Remember those painted 20mm plastic Brits and Zulus we bought at the St Helen's Show? Well here they are, based but unflocked as yet,( I can't yet decide on what flock to use), and playing on what could be the most green and lush part of Southern Africa (soon to sorted c/o TSS).
We used Mr Testo's new DBColonial Rules, still in the play testing stage, but they go pretty well I'd say. There are no casualty markers, bases are either ok, recoiled or dead. The Brits shoot the bits out of the Zulu's, usually recoiling them at long range, slaughtering them at close range, but if/when the Zulus make contact, if the Brits don't win, then they're dead. I think this is historically accurate in a good simple way, and it leads to waves of Zulus advancing and recoiling, to-ing and fro-ing, but wiping the floor with the Brits once they get into contact, if indeed they do. We've had a few games so far, and it plays really well.
Here's a few pictures of one game, the scenario being that the Brits are peacefully escorting a wagon supply across the table, in Zulu Land. The Brits win by getting off the other side of the table, the Zulus win by stopping them marching arrogantly across their land. (Hey, keep it simple eh!) One change we did do, was that the Zulus had their normal 15 point army, +a die roll more, kept secret from the Brit player, to make it variable. This made a difference when part of the Zulu force is kept off table, then gets moved on, so the Brits don't yet know if they are all on or not. Its quite worrying really. If you're the British.
So here they are, (using a mere base as the wagon, I haven't painted it yet)..the Zulu appeared and the British decided after a couple of moves to form square against the pesky natives. The Sk bases were originally sent out as the oncoming Zulu can't deploy within 500 paces of them, thus cutting down their choice of entry onto the table.
As more Zulu appeared, hooping and awailing, the Sk desperately tried to rejoin the Square, stopping to pop off a few caps to discourage the advancing hordes.
The firepower of the steady British line kept most of the Zulu at bay. It's a funny thing, but those in firing poses seemed to score better than those in running poses. Just coincidence, obviously, but I feel I may have to replace those running figures!
Whoa! Zulus are in and jabbing with their spears, wacking away with their knobkerries too. This is not supposed to happen too often!
They also caught up with those Sk bases, and took a heavy revenge on them. Sk and Brit Natives don't do melee too well.
The square is broken and disorganised. With die rolls like that it's not surprising really.
The Brits did a quick reorganising, and tried to hold their own. Surrender is not an option for these Soldiers of the Queen.
Some more British casualties, and the end is in sight, poor fellows. More Zulu came on, and finished them off. Hmm. I feel the need for an invasion to avenge this outrage.
Although we've just got going with this period and the rules, the game played really well and easily and flowed along well. It also made sense and felt historically accurate. We'll revisit this period soon, and hope for a British victory! My thanks to the other players for a pleasant and enjoyable game. Even though I lost. Again.