Wednesday, 2 September 2009

1871: The Battle of Dorking

It was on Tuesday, the 10th of August, that the fleet sailed from the Downs. It took with it a submarine cable to lay down as it advanced, so that continuous communication was kept up, and the papers were publishing special editions every few minutes with the latest news…. This went on till the Thursday morning. I had just come up to town by train as usual, and was walking to my office, when the newsboys began to cry, “New edition – enemy’s fleet in sight!”.… It was about ten o'clock that the first telegram came; an hour later the wire announced that the admiral had signalled to form line of battle, and shortly afterwards that the order was given to bear down on the enemy and engage. At twelve came the announcement, “Fleet opened fire about three miles to leeward of us” – that is, the ship with the cable. So far all had been expectancy, then came the first token of calamity. “An ironclad has been blown up” – “the enemy's torpedoes are doing great damage” – “the flag-ship is laid aboard the enemy” – “the flag-ship appears to be sinking” – “the vice-admiral has signalled to” – there the cable became silent, and, as you know, we heard no more till, two days afterwards, the solitary ironclad which escaped the disaster steamed into Portsmouth.
- The Battle of Dorking

A cracking read if you havent come across it by now, and now a wargame by Draken Games! Available for download through wargame vault:

"1871: The Battle of Dorking" allows two players to find out what might have happened at the key battle of this fictional campaign. Along with the rules and all the cut-outs needed, full background notes are given regarding Chesney's original book, the context of the campaign and the weaponry, organisation and tactics of both armies. A game should last two hours on a first play, reducing to 90 minutes once familiar with the rules.

Rules and Background
2 Piece 8.5"x11" map
57 double-sided counters
28 single-sided counters

Thee you go, I'd be interested to hear form anyone who has played it - cheers!


The Haggis said...

What is the Chesney book you're referring to?

Tas said...

"The Battle of Dorking", which was one of the first in the so called Invasion literature genre. Its a cracking read!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!