The initial deployment was done randomly – using a random table I generated to use in conjunction with Steve Winter’s original rules. This resulted in a reasonably conventional, although not necessarily ideal deployment of the Egyptian forces. The actual size and number of forces was similar to Steve’s originals, see his starting OOB (or our map below) for an idea of the forces… The map shows the situation once the random deployment has been completed and the initial revolt indexes generated – but before Turn 1 has begun and checks for revolts carried out.
It is late-1883, the apparent insurrection by a small group of followers of the self-styled ‘Mahdi’ have inflicted a serious blow by eliminating the army of General William Hicks, sent to Kordofan to detain or defeat them. Hicks had left earlier than he planned under pressure from the Khedive, and by October his fate is well known.
The Mahdists now possess a large army of, albeit ragged and disorganised, “Dervishes” but more importantly credibility with many Southern & Western tribes. The Egyptian Khiedeval garrisons in Sudan are spread thin and the first embers of the bush-fire of revolt have already spread far and wide… By November 1883 the insurrection has grown and government control & communications is failing, with the Sudan a veritable powder-keg about to explode at any moment… In the preceding month General Charles “Chinese” Gordon and his trusted Chief of Staff arrive in Khartoum to assess the situation, and General Valentine Baker of the Gendarmie & his Chief of Staff arrive in Suakin to similarly assess the state of the Eastern Sudan. In Egypt the British accede to sending senior officers such as Wolseley, Stewart, and the unknown Frotheringham, to do a preliminary survey of Northern Sudan and prepare plans for a British intervention should such be needed…
Campaign Deployment and Start Positions
For the campaign I would be General Maizoub ‘John’ Pasha, the Chief of staff to the Governor of the Sudan General ‘Chinese‘ Gordon (while also doubling as campaign referee/administrator – the theory being this role would need to issue less orders and such after the first couple of turns); Kieran would be General Akhtar ‘Kieran’ Pasha, the Chief of Staff of the Suakin Garrison of General Valentine Baker (& later General Gerald Graham); and Roundie (Wayne Steward) would be General Sir Henry ‘Roundie’ Frotheringham, field commander of the initial British sponsored relief expedition (prior to the arrival of larger forces under Generals Wolseley and/or Stewart).
Read on to see Fire & Sword Turn 01: November 1883.