Monday, July 18, 2011

Well played that Man.....

Club night last night and an outing for the British & French in a brief skirmish to try Sharp Practice in a Napoleonic setting.
Napoleonics is one of those periods that every serious gamer wants to try at least one, it's all about those Big Battalions....
You know when a rule set works when you come away with a heavy defeat and still feel you had a great evenings entertainment.
The scenario was a simple one march on table and capture the high ground.
The British came on on blind but were soon spotted by the advancing French, the British continued on a pace pushing straight on towards the objective.


On the left flank advancing through the woods the Rifles, their extra range was taking chunks out of the adavncing French and the shock was soon to stop them dead in their tracks.

The French crested the hill and let loose a volley into an isolated British Unit forcing it back with heavy Casualties, at this stage the scores were even, with both sides having lost a unit to shock.


However the British had a master plan, they had saved their first round fire bonus and fired a volley at short range into the French, killing 3 and inflicting 13 points of shock on the formation.
Fortune of the cards and the British activated first charging into the unloaded French, the melee was short but bloody.
The French killed 3-4 British but lost several of their own troops aand with double the shock were forced to leave the table.

A great day for the Brits but a cracing evenings entertainment, which has set me off looking for more stuff to paint and campaigns to run......

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mounted Zulu's

Whilst stuck in a motorway services yesterday, I managed to catch up on some light reading - In particular Ian Knight's series on the Zulu War a number of passages struck me in particular a number of small encounters with the British and Boers where the Zulu's were mounted Prince Dabulamanzi commander at Rorkes Drift as an example was a notable horseman.

Having a spare evening and only having a few remaining pieces to complete my current Zulu War collection. I thought I would dig out a couple of mounted Zulu's which form part of lead mountain.

The figure on the circular base is from Empress and the three on the left are Black Tree Design Limited although the horse are spares from various 28mm collections.

I plan to use them as scouts, pickets or commanders, they will certainky make a change from the usual head long charge into the British firing lines......


Friday, July 08, 2011

Hamel's Hill


It would be a few weeks before Feguson and Williams would be back from the hospital at Rorkes Drift, mean while preparation for the invasion continued.

Henshaw the hero the first engagement was given command whilst Ferguson healed. Orders for a patrol to be sent out to reconitor Hamels Hill over looking the Buffalo River were received.
(Scenario K within the Platoon Forward Campaign rules from Too Fat Lardies)

Selecting two sections (No supports were available - due to pour dice rolling.) he was to seek out the Zulu and gather information on their strength in the area around Hamel's Hill before retiring off table. (The Zulu's had 6 Blinds a minimum of 3 must be identified for victory to be claimed)

Major Hall commander of the 1st Battalion the 99th thought he would tag along for the adventure. (The fixed event roll following the first battle)
Hall who was inept and prone to a tipple it looked like this trip would be no different. Mounting his Chesnut horse Brandy he galloped left and right looking for the Zulu
Hamel's Hill was steep flanked by dense scrub and gully's on either side with numerous hiding places for the Zulu to lurk.


Henshaw chose to advance in skirmish order looking into any dip and thorn bush trying to spot the sneaky zulu, a small party of Zulu's were spotted a top of Hamel's Hill but a number of volley's soon drove them away.... (One blind down).


As the sun rose a large body of Zulu were spotted on the Eastern flank hiding amongst the scrub.


The Zulu ran forward flanking Henshaw's section which poured fir in the running Zulu's they headed down the hill side (3 shock points inflicted but the modifer to the Zulu movement kept them fleet of foof.)



The Zulu's hooked right and despite charging up the step incline were able to engage with Henshaw. (the number of dice were even but the Zulu rolled better inflicting 3 more kills than recieved.
Henshaw was forced to fall back up the hill leaving behind 5 casualties.
Henshaw was lightly wounded but was able to kill the Zulu big man which took the wind out of the Zulu's for a turn.


Sergeants Dorset turned his section turned to face the victorious Zulu's and fired several volley's into them while they tried to reorganise and apoint a new leader. The resulting fire forced them back down the hill and into the scrub where they were to play no further part in the encounter.
Henshaw had been saved as his attempted to regroup on the crest of the hill.

The British player by now had another couple of Zulu war bands with the tally now at 4 blinds they decided to retire as more Zulu's threatened to cut off the British Patrol.

Zulu's poured from the Valley below Hamel's Hill and filling the right hand gorge with angry warriors.



Time to leave...
Dorset poured fire into the advancing Zulu's whilst Henshaw ran back down the hill.
Whilst all the time Major Hall looked in the wrong direction..... clarly seeing double.

A victory for the British, just a shame Battalion Commander missed it.

GAME REPORT 2 Post Script.

The British having fled the field left 5 killed behind.
However rolling on the fixed event chart within Platoon Forward provided the British player with  additional reinforcements. Ferguson's Platoon is now up to 3 men above full strength.
Although Ferguson remains on sick leave for at least another encounter.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Crossing the Buffalo

In preparation for our Big Game in September we played out the first proper game in the chronicles of Ferguson of the 99th.
The plan is to carry over the big men from each scenario for the British which will allow us to add a little flavour to each encounter. So here goes Chapter One. Crossing the Buffalo.
Feguson had been in Natal for less than a week when orders came from up the line.
He was to take his platoon and with a detachment of NNC and cross the Buffalo River to provide a covering screen for a company of Engineers who were testing the drift for a suitable crossing place for the wagons of Chelmsford's invasion force.
It was not known how long the mission would last the Engineers would fire a yellow flare once they had completed their scouting mission.

Ferguson being a pragmatic man decided to take his full platoon as he had no knowledge of what lay over the river. Sergeant Taylor his no.2 was his usual self, he had been in country for several weeks and was keen to get a closer look at the mighty Zulu.

The British forces advanced on table masked by Blinds, with the NNC securing the left flank and sections 1-3 across the centre of the able.
Sergeant Williams of second squad was unwell, as usual he had put his belly before his head and was under the weather after eating some of the local muck. This caused him to miss a couple of turns as he would nip away for a constitutional on more than one occasion - That was to be the least of his worries.

On the Right Flank Lt Henshaw was his usual snooty self, strutting about the table barking orders.

The morning started well for Ferguson as they march on table Zulu's were spotted to the right and left of the advancing British however the first concentration of Zulu's on the bluff turned out to be merely a scouting party. A small group of rifle armed Zulu's appeared on the left but their occasional rifle fire an no effect on the advancing British.



On the left flank a concentration of Zulu's rushed down the bluff head start for Sergeant Williams Section and Ferguson who had attached himself to the section. A number of Volley's crashed into the Zulu but they were simply to numerous and they drove into the British Section, first to fall was Williams who was otherwise engaged when the Zulu hit home.
The section fought back killing a number of Zulu's. Ferguson threw himself into the melee in attempt to turn the tide but was over come by Zulu's with a blow to the head, his efforts were not in vain as the remaining Zulu's withdrew.



Whilst the 99th were engaged to their front a number of Zulu's burst from the grass land and charged head log into the NNC, they hoped that a full volley would be enough to slow the Zulu their poor fire only served to slow the Zulu advance for a few moments.
Faced with odds of 3:1 they at first waivered then broke head back across the Buffalo carrying Sergeant Taylor the platoons' senior NCO with them.



Taylor recovered his wits and broke away from the fleeing NNC with intention of saving the remaining men of 1 section who were now leaderless, reinforced by dutch courage borrowed from the quartermaster he ran back towards the now isolated section only to trip and fall knocking himself out for a round.....
The survivors of 1 Section were over ran by the main Zulu body.

On the right flank Lt Henshaw began to engage the Zulu skirmish line whilst at the same time turned 2 section to fire on the now advancing Zulu's victors of the melee with the NNC, a number of long range volley's were enough to force them backwards with the cumulated shock from a number of turns of melee and long range rifle fire.


As a yellow flare was seen in the early morning sky, the Zulu's began to fall back have leaving the field to the British who began task of seeing to their wounded and checking to see if their were any survivors of 1 section.

The flanking mission had been a success but at what cost?

GAME REPORT 1 Post Script.

 Having held the field the British scoured the battlefield checking for wounded and collecting up the weapons from the fallen.

Underneath a mount of dead Zulu's Ferguson was pulled alive, he had taken a blow to the head and left for dead.

4 Men had been killed an 5 Men badly wounded including Sargeant Williams
Ferguson's Platoon would be short on numbers until reinforcements arrived.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


Most of my gaming over the years has tended to be of a colonial flavour, over at the The Evesham Wargames Club this has continued with several of us owning a range of figures that have a strong Colonial Flavour.
We have hunted for the perfect set of rules that give the true flavour of the period and yet allow the hero of the hour stand out with his dash and daring.
We have recently embarked upon a number of engagements using the Shape Practice rules from the Too Fat Lardies and there excellent Supplement Platoon Forward.
This invloves tracking the adventures of a Platoon of British Infantry as they cross the border into Zululand - Or as you will come to know him Ferguson of the 99th.