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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Last stand? - Colonial Skirmish AAR

We decided to do this game as it was the Anniversary of the famous defence of the mission station at Rourkes Drift during the Zulu war in 1879.


We decided to make a hastily fortified farmhouse the objective of the screaming native hordes in the style of Rourkes drift, but as we could only muster about 200 natives, we limited the 4 British players to a squad of 7 men and an NCO each.....

 The farmhouse was surrounded by a wall, with 2 kraals and 2 improvised redoubts, one either side.

As the Sun rose, the British took up their positions to await the oncoming storm.

The south redoubt was held by my squad

The left front (North Eastern) wall was held by Lawrence's squad.

The right front wall (south eastern) wall was helf by Ian's squad.
Phil was left to hold the Northern redoubt - now for the natives!..

Facing my southern redoubt was a large band of spearmen...

..While a group of Musket armed natives attacked my flank from the west.

Facing Phil's Northern redoubt, no less than three groups of spearmen gathered.

Facing Lawrence on the North east a group of spears backed up by a group of musketeers appeared. 

To the east stood the menacing Maiden Guard, facing Ian..

The battle:

The Musketeers on My flank made a dash for the apparently undefended western wall

..But were blasted by accurate Martini Henry fire from my redoubt.

,,,And broke for safety back towards cover never having fired a shot!

My men rapidly turned to the south, where the spearmen were advancing at the same time..

They started to take casualties immediately...

..But kept on bravely advancing - British sweat began to flow!

The brave natives assaulted the redoubt, but my men fell back firing to the wall behind...

The natives tried to climb over the mealie bag defence, but the first man over fell in a hail of bullets and they flinched - stuck behind the meallie bags they were simply targets for my men to pick off...

....... and soon they fell back towards cover -- leaving my men to help Ian to my left

Ian was facing the maiden guard, and two other spear bands...

The first group advancing were quickly halted under a galling fire..

The advancing Maiden guards were next to attack..

Scattering a small group of Thompson's Gazelles en route!

Ian's men fell back from the wall to extend their firing time...

..an eventually the maidens first halted then fell back, leaving Ian to face the third warband, haltingly supported by the remnants of the first band who began to advance again!

There was a danger the position could be overrun, but my men were finally able to fire into the advancing spearmens flank!

They nearly made it! - but were stopped by steady fire!--They broke.

So, what was happening in the north, our attention now turns to them....

Lawrence faced a spearman attack, supported by skirmishers, who stayed safely out of effective range!

They were soon falling back to cover, having had more open ground to cross they never threatened to reach the wall the British were defending, which was just as well, as we shall see!

Two Spear units advanced on the northern redoubt, defended by Phil's squad...leaving a third in reserve.

Astonishingly, Phil's men disobeyed orders and tried to bayonet charge the advancing natives!

As the full number of attacking enemy became apparent, they fell back to the safety of the redoubt.
Unfortunately, they had now lost much of the firing time needed to stop a charge and were engaged and overrun by the rampaging hordes!

Falling back, leaving several dead behind them, a second band tried to outflank their left..

Lawrences men, having seen off their opponents, as well as the command squad hurredly added their fire to ambush the natives as they penetrated the defences...

..and soon the natives here were being driven back...

The reserve unit now advanced and tried to outflank the British right...

..the British still being forced to stop a second attack inside the walls...

Eventually, a few British were spared to shoot at this outflanking unit...

..though not enough to stop them entering the compound, led by their Chief!

A final action took place in the compound at bayonet point...

..which only ended with the death of the chief and his bodyguard.
This signalled the end of the game.

Leaving the lions to clear the remains!

Overall a damn close run thing!

We have made a couple of minor modifications to the rules as a result of this game, if you want the new version, they are available (free!) at: http://tynesidewargames.co.uk/downloads.html

The system is designed for either opposed or solo play, we always do multi-player forces opposed to the solo system!

Hope you enjoyed this as much as we did playing it!

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