|The Dervish take to the ladders and are over the walls.
Let us now look at the infantry side of the battle of Khartoum! that we fought last Saturday.
The Dervish army of The Mahdi consisted of five commands, one of which was the naval river command that we discussed in Part 1 of the after action report ("AAR"). The Mahdi deploy his four foot battle groups into two parts: one group would attack the west corner of the city walls and the other would attack the east corner of the walls. A few figures would demonstrate in front of the center in order to pin some of the defenders there.
|The central city gate of Khartoum.
|The east corner of the defenses manned by one Krupp artillery piece.
|The Mahdi looks on with his approval
|The Beja warriors deploy in the center, but they will oblique right to attack the east bastion.
|More Beja ready to attack. You can't have enough of them.
|A supporting attack on the far right wing of the Dervish army.
|Notice how the aisle divides the city walls into two sections. This allows the
players easier access to the movement of figures along the front walls.
|The scaling ladders start to go up against the walls.
|I count 7 scaling ladders in this section of the assault. The consensus of the players
was that we needed the Dervish to have more scaling ladders so that they would
have a chance of making it up and onto the ramparts.
Meanwhile, on the west bastion, things weren't going very well for the Dervish (me). I had a band of 100 Ansar plus 30 Beja riflemen. As with the assault on the other (east) side of the city, my plan was to hit the corner bastion with everything I had. The Beja rifles would hopefully pick off some of the Egyptian artillery crew.
The original plan of The Mahdi was for me to support my attack on the corner by making an amphibious landing of the warriors on the river fleet. In retrospect this would have been the correct strategy. However, I thought that I would have a good chance of sailing my dhows behind the back of Khartoum and attack into the city (just like they did in the movie, if you can recall). Had I stuck with the plan, then the wily Egyptian commander, El Will Em Bey wouldn't have been able to make a sort from the city and fire into the flank of my attacking warriors.
|The river flotilla moves up the Blue Nile.
|Having five boats, each manned by 12 warriors and an emir leader, would have
prevented the Egyptians from making their sorti from the city.
|Beja riflemen were supposed to protect my left flank so that I could execute my
attack on the corner bastion.
|The Beja riflemen operate in open skirmish order, making them harder to hit.
|My attack goes in and the ladders go up.
|Not enough attackers in this area and too many Egyptian defenders on the walls.
|The sands of the Sudan
|Quayside, the back door to Khartoum, guarded by one of the Egyptian paddle wheel boats.
|You are looking at 18 feet length of the Nile. 6 feet wide.
|A view of the city of Khartoum in more peaceful times.
|General Charles Gordon, the hero of Khartoum and
winner of this battle. (for now).
|200 more Dervish and Beja are getting ready for the painting table.
I'm going to need more Dervish.
As I said in Part 1 of the AAR, this was a good play test and offered me a glimpse into how the game scenario will play out. I definitely need to increase the size of the Dervish army for the next game.