Monday, February 18, 2019

Nightboat to Cairo!

It's been too long!
Well, it's time to crank the old blog-machine back to life. Little did I know that the title of the last post was going to be so prophetic!

Life has just got too busy in the last couple of years, and something had to give; unfortunately that something was my blog. My wargaming didn't completely stop, but I definitely haven't been able to make it to the club nearly as much as I would like. My figure painting output has also suffered, too. Altogether, the last year has been one of burning the candle at both ends. After the daily work grind and family responsibilities, I haven't had a lot of energy to do much but flop in front of the telly for an hour or so before staggering up the stairs to bed. Oh, woe is me! 

(LOL! It's not that bad really, but I've found my focus changing and while my hobbies are still a big part of my life, my family life is changing gears as my kids grow older, not to mention my wife and I are too...)

Anyhoo, Last weekend John R. put on a scenario extravaganza that cried out for internet immortality, hence the dust being blown off the old blog. Set in Egypt in the dying days of the 18th century, the scenario saw the French advancing down both banks of the Nile to Cairo, while the local Turkish-led forces had to concentrate their forces to attempt to stymie their progress.

I was the Turkish C-in-C with the responsibility for protecting Cairo from the infidel onslaught. I had ordered my brave generals Paul C., Bill and Quinny to protect the bridges by any means necessary, while my little flotilla traversed the battlefield from one end to the other, where I was to take command and organise a counter-attack. Nigel had the wild-card command of a battalion of British infantry adjacent to Paul C.'s command on the right bank of the Nile.

There were four French commands; two on the left bank, one on the right and another coming out of the desert further upstream on the left bank. Garry had the right bank command, Tim the command on left closest to the river, Jenko on his right flank, and Vana had the southern command. His roll seemed to be to act in the role of anvil to pin Bill, while Tim and Jenko acted as the hammer to smash him from the rear. 

I fully expected my generals to play a defensive game and withdraw over the bridges, luring the French over where we would counter-attack them as they debouched from the bridge-heads. It seemed they had other ideas! Quinny's commander had a bio that really didn't suit his style of gameplay; indolent, lazy etc. Luckily, his cavalry commander was a young thruster, eager to make a name for himself! As such, he sent his cavalry over the bridges to support Bill and interfere with Vana's plans. Vana always goes for quality over quantity and by all rights should have been able to swat the Mameluke and Arab cavalry quite easily. Quinny's masterful handling of his cavalry plus a healthy dose of extremely lucky dice rolls (paired with Vana's equally woeful dice rolling), meant that Vana's attack was halted in its tracks, ripe for a counter-attack by Bill's infantry. This attack resulted in Vana's force withdrawing from the field, and releasing the pressure to Bill's rear. The attack to his front was remorseless, though. Tim and Jenko, slowly advanced to outflank Bill's position, with Tim directly attacking the village held by Bill's garrison (including a battery of whopping 24lb artillery!). Jenko's flanking move suffered a set back, when Bill's cavalry fresh from its southern victory turned up to chase off Jenko's forces once they moved out of cover from the nearest wadi. Tim's attack on the village was methodically engineered, resulting in the French capturing the big guns and the village and forcing the Turkish retreat.

On the far flank, Garry similarly set up an attack on Paul's forces arrayed in front of a fortified position. He was successful in chasing off the Turks, but was stymied by the British occupied castle, behind which Paul's reserves and rallied forces gathered.

All this time, my gunboats had fun tootling up the Nile blasting the nearest French infantry formations in the flank and rear! What fun! I even managed to force a couple of Tim's battalions to flee after their morale was broken by my efforts.

By the end of the game, Bill had been dislodged, but by no means beaten, Vana had retired into the Sahara to lick his wounds, and Garry was stalled in front of Nigel's castle while Paul regrouped behind him. My little flotilla gathered around the bridges like a swarm of hungry crocodiles around the bridges, waiting for the French to attempt to cross. It was going to be harder for Bonaparte to reach Cairo than he thought!

Many thanks to John R. for his scenario skills, scenery and troops. It was another cracker!

(Please excuse the dodgy photography. My camera doesn't talk to my computer anymore and my skills at using my phone's camera still isn't up to snuff.)

My flotilla

The battlefield North to south

Nigel and Paul's commands

Bill's guns

Bill's infantry and camels

Protect the bridges!

Quinny's fort, and my objective

The Mad Mullah!

Suitable scenery #1


Suitable scenery #2

My little flotilla struggles against the current pursued by the French on both banks!

Bill's artillery makes a couple of ranging shots at Jenko and Tim's troops.

Garry spills first blood, attacking a Janissary square! 


I expect that my blogging won't be nearly as prolific as it has been in the past, but my 2019 resolution is to post as often as I feel I can without it becoming a burden.

Watch this space!


  1. Great looking game Sir and great to have you back blogging once again!!

  2. Good to see your back, the last battle indeed !

  3. Was a great game, and well reported. Gooid to see and hear blog again. Bill


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