Tuesday, September 08, 2015

More Zulus

Jim's British square moves slowly across the plain escorting its baggage train down the track that fords the river and turns left at the foot of a scrubby hill before reaching the sleepy Zulu Kraal where they intend to bivouac for the night. The scouts have reported Zulus in the hills (commanded by James & Simon) but not where exactly they are.
The Brits deploy to cover the ford before crossing with the wagons.

The wagons have crossed the ford before the first Zulus appear on their right.

Then suddenly there are Zulus everywhere! (20 warbands and 6 skirmisher units).
 It's Martini Henry time.
The thin red line has generally held off the first charges on all fronts.  Only the far right hand unit broke.  Hussars have been sent to cover the flank.
The Zulus have been repulsed along most of the line, but British casualties are mounting & the right has lost another unit. 
The Zulus are regrouping left & centre.  On the right the hussars broke one Zulu unit, but their sweeping advance was stymied by rotten dice & the hussars broke.  The British line is largely shaken now, but the Zulu losses on the right & centre are also serious.
On the left the Zulus have attacked & been beaten off again.  In the centre they have pushed the Brits back to the wagons.  But on the right disaster has struck the British.  Their last unit on the right broke and the sweeping advance struck the hussars in flank after they had recoiled back from Zulu fire from across the river.  The Brits are now surrounded. 
Converging Zulu attacks soon break more British units to finish the battle.

There were times during the battle when I felt that Hail Victoria is too generous with combat factors for the Zulus.  But on reflection, the battle was a very close run thing so maybe not so.  The centre impi was one unit off breaking and if the hussars weren't so unlucky the far impi should have been in trouble too.  The hussars do look good though (they are Perry ACW plastics with the topis saved by making making some infantry Scots).

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