Jackson Gamers' Zulu War game
Tromp's Farm

The Setting

Jay Stribling, a Jackson Gamer, has concocted a variant for Larry Brom's The Sword and the Flame rules set, in which every player is on the British or Imperial side. This variant is called Every Man a Briton! and was published on the "By Jingo" web site several years ago. Jay has run several games of this variant for the Jackson Gamers over the years and ran one at Historicon 2000 in Lancaster PA. Jim Pitts used this rules variant in this game "Tromp's Farm" which the Jackson Gamers played on May 18, 2002 at HOBBYTOWN in north Jackson.

The imperial players were: Fred Diamond, Mark Gilbert, Jody McDonald, Sean Pitts, Larry Reeves, Ed Sansing, Robert Whitfield, and Phil Young. Jay Stribling loaned his Zulu army and assisted Jim Pitts in running the game.

The Scenario

The British and South African forces have been sent to rescue a valiant Boer farm family (the Tromp family) who are marooned on their farmstead in an area threatened by the Zulu forces. Four Infantry platoons, three cavalry troops, and a artillery piece with 4-man crew make up the relief force.

There are three farmhouses on the game table and the British are not certain which ones hold the family they have come to rescue.

Unknown to the Imperial forces, the Zulu "force pool" was set at 20 units, which would come on at random, generated by the dice rolls of the game-master. Once on the field, they move directly towards the nearest British or imperial forces, in an attempt to enter close combat.

The Photos

British commanders (left to right) Robert Whitfield, Fred Diamond, and Ed Sansing. The first and last of these honorable gentlemen seem to think the game well in hand, at this early stage. Major Diamond has an altogether more grim view of the situation.

The British have only advanced a turn or two - slowly - when this picture was taken.

Early in the game, Mark Gilbert (on left) jokes about the light opposition with Jody McDondald (in center). Leaning over the table (left front) Phil Young uses a bright red "firing arc" to make certain his lines of fire are clear of any friends. At right, Ed Sansing moves cavalry to check out a lone Zulu spotted in the white rocks ahead of the troops.

The Ellendale horse out in front of the infantry finds a Zulu impi which immediately attacks. Fortunately, Every Man a Briton has an evasion rule for cavalry. A D6 is rolled for each man and he may evade on a result of 1 through 4. On a result of 5 or 6 that figure must successfully fight 3 Zulu warriors. If he beats them, the may gallop off to join his comrades, if not...he is lost.

Larry Reeves is pressed into helping unload a Zulu impi from the "travel boxes" onto the game table.

Fairly early in the game, the platoon of British Hussars cross a small stream near the central copse of trees. They have not flushed any Zulu units yet.

Midway through the game, the western force advances down the extreme left hand table edge, behind a ridge, invisible to the Zulu. There was some chance that a Zulu force would enter on that table edge, and two did, further down the table, out of sight of this force. Since the Zulu units "fixate" on the first enemy troops that they see, all the Zulu impis in the early part of the game streamed by this force, headed for the center part of the 24th foot.

The above photo is late in the game as the wounded of the Edendale horse shelter inside the 24th foot's western square.

Another view of the western squre under heavy attack by 4 Zulu regiments led by a mounted inDuna.

A veiw of the British units advancing as if on parade. No serious opposition - early in the game.

The Slaughter

Most of the Zulu units came on at the far end of the board, as determined by the dice. It took 5-6 turns of hard marching for them to reach the British formations, but when they did, the result was terrible. The eastern square was broken after three turns of continual assault by the Zulu regiments. It was successfully reformed after shooting into itself to kill the Zulu warriors that had gotten into the square.

The western square held for one turn after the British Hussars were overwhelmed (the cavalry should have evaded) but then was broken, never to reform. Overall, the British/Local forces took 104 casualties out of 142 men on the field.

The Outcome

The Sikali horse, acting in the best tradition of irregular cavalry, had slipped around to the east of the Zulu regiments and was able to check two of the farm houses. In the second they found the Tromp family, safe and sound. The farmers wanted to pack their wagons and take their belongings with them, but the Sikali horse's troopers grabbed the family members and threw them across their horses and spurred to safety with them.

More photos to come

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