Monday, 23 April 2012

Once Upon a Time in Natal

   Saturday saw a return of the 54mm British/Zulu gaming, which is always fun even though the conclusion is just about a given. Andy has a collection of about 50 British and 100 Zulu warriors. We ended up playing two games with the usual stipulations for this sort of game - Zulu casualties are 'recycled' 20 at a time; British casualties remains casualties; no moral is taken; Iron Ivan's This Very Ground rules are used with some variations.

Here's the set up for the first games: (Photos by Andy, Beth, and me)
Andy, Martin, myself, and Robby about to start.
The British began surrounded in a farmstead of two houses and a barn with a fence around it all. The Zulu iMpi began in 5 different directions, determined randomly. Part of the trouble was the fence butted up against a forest in two places, allowing the Zulus to move to the fence while hidden in the woods. They were over those fences soon and into the British lines. (Some of the Zulus carried rifles but never seemed to use them.) It was messy and quick. In the end, the British casualties were recycled into a relief column that didn't reach the compound in time.

A view of the barn, the fence, and the British stabby-troops at exercise
Beth positioned the man in the barn door - "I'll be in here if you need me!"

The Zulus
Another view of the table at the start, with the British marshaling.

Defenders defending

... and attackers attacking. This is one of the places where the forest came right up
to the fence line.
 The second game changed things out a bit. The forests were removed, the high grass was cut back, the barn was replaced with a blockhouse, the houses were put touching, and the Zulus all assaulted from one side - sort of a "horns of the buffalo" thing. It was still quick and dirty.
These red coats didn't last all that long once it got to hand to hand.
For some reason, the rifle fire was wretched.

The troops defend the door of the blockhouse. There were two sections in the blockhouse
to start with and an third (or what was left of it) made it in as well.
Strangely, all were named Davis, Jones, or Williams.
There were two officers - Lt. Gaylord Smithe-Harrumph and Lt. Napoleon IV;
I'm not sure who is in command of this detachment.

Andy's Zulus -two sections- head for the door of the blockhouse while my one
section heads for the open fire, which I intended to throw into the wooden blockhouse,
but fire from the upper floor prevented it.

This isn't a roofing party but a cheap way of showing that the troops are in the house
without ripping off the roof.

Here you can see the new fences, the hasty barricades, and a section of the defenders.

Andy's scratch-built blockhouse full on.

"There sure are a lot of 'em!"
The games were quick and entertaining. Among our rules variations, we made the rifle ranges the entire table - probably a bit unrealistic, but it made the game simpler. Smokeless powder as well and no reloading times as you would have for muskets. I'm sure if we had a Gatling Gun or some sort of artillery, things might go differently.

I'm not sure what's going on next week at the library; I'm tied up anyway. And... reenacting season is coming up.


  1. That's a nice looking game and setup!!!

    1. Thanks, Ray. It's quite a colourful table. Nice reports on Salute, by the way.