Monday, 13 July 2020

A Short Visit to Egypt


Veteran readers of this blog may recall that back in October 2018 and March 2019 we replayed the three of the battles of the Egyptian campaign of 1801, more specifically the Landing at Abuqir Bay and the Battle of Mandara and the The Battle of Alexandria or Canope. In the latter action the British were severely defeated and forced to retreat from the field.

Yesterday we played another game associated to that campaign that assumes that after the action of Alexandria a British rearguard allowed the Navy to extract the army, which was taken to Malta where it was reequipped before joining an Ottoman force on the northern tributary of the Nile at Damietta. The united Anglo-Ottoman force advanced on Cairo. Our game takes place around an oasis on that advance that both sides need to control. The oasis was located in the dead centre of the table with undulating ground around the edges.

The French army contained a total of 18 battalions, the dromedary regiment, four cavalry regiments (2 dragoons, 1 hussars, 1 Chasseurs á cheval), 2 horse batteries, two field batteries and a light battery. The Anglo-Ottomans had 14 British battalions, two small units of dismounted dragoons, one unit of Hompesch Hussars, six small artillery batteries, five units of Mamelukes, one unit of Janissaries, one of Nazim-i Cedid infantry, three units of Ottoman infantry. Deployment was free with each side able to deploy across the full width of their side of the table, 300mm in from the edge.

The British deployed with the Ottoman command on the left, Extending beyond the oasis. In the centre, directly opposite the oasis was a small mixed brigade of two battalions, the dismounted dragoons, the Hompesch Hussars and two 12lb guns. Extending to the right was a brigade of seven battalions and two guns, and finally on the extreme right was a abrigade of five battalions and two guns.

By coincidence the French deployment mirrored the Anglo-Ottoman deployment. Their cavalry, supported by the field batteries were on the left, opposite the Ottoman force. Two demi-brigades were posted opposite the oasis. The dromedary regiment, supported by a horse battery, moved to occupy the oasis. Two more groupd each of two demi-brigades extended to the left of the oasis.


The British extreme left that faced my two demi-brigades (below)

In the centre the French quickly occupied the oasis

While the British formed a menacing line to the right of the oasis.

The action started on the British left, where the Mameluke cavalry attempted to take on the French cavalry, but the French troopers proved the better.

The action then moved to the Ottoman infantry, supported by some British infantry and dismounted light dragoons, who engaged the French infantry, and again came off the worst.

With the Ottoman advance stalled, the French artillery proceeded to blow their formations apart and soon drove them from the field. Action then moved to the other side of the oasis, where a strong British force dealt to a couple of demi-brigades in short order.


At the same time action developed on my front, on the French extreme left, with my two demi-brigades stepping off in fine order.

Despite taking a pounding from the British guns, I managed to arrange three battalions to converge their fire on a single British battalion and score nine hits! And he saves EIGHT!!!

Things are looking grim for me when the British attacked, but against all odds one of my battalions turned the tide and threw them back. But both of us were largely fought out and stood back and the action moved back to the centre

The French cavalry, the artillery and the largely intact brigade around the oasis swung to face the last intact British brigade.



Outgunned and with the French troopers circling the last of the British began to crumble.


Here we ended an excellent day’s wargame. 



 

24 comments:

  1. A splendid looking game Mark...
    It’s great to see these chaps in action again... and thank you for further temptation.

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Yes you need to get on to this project Aly. Maybe some Corsican Rifles vs some dromedary troops?

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  2. Hi Mark - Superb Armies - a lot of excellent painting indeed. Cheers. KEV.

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    1. Thank Kev. These are great armies to work with...lots of variety of units.

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  3. Looks excellent Mark! Remind me what rules you are using?

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    1. Thanks Mark. The rules are house rules, presented under Free Stuff on the blog, although I need to update the file since there have been a few version upgrades since I last posted there.

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    2. Just marvelous and really cheered up a lockdown day for me. Your site has for a long time been a wonderful inspiration for my 15mm collection.

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    3. Thanks Noel. Here's to hoping that your lockdown ends soon!

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    4. Ah interesting Mark thank you, will have a look at rules. I also tried clicking on the period Handbooks (Napoleonic and WSS) and it said "no preview available, file is in owner's bin". Any chance you could adjust settings so those are available too? Cheers!

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    5. Ok I’ll have a look at them in the next few days.

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  4. Great to see this collection out on the gaming table. Must be a real treat to be back to FtF gaming.

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    1. Indeed it IS good to get around the gaming table...and to be able to shake hands without guilt! We are exceedingly fortunate here in that we succeeded in stamping the virus out in the community and now our only cases are amongst citizens returning from overseas, all of which are contained in the hotels that have been turned into quarantine facilities. I cannot imagine how things must be in parts of the US where this insidious thing is surging.

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  5. Great to see this wonderful collection out on the table again Mark, and a fine French victory.

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    1. Thanks Lawrence. I must admit that things looked very grim for the French at one point.

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  6. What an absolutely lovely looking game.

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    1. Thanks Norm. The camera didn’t really do the game justice...there were a few times when I looked up the table that just looked almost like the famous painting of the Battle of the Pyramids.

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  7. Looks like you had a good game Mark although I am not sure I would have wanted to participate in yet another British defeat in this theatre of operations...at this rate, we will be gaming Napoleonis successful invasion of southern England!

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    1. It was quite a near run thing really and at one point I thought the French would be driven from the field. I think southern England might be a stretch, but how about a French invasion of India from the west?

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  8. Great post Mark, a wonderful collection and a close encounter.
    It's been a while since my forces have hit the tabletop.
    Cheers
    Stuart

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  9. Your (too) short visit to Egypt is awesome Mark, wonderful pictures, terrain and armies...Excellent report!

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    1. Thank you Phil. I Would love to be in Egypt now! It would be a lot warmer than here!

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  10. Very nice! Napoleon in Egypt is a period I've always wanted to do.

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    1. Thanks Jay. It was the dromedary unit that got me hooked, a wonderfully unique unit.

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