Very cold, bad TV, no sports, not even a movie to get excited about. So, I dove into a DBA variant, Hordes of Dervishes by Bob Cordery, that had been on the playlist for quite a while. Bob is a wargaming stalwart, with his own interesting site.
There are any number of DBA variants out there. This one is colonial. It’s an excuse to pull out the British 15mm troops that I’ve had for decades, and were lingering out in the shed, patiently waiting for this opportunity. They were all that was left of what had been a rather substantial force of British and French colonials, painted for the aborted World War 1896 campaign, that I sold off a few years ago. I used some of my 15mm figures painted up for the East African Renaissance as the “Dervishes”.
With all my usual finesse, I just lined them up at went at it.
As with DBA, there is a lot of wristage, and the Brits’ roles were horrendous. If the Dervishes get into contact, there is real trouble. While a Dervish element’s (I’m talking Lingua DBA here) combat factor is 3 as compared to 5 for the British, any favorable ratio – not the typical “kill” ratio of over half – will destroy the British element. So it is absolutely critical for the British player to roll well not only in melee but also for his rifle fire to be effective. Especially because the Dervishes are rated as Warband, and can use 2 pips to move 6 inches (600 paces), if that puts them into contact. Rifle range is 5 inches (500 paces).
With the bad rolling, things did not go well for the Highlanders. Here’s a flashbulb view of the battle (the game was played after dark in bad lighting in the dining room). Good game, and I’ll probably play it again this evening.