Sunday, April 5, 2009

Patrols in the Sudan by RFCM

I sent off for the Patrols in the Sudan ruleset from RFCM / Peter Pig. Though they are designed for 15mm it would only take about two seconds to adapt them for 28mm (or any other scale, for that matter). They are a 1:1 scale rule-set but play is by section-platoon sized units (2-7 stands). I know I have gotten enthusiastic before, but these rules are great! They are designed for (as the title says) Patrol actions in the Sudan but I will guarantee you that I will use them for Mesopotamia 1915-1920. Frankly they would be perfect for any of the major Colonial Wars and most smaller ones, I will almost certainly re-base my Zulu Wars figures for this game and maybe my Maori Wars figures. I'm not completely done reading the rules but so far I like everything. RFCM as always, comes through, simple workable mechanics combined with a scenario generation system that is amazing.
It's the force building and scenario generation systems that are the gems in RFCM games and what make them stand out to me. Players use points values to buy a "force" using several lists (British Infantry, Egyptian Cavalry, Gunboat, etc.) then choose a scenario. The Scenario lets you know what kind of Patrol you are on (one way or two way) any mandatory extra scenery (say, a village), any extra forces involved (a color bearer or heliograph team) and victory conditions. Then the Dervish player begins to set up terrain splitting his hidden units between two terrain pieces. These may appear later in either piece either when he activates them or when they are scouted. During each turn the dervish player will choose to roll on an event table that may remove one of his units, remove a scenery piece, place a new unit or piece of scenery or return a scenery to unscouted status. So one is never sure where the beggars might pop up. The scenarios would seem to replay really different each game due to all the pick-up game aspects of PITS.
In Great War terms you could easily adapt these scenarios to the Sanusi Uprising, Actions against the Aabs and Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia 1915-1920, the Eastern Cordon in Persia, Dyer's campaign in Eastern Persia, Turks patrolling the Hijaz, many of the actions in the Sinai in 1916 & 1917 by the ALH and Camel Corps, Sudan & Darfur during this time.

Any how, this is how I imagined Colonial Gaming would be when I first got into it. Each side fields no more than 100 figures, the game is supposedly 1.5 hours or so in length, lots of color while being quick and elegant in execution. Probably this will be a solo effort, not sure how it would lend itself to a club game. I'll let y'all know how it goes when I play it.

Here is a game report by Matakishi:
Here is Peter Pig's page:


Chris said...

This looks very interesting. I am very interested in how this works out for you, especially with the Turks.

Scott Pasha said...

As I've now read the rules through, I'm even more excited... but see my forthcoming post about the limitations and possibilities of PITS. Turks in the "Anglo-EGyptian" role vs Hijaz Bedouins is a perfect substitute for A-E vs Dervish.

Chris said...

I borrowed a copy from a friend and skimmed them the other night. I think they will make a smashing game with the Turks and Arabs. It also sparked my interest in the coloniel period.
Just what I needed was another era of interest. ;-)

Looking forward to your next post on PITS.