Monday, February 27, 2012

Hannibal ad portas- Hannibal at the gates

I got an email early in the week before our end of the month fight challenging my Romans to a showdown. The opponents were to be Nick's new Carthaginians and in line with his determination to have more figures in the world than anyone else - he also supplied some more Romans. Nick's Carthaginian force was still too big so we called in some of Ross' veteran Legions to help. Well, Nick got his troops packed and sent to my place in a fleet of road trains- he always does things to excess and as the Band of Wargame Brothers assembled for the end of the month meeting in the understated elegance of my garage - we had an historical rematch- Carthaginians vs Republican Romans.  Seven of the Brothers assembled and four played the Romans - Ross, Roger, Geoff and myself as C in C. Hannibal was played by Nick. Paul and Phil were his subordinates....

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Republican Romans


A few years ago in 2008, Nick M handed me a box full of lead and said 'You can have these!' There was half a ton of metal and loads of figures. They sat in my garage for two and half years and then one day I sorted then out. There were enough figures to complete a Republican Roman army for Armati! So now four years down the track the figures are painted and ready to fight! With the inclusion of an HCH elephant from Essex Minitures ( Hi Ray!) I had a Core army and 96 bonus points. Now it's time to find an opponent!



Friday, February 10, 2012

Battle of Rorke's Drift in 28mm!

Well the Friday night game came around and it was the much anticipated 28mm Rorke’s Drift. It was a good turnout  with 9 of the Band of Brothers in attendance. One popped his head in to say hello but went home early due to illness. He should have stayed to defend the hospital! Of course most of us have seen the movie Zulu far more times than we’d care to admit and I went to Youtube and had the theme tune and some Zulu war chants open and playing alternatively to set the mood!
Half of the Brothers had already decided which side they wanted be on. Chris said ‘I ‘m a Redcoat- don’t argue and do be quiet, you’ll upset the lads - there’s a good gentleman.’ In fact for the whole night he continued to finish all instructions, questions or requests with ‘there’s a good gentleman’. He ended up as CSM Bourne. Ross was Bromhead and Nick was Chard- who was there only because he came to build a bridge.


                                                                 THE IMPIS ARRIVE

The Zulus were commanded by Richard and his offsiders were Roger and Geoff. Paul and Phil also took the side of Cetshaweyo’s impis. And I was umpiring. For further atmosphere, Nick and Chris suggested that all the Zulu players should play just wearing loin cloths but Ross said that, given our rather stout physiques, that was a disturbing mental image. So for atmosphere we stuck to the theme and warchants.


THE DEFENDERS AWAIT


Initially the action pretty much followed the historical version with the Zulus launching attacks against the hospital and the mealie bags to its front. Ross, in command of that sector put up a very stout resistance and the troops in and around the hospital took a terrible toll on the attackers who proceeded to climb onto the roof. At the back of the hospital, some of Phil’s Zulus broke down one of the doors only to find that it was a dead end and insultingly failed to knock down any more before they became casualties. The Zulus then set fire to the thatched roofing. Rather than attempt to stop the flames, the British cleared the intruding Zulus from the roof (they couldn’t do that AND put out the fire) and by then it was too late and Chard (Nick) reluctantly gave the order to evacuate the, by now, fiercely burning hospital.
THE MISSION STATION

It was at this point that an enormous cheer went up from the Zulus as they inflicted their first casualty on the Redcoats. There were pats on the back and some cries of 'Usuthu' and 'Zulu' as Roger took the honour of killing the first redcoat. In the next melee Roger killed two more and was being hailed as the next recipient of the Cetshewayo Cross (the Zulu equivalent of the Victoria Cross) as he proceeded to storm the barricades in front of the burning hospital. In fact by turn six, 84 Zulus were dead and 5 men of the 24th- all courtesy of Roger’s troops. But the pressure was building.

THE REDOUBT

The barricade in front of the hospital became the main focus of the Zulu attack and Geoff’s Zulus accounted for two more redcoats as the hospital roof caved in killing another five who had been forgotten inside! There were cries of ‘Shame!’, ‘Scum!’ ‘Irish building standards!’ and ‘Disgrace!’ hurled across the table by the redcoat commanders. This was accompanied by the jeers and cheers of the Zulu players- the impartial umpire, yours truly, of course said nothing- only to be accused of bias against white men (by Chris), against black men ( by Phil ) and against all humanity by Paul who claimed that I was making the rules up and pulling clauses out of my nether regions.

A LINE OF RIFLES- "FIX BAYONETS!!"



COMMISSARY DALTON LOADS



THE FIRST ZULUS ARRIVE

THE ZULUS ATTACK THE HOSPITAL


As the pressure built up on Ross (Bromhead), Chard (Nick) decided to withdraw his portion of the defenders to the redoubt and Ross exclaimed in exasperation ‘What the #$%@ are you doing?’
Nick responded by saying he was moving his troops back because ‘We’re gonna watch!’
Richard cheered, nudged Ross in the ribs and said “You’re f&a*%d now mate!’
Ross merely shook his head and soldiered on.
Things weren’t going the way either side had planned and the British were being forced back and many Zulus had entered the compound. But at horrendous cost. By turn eleven, 12 redcoats were dead but the Zulus had suffered just over 200 casualties.

THAT MAN THERE! FIRE!!


MORE ZULUS ARRIVE


THE ZULUS AND REDCOATS FIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL


THE BRITISH UNDER PRESSURE

THE ZULUS FORCE THEIR WAY OVER THE BARRICADES

"GET A PLATOON OF GOOD BAYONET MEN!"
"IT'S STILL A HOLDING ACTION IS IT?"

'ADENDORF, WHAT'S HE DOING?'
'HE'S TESTING YOUR FIREPOWER WITH THE LIVES OF HIS WARRIORS!'

THE ZULUS ATTACK THE BARRICADE BETWEEN THE STOREHOUSE AND HOSPITAL

THE ZULUS SWARM IN

THE BRITISH FALL BACK AND VOLLEY FIRE
FRONT RANK- FIRE!
REAR RANK- FIRE!
THE ZULUS HEAD FOR AN UNDEFENDED GAP
CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
As the casualties mounted the evening wore on and when the Zulus had lost 293 man and the 24th Regiment had lost 16 we called it a night. It was a great game and the clock beat us rather than one side beating the other. The after game brief revealed that the Zulus couldn't coordinate themselves to hit several places hard. The redcoats were happy with their efforts although many blamed poor dice rolling on wet powder!! So to the rousing tunes of 'Men of Harlech', it was agreed that a rerun was in order- but that's another blog.
MORE PICTURES:

THE STORE HOUSE UNDER PRESSURE
THE PRESSURE CONTINUES TO BUILD
'THEY'RE ON THE ROOF!'

 HOLD THEM!!


' A BAYONET WITH SOME GUTS BEHIND IT'

A VERY CLOSE RUN THING!


THE INDUNA URGES HIS MEN ON

THE ZULUS BREAK IN!

THE ZULUS MASSING FOR ANOTHER ATTEMPT