Sunday, May 8, 2016

Recon 2016 TSAF Gunboats on the Nile AAR (Sudan)

So here is the AAR of the battle that I put on at Recon.

With so many TSATF battles at Recon, it turned out we had more gamers than expected who wanted to get into the action. That was cool to see!  As I mentioned, Bill Daniel of Gamer Garage and I drove the 27 hours from Denver to get there and we both had a blast and thought it was all worth it.

It was nice to see my old friends, Sgt. Guinness, Capt. Lucas and Dr. Jones again.  I also brought a "boat load" of boats and put them on the dealer table that Bill and I shared.  I came back with only three Dhows.  So it's back to the 28mm shipyard to build more Gunboats and Dhows.  I am also looking at building several new types of boats, so if there are any suggestions out there, please drop me a line.  And yes, the Giza and Kadesh are now moored down south in Florida, thanks to Rick and Lucas.

In the pics below you will also see the new L Class Patrol boat which I built for Capt. Lucas.  After all the crap we have been dishing out to him after the Giza incident, I felt he'd earned it.  I am building more of these L Class boats.  They are smaller, as you can see in the pictures where they are next to the larger boats.  The design has a 3" beam and roughly 10" length. 

So the battle I ran was the typical amphibious and land assault of a Dervish strongpoint.  It didn't start out well for the British due the aggressive nature of the dervishes.  Unfortunately the British gunboats had to steam up slowly to help support the ground forces marching alongside on the banks of the river.  The Desert column ran into trouble right away and didn't get very far.  All of this is noted in the pictures.  As you'll see for yourself, my scenario planning didn't quite work out the way I had planned, as the dervish gunboats were never able to truly engage with their opposing vessels.  The British boats did not make it past the Mud Fort before time ran out on us.  But we all had a good time nonetheless.  It is always nice and easy playing with Veteran TSATF gamers.  

Note: For this battle we tried out my homebrew boat rules emphasizing fast-play.  This unofficial draft set of rules allows us to fold boat combat into the standard TSATF rules.  If you are interested in learning more about them please post a comment below to let me know.  They seemed to work very well for conducting simultaneous Ground and River combat.  The mechanisms for movement and firing are the same as TSATF.  I got some good feedback on them and have already made some changes.

If you would prefer a rules set with much more detail catering to Victorian Colonial waterborne and land combat in one single all-emcompassing rules set, I will strongly recommend Patrick Wilson's, "Boilers and Breechloaders," which as I say has a lot more detail than these fast-play rules.  And I would also like to point out that all of the boat fittings and weapons featured on the ships in the pics below come from TVAG (The Virtual Armchair General -- Patrick's company). So if you need to arm your boats, definitely visit his website (

And one last special thanks to the Jacksonville Garrison Gamers and HMGS South for showing Bill and I a whole lotta Southern hospitality!

Enjoy the AAR.

Last Stand Dan


Nick said...

Hi Dan,

Nick Stern, friend of the Mad Guru here. I would be very interested in learning more about your "combined operations" rule variant for TSATF. I have a 25mm collection I use for the South China Sea Dyaks vs the Royal Navy and am alwas on the lookout to improve my games.


Rev Dr David said...

. I would be very interested in learning more about your "combined operations" rule variant for TSATF

Sgt. Guinness said...


That was a great battle and big fun! Great AAR as well. Once again the dice were not in our favor. The Dervish pinned us to the coast and stopped us before we could engage the fort with ground forces. We lost too many melees and we screened our mountain guns at a critical point in the battle. Very well played by the native commanders. I really enjoyed the scenario and the time spent with friends. I loved your new Gunboat and Dhow rules and was very impressed with how seamlessly they blend with TSATF.

The boats you sold the boys down here were awesome! Bill's terrain is great as well so between the two of you guys you kitted out me and my club mates. We shall be running a day long campaign of 3 games for the Sudan at Hurricon-2016 in Orlando later this year.

I'm really looking forward to seeing you again my friend!

Sgt. Guinness

Phil said...

Beautiful pictures, and the Nile is awesome!

ABC Wargammers said...

Love the models.

Sgt.Guiness, saw an article on my blog and suggested I contact you about some gunboat rules you have adapted from TSATF. I tried a naval games with gun boats and Chinese junks but the rules I had didn't work out. Can you let me know what you do?
Many thanks

wronzof said...

nice pics thank you!

I'm very interesting in Learning more about your naval tsatf variant