
Homecasts          -- 25

Total Foot           182

Alymer              -- 3
Old Britains      -- 7
New Britains    -- 12
John Jenkins    -- 1

Total Camels        23

Alymer              -- 6
John Jenkins     -- 1
Brigade             -- 8
Misc.                 -- 3
Old Britains      -- 15

Total Horse          33

Another view of the Dervish cavalry.
The above pictures do not depict ALL of the Dervish that I currently have. Many of them are displayed on my bookshelves. These pictures are just of the overflow for which I have no available shelf space at the moment.

The Imperial Forces of Britain

Not to be outdone by the natives, a new gunboat has been dispatched up the Nile to assist General Gordon in Khartoum:

Britains Nile River Gunboat and a shore party of the Lancaster & York Regiment, also from Britains.

A view of the stern section.

A view of the bow section and Krupp artillery piece manned by Egyptian artillery crew.

For our toy soldier game in July, we will probably field Imperialists at 50% of the total number of Dervish that we will have in the game. So at the present time, with 230 Mahdists that means that we can field up to 130 figures of infantry and/or cavalry. As I expect the Mahdi to raise more forces ahead of the battle, I will likely add more British infantry from a total pool of available figures of around 250 foot and horse.



  1. Oh this is shaping up to be one to watch.

  2. I believe the over used term, "Epic" can be truly used here. This will be an Epic Toy Soldier Game!

    1. I like that word "epic". I will have to use it when I do an AAR on the game.

  3. Outstanding collection very jealous

  4. Prodigious.
    Can't wait to see it all up close and personal.
    Bill P.

    1. You will! 😄 just pray that your Gatling Gun does not jam. LOL.

  5. "These pictures are just of the overflow for which I have no available shelf space at the moment." Now, that's not a bad problem to have.

    Best Regards,


    1. That rather depends on how Mrs. Fritz views things. 😄

  6. I'm going with Epic as well. Looking forward to the pictures and reports.

    1. And thank you Ross for helping to make the Dervish army bigger. You can see some of your figures in the pictures.

  7. Great additions to the collection; the gunboat is fabulous

  8. As a retired old sea dog, I just love a fine gun boat!!!Bill

  9. A wonderful collection, and once again I can only look on enviously. Please try to come to the gathering of AMG 2017, where I can finally meet up and bore you with wargames chat.

    1. Is there going to be an AMG2017? That is terrific news! I will plan my schedule way in advance so that other things don't get in the way.

  10. Jim, you must be as pleased as "a pig in mud or a dog with two tails"!! These figures are wonderful and evocative of all sorts of feelings - happy childhood, grandeur of the Raj, the joy that such "toys" of a past era evoke, the solidarity of a 54mm figure, and the sheer size of a game with these. Now where is my copy of TSATF would be a challenge indeed to use Carlo's rules for these!
    Cheers, Rohan.
    ps - I have found that Firefox allows me to respond to these posts..Hooray!