Sunday, September 30, 2012


 Today (instead of actually having a game - rolls eyes!) I thought I might take the time to see how much table (or floor) space a TSaTF battalion might take up.

This is four units, each of 20 figures. Artillery outside the square with a few skirmishers out to screen the crews.
The ruler is scaled in centimetres.

The bases of pack animals gives an idea of the effect I want to acheive.

Now I just need to fix the basing up!

Additionally, I've re-read my Snook and gleaned the following figures for the Khartoum

As of the 22nd of November, Gordon had the following troops in the garrison:

1421 Egyptian Regulars
2316 Sudanese regulars
1906 Bashi Buzuks
2330 Sha'iq'a Irregulars
692 Armed Citizens
Additionally, there were 12 guns on the lines, another 11 in the steamers as
well as 2 Krupp 20-pounders. Gordon states in his journals he had 2-3 "French

To that date also, Gordon notes the garrison has suffered 1800-1900 fatal
casualties. 800 of those are from the Sudanese troops. At the start of the seige
then, the garrison of Khartoum is in the region of about 10,500 men.

Note that most of the Egyptians are either at Fort Omdurman or on the steamers.

As to breaking them down for wargaming purposes, I've chosen a scale of 40:1 and
distributed the remaining 1,100 casualties roughly proportionately, thus:

40 Egyptian Regulars
80 Sudanese regulars
60 Bashi Buzuks
60 Sha'iq'a Irregulars
20 Armed Citizens

I need to check a little firther to see what proportion of the Bashi Buzuks may
have been mounted, if only to see how far their mounts might be used to eke out
the food supply...

This gives us a total of 260 figures which, if you multiply it back out, comes
to 10,400. So not too bad an approximation of the garrison.

At the same ratio, we'd need to find a maximum of 1200 Mahdists (equating to
50,000 of the Mahdi's army) at their peak strength. This number might be
expected to reduce as fort garrisons are detatched.

Any thoughts or comments?


Bluebear Jeff said...

I like it when the basing color is at least close to the table top color . . . not always doable, of course, . . . but it sure looks good when it works.

At a minimum I try to have all of the basing in an army the same anyway.

Your troops look good, Greg.

-- Jeff

Ross Mac said...

Just a couple of random thoughts and questions. How big will the table be with how many players? How long is the game supposed to take to play? or is it mostly for show?

I was pondering the footprint of Khartoum given the size of the garrison. To avoid making them too comfortable, it seems to me like a city of at least a meter x a meter is needed if not more, add a river with a far bank, room for artillery etc. I was picturing a T shaped table or a gap between tables for the river with boats on pedestals etc. but a smaller table would surely need a smaller garrison to make sure they aren't too think on the walls?

Magnificent project at any rate.

Bloggerator said...

Hi Ross,

Still doodling at the moment, but:

I'm thinking at least 6-8 metres long at least, and T-shaped. I am working on how to use scrolling terrain if this seems needful. I think i will also use a couple of small tables "across the river" on which to build Fort Omdurman. This might also go some way to defining the width of the river.

Player numbers? Realistically about 10-12, I think.

The game wiill be played out as a single campaign over two to two-and-a-half days.

I agree that Khartoum will need to be pretty big and I think a square metre is not unreasonable.

This will most assuredly be a game rather than a show.