An enjoyable game, which saw the British under pressure from massed Zulu impi's from the start. As overall commander, I decided to move from column to line quickly and hold off the attackers, and once driven off began a steady advance towards the Zulu kraal at the far end the table. The kraal was an objective but the sheer number of attackers (or are they defenders?) meant it was going to be impossible to reach. Even as the British advanced, further Zulu impi's massed behind the ridge line poised to attack.
The British forces consisted on the right wing of One company (Co.) of regulars, one Co. of Naval brigade, one 7pdr gun, and a unit of Natal Native Contingent. The centre consisted of two Co.'s of regulars, one gatling gun, and a unit of Natal Mounted Police. The left wing consisted of three Co.'s of regulars, one unit of NNC and one unit of Natal Mounted Contingent. The Co.'s were in groups of ten figures with the mounted units being 6 and 8 figures respectively.
The Zulu were grouped into units of generally 30+ figures.
My right wing commanded by DS, did as I expected he would and stoically held off wave after wave of Zulu's. The left commanded by SR and son, were the last to arrive on the field and rushed to cover the left flank which they did admirably. At one tense moment an impi out flanked them and almost threatened the baggage train at the rear of the British line, but a brave charge by a unit of NNC saw them off followed by successive volleys from regular British infantry. The center was commanded by ML, who drove off the approaching impi's, and despite displaying the same traits as Captain_Nolan, managed to curb his enthusiasm to hold the line. But once the order to advance was given he threw himself at the nearest impi, and after some desperate hand to hand fighting this brave British officer went down under a hail of assegai. With the sun already having set the British held the field and the last impi's were forced to withdraw.
Others might dispute this version of events, but thats what happened as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so no pictures. I'm sure a full report will appear on the Evesham Wargames blog soon.
I did find at times not having a specific unit to command other than a couple of officer figures, that I did not have much to do. BUT, since orders could only be changed by sending runners, with written orders, then at times I did feel the pressure. This command and control system did work well, though I would probably liked to have had one more runner (rather than the two I did have).
If played again then I would like to see the Zulu, having the number of reinforcement roles curtailed. The three Zulu commanders each rolled for reinforcements which was decided on the die score. I am not actually sure what they needed to role to receive reinforcements but, perhaps if the Zulu C-in-C rolled only, then the Zulu's would have been less in number, but this may have resulted in a game with more manoeuvre, and the Zulu's using the terrain to their advantage perhaps, rather than continuous mass attacks. Overall this was my only criticism of a excellent game.
I must not forget to thank SS, MA and PB who did an excellent job of keeping the pressure on the British forces.