David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

The Battle of El Tubh

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, this week’s Monday game with Phil was again moved to a Tuesday due to my hospital appointment. The calm before the storm ~

For a change, I took command of the Imperial Force, landing from the  transport  vessels and supporting gunboats and attempting to defeat the forces of the Mahdi who were besieging the Egyptian garrison of El Tubh. The series of annotated pictures which follow try to tell the unfolding story of the battle, fought out over eight turns ~
The opening positions: Beja riflemen line the Wadhi as Imperial forces make 
their way ashore from the transports. The cavalry cannot disembark until the
infantry clear the area.

While the first assault on the walls of El Tubh goes in, the Black Watch
advance to the skirl o' the pipes, supported by the Gordons. The South
Staffords and the Royal Surreys are struggling ashore.
The assault nears the city walls despite fire from the Egyptian infantry and
artillery. On the banks of the Nile there is much confusion amongst the
troops as officers struggle to impose order - I failed all my Command Rolls!
The Royal Surreys move to clear out the Beja rifles from a farm, while the
Black Watch ready themselves for an assault from the Fuzzies!
Despite losses and disorder the Arabs drive the Egyptian regulars from the
wall. Its up to the irregulars now to turn the tide inside El Tubh.
Although the Black Watch hold off the Fuzzies they are broken by enemy
rifle fire and rout. Similarly the Royal Surreys are broken, having cleared the
far of the enemy! On the left flank though the Loyal Tandooris, supported by
the Yorks and Lancs, are hastening to the aid of the garrison.
As one Arab incursion is driven out of El Tubh, another succeeds in making
an opening on another wall.
The RMC are kept busy in the makeshift casualty clearing station in the
Sudanese fishing village. The Gattling and the Gardner Guns are playing 
havoc with the Fuzzies as they attack time after time!
The South Staffords are stiil trying to sort themselves out on the river bank - I
may have set a record for failed Command Rolls with them! However, the
Fuzzies have clearly shot their bolt and are streaming to the rear in rout.
In El Tubh the fighting is fierce and no quarter is asked or given! The 
Irregulars once more save the blushes of the Egyptian commander by driving
out the second Arab incursion over the river wall.
After eight turns Phil called a halt, admitting he could no longer stop the Imperial forces relieving the garrison at El Tubh. Twice the Nile Arabs had breached the walls and twice they had been driven out by Egyptian Irregulars, supported by the artillery despite its heavy losses. I was pleased to accept the victory, having been sure in Turn Seven that I would probably loose. Once again the Loyal Tandooris distinguished themselves in action, but the least said about the South Staffords and their Colonel the better...
Next up here in GHQ a F&IW game with Jon next Wednesday, using Sharp Practice 2, the last game for some time as you will no doubt have worked out due to the hip replacement surgery on May 4th. I'm still painting Italian Wars figures though and hope to feature some completed bases later in the week. Pop back and check on them later.


  1. It looks like you had a great game. Not a period I would delve into despite many temptations over recent years.

    1. There is a period you don’t do? I am speechless...😉

  2. Fine pics of a splendid game, it was quite therapeutic being the Mahdists I felt no pressure that I should win, where as I do when I command the Imperial oppressors.

    1. You were unlucky not to take the town really. I had exceptional dice at just the right time. My first experience of the ‘Imperial Brown Trouser’ moment though!

  3. A great looking game David! Sudan is on my to do list(along with a lot of other things).


    1. Thanks Christopher. I wandered into the period because I liked the range of figures by the Perry’s.

  4. Looked more like an Imperial Wet Trouser moment Mr.B. Great looking game. Am looking forward to next weeks bash ....

    1. Thanks Jon! See you next week for The Attack on Fort Desperation.

  5. Nice to see the Matelots doing their bit, go Navy.

    1. Sadly the Naval Brigade’s guns kept missing. Not got their land legs I expect!