General Sir Charles Wilson and the main body of the force to relieve Khartoum left Metemma on the steamers Talahawiyeh and Bordein on 24th January. The preparation of your steamer, re-christened El Teb, took a little longer and you left a day later. You have been rushing to catch up ever since.
Your steamer is now low on fuel and you have come along shore to find additional supplies of timber. A nearby village looks to be a plentiful source even if you have to tear the buildings down. But you need to be on the look out for enemy forces...
Lenin took command of the British troops which consisted of Captain Marmaduke “Chuffy” Chuffington, Officer Commanding (Competent:Rep 4), Sergeant The Honourable Arthur Wilson (Lacking:Rep 3) and a detachment of 1st Royal Sussex; Lt. Reginald “Kipper” Herring (Lacking:Rep 3) and Lance-Corporal Jack Jones (Competent:Rep 4) with an Egyptian Platoon with the Royal Artillery providing a 7 pounder screw gun and the Navy a Gardiner.
The Sussex detachment took the lead and advanced away from the steamer followed by the Egyptians. Initially they thought they had spotted some Dervishes in some rough ground to the South of their position but it turned out to be a false alarm. They advanced further and then spotted a large contingent of Mahdists near the village. Chuffy ordered the Sussex into line and they fired a volley into the enemy. Unfortunately this just seemed to enrage them and they began charging towards the British troops.
Keeping the men steady Chuffy and Sergeant Wilson kept the Sussex firing volley after volley whilst Kipper deployed the Egyptians (despite Lance Corporal Jones' insistence on running around shouting don't panic!).
Despite the Sussex keeping up their fire the Mahdists charged into the British troops and some bloody hand to hand fighting ensued. The larger numbers of the Dervish started to take their toll and the Sussex were forced to fall back taking substantial casualties. Fortunately Captain Chuffington kept his head and withdrew to a position which gave the Naval Brigade's Gardiner gun a clear line of sight to the enemy. The fire from the Gardiner evened the odds and the remaining Dervishes decided that it was the greater threat and charged on towards the steamer. Only a few made the dock but they carried on until they ran headlong into the Royal Artillery who finished them off.
With the Sussex in no shape to proceed the mission was continued by the Egyptians, who almost immediately spotted another large group of the enemy. The Mahdists were on them almost before they had time to react and more hand to hand fighting ensued (supported by cries of "they don't like it up 'em!" from Lance Corporal Jones).
Whilst the Egyptians won the melee they had taken significant casualties and withdrew to the steamer intending to move further up the river to find a softer target.