Sunday, 14 October 2012

Anglo-Zulu War

Since trying out BKCII a few weeks back I've been thinking about how these rules could be used for the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War (AZW). I've managed to write down quite a few ideas as to how to do this and what rules to ignore as they aren't applicable to the AZW (such as aircraft). A few of my thoughts are as follows:

1. Activation is by "Battalion Group" of by troop and each company/troop will have a command stand (see CHQ and THQ notes below). A Battalion Group is something of an ad-hock formation consisting of a varying number of companies under a HQ - an example would be the British Infantry Companies left to guard the camp at iSandlwana which consisted of 5 companies of the 1/24th Foot and 1 from the 2/24th. This would he treated as a separate command to the other forces left at the camp. There is also nothing to stop this formation changing size as reserves are allocated to it by the CO, so for example the Battalion Group detailed above might initially only have a few companies assigned to it (as it did to begin with in reality) but grows in size as the game develops. I might use another term rather than Battalion Group but it will do for now.

2. I will use of thin smoke stands for units firing repeatedly and rapidly with Martini-Henry Rifles and other black powder weapons - this will reduce the number of firing dice for the unit (and for those shooting at them) due to the reduced visibility caused by the clouds of smoke. This problem can be avoided by controlling the way a unit fires.

3. I will try and make the Zulus psychologically different to use as they had a rather different view of death to the British.

4. Figure to man ratio will be 1:5. Ground scale is roughly 1cm = 10 yards.

5. 1 base = 1 section of up to 20 men. Each section base has 3-4 figures on a 30mm square base. Mounted Infantry bases have 3 figures on foot and a separate horse holder stand, most foot bases will have 4 figures.

6. Company Headquarters (CHQ) - these are not normal command units, the usual rules for not targeting HQ's apply but CHQ's only have the following game effects: They add an extra dice to units firing (representing their direction of the fire); Loss of the CHQ adds a -1 to the CV when a higher HQ/CO tries to activate the company (representing the loss of command functions); If all of the companies stands are wiped out the CHQ is removed. For campaign games the CHQ stays on the table as it can still be overrun by the enemy and hence count for Victory Points for them.

7. Troop Headquarters (THQ) act as normal HQ's but may also add the 1 extra dice when the troop is firing (as can any command unit). The THQ's are different to the CHQ's because the Mounted Infantry often acted independently.

I based up my 1st company of Zulu's earlier (3 bases, 12 figures) and will have completed another 4 by the end of tomorrow then it's on to the Natal Native Contingent (a formation consisting of 3 regiments of African Infantry organised along British lines with European officers) and the Mounted Infantry (Natal Mounted Police and Natal Carbineers). All my figures are Baccus.

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