Sunday, June 15, 2014

Small Action - Gunboat Giza Running the Guns (Sudan Campaign)

We fought another small action this time with the Giza running the guns after the 5th cataract in order to get to Berber in time for Major Elder's Assault.  We used the excellent ruleset Boilers and Breechloaders (B&B).  This is the first time I have used any gunboat rules so this was a good learning experience for me.  Thanks to Patrick Wilson who answered some preliminary questions that helped me setup the battle.  I would also like to thank Andrew and Matt for helping me fight the battle.  Andrew took the place of Capt. Owen in this one and Matt ran the Dervish side while I was game master.  

If you remember the Battle for Berber the Giza made it in time to support the assault.  What was left out was how the Giza made it there.  This is the run the Giza made.  I wanted to make it interesting and not using any gunboat rules before I think I got the balance right.  But who says it has to be balanced anyway?  

So in B&B each gun and boat is assigned a number or a card.  And then I used cards as I would a TSAF battle to run through the sequence of moving and firing.  I had some scenario modifiers:  The emplaced Dervish guns had a rate of fire (ROF) of 2.  They also suffered as improvised crewmen but the target was large (Giza 17" long) and they were a small target.  You roll 3D6 to beat a number after the modifiers are added to the To Hit base number for Short, Medium and Long ranges.  I like the way it played.  The Giza came on with a 6pd QF so I left it as stated in the rules to a ROF of 3.  The fact that they are British increases their chances of hitting their target.  You really should get a copy of B&B from TVAG and give them a try,  you will not be disappointed. 

So on to the battle from the Dervish point or View.  The gun emplacements were in perfect locations. The first emplacement of two guns took on the Giza right away and started peppering the gunboat without many jams.  Once the Giza trained her 6 pdr on a target it was usually with devastating effect.  While the Giza suffered many hits including a Bridge hit from this battery, the battery suffered some heavy damage itself.  The Crew of one gun was killed off once and allowed a 2nd improvised crew to take their place after one turn.  The 2nd gun received an ammunition hit and was out for 3 turns.  I allowed them to displace and move the gun to a different vantage point.  The Island battery was pretty much ignored because the Giza gun was trained on more threatening targets like the first battery and then a couple of Dhows coming downriver.  It was pretty exciting to watch this battle unfold.  The Giza increasing speed, taking hits, water spouts from missed shots, the Captain maneuvering in closer to shore to get the Nordenfeldts into action.  Beautiful!  And I can say that a wooden dhow taking any kind of gun hits is going to hurt.  They are Wooden unprotected vessels so suffer 2 points of damage per hit where the Giza, a protected boat was taking only one damage per hit. The biggest one time hit the Giza took was getting rammed but I may or may not have done the rules right.  The Giza suffered 3 ADs damage on the ram.  I will figure these out the more I play them.   

So on to the battle, again I hope you are enjoying the campaign.  The next big land battle will be at Atbara. Our club meetings and upcoming convention has thrown off my scheduling but looking for dates to get that done because it seems that a Omdurman/Khartoum battle is upcoming along with more gunboat battles. I hope to complete the Campaign over the next two months.  

So with all that said here it is.

(Reference Elder at Berber:


NW Crew said...

Very good AAR and great to see some river boat warfare.

Sgt. Guinness said...


Another Outstanding report!!!!! You really bring the games to life in your AAR's. You can almost smell the cordite, hear the rounds impacting, and feel the dice. Great looking minis too. The Giza looks amazing brother. It's going to be a very sad day once you've completed the campaign …………..

We should plan a massive game next year at Colonial Barracks with all your boats and mine together, it would be insane. Maybe even a bring and play???

Sgt. Guinness

Furt said...

Loved that river battle - something I would love to emulate! Keep up the great work.


Mad Guru said...


I come bringing glad tidings for the Guru, and a mention-in-dispatches for Colonel (I figure as GM you must also have a British persona under the table somewhere...

I just nominated you for a LIEBSTER award.

You can check out all the details on my blog, at your leisure!

If it turns out youre not up for going through the motions required to officially "win" this nomination (there's no competition involved), I will not hold it against you in any way, shape or form! I know how busy everyone is these days, and you and your blog are already winners in my book, which is why I had to nominate you!

Keep up the good work, and hope to see you in the flesh again one of these days/years!



Phil said...

Original and fantastic report, excellent work!