So what exactly is a story line campaign you ask?
First, I wanted the outcome of a previous game\battle to have some bearing on the overall strategic situation. For example, the destruction of two Egyptian armies in the Sudan eventually led to Omdurman many years later.
Second, I wanted to create variables that could have happened well before Kitchener defeated the Khalifa's forces at Omdurman.
In game terms for example, the Ottomans could have very well decided to bail out the Egyptians with an expeditionary force of their own. I'm painting up Ottoman's from the Strelets 1877 for the possibility.
As I compressed the time scale I'm simultaneously including the Zulu War. At this point I'm having the Zulu Undi Corps be successful at Rorke's Drift and now pushing into Natal on a raid.
This means the British have an overall geopolitical situation on their hands.
The British were wary of sending substantial forces to Egypt because of Russia. Russia was meddling in Afghanistan and Britain was forever worried about India. Sending more troops from the home army to either the Sudan or Southern Africa meant they could not go to India should war erupt between Britain and Russia.
Those are just some of variables and possibilities in the campaign.
On the Mahdi's side of things it's not a given he will die as soon as he historically did. Had he lived it's possible that Islamic fanaticism could have spread to anywhere in Africa where Islam had a foothold. After all, the Mahdi's goal was not only the Sudan and Egypt but Istanbul as well.
We use The Men Who Be Kings rules. While the rules are designed to be skirmish oriented the author clearly states the scale really does not matter all that much.
I've taken that to heart since I'm in a season of life where scales in war-games don't matter like they used to. As long as I can recognize the history and field a reasonable number of miniatures and play a game in a reasonable amount of time without paging through a volume I'm good.
So, as you look at the first picture below what you'll see is about 30 points of TMWWBK Egyptians in 8 units. The Mahdi's forces come in at 36 points in 10 units. I look at the forces and see armies although I generally refer to units as companies, squadrons and batteries simply because I like order and organization.
Prior to the game below our little group played the destruction of Pasha Hicks and Pasha Baker. We also played a scenario where Egyptian and British (one company of Royal Marine Light Infantry) were supposed to hold an outpost somewhere along a water course. The Mahdist's goal was to over run it and they did but paid a heavy price.
|The Egyptian Army approaches.|
|The Egyptian Army approaches.|
|Black Sudanese infantry of the Egyptian Army. (Waterloo figures)|
|A colorful unit of lancers with a European officer. (Jacklex figures)|
|Egyptian Camel Corps as Mounted Infantry in The Men Who Would Be Kings. (Hat figures)|
|Egyptian infantry (Newline 20mm figures)|
|Egyptian infantry and artillery (Waterloo infantry and Strelets artillery)|
|The Egyptian right and right center|
|The Egyptian left and left center.|
|River Arabs on the Mahdist left. (Waterloo and Esci figures)|
|River Arabs on the Mahdist right.|
|The river Arabs provide skirmish fire with their rifles while the fierce Fuzzy Wuzzies move up behind them.|
|The Mahdist forces are thick on the ground!|
|The Egyptian Camel Corps is supposed to hold the flank and harass the Mahdist advance.|
|The Egyptian Camel Corps is getting too close and as a result they are destroyed without firing a shot!|
|Screening the Fuzzy Wuzzies with rifle armed Arabs will prove to be effective.|
|The Arabs muster behind colorful banners as they seek to drive the infidels out of the Sudan.|
|The Sudanese infantry occupy some rough ground but alas their leadership is below average-a common trait among the Egyptian forces.|
|High hopes were put on the Egyptian artillery and for a while it was effective.|
|The view of the Mahdists from the Egyptian firing line.|
|The Mahdist's begin to advance having spotted an opening.|
|The view of the Egyptian artillery from the Mahdist lines.|
|This Fuzzy Fuzzy charge (on the double) would fall just short. It would suffer accordingly but in the end would not matter much.|
|One inch short! Oh my!|
|The reserves move up to exploit any gap.|
|At this point it was five Mahdist units to take on three (poor shot) Egyptians. The artillery support has been destroyed.|
|Significant Mahdist's casualties were taken but no units were destroyed while 90% of the Egyptian force were.|
|The lancer cavalry and far right Sudanese infantry (barely in the picture) would withdraw. Everything else was chopped.|
|The Fuzzy's are devastating once they close!|