Saturday, 30 August 2014

Zulus, Sir....... thousands of em!!!

I've not got much gaming in recently due to holidays and real life interfering with my gaming time, we did manage a small game of Black Powder at the club recently, in which I took control of several (5) impi's of Zulu's against Rob who commanded 4 battalions of British.

I've not played Black powder that much, maybe half a dozen games, but I like it, and I'm always up for a game. In this simple scenario, which was a practice run of a much bigger game we have planned in the next few weeks, Rob's British were defending a small farmstead, from my marauding Zulu's.

My forces had little option but to advance as fast as possible having only one unit with ranged fire, this I promptly did and was soon closing in on the British, who had set up in two lines each of two battalions.  Craig the GM (whose fantastically painted miniatures we used) had secretly informed me that I had a sixth impi hiding in the long grass on my left flank, quite close to where the British had established their forward line. With this knowledge I advanced my royal impi and muskets up the left flank to join the hidden troops in what I hoped would be a decisive attack on the British line, in the centre and right I advanced my remaining 3 impi's in a head on rush toward the enemy line.

The Zulu's moved forward in almost perfect unison, the centre/right forces formed a "Horns of the Buffalo" type formation and headed toward one British unit, whilst the Royals, muskets and hidden impi smashed into the end of the British line on my left. Neither British unit lasted too long and I was soon advancing again into a third unit, between this unit and the fire from the remaining unit, the Zulu advanced stalled and I started to take casualties, two of my impi's were soon wiped out, and 3 of the remaining 4 were badly shot up and looking as though they might run. A turn spent rallying my troops had them back on the move, and they finally destroyed the stubborn third British battalion, forcing the last battalion to retreat to the farm to watch me close in.

That's where we had to end it, as it was getting on, but their were no doubts that it had been a triumphant Zulu victory. I had been lucky and almost everything had gone right for me, and my melee dice rolls had been very good through-out the game, my opponent did make the mistake of having his forward line too far forward so that it was not supported by the 2nd line, but even so at the crucial point in the game it looked as though the British might just pull it out of the bag. I can't wait for the larger re-match now, though I'm not looking forward to facing the Gatling guns.

The stout defenders of Vangendorf farm

The view at the start of the game from the British side

Two Impi's in their starting positions

The Zulu initial deployment( a unit of Muskets were placed in front of the topmost unit)
 Zulu Muskets and Impi.
 The British 2nd Line.

The Game
The Zulu advance in the centre, a third Impi forms the head of the Buffalo just out of shot.
The Zulu left flank, once the hidden impi had revealed itself.
 Fierce fighting on the left, results in the loss of one British unit.
The main battle in the centre, 2 Impi's take on 2 British units with 3 Zulu Impi's moving up to support, 1 British unit had been wiped out at this point.
Following the loss of the 2nd British unit the Zulus poured forward to engage the 2nd line of British.


Another unit of British was swiftly dispatched by the horde of Zulu's now advancing on the farm.

The last unit of redcoats retreated to the relative safety of the farm.  

Things didn't look too good for the remaining British troops.

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