David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Monday, 8 May 2017


Time to dust off the impis of Chief Bykelezi, time for those brave warriors to wash the spears in the blood of their enemy. Time in fact for the Zulus to finally win a game! In short, this week's game in GHQ: a Black Powder Anglo-Zulu War game pitting the cunning Chief Bykelezi against his long time foe Lord Rawnsley commanding the Imperial force invading Zululand, again.The scenario is inspired by a well known British defeat in the war, taking the idea from Warlord's supplement, Zulu, and adapting it to my forces and available scenics.
The British force comprised the 13th Somerset Light Infantry and the 24th Warwickshire Regiment, supported by a Hales light rocket team and a company of the Natal Mounted Police. The personalities present were Rawnsley, Durnford and Flashman, all rated at 8! Chief Bykelezi is rated at a 9 and his subordinates at 8. The British are all Steady and Stubborn, while the Zulus are unmodified. The British may only fire at full effect for two moves, then need a resupply from the camp, otherwise firing at 2 x D6 instead of 4. This resupply is represented by a single figure who must pass a Command roll of 8 to carry out the resupply. Only one infantry unit can be resupplied in any turn. The rocket has D6 shells available ~ in our game 5.  The Zulu army enters randomly from any one of six points, corresponding to perimeter tiles on the two table edges. Once two elements have appeared the rest follow from either location. To enter the table all Zulus must pass a Command roll test set at 9.The game is set at 12 Turns, as is our usual practice. To the action ~
The British are surprised at dawn by a Zulu Impi while still rousing
themselves from slumber. There is a real anxiety the Zulus may be in among
the tents!

The British manage to deploy to defend the perimeter just in time. A savage
and prolong hand to hand fight begins over the temporary barricades. The
rocket troop and the Natal Mounted Police are still in a tangle.

The Zulus are unsupported and although inflicting many casualties cannot
break the 24th!

Finally, in Turn 6, the 24th's morale crumbles and they flee. The scenario
allowed them to try to exit the table for one Victory point, while the Zulus
got 2 for routing them and 1 bonus if they could defeat the routers.

While a fresh Impi attacks the 13th, now defending desperately, another fresh
Impi catches the routed 24th! Amazingly the 24th beat them off!

The 24th escape as the Zulu are Disordered and cannot attack again. The
situation in the camp looks desperate for the British! The rocket fires!

Two direct hits from the Hales rockets! The Zulus don't like it much and flee!

Four direct hits in two turns! I ask you! Two Impis destroyed and fleeing for
their lives! Chief Bykelezi is not happy!

The heroes of the hour, the stubborn 13th, though they would admit they
couldn't have done it without the support of the rocket team and the Police!

The game lasted the full 12 turns, with Turn 12 seeing all the Zulus either fleeing or disordered and thus unable to press the attack. The British had earned a breather we were sure! The rocket was out of shells and the infantry would have fired at half rate, if only the Zulu could have closed one more time! A narrow victory for Lord Rawnsley's force and a further defeat for Chief Bykelezi! Will the tide ever turn in the Zulu favour we wonder...


  1. Interesting scenario, that initial 'almost upon them' moment must have added some tension to the game, often in Zulu games, the impi seem to have to withstand withering fire on a long run in, so good to see something different here.

    I have the Black Powder Zulu supplement .... which I will now dig out.

  2. Great AAR! The Zulus retire frustrated yet again, but I think the 13th will make some cutting remarks to the 24th when they next meet.

  3. Wonderful showcase formyet another superb collection!

  4. A fine scenario very tense and could easily of gone the other way. One could almost smell the fear from the little lead men as those impis steamed forward.

  5. Valour on the Veldt. Great stuff.

  6. We played Sihayo's Kraal last week using The Men Who Would Be Kings...didn't turn out too well for the British, but it is a tough assignment - http://midasintelligence.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/sihayos-kraal-1879-men-who-would-be.html

  7. Once again David another tremendous looking game!


  8. Thanks all for your comments. I hope you'll excuse this all in reply but I'm bushed just now. Night!

  9. A fine looking game chaps.
    "One could almost smell the fear" ... or possibly just a side affect of Mr.B's recent medication.

  10. How great was this. well done.

  11. Thanks to the late arrivals too!