Wednesday 27 July 2022

The Whopper, or How I Played an Epic Wargame

Last weekend Dave and I wandered down to Scarborough to play Sands of the Sudan on Gerry's ridiculously large wargames tables. We were playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday and were recreating the Relief of Khartoum, using Dave's glorious Sudan collection (as seen in "Exterminate all the Brutes" on HBO)

If you want to know how big watch this

The table was 24ft by 6ft. And there were 2 of them.

The plan was to have 2 columns advancing against an infinite number of Mahdists who would arrive on random event cards every turn. Gerry and Graham took the table run by me, see above. They were advancing the Suakin railway and relieving the Egyptian Garrison of a forward post about 20 ft away and then onto Omdurman 24ft away. Steve and Bob had a similar column on the other table. They were advancing along the Nile with support from 2 gunboats and 4 smaller troop carriers (my only contribution to the figures). The 1st 2 days were columns advancing and the 3rd day would be the battle of Khartoum.
Right then, time for loads of photos, mainly from my table

The British advance, facing only light resistance at the moment

Event cards placed a large force of Mahdist camelry to the front.

The next 3 event cards did the same and there were 1000 camels charging the British

The British formed a line

Shot a lot of camels, twice before the Bengal lancers charged in and routed the camelry. This was very cool.

On the other table Bob and Steve had to take a well defended town with gunboat support. THis would have been tight and they took a lot of casualties before the Mahdi called the forces back to Omdurman. But their fight was not over yet

THe Egyptian garrison of the forward base with Omdurman in the distance. The Mahdists as gathering

Camels destroyed the Brits start to advance again

The Train is harried

While the Egyptians face another assault, they faced 3 major attacks

This is the last one

Can the train column get there to relieve them

The Egyptians try to bug out, surely it's too late

Meanwhile a massive Mahdist force has appeared to the rear and slowed down the column again

But in the nick of time the Guards Regiment arrives to save the Egyptians. They got out with 50% casualties, but they did get out. And there ended the column advancing. 

THe next day we rotated the battle 90 degrees. the Brits on one table with Gerry and Graham at this end and Steve and Bob at the other.

All the Mahdists are out and they can be recycled. Steve and Bob look on as Dave stands over Khartoum and tells them all the ways it will be impossible to win

The Hussars sneak into the nearby fort.

Gerry and Graham have a tough time and a large camel force hits the Guards and a Beja force hits the artillery. THe Beja's blood was up, they'd just wiped out an entire Bengal Lancer Regiment! Losts of casualties but the Brits held

In the centre a large force is threatening the flank of the Brits but they are seen off and the way to Khartoum is clear. At British victory, Gordon is saved.

This was a properly brilliant weekend. Gerry and Anne were perfect hosts. Graham, Bob and Steve were great to play with. I had a fab time.
We intend to go back and play a Vietnam game, hence my painting room is covered in foliage, when I'm supposed to be painting 10mm Scots.


  1. Glad you enjoyed it matey - you did will . You are now of course ruined for these little piddly games on a 6x4 table 😂😂.

    1. It was brilliant. I have doubled the size of my game table, it's now 6x4. Only need to increase it 12 times now

  2. It really is just sensational! What a wonderful experience.

    1. Amazing isn't it. If you get the chance I highly recommend going big

  3. Great game thanks Martin

  4. What rules did you use?

  5. All looked absolutely cracking Martin. Wondergul report and great photos.

  6. Wonderful looking game Martin. Dave really has got quite a stunning collection and the space at Geds would have been ideal. Great photos and report.

    1. Cheers Carlo. Dave's collection is a sight to behold. Worked perfectly at Ged's

  7. Nice somehow missed all these posts great looking game 👍