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Gordon's Khartoum: Before the Battle

Posted by John Simmons on 06 Nov 2021, 22:54

While waiting for the game, I decided to populate Khartoum with appropriate civilians, doing what civilians did, and show Gordon's preparations for the siege to come. The Blue Nile waterfront was the city's busiest part. Here a small steamer and small dhow unload.

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The souk or bazaar, running along Khartoum's main street in front of the Governor General's palace, the city hall, and the main mosque.

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Calling the faithful to prayer.

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Before the siege forced them to eat their mounts, Egyptian and Bashi-Bazouk cavalry patrolled the desert outside Khartoum.

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Gordon supervises repairs to the defenses and laying wire at the White Nile end of his fortifications. The mud proves too thick to rebuild the wall and catwalk.

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The bridges over the trench are removed at two of the three "gates" to the city. On the Burri road, an iron gate replaces the bridge. Stores are collected at the granary.

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Gordon moors two old barges on the White Nile, next to the city's greatest weakness: the muddy mess where the earthen fortifications have been washed away. The barges are lightly fortified and manned by a reliable unit.

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Gordon's forces: Egyptian and Sudanese troops.

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The Bashi-Bazouks, now forced to fight exclusively on foot.

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Gendarmes, armed civilians, and armed slaves.

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Egyptian artillery.

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Machine guns. Some sources contend that Gordon had two Gatling guns at his disposal, left behind in Khartoum's arsenal (as too heavy) by Hicks. Gordon certainly had some machine guns. I've decided to give him a Gatling.

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The Mahdi's encampment.

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The Mahdist army. There were three divisions or "flags" at Khartoum: the black flag (of Abdullahi), the green flag (of Ali Hilu), and the red flag (of al-Sharif). The units within each flag carried smaller banners of the same color.

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The Mahdist artillery.

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The Mahdi's mounted troops.

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Rifle-armed foot troops.

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Swords.

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Spears.

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I'll post a battle report soon.
John Simmons  United States of America
 
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 06 Nov 2021, 23:21

Wonderful city, wonderful setting, wonderful civilians and wonderful armies, both Gordon's and Mahdi's one, John. :drool: :drool: :drool:

I'm happy to see that you use the same Esci/Italeri figure for the Mahdi than me in my diorama "Gordon meets the Mahdi". :mrgreen:

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Best regards.

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Peter on 06 Nov 2021, 23:50

Can't wait to see that battle report! So far I liked everything you showed here. :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Bill Slavin on 07 Nov 2021, 14:08

A feast for the eyes!! And an education as well. I love that you are creating the narrative before the battle, and your attention to detail and all the small purpose built bits are fantastic.
Will the battle be a game or are you recreating it visually, a la Mr. Dodson? Regardless, I look forward to the report and, again, admire the work you are putting into this table.
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Bill Slavin  Canada
 
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Posted by sansovino on 07 Nov 2021, 16:22

Really a great theatre which you have excellent composed. It´s a pleasure to study the different groups and interactions, but some more civilians would make it still a little more colorful. I presume you will use your scenery later for a battle, or I am wrong?
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Posted by PaulRPetri on 08 Nov 2021, 15:53

Holy Cow I am speechless!! Outstanding!! What a great host of warriors!
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Posted by Minuteman on 08 Nov 2021, 16:28

This all looks quite magnificent. A great representation of the city itself, and amazing models of Gordon's meagre forces, and the huge and powerful Mahdist army! The flags carried by the latter are most impressive.
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Minuteman  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Rich W on 09 Nov 2021, 00:48

As everyone else has already said, fantastic!
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Posted by C M Dodson on 11 Nov 2021, 08:11

Hi John.

Excellent as always.

Your war games terrain is always something special and this is no different.

I love the details such as the carpets and identifying your conversions, paint ups is fun too.

The armies look great and the battle should be spectacular.

I can visualise Charlton already.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by OwenChpw on 12 Nov 2021, 00:13

Wow! So much detail, this is a dauntingly impressive city! I also love the Egyptian and Sudan troops, it's all very atmospheric!
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by Michael Robert on 12 Nov 2021, 16:19

Great John!
Now let the movie unfold…

Will be watching closely
Michael
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Michael Robert  France

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Posted by John Simmons on 15 Nov 2021, 20:55

Thank you all for your very kind comments. In answer to Bill's question, this will be an actual game. I'm afraid I can't do what Chris Dodson does. I lack both his modelling and his photographic skills. But I do like the look of a lot of troops on a table that's been set up well. Khartoum was a particular challenge for me, since I've never done a desert game before and needed to build or convert (and paint) almost every item on the table, troops included. I think we've finally gotten enough people free to play the game next weekend. I'll post a battle report afterwards.
John Simmons  United States of America
 
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Posted by dykio on 15 Nov 2021, 21:04

wow, wow and even more wow.

what an incredible game lay-out and the troops :drool: :drool:

ps. which figs did you use for the civilians?

regards

Dykio
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dykio  Netherlands
 
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Posted by John Simmons on 19 Nov 2021, 15:25

The civilians that are pictured came from all over the place, with lots of conversions. A lot of the Sudanese depicted in the city are from various Nikolai Arab sets, with others converted from all the other plastic Arab sets. Some of the porters are from Caesar's Arab and Bedouins. The European civilians in the city use a lot of bodies or heads from the Redbox Boxer Rebellion Civilian Volunteers set. Many of the women in long dresses are conversions of Imex pioneers and settlers. The armed civilians are a huge mix, with even some Strelets Confederates and Boers thrown in.
John Simmons  United States of America
 
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Posted by MABO on 02 Dec 2021, 22:40

Amazing armies and great conversions for the civilians. I am late to answer here but I do not want to miss the opportunity.
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by Chariobaude on 03 Dec 2021, 11:54

MABO wrote:Amazing armies and great conversions for the civilians. I am late to answer here but I do not want to miss the opportunity.

same here ! i didn't see this topic, and it's a gem !
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Posted by Beano Boy on 03 Dec 2021, 17:25

General Gordon, like a true blue blooded Gentleman of stiff upper lip stock ,and British Officer of High Rank only ever needed his swagger stick to confront his enemy. The myth of this man upon his last few stone steps still lives on.

Not wishing to offend anyone, i often wondered what was and is written on those flags.

The fantastical sight ,a feast set out before our eyes would have taken many a long time to do. This i thank you for. And i for one truly understand what efforts were involved in producing such wonderful table top things.

Well done. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: BB
Beano Boy  England
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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 03 Dec 2021, 21:25

10/10 +
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