Thursday, January 05, 2006

Lots of fun was had in the sun and the desert sands, ever greedy for blood, did not go unsatisfied...

The Fuzzies were arrayed thusly:
2 Units of Swordsmen;1 Unit of Spearmen;
1 Unit of Rifles;1 Unit of Camelry and;
1 Leader (Uthman Horn).

Whereas the Forces of the Empire were so:
1 mixed Unit of mounted Infantry and camel corps - dismounted;
1 Unit of Egyptian infantry;
1 Unit of Egyptian Lancers and;
1 Leader (the doughty, if one-armed, Colonel Lohrman).

In the name of Allah, the forces of Ahmed al Mahdi, he who is the Expected One, are seeking to free our lands from foreign oppressors. In His Name we know that our best hope for victory is to deny access to the wells of Tearo'om to the Turks and their scavenging English "allies" so as to prevent them from advancingfurther toward the reprehensible Gordon awaiting his just fate in Khartoum!

With fortifying cries of "allahu akbar!" and the assurances from our leader, the wily Uthman Horn that the enemy's bullets were made from water, the entire body of the our force unhesitatingly sprang forward. On our warriors came, black as hell and thick as grass as an unbelieving poet may have put it.

To our left our brave and steadfast jehadiyyah riflemen mounted a low and rocky hill, seeking to dominate the well that lay between it and the ridge that diagonally bisected the pink sands of the battlefield. Before them we espied the British mounted infantry and camel corps slogging through the sand towards the well and began peppering them with what long-range Remington fire could be brought to bear. Across and away from us, we could see our brothers in the camelry charge headlong at the only Egyptian Infantry unit which was occupying itself in mounting the ridge. We were dismayed to see them shattered by the Egyptians'startlingly fine musketry and sent reeling back on their supports from the black flag rayyia! The presence of the courageous Uthman Horn in their ranks was insufficient to prevent their flight, although he was able to rally them!

Unseen by we rifles, our other two bands of the black flag flung themselves headlong at advancing Egyptian Lancers, one crashing into their front, the other cannoning into their flank. Ha! The Egyptians were destroyed as a unit, their remnants fleeing for the unclean flesh-pots of Berber! The black flags had suffered terribly in the melee however, both units taken down to half of their original strength. They managed to recover their resolve and hastened toward the Egyptians standing on the ridge.

The battle hung in the balance. The lacklustre British infantry were exchanging desultory volleys with the our brave riflemen on our hill and going nowhere, bent as they were on the destruction of we pestiferous fellows! The Egyptian infantry were standing firm at their end of the ridge, Lohrman Bey (curse him for an unbeliever!) backing them with his stern (albeit one-armed) presence and, although reduced somewhat in the subsequent melees, refused to run when hit bysuccessive waves of our attackers. To hias eternal shame, Uthman Horn fled in confused dismay while the remnants of his black flags straggled back to Tearo'om, filled doubtless with self-reproach. The Egyptians had stood - Lohrman had been un-killable, sending Uthman Horn reeling single-handedly!

As they marched on to relieve Gordon, the men of the Egyptian unit withchests swelling with pride jeered their English comrades roundly, having won their battle themselves. Perhaps their thoughts were turning to a secondTel-el-Kebir?

The affair came out as God willed.

Overview: Perhaps somewhat embarrassed by their performance in the previousbattle the British infantry raced onto the ridge. Were they aiming to establish a field of fire that would enable them to command the wells on either side ofthe ridge? Only time would tell. They could see their old enemies, the jehadiyya swarming onto the opposite end of the ridge. Blimey, but our English blood was up and the lads were itchin' for a scrap with the benighted heathens doncherknow! Down to the right of us the bally Gyppoes were advancing as though they had sand in their bleedin' boots; that one-armedYank, Lohrman, 'e was keepin' pace with 'em. Now, I don't know much about their infantry (tho' we dished it up to them in good enough style a couple of years back!) but their lancers made a pretty fine show of it.They went off at a spankin' trot right the way 'round the right flank and belted right into a mob o' fuzzies and started choppin' 'em up in a pretty display. Then another lot showed up and Gad, though every one of his troopers was dead or fled, the little Gyppo Lieutenant with his flinty eyes, nut-brown face and tremendous moustache kept on a-choppin' away 'til all the fuzzies had decided to give it up for a time. Damn' if they didn't have to form a queue forhim!

I 'eard he got put in for a VC or a Khedival Star or some such, but the despatch got lost when Lohrman went down!

We was stuck on the ridge bangin' away at the jehadiyya blokes, but they'd opened their order right out and our volleys weren't doing all they should have. We did wound their leader Oofman 'ore or whatever 'e called 'imself, though. YoungCaptain Chris, well 'e goes an' gets his blood up at this point and takes the mounted infantry charging down at the feller meanin' to do for him. Reckon'sit'll put a dint in the enemy's morale.

Well, we follows out of a supportive spirit, I s'pose you might say.

Right into a swirling horde of Fuzzies. Still yer takes yer shillin' and yer takes yer chances as me ole Sergeant would have said.I couldn't understand the Captains' last words as he was spitting up blood an' 'orrible gribbly bits at the time what wiv a spear like a shovel stuck through him. Something like Orkz and 'Nids or some such... 'is mind was wanderin'.

We got the rest of the lads together and tried to retreat back to where theGyppos had been worn to rags by the fuzzies thumpin' them over and again and were trying to form square so as to shuffle back to some Cairene sherbert'n'slaper shop. I never saw what happened to them, as my lads were being pulled down all around me.

Me, how did I survive? I must have been hit on the head and been buried under some bodies or somefink. All I know about it was that I was just about the last man out alive. Bloomin' 'eck, I need a pint.


Blogger Edward Ott said...

how i love warfare with minatures.


11:26 AM  

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