As every wargamer worth his or her salt knows, 22nd January is the anniversary of both Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, and as you can read in Eric's blog it has been a long-term plan of his to refight both battles on the anniversary. Do pop over there and have a read as it will explain more about his reasons and the epic months of painting to get it all ready on time.
|The huge Zulu army...over 800 figures painted by Eric in record time! (and some by Legatus too!!)|
|The British camp|
|...enter the Zulus|
I commanded the Left Horn of the Zulu army. The British right was held by a Rocket battery and assorted Boers, Cape Police and the Natal Native Contingent, commanded by Durnford. Apart from the Rockets these were all skulking in a donga so our cunning Zulu plan was to largely ignore them for as long as we could and push on towards the British camp while the Right Horn swept round the defending redcoated infantry and into their flank and rear.
|The troops in the Donga|
Some lucky successful orders meant the Zulu advance on either flank was pretty speedy but the mounted force decided to come out of the donga and take the fight to the Zulus. I managed to overrun the Rocket Battery (although it did manage to hold off a Zulu Impi for a turn before breaking) and luckily Durnsford's orders to the Sikhali Horse and the Boers resulted in a blunder forcing them to retreat for a turn which gave me time to move another Impi into position to attack them. I also tussled with the NNC who did surprisingly well, holding back a Zulu regiment for several turns. Ultimately though they were forced back and although I wasn't able to rout any of Durnsford's individual units the command finally broke due to the number of shaken units: at this point Durnsford sensibly decided discretion was the better part of valour and led his troops away as fast as their horses could carry them!
The fight against the Horse
|The British commanders continue to look confident...I think it must be the hat...|
|The view from the Zulu right|
|Endgame...the Zulus pour through the camp|
Despite there being no chance of the British winning from the outset it was still a surprisingly tense game and set us up nicely for the afternoon's defence of Rorke's Drift. As Eric hasn't posted his report on this game yet I'll wait until he does before posting mine. Suffice to say it was an equally exciting game and despite using the same rules (with some more substantial tweaks) felt really different.