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Sunday, 6 June 2021

A Victorian folly?

 Today, we had a Colonial skirmish game at the club, its been a while since my old Wargames Factory British and Zulus had an outing!!!

We diced for which player would be in command, and Phil got the unenviable task!

My section on the left, with Phil's on my right.

Rhys had a third on the extreme right.
We were deployed in a fairly dispersed line. Rhys was instructed to take a small hillock in front of him, and I was told to take one in front of me, Phil would support us.
The Zulus were deployed semi-randomly opposite us.
There was a lot of terrain between the two sides, so neither side could see much of the other at this stage.
As ever, 300+ Zulus made an imposing sight!
My main worry was the Zulu Right, which extended beyond my left.
The centre of the table, where we would meet.
The Zulu right moved forward, the Centre sped up to pass a pool.
Their left advanced quickly, though the centre held back.
As per orders, I advanced towards my hill.
...as did Rhys!
Phil went straight down the middle, between us.
Th Zulu left seemed to be forming up for a two wave attack.
The Zulu centre advanced in column of units, but the senior INduna kept 2 units in reserve.
As I feared, the Zulu right moved wide round my flank.
Phil was the first to see the enemy, one of the units heading for Rhys.
Despite the range, Phil's men did great execution.
The Zulu right seemed in no hurry, the centre was keeping pace with them.
That INduna still refused to advance! 
The right centre spread out to contest the hillock I had been detailed to take.
The Zulu left was clearly the main attack.
Rhys now joined Phil engaging their forward unit.
Their INduna kept the survivors advancing somehow.
Phil could now see Zulu advancing on his position, how long would he be able to help Rhys?
At last, the shredded unit ground to a halt under the withering fire.
To my surprise, as my men climbed their hillock, the Zulu advancing on me stopped, apparently surprised at my appearance! Their 'officer' berated their cowardice with his club!
On Rhys' flank, more Zulu moved forward to take over the attack.
The Zulu centre seemed to pause to watch!
The reserve was still at its start edge!
Phil now had to turn his fire on the Zulu centre.
The Zulu were hit hard.
My men were firing at the enemy to our front, I couldn't see the outflanking 'Horn'.
Rhys was also heavily engaged.
The shocked lead zulu unit refused to run away!
As the Zulu closed with my men, I lost two to their musketry.
Rhys lost a man too, as the second unit facing him took the lead.
The third left flank unit had turned to attack Phil.
Finally, the Zulu reserve began to advance, slowly.
I was now becoming the focus of the Zulu centre!
I had managed to halt the first unit with my fire.
My men then saw, to their horror, the right 'Horn' appeared on my flank.
Phil now had his hands full...
...several units were closing with him.
Rhys was keeping the Zulu against him at arm's length, but only just.
My men smashed the unit facing me...
...though one of my men was wounded by a shot.
Phil lost a sergeant to Zulu fire as well.
The Zulu continued to close with Rhys.
Phil was having to fire...
...to keep the Zulu centre off.
I had been forced to wheel back off my hillock to engage the out-flankers, I hoped the last volley to the unit attacking my front would keep them off
Rhys had halted the unit attacking him, but their INduna kept them trying!
My fears were founded, as another Zulu unit came over the hillock to attack me.
The right wing had been stopped by a volley,
In the centre, the Zulu were massing.
My men lost the melee! only by a miraculous die roll did I keep them from Routing.
On Rhys' flank, he killed the INduna, would this take the steam out of the Zulu attack there?
The Zulu were starting to come round my flank!
My men had retreated, leaving Phil's flank exposed.
Phil's men had more than they could chew!
The few Zulu still facing Rhys tried another attack...
The last four, all wounded, hobbled away, covered in glory.
Phil also routed the unit that had been engaging me.
However, a band of musketeers now set up to engage me...
More of my men were hit.
Phil also took a hit from the units opposite him.
My men were very 'jittery', would they hold?
Phil was attacked by a fresh unit.
The Zulu marksmen were winning the fight with my unit!
Phil halted the attacking unit.
The Zulu marksmen closed with me, hitting more of my men.
Rhys was now approached to front and flank by more enemy units.
Phil was still blasting the units to his front.
My unit fell back in disarray from the mass of Zulus.
Rhys managed to stop the unit to his front with fire.
The Zulu reserve now joined the attack engaging all our units in hand-to-hand...
...except for me, a close range musket volley from the marksmen, mostly went high!!!
I still had yet another man killed!
The game was up! my men would break and the line would be rolled up.
Queen Victoria will not be pleased!!!


  1. What rules did you use?

    Desperate game against a powerful Zulu force.


  2. Oops, never mind. See you use your own set. The game looks a lot like a "The Sword and the Flame" game.


    1. Thanks Jim! I had hoped we were going to fight Nyezane, and ended up with Isandlwana!
      Never played TSATF, it came out a long time after I wrote my own!

  3. Great armies thanks for posting the AAR, the odds looked to favour the Zulus mind you I’ve often seen them just get blasted into oblivion so it is good to see a Zulu win for a change.

    1. Indeed, Its good for the Zulus to win, it just shows its not a given that the colonial forces always win.