Saturday, February 20, 2016

Anglo-Zulu-Counter Attack

Tonight I had the opportunity to break out the Anglo-Zulu troops again with Phil at my place.  Brian was suppose to make the trip as well, but he was detained at home, so he joined us via Skype.

None of the scenarios in the book struck my fancy, so I set up a hypothetical on the 9'x5' table newly covered in teddy bear fur for ground cover.  This also gave us the opportunity to try the new movement trays with the Zulu which proved invaluable.

British Take up positions just in time while Carbineers advance to secure the flank
A British column has over run a a Zulu Kraal while the warriors were away.  The have set up camp to exploit their spoils and take up a defensive position behind the river.  At dawn the next morning reports arrive that Zulu have been spotted over the horizon moving fast with the intent to recapture the Kraal.
Zulu Chest moving to engage
The British Commander has deployed two companies forward and alerted the camp to take up position to respond to the pending attack.
7lb Guns deployed on a rise
The Zulu have divided their forces to form the typical three prong attack using the chest and right and left horns in order to flank the British forces and drive them from their land.
Carbineers mount up and move out to secure the flank
Just as the British firing line takes up position and the alert is going through the camp the Zulu formation can be seen on the horizon advancing quickly toward the river.
British send out a signal to alert higher of the pending attack
The Zulu have some difficulty coordinating their attack.  Half of the chest moves forward at a rapid pace while the other half lags behind.

Chest moves quickly forward
Thin Red Line prepares to face the advancing Zulu horde
Zulu start to take hits at range as they move up
The Martini Henry rifles prove deadly accurate breaking the lead unit
The Carbineers dismount and are hit by the chest
The right horn stalls out
On the Left the Carbineers are driven back but do not break
The center company is quickly overrun at the ford and breaks for the rear
Carbineers soon suffer the same fate opening up the left flank
Left and Center appear to be open
The right is now threatened as well
As reinforcements mobilize they are quickly engaged
Despite being pressed the British right holds firm thanks to Stubborn and Steady
They cannot hold forever and soon break for the rear
A second line is formed and stalled the Zulu onslaught on the right
Rockets and Gatling gun lend firepower to the defense
The Zulu left is slowed down by the river and heavy Arty fire
Finally the Zulu right horn breaks the 2nd red line
Despite delivery crushing fire power the Gatling is over run as well
The Zulu have paid dearly, but are now pouring through the British lines
In the end our scenario proved to be a very close affair as the battle see-sawed back and forth.  In the end the sheer number of Zulu proved overwhelming despite the superior British firepower.

The Zulu paid a heavy cost, but they successfully recaptured the Kraal  drove the British back surrounding the few survivors be the end of turn 12.
Redcoats in full retreat
Despite being an ad-hoc scenario it played very well.  For the second time the Zulu proved to be very resilient.  We even discovered after the fact that we had misread the break test chart which resulted in at least three Zulu units breaking early.

The plan is to make a few tweaks and re-run this scenario next Wednesday of our gaming group.

The hope is Brian can make it next week so he can finally join us in person to see the horde of Zulu he painted in action.


  1. If the shooting is awry even for one turn the Zulu numbers always seem to tell in these AZW Black Powder games. Great game - hoping to do another AZW game myself this week.

    1. Anglo-Zulu War is a new period for us, so we really enjoy learning the history as well as the gaming.

      Unlike other conflicts where there is a clear good guy/bad guy that is not really the case for us as Americans.

      One could definitely argue that the British are the evil empire here and it certainly is not one of their proudest moments, but the Soldiers in the field we just doing their job. The Zulu were not the savages that Anglo history portrays and in reality were just defending their homeland against an oppressor.

      Makes for some good war gaming were I personally take no issue playing either side.