Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Zulu Wars: The battle of Ithebulahimpi 1879: part 2

In the second game, Siegfried, now British, had learned from the first game, and had concentrated all his firepower on the flank, where the Zulu had to cross  a large open space, and but the chariot with ammo just behind. Also on the left flank, Steven had put more soldiers in the uphill village.

A totally different game, my first Zulu unit , due to concentrated long distance fire lost more than halve of its figures.  in one firing turn. I diverted mu to right units to advance using cover of a hill and to waited there until the enter had catched up. When I let them brake cover, I also launched forward the remains of my third unit, that by now also had suffered badly but still over halve. 

 Siegfried didn't change his facing, concentrating on the advancing 3th unit.   Patricks’ force overran the NNC in the middle and turned right, reinforcing my remaining 2 units. The 6 units were already close, the Brits having not enough time to make their firepower be telling.

A fun game, but a bit too much unbalanced. Maybe letting the gun and Gatling also fire twice each turn would certainly give the British more firepower to stop the Zulu. 

On the left flank, Stevens force in the village held out very long, but , separated from their supply reserve, soon were out of ammo , doomed.

Maybe one or two additional British units would bring the odds even. Not too much, as Siegfried proved the concentrated line being too strong.

As in reality, the technological improvement made massive column attacks obsolete. A lesson that was not learned by Germany and France at the start of WWI.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Zulu Wars: The battle of Ithebulahimpi 1879: part 1

We did a fictive Zulu war battle. It was based on the battle of Islandlwana.
A British column is surprised by a large Zulu force.

Almost al figures are from Steven Swiers. A number of the NNC are from Patrick VDB

We used the colonial adaptation of About Bonaparte and tested it for the very first time in a battle against a large force of warriors against colonial troops.

British units are reduced to two stands, Zulu warrior units are upgraded to 12 figures.
The Brits have a canon and a Gatling gun, and about halve of the force consists of NNC. The Natal Native Contingent. Most of them are armed with a musket and with very limited ammo. (2 shots). Two of these units are armed with spears.
The Brits have each 6 turns of firing ammo, but al of them can be resupplied by one figure who has to return to the carts before he can resupply another unit. A The British  are VETERAN. They can fire one die per figure AND can fire twice in a turn. But of course firing twice reduces the ammo with two points. The NNC units have a GREEN status, meaning double flags .  There is also one unit of scouts: they two have the same firing capacity as a British unit but have not VETERAN for moral.
There are 16 Zulu units, 4 in each horn, eight in the centre, of whom the for in second row have VETERAN status.

Zulu units will ignore flags as long as they are not halved. Only artillery fire (including Gatling) flags will result in the unit slowing down 10cm per flag, the next turn. NNC, Artillery and Gatling fire only once each turn.

Dirk British right flank 4 British infantry units, 3 NNC with muskets, Gatling gun. Ronny left flank: 4 units 3 units of British infantry 1 scout unit 2 NNC with muskets, 2 with spears, field gun. The NNC and British intermingled. Gatling and canon in a central position.

Zulu left horn Kristof: 4 units fast runners, Siegfried right horn, : idem.
Centre right Steven: 4 units, the two in second line are veteran. Patrick, the same but for centre left.

The second battle, Dirk and Siegfried, and Steven and Ronny traded places.

The first battle was a straightforward assault.  The firepower slowing down the Zulu force, but not able to stop the massive wave of warriors.
The under armed NNC had almost no effect, and once in close combat the British soldiers could in some cases hold off the Zulu for a turn but then the numbers were to telling.