The first Black Powder battle using the new Anglo-Zulu troops finally occurred last night.
We are still in the process of assembling troops, but we finally have enough complete to engage in one of the smaller scenarios.
Phil and I have been itching to get troops on the table, so we took advantage of the fact that my British and complete and that between Brian and my Zulu collection we had enough Zulu ready to give battle using the attack on the cattle Kraal scenario from the Black Powder supplement "ZULU". Unfortunately Brian was not able to join us, but that did not stop the action.
This scenario basically pits four British companies defending a kraal against Six Zulu units attacking.
|Zulu Attackers formed into 2 commands|
|British defenders formed into 3 commands|
|British defending he Kraal and Zulu occupy the dung heap|
|Set up in the book|
Set up starts with a lone British company defending the kraal (hard cover) and three in reserve. One Zulu unit starts in the Dung heap (light cover) and cannot move for the duration of the game. The British also have off board artillery which they must roll for at the beginning of each stage to determine if they can fire or not.
Once set up we were ready to play. Since neither of us were committed to a side we flipped a coin and Phil commanded the British and I took the Zulu.
The Zulu start with a +1 moral advantage during this stage so getting in close and taking the kraal is key. Unfortunately I blew the first command order so only the unit in the dung heap was available to fire which produced no results since the British have the ability to re-roll one morale save per unit and the Zulu only fire with two dice. While in the kraal the British were saving on a 2+ due to the cover.
|Zulu finally make it on the field of battle|
Turn two at least saw the Zulu make an appearance. With three units firing I was able to inflict a hit and a disorder which stuck.
|Red Coats taking casualties from concentrated fire, but shake most off|
The Zulu morale returns to Normal for stage 2-3, but the 2nd Command is available. The Zulu issued a charge order and successfully closed on the kraal. Because the charge was more than one move away the British have a special rule that they could use closing fire twice. They inflicted some hits, but the Zulu managed to shake most off and made contact.
The British held firm the first round with the benefit of the cover. The Zulu won, but the British were steady and automatically passed the first break test.
On the second round of combat though they lost their nerve when the Zulu barely won due to having a unit is support. This time the Red Coats had to actually test which they failed miserably and broke and ran for the rear giving the Zulu control of the Kraal.
|Zulu finally overwhelm the kraal and send the Brits running|
British reinforcements in the form of two fresh companies advanced to retake the kraal. Unfortunately one of the units spent two turns failing command rolls and could not reposition.
|Regrouping to face the new threat|
|Zulu have reinforcements of their own|
|No! Come Back!|
During stage 4 the Zulu suffer a -1 to morale so need to save on a 5+ which made British fire much more effective at causing casualties to the frail Zulu units which only have a stamina of 2.
|Sir, I think our flank is a bit vulnerable|
|You know chap, I think you were right....RETREAT!|
Despite the shortcoming of the scenario design (more lack of information than design) we both had a great time. Mostly because we finally were able to play with the shiny new miniatures. I am sure we will revisit this scenario in the future with some modifications. When we do we both agreed the stages should be a least three if not four turn long. As it was the game played amazingly fast and we were done in just under 1.5 hours with all eight turns.
We were a bit surprised at how this scenario played out. The Zulu stats seem fairly fragile, but in the end they performed well. I do think they would have had it a bit tougher had the stages been longer though.
|A tough day for the queen I must say|
|Hey chaps, do you really want to go over there?|
|Phil's rally cry: "if not the lack of guns I might have won"|
We are ultimately preparing to put on Isandlwana at the end of April at the Little Wars convention in Lombard IL.
Until next item.....