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"Gaming Omdurman" Topic

12 Posts

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Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 9:40 a.m. PST

With the 120th anniversary of the battle coming up, I am motivated to put on an Omdurman game, but aside from the charge of the 21st Lancers and Hector MacDonald's handling of the Sudanese brigade, it feels like too much of a massacre to make a good game. I think I will instead game the battle of Atbara, which at least presents the opportunity to start the game with the Ansar inside a zariba for a change. Have any members put on a successful Omdurman game?

Rich Bliss14 Feb 2018 10:21 a.m. PST

To make it interesting, I think you need to do it at more of an ‘operational' level where the Dervishes have some opportunity to maneuver.

ThePeninsularWarin15mm14 Feb 2018 10:29 a.m. PST

I'm also in a similar situation. I acquired all the figures to be able to do that, just haven't found a suitable set of rules I like. So many of the rule sets are aimed at 28mm skirmish (which is silly) instead of actual battles. A slaughter it may be, but there are players who enjoy a challenge. I keep searching for some serious rules that would let me play out Omdurman but haven't found any. My requirements aren't long, just no verbal orders, blunders or ludicrous movement (so that rules out Black Powder), no card driven craziness and I strongly prefer something published.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 10:46 a.m. PST

ThePeninsularWarin15mm, Have you tried Battles for Empire Colonial Rules by Chris Leach? They are my go to rules for large colonial actions. They use an activation chart similar to Fire and Fury and their movement and formation mechanics really make it feel like you're moving large bodies of men. I think I will use them for Atbara. They are available from:
There's a Yahoo group as well.

Rich Bliss14 Feb 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

Take a look at Volley and Bayonet. Using it coupled with some hidden area movement would work well for Omdurman I think.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 11:25 a.m. PST

A second vote for Battles for Empire 2. The movement system gives the natives that "lava" like movement where their units ebb and flow towards the target. A few good die rolls at the right time can turn unpleasant for the colonial forces very quickly.

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 11:48 a.m. PST

I have been fortunate enough to take part in a very successful Omdurman game using "Bloody Big BATTLES!" (BBB):

The game was run by Mark Smith. He hasn't published his scenario, but maybe for a special anniversary game he might share it with you.


Bloody Big BATTLES!

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 7:00 p.m. PST

Nick, I was thinking on this, too, and I believe your thought of focusing on MacDonald's Brigade might be just the way to go.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 10:08 a.m. PST

Do the islamists of the time remotely stand a chance, to make it an interesting game?

ChrisBBB2 Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2018 11:25 a.m. PST

They won when we played it!

Shedman15 Feb 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

I can recommend the BBB Omdurman scenario on the BBB yahoo group which is different to Chris' scenario

It starts after the failed assault on the Anglo-Egyptian encampment and requires the Anglo-Egyptians to clear the way to Omdurman and Khartoum.

See my AAR at

PanMark15 Feb 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

Omdurman is a big battle for sure. I'm not sure what your scale will be but I am still partial to Savage Wars of Peace. It is not a skirmish set and makes for a fun game. I think copies are still about.

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