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Battles For Empire 2nd edition is an operational scale set of Victorian era colonial rules suitable for the Zulu War, Sudan campaigns, Northwest Frontier, Boxer Rebellion, and other conflicts of the era. Most units are four bases strong, representing a company of infantry or squadron of cavalry and the rules are suitable for all miniature scales. The movement system has a Fire & Fury feel to it, with each unit rolling on a chart to see how far they move and/or if they rally from combat results. The charts do a great job os simulating sudden native rushes that were a critical aspect of colonial warfare. Our group uses 15mm figures, but we base them on 25mm stands, which gives each infantry or cavalry unit 24 figures, which seems to look very good on the tabletop. RIght now we only have armies for the Sudan, but are looking at other wars.

BFE 2: A Chaotic Affair


From Ambush to Victory

We had not played Battles For Empire in quite some time, so it was back to the desert! An Egyptian column has been sent out to arrest the provincial governor, who is in a village deep in rebel territory. The column also has supplies for the garrison. The column had Sudanese, Egyptian cavalry, Bashi-Bazouks, slavers, and plenty of baggage, plus two sections of mountain guns. The advance party finds that the governor and garrison have gone over to the Mahdi and the trap is sprung! What followed was a highly chaotic and desperate battle that went for almost 3 1/2 hours! The game featured a number of cavalry charges, counterattacks, desperate defense of the baggage, then trying to get back through the pass and to safety. The Mahdists and Fuzzy Wuzzies threw themselves at the cloumn's units with reckless abandon and at one point looked like they might win the game. Surprisingly, the Bashi-bazouks and the slavers, who were the lowest quality units on the board, held for as long as possible, which threw a wrench into the Mahdist plans. There was so much action happening across the board that it was hard to focus on the immediate threats! The Egyptian column, however, survived all of the charges and while the losses were heavy, they were able to escape the trap. Despite not having played this game in quite some time, things went suprisingly well, with just a bit of time spent looking up rules, particularly for a couple of weird situations that we had come up. There's been some discussion that we need to get back to this sooner rather than later, so for the next time we'll probably use some British forces for a change of pace.



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