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El Obeid the Final Day – 17 January 1883


Today myself and Brian Buskell play a small Sudan battle roughly based on the last day of the siege of El Obeid 1883. The siege basically went from 1st September 1882 through to 17th January 1883 and involved at it’s highest point 6000 Egyptian troops and 55000 Mahdist troops. The battle we played was a scaled down version of the event…due to the number of troops involved it would almost be impossible to play..well basically we did not have the models either.

Our town of El Obeid was broken down into three distinct areas which each contain two separate areas for the deployment of troops, so in other works two companies per built up area. I commanded the Egyptians with eight units in the town and two units in reserve.

Brian with the Mahdist forces were allowed to deploy anywhere on the table as long as they were eight inches away from the closest buildings. Brian also deployed a couple of units in ambush, just in case my reserves came on. In all his forces contained nine warbands, one camel unit and a skirmisher unit.

The scenario was for the Mahdist forces to attacked and occupy at least two sections of the town to win. I had to hold out until the fifth turn and then try to extract what was left of my forces away from the besieged town and on to freedom……fat chance.

Brian and his hordes were fast into the attack and charge forward on two sides of the town. My forces stopped the first attack but by the second and third rounds I had lost half the town. It was not all one-sided though and the Egyptian forces inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers. However by the six turn I had lost all but one small area of the town and my Egyptian troops were all but destroyed in detail. I did have three minor victories in which my Bashi-Bazouks defeated two warrior units and my artillery battery bravely defeated a mad rush of warriors on their guns….incidentally these two units were the only troops I was able to successfully withdraw from the table…..well done Brian.

Mahdi forces about to charge the besieged Egyptian forces

The town of El Obeib attacked on two sides

Egyptian confident in their ability to stop the attacks dead in their tracks but were soon to be proven wrong.

The first charges go in

And are defeated 

Egyptian artillery comes under attack

Bashi-Bazouks charge and destroy a Mahdist unit

The second and third attacks proved more successful and break into the town 

Two town sections lost by turn five the Egyptians are forced to withdraw from the town

Bravely charging regardless of casualties the warriors fight to the last.

With the town finally in Mahdi hands and Egyptian troops fleeing everywhere across the table, my last unit of Bashi-Bazouks manages to hold open the line of retreat and over run another warrior unit.


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