Sharp Practice – Adventures in Zululand

June 25, 2011 in Colonials, Sharp Practice

The latest club saw the first outing of our Zulu’s using the ToofatLardies – Sharp Practice rules (TSS). We have tried a couple of different rule sets over the pas 18 months but nothing quite hits the mark for me, we have an all dayer planned for September with multiple commands for the British. We wanted the Brits to have a bit of character, fighting off the Zulu against significant odds but also with a little room for scenario’s rather than just standing behind a barricade and blazing away.

The Scenario
Using a scenario generated from the Platoon Forward supplement.
A detachment of NNC and Cavalry have crossed into Zululand and have secured a Zulu cattle herd, however the local Zulu chieftain has sent his warriors to retrieve them, your platoon has been sent forward to support the NNC and Drive back the Zulu.

The Colonial command was split into two groups, the cavalry mustered on the hill top whilst the NNC held the valley with the cattle to their rear.
The colonial troops had to hold on until the British regulars appeared on table to save the day.

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At this stage the first learn of the evening (we are going to need a bigger table…) Dane the Zulu commander had massed his warriors in a classic Zulu formation with Blinds on the left, right and centre of the Colonial command.

The Zulu to the front were spotted and rifle fire from the dismounted cavalry was able to slow the approaching Zulu so they could not close from their initial charge.

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The NNC however were not so lucky, lacking suitable firepower and marksmanship they were swamped by the Aggressive Zulu’s with their big choppers… (I am thinking here about limiting the number of men fighting to say 3:1 in loose formation and 2:1 in line as 60 vs 10 seemed far to unfair…)

In the next bound the Cavalry fared little better, a number of Tiffin cards were drawn which allowed them to inflict some additional casualties on the Zulu but the cavalry number was to few and the Zulu to great. The next Zulu activation saw them wiped out to a man.

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The melee had cost the Zulu a significant amount of shock which slowed their effectiveness and with the British Player finally arriving and firing a number of long range volley’s. The Zulu’s sort cover from behind the hills and rises to recover from the earlier engagement.

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Another outing next week but the learns so far.
Moving Zulu at the Cavalry trot pace of +3 pips per dice might be a little to much?
Increasing the Zulu section to 15 allowed them to keep moving forward.
The new colonial cards seemed to work well, but we may need to provide the Zulu player with a handful at the beginning of the game.
Allowing the Zulu player to return to blind and splitting into two blinds seemed to create the right atmosphere of not knowing the Zulu’s true strength. We will need to increase the No. of leaders for the Zulu, the kill ration was rather high meaning a leader tended to be shot every time the Brits fired.
Using the TSS variant we need to load up the Brits with Experience and Belief to give them a fairer chance in hand to hand, at the same time limiting the number of men fighting should allow the Brits a chance to stay in play for more than one bound.

Looking forward to next week and the introduction of character traits to spice up the adventures in Zululand.

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