Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The first battle of El Teb

Myself and Justjohn managed to get a game of Black Powder the other day. Great system. We just need more practice for the rules. We used the Sudan sourcebook and played the first battle of El Teb, where Barker Pasha's ill disciplined Egyptians get destroyed by a smaller spear wielding force. Yet again the Egyptians suffered defeat at the hands of the Mahdist tribesmen, due to poor judgement on my part and failure to get out of march column! 

All quiet in the desert

The Mahdist camelry scout out the British force, which is screened by its cavalry brigade

Teddy watches on with interest. Little does he know he will soon be adorning the roof of a Saxon hut....

The Egyptians open fire on the scouting force.

The camels split, one force charging the skirmishing cavalry, but being repulsed, while the rest of the brigade moves to the opposite side of the field

The cavalry move to screen the infantry still in column 

The cavalry open fire, forcing the camelry back but opening up their screen...

Meanwhile the infantry struggle to get out of column formation due to being too grouped together 

The Mahdist infantry advance on to the table. One unit surging forwards in a Follow me! order to engage the struggling infantry while another attacks the skirmishing cavalry who for some reason don't evade but manage to simply retire.

The Egyptian infantry manage to hold on and form into line but take horrible casualties in the next combat, breaking the brigade. The remaining infantry had managed to form square but one side suddenly begins to retire with the remains of its brigade causing chaos!


The Cavalry brigade continue to harass the remaining Mahdist camels and infantry, breaking the camelry brigade.

The Egyptian force gets a breather as the Mahdist leaders argue over who gets the glory of killing the infidels! They form line and concentrate on the closest spear wielding unit causing massive casualties but failing to break it as the 2nd brigade of tribesmen appears on the table. 

The Mahdists have another bad round of arguing and the demoralized infantry is scattered by the firing line, with additional casualties nearly causing the tribesmen to break entirely. Unfortunately this clears the way for another Follow Me! order from fresh troops. One of the tribesmen units charges anuntested Egyptian unit, which takes 5 casualties and rolls 1 stamina value. Despite closing fire and being supported on all sides this unit promptly breaks, as does one of its supporting units, forcing the 2nd infantry brigade to retire and starting a general rout for the Egyptians. In the chaos Baker Pasha, being right behind the front lines, and the majority of fleeing Egyptians are massacred....

All in all a very good game. The Egyptians were one roll away from breaking the Mahdists on 2 occasions but failed. It was a very close game, as seems to be the case often in Black Powder. Due to the small size of the forces it was also a good game to get a handle on some of the rules.

In the end the Mahdists managed to win due to two follow me! orders and virtually won the game with just two units!

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