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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Sunday, 16 May 2021

The Bad Mahdi...

 aka the Mad Mahdi's lesser known cousin, two times removed.

A tale of dust, thirst and Bob Cordery on the square (get it?).

This was a rare occasion when I was facing a real opponent on the tabletop, in the shape of my grandson who nobly took the part of the Bad Mahdi. We were using Bob Cordery's '"The Gatling's Jammed..." simple Colonial Wargame Rules'. And it was to be another re-fight of the attack on Morobad, seen below:

The British, supported by elements of the Egyptian camelry:

They had a combined strength point total of 46, which gave them an exhaustion point of 15. The Mahdi's men had a strength point total of 37 (though, of course, they had the town walls), with exhaustion point of 12. The exhaustion point marks the point when offensive action is no longer possible.

Being a spirited sort of fellow, the Bad Mahdi decided to defend Morobad with his rifle equipped units, while throwing the rest of his force into an attack designed to stop the Infidels getting anywhere near the town.

Compelled by their want of rifles and muskets, the Mahdi's lads took some heavy fire on their way to contact.

The field gun battery, along with the Nordenfelt did some fine work, but still the crazed Fuzz came on:

Realising that the affair would be decided on the field, the Bad Mahdi sent out his rifle armed units to support the attack. Below we see the hand of Mars (are we getting our religious references mixed here?) moving the riflemen up in support:

The attackers, horse (rather, camel) and foot, closed with the infidel, and some hot dice were thrown, both sides taking casualties:

But the stalwarts of the British Empire held firm: 

The upshot was that just as the Mahdi's riflemen began to close, their entire force hit their exhaustion point.  At that, Col. Bufton and the Bad Mahdi decided to call it a day. Morobad hadn't fallen, but the Mahdi's force had been stopped in its tracks.

Before we go,

Plant of the moment:

Encrusted saxifrage, currently sheltering from the rain in my greenhouse:

Finally, don't forget to visit my other bloggy-website thing:

Stephen M. Cullen – History, books & booklets from Allotment Hut. (


  1. It is great to see my rules being used with Jacklex figures ... one of my favourite figure ranges!

    All the best,


    1. Your rules approach perfection! I love the little Jacklex figures, they have so much spirit in their tiny forms!

  2. Great looking game and choice of rules. I enjoyed seeing the lovely plant. I have a fondness for alpines too.

    1. I admire Alpines for their amazing beauty, small perfections, and then you consider where they grow!

  3. An enjoyable affair to view from afar which also read as a stirring event to take part in.

    1. It was great fun. All part of my strategic campaign to draw my 12 year old grandson away from Warhammer!

  4. Very brave (or mad) of the Mahdi to emerge from their fortress and be shot down in the open - pluck over science? Also, congratulations on your publication in Salient Points, I hope to read it in (soonish) due course. Cheers, Michael

  5. Ah, impetuous youth! Mind you, I was pleased when the lad realised it was time to send up reinforcements - a degree of native wit there, I thought.
    Thanks, Padre! It's intended to be first of a series of the writings of that unsurpassed generation.

  6. This is a great inspirational article. I really appreciate your good work. Please share a good post to continue it.