We gathered for a rematch a few days ago, following the tragic slaughter of the British some time ago (see previous DBC game). The British came back to Zululand determined to avenge the defeat, this time bringing along a Gatling gun. (Yes, and an unpainted wagon..from the Airfix Wagon Train set).
The Zulu, buoyed up by their earlier victory, were equally determined to defend their Kraal (yes, represented by a filter box.. I know, I must get painting soon..).. against the invader.
We used the same DBC rules, which will be available from Alex's DBN site sometime soon after a final tweak or two.
Doug and Alex played the Brits, Peeler and Richie had the Zulus. Brits had 12 points, with two Elite Regular bases, the Zulu only got one extra point, so had a total of 16 points, including two Elite and two shooters.
The British started off forward in one large formation, Gatling to the fore, skirmishers on the flanks, the General some way to the rear, and the Hero (single figure) Mr Flashman (seventh son a a village Vicar), riding around just behind the line, waiting for his chance of glory.
The Zulu put on a show of force with two Shooters and three Native bases, along with the Chief in support. The rest of the Zulu loitered off table, awaiting their chance, and hoping for a war cry.
The British formed a line on the plateau, and the Gatling quickly dispatched a Shooter base. Not liking the hail of lead, the Zulu edged over to the right, hoping to avoid the Gatling and close in on the infantry.
On the British right, a swarm of Zulu suddenly appeared, moving swiftly in, hoping for an easy flank attack. If the Chief and his small force were the chest, then this was one of the horns of the traditional Zulu attack.
On seeing this threat, the British divided their force, (always risky!) leaving the line on the plateau to take care of the Zulus to its front, whilst the rest formed a large square.
As the Zulu chest was recoiled by steady fire, the left horn edged closer, threatening both formations, whilst... shock and horror... more Zulu appeared on the right, going for both the flank and rear of the British line. The Zulu chest began to think about attacking the Square, as it inched toward the Kraal.
From this angle, the Kraal is to the left, and I reckon the Zulu are looking good.. At this point, the British General trotted out from the Square, calmly gave his orders to his troops on the plateau, and then trotted back to the square, riding down the odd wandering Zulu as he did so. Top bloke!!
The right Horn gets on in there, and takes out a Regular base, flanking the skirmishers. They aren't too good at close combat, so it's looking like a roll over here..
But you know, sometimes those Skirmish chaps are just too damned hard for their own good, and frankly, they battered the jubilant Zulus. Badly.
Meanwhile, the Square had been busy bumping off and recoiling the left horn, and, having done so, broke formation and resumed its advance. Mr Flashman , having had a boring but safe time in the confines of the Square, began to ride out..
.. and had a right good go, popping off a few rounds from his privately purchased hunting rifle, unloading both revolvers and having a bit of a chopping session with his finely made sabre, gaining a couple of Victory points before riding back to loud Hurrahs and Cheers.
The Zulu didn't really get any closer to the main British formation, being held off by the firepower, and a swift jog forward by some Skirmishers quickly secured the Kraal, much to the Zulus annoyance. They were so angry in fact, that they had another go at the Gatling gun before exiting the table. That too ended in tears, so actually a few less Zulu made the exit.
The British were left on the field, having strongly avenged the previous defeat. British colonial honour had been restored. The surviving Zulu ran off, to spread the story, and perhaps do a bit of recruiting too.
So, in spite of my lack of painting recently, a darned good game was had. And lessons were learned too. For the British, not to split their force too early, as it did get a bit close on the plateau, especially when the Gatling jammed at one point, though they did hold off that side whilst the main force advanced on the Kraal. For the Zulu, the need to put in a larger holding force, and to get the Horns moving earlier. Mind you, poor Zulu dice did hamper them, and there wasn't enough left over to have a warcry. For which, by the way, I firmly blame that bloke Richie and his dice throwing, which was even worse than mine, and mine was bad enough. Also, the basic Zulu plan was down to me. And I lost. (Again!)
Good company, good rules, good game, and yes I will get painting again soon.