After a quick barbecue we resumed our Zulu Day with our second battle, Rorkes Drift. The last time we had played this game was January 2012, but I had few ideas how to improve it. I had converted my original barricades into stonewalls for my Gettysburg game, so with being on summer holiday I decided to make new ones. Also I revamped my hospital and storehouse to appear more accurate.
The Zulus were split up into 4 regiments of a hundred figures on ten bases, each regiment was placed on different sides of the garrison. Kevin changed allegiance to the Zulus, so four of us commanded one Zulu Regiment each. To stop the Zulus making co-ordinated attacks and potentially massacring the British in their first attack I used a rule that each Zulu regiment had threes stages before they attacked, they were ;
2) Standing up
the Zulu player had to roll 1D6, 1-3 the level stayed the same, 4-5 the level changed up one step, 6 the level changes up two levels. So when the Regiment is on Chanting a 4-6 means they charge.
The first to start chanting were Luis´ Zulus, I expected the British players to reinforce this threat but they didn´t move any of their figures. Once again I put on the Zulu film for effect , I know there are quite a few inaccuracies but I never tire in watching this great film. The Zulus charged the hospital and wrapped around the barricades, however they made little impression, apart from killing and wounding the gallant defenders at the barricades in front of the hospital verendah. Luis´Zulus skulked back to his line to rest and form up. Each Regiment had five charges in them before they gave up and went back to their kraals.
The next Zulus to charge were Kevins , the problem for him was his Zulus had to climb a few fences and walls to get to the barricade. Quite a few of Zulu were killed by the defenders firing from in the Hospital
Now the barricade in front of the hospital was unmanned, so it was easier for them to cross over and reach the front doors.
When I revamped my buildings, I decided to fix the roofs on, so figures could fight on them in true Michael Caine style. To make it more interesting I made simple floor plans of the building where we could recreate the struggle inside, In the above photo the Zulus have broken into the side door and killed the defenders inside the room, Fortunately for the other defenders, its a dead end, so they have to go back out and try their luck at another door.
Kevin´s attack had finished, but due to great throwing of the dice (to kill a British Soldier you need throw a six) the south barricade has only 2 men and 1 wounded left. At this point I thought the game was going to finish quite early.
In the last attack, Lt Chard was wounded, so he visited Surgeon Reynolds and his dog, in the Hospital. However unlike the film this had a different ending. Jose who was playing Surgeon Reynolds, threw a 1 meaning that Chard had died whilst being treated, much to the anguish of Javi who was controlling Chard.
I kept throwing three or under so my Zulus were still asleep, as the 4 soldiers in the middle of the open ground made a redoubt out of the mound of sacks. The men on the storehouse roof spot Miguel´s Zulus beginning to charge.
The Zulus hit the south barricades and enter the hospital killing most of the defenders including Pvt Hook.
With the Hospital severely depleted with only a few wounded soldiers to defend it. The British players decided to abandon it and move to the barricades by the store house.
With the hospital deserted apart from the dead, there is no-one to stop the Zulus setting it on fire.
At last my Zulus wake up and attack the west end of the barricades.
Some of my Zulus manage to climb on the roof and enter into hand to hand combat with the British on the roof , who manage successfully to push my Zulus off the roof.
In the pause of the action the redoubt was finally built and Surgeon Reynolds tried to treat more patients, however Jose kept rolling them ones and he killed more patients than he saved, the other players gave him the nickname of Doctor Mengele.
The next attack is a two pronged attack with mine and Miguel´s Zulus, who set fire to the cookhouse as they attack.
Maybe this was the attack that would finish off the garrison.
Two of my Zulus manage to fight their way through the storehouse and enter the courtyard. However Pvt Dunbar the best shot in the company (in the game he can fire twice at +1) kills both from his vantage point in the redoubt.
The last of Miguel´s Zulus try to make it across the empty courtyard but the British rifles kill most of them before they get to the ramparts.
Next it was Kevin´s and Luis´ Zulus turn to make a two pronged attack,
All of the are players involved in the last attack whilst Colour Segt Bourne looks on from the televisión in the background. (unfortunately in the game he was another of Surgeon Reynolds´ victims)
The defenders are forced to abandon the Kraal and reinforce the redoubt.
The game ended in game time at 19.10 when it was getting dark. The defenders still had over half their numbers left, including Lt Bromhead, Pvt Dunbar and Surgeon Reynolds who it seemed finished off more soldiers than the Zulus did.
This was a great game to play, plenty of action and twist and turns. After the second attack it looked like an early defeat for the defenders, but once they consolidated their forces they were able to give a better defence. Everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves and once again the rules although slightly different can be played without resorting to any charts.
I played the game with each British figure representing 2 real men, next time we play this I want to change to a ratio of one to one with each figure been labelled with the soldiers name. Also I am going to improve the hospital and storeroom floor plans making them more 3D.