Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Charge of the 21st Lancers Redux

Painting by Stanley Berkeley (Source: ASKB)

The Charge recreated with Trophy Miniatures toy soldiers.

I thought that it would be interesting to compare a famous painting of the charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman to the portrayal that I recently presented with toy soldiers.

Some New Toys Arrive

I was fortunate to acquire this Nile River gunboat, suitable for 54mm toy soldiers, just in time for our upcoming Sudan toy soldier game in September 2019. Kitchener employed a fleet of shallow draft gunboats to support his advance up the Nile towards Omdurman. The fleet included older paddle wheel boats as well as some new twin-screw driven boats. There were ten such boats in the fleet, one of which, the flagship boat Sultana, blew up before the campaign even got started.

The gunboats were equipped with artillery pieces and Maxim and Nodenfelt machine guns. My model is armed with a Maxim MG and is manned by Camel Corps gunners. Some brown-uniformed Soudanese infantry also provide protection to the boat.

Nile River Gunboat recently added to the 54mm toy soldier fleet.

The Egyptian-Soudanese regiments form a battle line and await the outcome of the cavalry charge by the 21st Lancers.

September's Game: The Battle of Firket (June 7, 1896)

For our first toy soldier game of the season, I chose to run a battle loosely based on the Battle of Firket. The unique aspect of this battle is that the Imperial army was made up of mostly Egyptian infantry and cavalry. The Egyptians were officered and trained by British officers and NCOs. I thought that it would be more interesting to have a battle comprised of only non-British troops. The army was commanded by Major General Sir Herbert Kitchener

We will have a brigade of Egyptian infantry and one of Soudanese infantry, supported by a regiment of Egyptian lancers and two light Krupp cannon The gunboat will provide additional support with its Maxim MGs. Each infantry brigade has approximately 60 figures and the three squadrons of cavalry will number 36 horse in total. With the artillery crew and other support troops, the Egyptian army will have approximately 170 figures.

While the Egytian army outnumbered the Dervish by 9,000 men to about 3,000 men , our game will have more even numbers of Mahdists so as to make more of a game of it. So I am thinking of having 250 to 350 Mahdists in the game.

Comments Make the Blog World Go Around
Long time bloggers (like me) enjoy posting articles and content, otherwise why would we do it? I've been blogging since about 2007 and there are no signs of letting up. The one thing that puzzles me though, is the lack of comments that this blog draws. I read other blogs and see another blogger saying something like "I walked my dog today" and he garners 20 comments, and yet I am lucky to get 3 to 5 comments in most cases.

Comments and feedback are very much appreciated by bloggers and they, at least for me, make us feel like there are actually people out there who read and are interested in the content that I post several times each week. If a person can get so excited about dog walks and gardening on wargaming blogs, wouldn't you think that wargame articles and some military history would also merit comment?

It puzzles me, is all that I can say.


  1. I must say that boat looks rather wonderful and fits perfectly with your other figures.

    As for the comments, several other Blogs I follow have the same issue of little or none at all. Some have speculated a move to Facebook, which seems logical. For my humble efforts I'm lucky to get 2-3 regular contributors, despite 80 odd followers. No idea but I'm happy that at least my efforts inspire a few fellow gamers.

  2. Thats one super river gunboat :)

  3. I have gunboat envy!

    Best Regards,


  4. Hi Jim,
    Huzzah for our next 54mm Sudan game. I am so very looking forward to it. Firket is a great choice. Winston's The River War arrived today from the library again. I read it a few years ago. Anyway, pages 129-137 explain circumstances from Churchill's point of view which we in the USA so admire. His style is appealing and cogent.
    I am going to add 12-15 brand new 54mm Egyptian Lancers as soon as I finish six more 28mm Pathans to bother General Pettygree. These are almost done. Back to the Lancers: They come from Armies In Plastic, INC. in Wapingers Falls, NY. Remember, I have a cloud of their Hadendowahs painted for our last game. One thing I do though is cut off spears/lances and replace them with wire. Otherwise, oh dear!
    Your remarks about low volume of blog remarks is spot on and shared by me. It is a disincentive to write and create.
    Switch to Facebook?! I belong to a Colonial chat group originally with several thousand members. Its gone to Facebook to chat. Group emails are nearly zero/skeletal. I get the move to Facebook but gamers are you really sure you want to kill off blogs? I don't think so.
    Bill P.
    Chronicler for The Adventures of General Pettygree

  5. Love the toy soldier look.

    Regarding comments - to me it seems that the entire world revolves the fatuous and inane rather than something that has taken someones time anmd effort to create, whether that be on a blog or on Facebook.

  6. Commentary is a two-way street. Commenting on others’ blogs seems to hold a reciprocal effect for me.