I thought there was a need for a break from Impetvs Ancients so I put on a nice little Anglo-Zulu War game on last Sunday with the Terry Moran, Dave Lowe and young Willie. The scenario I had planned for the game was that of the 2nd/24th returning towards the battlefield of Isandlwana….however they run into a strong force of Zulus, possibly elements of the Zulu left wing. Their mission is to break through the Zulus and advance to the rescue of the 1st/24th. The Zulu mission…stop the redcoats reaching Isandlwana.
The British commander advanced with scouts well forward on both wings and Infantry deployed either in line or in column for quick deployment. The Zulus did not start arriving until the second turn, which for their arrival I used ‘Sands of the Sudan’ random event cards. So with every turn I turned over a small number of cards, which either allowed for a deployment of a Zulu impi or a random event against the Imperial player.
The second turn thus saw three Zulu impis arrive, one on either flank and one central. This fixed the Imperial player in place and he was even a little hesitant to move forward. By the sixth turn much of the Zulu Army was on the board and placing pressure on the Imperial forces on all fronts. One company of NNC was overrun and lost 50% of their strength and the NMP also lost heavy after being hit in the flank and rear…they subsequently fled from the battlefield.
NMP advance forward scouting the ground for hidden Zulus
The pressure was then on by the seventh and eight turns for Imperial troops essentially after companies started to run low on ammunition and had to withdrawn from the front line and back to the wagons for resupply. However even with the Zulus pressing hard on all front the British Tommie’s held firm, only stepping rearward to redress the lines. By the tenth turn the Zulus had suffered numerous casualties and realised that the Redcoats were too good with their ‘cold steel’ and fire discipline…they then stood back chanted a song and withdraw from the field..victory to the British….or was it….the Zulu had paid dearly but they stopped the 2nd/24th from reaching their comrades at Isandlwana.
The Imperial column advances with the ammunition wagon in the centre and infantry on the flanks.
One of the 2nd/24th Company Commanders survey the ground to his front
NNC and a 2nd/24th Company deploy into line..colours to the rear.
Colour Sergeant Jones points out to the Battalion Commander one of the fast approaching Zulu Impis on the Battalions’ right flank
A Zulu column appears on the Imperial right flank.
The Buffalo Board Guard and the Natal Native Horse deploy into skirmish line and engage Zulus to their front.
NMP deploy on the Imperial left flank and also start to engage advancing Zulus
The head of the Bull starts to appear…fixing the Imperial column in place for the remainder of the game.
The column deploys form line on either side of the spur-line in response to the fast approaching Zulus.
A Zulu regiment charges the first British company and is repulsed with heavy loses.
“Hold your fire lads and use cold steel”
By turn six there are numerous Zulu attacks across the line, however they are not supported by other Zulu regiments and are easily repulsed.
The NMP run out of ammunition and fall back to the wagons but are caught with their backs to the enemy and flee from the battlefield.
“Steady Lad conserve your ammunition”
The head of the ‘Bull’ advances
The NNC delivers a few volleys but soon runs out of ammunition.
The 2nd/24th Commander boldly surveys the battlefield ensuring his position and troops deployments are sound.
BBG and the NNH now out of ammunition and fall back to resupply
The main Zulu Army charges the British lines, overwhelming a company of the NNC.
The battle begins in ernest
The NNC is overrun
But the British Redcoats hold firm
However after numerous charges the Zulu Regiments had taken a server beating and started to withdraw from the battlefield..nut they had done their job well and stopped the Imperial column advancing.
Pushed back to almost the top of the spur the British companies stand firm and fire volley after volley into the massed Zulus to their direct front.
The last brave regiments of Zulus charge in but fail to brake the line red line.
A battlefield victory to the Imperial forces but a strategic victory to the Zulus.