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Sunday, 19 January 2020

Return to Zululand

Yesterday, we had a Colonial skirmish game at our club, and as it was a long time since we did one, I got my Zulus out!

I quickly worked out a scenario...

A British company is detailed to defend a drift against any Zulus attempting to seize it.
Dust in the distance leads to Captain to take most of his men off to investigate, leaving a lieutenant and 20 men to guard the baggage.

Phil had the Sergeant Major of the company.
Rhys had our Captain, and I a Lieutenant. We were all at the far end of the table.
 The other Lieutenant was Lawrence, holding the drift.
 The Zulu force, of course, approached from the far side!
Alerted by a shot from the drift defenders, I quickly turned my men and moved towards the drift. 
 Rhys moved in a compact body to accompany Phil...
...who headed towards a small hill behind the drift. 
Lawrence opened fire. 
One of the Zulu units took a few casualties. 
 A few of the Zulus had firearms...
 ...one of Lawrence's men fell dead from a musket ball.
Phil approached his hill. 
Rhys moved towards the rear of the drift, in extended order. 
I had moved to the right of the drift, where I could see Zulus approaching. 
 Lawrence's men bravely stood despite being outnumbered 18:1! 
As the range reduced, the Zulu unit's casualties mounted. 
The now halted unit was overtaken by a fresh unit. 
Other Zulu units bypassed the small band of defenders. 
Phil faced a large force crossing the drift opposite him. 
 A small unit started crossing.
Phil, now in position on the hill, opened fire.
The Zulus were only slightly discomfited by their attentions. 
 The large Zulu unit in front of Lawrence fired a shot...
 ...wounding a corporal.
Phil, on top of the hill, was attracting a lot of random firing from the units in front of him. 
Dressing his ranks, Phil's Sergeant Major kept up the firing rate. 
Lawrence, meanwhile, abandoned the mealie bags and withdrew through the huts. 
Rhys, finally in position, began to fire at the Zulus outflanking the outpost. 
The Zulus were fording the drift in some numbers. 
Lawrence was  tearing holes in the the unit opposite him.
 My men, too, now opened fire.
The first of three units in column took a few casualties, but kept coming.
Phil had forced the small unit at the ford to retreat, but other fresh units pushed on past them. 
 Lawrence and Rhys were beginning to form a line against the advancing hordes.
Slowed by my fire, I tried to keep the enemy at a distance by firing and retiring. 
Would my fire be sufficient to keep the Zulus out of reach?
 The centre was looking less threatening now, as the Zulus began focusing on both wings. 
 One of the musketeers in the Zulu force...
...wounded one of my men. 
Phil, on the other wing... 
...also took another casualty. 
His men held, and returned fire. 
 Their fire was only moderately effective.
 Lawrence had retired beyond the rear wall of the outpost...
...and fired at the unit opposite with controlled volleys.
 Rhys kept back, providing fire support to Phil's beleaguered men. 
 He got a very good volley on his target unit.
 My men continued to hold and fire... 
 ...I failed to halt the enemy who kept slowly moving forward.
 Phil lost another men as the Zulus massed to attack his hill.
Lawrence's men fell back as the Zulus charged...
 ...driven back, they were shattered by a point blank volley.
Rhys was keeping his opponents at a distance. 

 His fire slowed the unit opposite.
On the right, my men tore holes in the front unit facing me... 
...but the survivors charged in!!! 
 My men held the Zulus, and won...just!
As the Zulus fell back my men fired...
The few survivors retreated.
Lawrence held his opponents at the barricades.
The enemy were forced back.
Phil was stormed on the hill, Rhys on the flat. 
 Despite both British units losing a man... 
...The Zulus were repulsed, and shattered by short range volleys. 
 As the broken units retreated, fresh Zulus filled the gaps in their line. 
 A fresh Zulu unit crashed into my men, too.
Despite losing a man, the Zulus, again, were forced back...
 My men fell back firing by ranks.
 Phil and Rhys had formed a line, and fired.
 The enemy took heavy casualties as they advanced.
Phil's men fell back, bending the line, ceding the hill. 
 The third Zulu unit tried to charge me...but fell 1cm short!
 My men blasted them, and halted them.
The final units on the Zulu right charged Phil again, but lost. 
 With all their units now halted or in retreat, or routing...
...the IzinDuna called the retreat! Close to breaking at both wings, the British were content to let them go!