Sunday, 22 January 2012


One Hundred and thirty three years ago today, 22nd January 1879 the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift took place. It is also my good friend Dave Marks birthday and to celebrate both, yesterday we were invited to his place to play a large Zulu wargame.

As you will see from the pictures, Dave has a fantastic venue for us all to indulge in our hobby and on this occasion we were using three tables 6' x 12', 6' x 20' and 10' x 24'. To give you an idea of the size of the game, the British Column stretched the entire length of the 20' table and with my 400 Zulu's and Dave's 600 plus, we had over 1000 Zulu's in 28mm.  There were seven of us playing whilst Dave umpired the game.

The rules we were using were Black Powder, adapted/enhanced with a card system that Sam Marks had designed, which helped to give the right flavour for the period.

It is the day after the defeat of Isandlwana and defence of Rorke's Drift and Lord Chelmsford has ordered the remnants of his centre column to turn around and advance back into Zululand. Leaving a small garrison at Rorke's Drift, the British objective is to converge on Ulundi, the Zulu capital and punish King Cetshwayo.

The Zulu's are to delay the British column on table 2 for as long as possible ( start of each turn roll dice to see who wins a bonus card, stacked in favour of the Zulu player), the longer it takes the British to exit table 2, the more bonus cards the Zulu's are likely to have for the main battle at table 3.
When the British column has eventually moved off the holding area at Rorke's Drift on table 1, the Zulu's may allocate a part of their army to attempt to capture Rorke's Drift. This along with defending the Kings stronghold on table 3 are the Zulu objectives.

 Table 1
Table 2

Table 3

British Holding Area.

British Column leaving table 1 and moving onto table 2.
Cavalry patrol sent ahead of Column. Rorke's Drift in background.

Front of column have to deploy due to Zulu ambush and harassment.
British eventually clear Donga.

Severe delays at the bridge with baggage and limbers causing a bottleneck ( or was it the single track road?)

Column reaching full length of 20' table

Column about to exit table 2 and move onto main table 3.
Back at table 1, the column has now left Rorke's Drift and the Zulu's move in for the attack. The British had left a garrison of 2 units of Boer and 1 unit of Natal Mounted Police. Two Impi plus Zulu skirmishers swept down on the buildings and it was only a matter of time before the garrison fell to the Zulu horde. ( They should have used the Welsh)

Table 3. The Horns of the Buffalo await the arrival of the British.

Head of British Column arrive at table 3. Ulundi is in the distance.

Let the main battle begin.

The game started at 10am in the morning and finished at 8.30pm. It was a Zulu victory on both the main table and Rorke's Drift but it was a close run thing.
My thanks to Dave and Sam for hosting a superb day.
To see lots more pictures of this game taken by Joe Deaver, checkout the following link.


  1. Looks like i missed another great day out!

  2. Wow! That Sir is just spectacular, what a wonderful set up a real trip fro the eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Zulus sir; thousands of 'em! A fantastic looking game; wish I had space for tables like those...

  4. Amazing!!! the whole setup and your collections are simply breath taking!

    Excellent work!

  5. Stunning - incredible tables, games and armies!

  6. Great looking game, and it looked like a fun way to spend a Sunday!

  7. Absolutly love it!!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  8. Thanks Chaps, I don't game very often but going by the response this has had, the next time I venture up to Dave's for a game I will stick the pictures on the blog again.

  9. It's photos like these that keep me eyeing Warlord's "Horns of the Buffalo" box...

    The first shot of Rorke's Drift is quite stunning - the scenery there is just fantastic.

  10. Wow...a gaming room, scenery and figures to die for...really most impressive.

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