Monday, 13 October 2014

Another venture into Zululand?

This blog has been sadly silent of late, largely because work has been so heinously busy, and showing little evidence of letting up. My efforts to finish my Realms of Cthulhu / Tour of Darkness cross-over adventure have been shelved yet again, although I'm about 90% there. Still, work is getting more and more interesting every week, so no complaints there.

With half term soon upon me, I'm pondering whether to play some miniature wargames with the kids, to help them fill time rather than kicking their heels in front of Minecraft or I Carly. Instead I will seek to twist arms into a possible play test of the colonial era miniatures rules, Washing The Spears.

WTS is a battalion level set of rules for the Anglo Zulu War of 1879. I've been working to expand my collection of figures in this area, with more Zulus and Boers and my first gatling gun. I fear I am still light on Zulus and seemingly can't resist the temptation of add more units to the British force rather than making sure the Zulus enjoy the 3-1 numerical advantage they need.

I am using the Larry Brom scenario, 'The Kraal', which appeared in The Sword and The Flame scenario portfolio in 2000. This may be played simply using classic TSTF, or with WTS, or indeed with both. The British objective is to burn the Zulu kraal in a punitive action. The Zulu impi simply has to stop them.

For this battle I've been experimenting with a new approach to hills, using old PS2 boxes to model the two long ridges topped with brush that feature in this scenario. Sadly, they are not immediately obvious in the photos, but they are very clear to the human eye. NB: the thorn wall around the kraal was not finished when these photos were taken. You can also see the dry donga (riverbed) which is a big feature of this battle, and which offers concealment for Zulu units which make use of it.

Note PS 2 boxes being used to create the ridge at the bottom left.

I am also tinkering with the Zulu deployment, using a system that draws from Washing the Spears and Force on Force. The Zulus have 12 'hot spots' along the edge of the battlefield, with a 20% chance on the first turn of 1d3 units appearing on a random location. They get a free 2d6 inch move straight onto the battlefield, or can choose to remain concealed, letting the luckless British get a bit closer.

British entry edge on the right hand side.

More on this as and when I get to play it...

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