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"Dismounted Mahdist cavalry" Topic

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840 hits since 15 Apr 2017
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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2017 5:35 p.m. PST

Mirror mounted & dismounted units for the camelry on both sides of the conflict in the Sudan has been a great success.

Such units have mobility & firepower. We're using the KINGs set of rules but I've tweaked such "mounted infantry" to being in units of 10 figures with some ability to fight mounted but with enhanced ability on foot. Mount/dismount & move is a Free Action.

I'm now looking at the Bagarra Horse. These fellows, 10 strong, look good but are moderately useless in combat, generally being shot flat by Anglo-Egyptian infantry units at little risk to themselves.

I know cavalry were often reluctant to dismount & I think proud Arabs would be no exception. Do you think it plausible I create a dismounted mirror unit & allow the Mahdi's cavalry the ability to charge their enemies on foot?

Rich Bliss15 Apr 2017 6:32 p.m. PST

Dismount and charge on foot? No. Dismount to harry and skirmish? Sure.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2017 9:00 a.m. PST

I have dismounted armed with rifles for all my Ansar.
The camel mounted units were only used to charge in the movies and occasionally on my gaming table.

Henry Martini16 Apr 2017 3:38 p.m. PST

Historically, Mahdist cavalry units were used for scouting and mounted skirmishing.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Apr 2017 4:28 p.m. PST

… And nothing more!

This is the interest in allowing Camel Corps to fight from the hump all over again.

Mahdist Cavalry/Camelry never attempted to charge to contact, nor did they fight afoot like old European Dragoons. Scouting/skirmishing/and possibly screening (not covered in most rules) would be the whole gamut for them, from A to B.

Creating special rules, mounting figures that have no historical counterpart, on purpose built bases, is a remarkable use of effort, hobby money, and time for…what?

What makes Colonial War Games a distinct and engrossing subject is the reflection of BOTH sides' cultures and practices, but not homogenizing them. Each "theater" and native culture has its own unique flavor, with the only common denominator being the European Culture/Technology being liberally applied against them. Giving "natives" the same options as their attackers takes the "history" out of "historical war games."

Or, to put it another way, if your historical war games interest needs your own invention to make it "interesting," then you simply don't know enough about it to start with.

Should Colonial War Games just be Waterloo on sand? Gettysburg with Camels? The Marne with Muslim fanatics, seeking to gain Paradise by death in battle?



Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2017 7:07 p.m. PST

You really need to watch the rants. Apart from the fact it seems to be inspired by nothing in the thread, it can't be good for you.

To be more serious, such diatribes put me off asking questions or indeed even wanting to read the relevant discussions.
Which seems a pity as I believe this is what TMP is about. I'm sure you're simply busting with knowledge but can you possibly be a bit nicer in the dissemination thereof?

sjwalker38 Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 2:03 a.m. PST

I'd rate the Baggara horse as standard Tribal Cavalry in Kings. Maybe rate the Baggara as 'Veteran' if you like the Hollywood approach. They SHOULD get shot to pieces by well ordered regular infantry if they attack using a frontal charge.

But if they can 'bounce' a Pinned unit (which reflects their real use) it gets nasty for the infantry: the horse are rolling 10 dice, hitting on 5-6 with every one counting. The infantry are on no more than 5 dice (11 figures/2, rounded down) also on 5-6, but needing 2 hits per Kill. That and the follow-up has a good chance of destroying the infantry in short order.

There, I've saved you a load of extra work!

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2017 3:51 a.m. PST

Simon, so far, the Bagarra have run to what TVAG & others (above) have said. if handled overly aggressively they've died in numbers, were pinned & routed.

I certainly hope they may one day spring out of a concealed position & cut up some pinned or weakened Egyptian infantry but the odds seem stacked against it.

It seems that skulking out of gunshot & being a threat is their best bet. At the expense of painting a bunch of dismounted figures to represent them on foot, they may become even more a nuisance (I'd obviously make the dismounted Bagarra better at shooting than their poor efforts on horseback).

We don't have any Anglo-Egyptian cavalry to date so I don't know how it works for the "other side".

BTW I think I was decidedly rude to TVAG (above), who is a valuable resource for this period, & it was un-called for. Apologies.

Smokey Roan Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 8:07 a.m. PST

I dont have any camel troops, British or Mahdist.

Just a few camel mounted leaders and pack trains.

Dont know why, I never liked camel troops. Maybe 'cause I hate camels. One bit me in Arkansas once. Ostriches as well. Managed to get bit by one of those in Arkansas too. Panther, wolf and bear played with me, wrastled, didnt bite. Ostrich and camel lit me up. :O

One reason, perhaps, is mounted infantry units can be used for all games, not limited to Sudan.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Apr 2017 9:16 a.m. PST

Spoken like a Gentleman, Sir.

Sometimes "learning" is disappointing, or even painful, but we --and our war games--come out better for it.

And Old Men are frequently short-tempered…. One day, you'll know about that, too!


Murvihill17 Apr 2017 10:01 a.m. PST

Were Mahdist cavalry and camelry armed with rifles?

sjwalker38 Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 10:54 a.m. PST

Patrick, stop upsetting the colonials (you're one yourself don't forget!) and get back to finishing GTSTE!

Best regards

The other (English) Grumpy Old Man. :-)

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

So….am I the only one with a Bagarra Horse unit (&, curses, a second one awaiting paint)?

I *do* have 8 large (20 figure) foot units & 2 camel units & a gun. And the Mahdi, of course. Future plans involve acquiring & painting more Ansar & Beja but I'm starting to feel I've gone into overkill with the Begarra.

(Simon: Colonials? The avatar should be a hint)

oldjarhead1 Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 9:00 p.m. PST


'Fraid not, I have 8 Ansar and 4 Beja foot units (each of 20 figs) as well as a 12 figure unit each of cavalry and camel mounted troops and a gun with four crew.

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2017 1:16 a.m. PST

the behavior of this guy… Ochoin… is again and again extremely impolite if not very rude… considering the fact that he doesn't, from memory, contribute with anything interesting wouldn't be the case, in order to avoid his repeated (and clumsy) aggressions, to simply lock his account?

Said that..the idea of converting tribal/semi savage cavalry like ansars into mounted infantry is, in my opinion, non historical and too much sophisticated..there is very interesting book which deal with supposed to tactics of fanatical muslim warriors..including cavalry.."our Friends beaneath the sands"..also if the subjects are the Moroccon warriors and not the Madhists..we can easily compare the Foreign legion opponents to the Ansars…the fact to be mounted was only a sign of a wealthy warrior and nothing else..for those fighters lead by Religious ineducated selapponted leader and not by a general the only way of fighting was an individual one..without any concern for tactics and absolutly no idea of from a native muslim cavalry of this period i cannot even expect scouting or screening the main force..certainly not dismounted skirmishing but only , maybe, uncordinating charging at routing ennemy..take also into account that wealthly leaders or s called warriors in those societies were extremely cowards..preferring to let charging formed ennemies the masses of poor riverine arab levies or ineducated fanatical hadendowas..certainly not their costly privileged mounted warriors with all their panache

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP18 Apr 2017 3:10 a.m. PST

@ oldjarhead

I probably have too many mounted.

Our long term plan is to run a Mahdist Revolt game in a local Hobby Show (we do one every year).

Here's an AZW (using TSATF rules) we did a few years ago:


So in about 2 years, we'll set the Nile, boats & a *lot* more figures (mostly foot).

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 Apr 2017 4:57 a.m. PST

considering the fact that he doesn't, from memory, contribute with anything interesting wouldn't be the case, in order to avoid his repeated (and clumsy) aggressions, to simply lock his account?

If I locked the account of everyone who doesn't contribute anything interesting… evil grin

Smokey Roan Inactive Member18 Apr 2017 11:02 a.m. PST

Wait, what did I miss? I dont see any rude comments and rants?

All I know is I am not the one to blame (which is refreshing)


"contribute anything interesting"

I passed muster! Any anecdote about managing to get bitten by a camel and an ostrich* in Arkansas of all places, reaches the threshold, says I :)

*My ex wife, the big Indian, told me during Easter Dinner that it was actually an "Emu" that bit me. Big bird, like 7 feet tall, bitey, and does not like to be hugged. emu, ostrich, whatever!

Henry Martini18 Apr 2017 9:27 p.m. PST

Emus are renowned for their lack of culinary discernment :- ).

Volleyfire20 Apr 2017 2:30 p.m. PST

Are we allowed to ask whereabouts you were bitten? On the body I mean, we've established it was in Arkansas. I only ask as it might also add something of interest.

Smokey Roan Inactive Member20 Apr 2017 9:01 p.m. PST

On the shoulder/collarbone. I was just giving him a hug. And he bit me!

Corporal Fagen02 Jan 2018 9:15 p.m. PST

Second El Teb, the Atbara, and Omdurman all featured deployment/charges of massed Ansar cavalry. Second El Teb even featured a body of massed Ansar camelry on the battlefield.

Corporal Fagen03 Jan 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

Abu Klea as well

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