15mm Gunboats on the Nile
Gunboat Operations in the Sudan
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Sudan campaigns was the use of gunboats, armed steamers, and transports along the Nile. However, it is also the one aspect of the campaign that so little is known about. While the exploits of the Sultan at Omdurman or the run by the gunboats to rescue Gordon are well known and documented, there is little else about river warfare during the early or late Sudan campaigns. While mentioned a few times that there were up to 30 vessels that supported the campaigns, there is not much in the way of artwork or photographs detailing gunboat operations. One of the best articles for gamers was in the old Courier magazine when they did their Sudan campaign theme year, but even that was very short on details other than noting the few classes of ships that they could find some information on. Fortunately for gamers this opens up the opportunites for creativity in being able to design, build, and use various steamers and gunboats for your colonial era Sudan games. The Madhists did capture and/or convert several steamers for use on the Nile against the British, so there was the possibility of a gunboat battle. Gunboats add an interesting facet to colonial games as their presence allows additonal firepower to be brought to bear, they can transport or evacuate troops, and quickly become the focal point of any colonial battle.