“Chief Tonkawei received word from his king that the neighboring Zulus desired to take a number of young women as brides. As this would further relations between the Zulus and Nobelongga, the king urged Chief Tonkawei not to resist too much. This news incensed the chief’s daughter, Isawannayu. The very idea that the Zulus would take brides without paying a proper dowery made her angry. The fact that there were no princes among the Zulu men made her angrier.
So, unbeknownst to her father, Isawannayu took his impi of female warriors to arrange a surprise for the Zulu in the form of an ambush. She chose the ground carefully. Along the main path from Zululand into Nobelongga is a place where the path crosses a creek in a narrow pass. It was here that Isawannayu would anger her father and the king….”
Today was our Colonial Adventures game day, the 4th Sunday of every month. School starts tomorrow in most communities, so business & everything else has been slow this week. We had a light turn out. No one showed up that had enough Europeans for a force. So we played an intertribal game. We decided on the ambush scenario. The forces were equal in number, 80 to a side. The Zulus had higher REP units, but I got to be the ambusher & the goddess of dice was on my side today. Jeff suggested the theme of Zulus on their way to raid an village for brides & that sparked the idea for the intro. I took photos using my iPad using only the available lighting in the store. The players were Jeff, Dale, & moi. The game took place at the wonderful Area 51 game store in Grapevine, Texas. And for all of you guys & gals in the DFW metroplex moaning about not having a place to play, Area 51 is excellent.
While the first 2 units were armed with spear, the next 2 Zulu units were rifles. I had a unit on a hill with muskets, but they hit nothing. Here, the unit that had charged out of the brush are engaged in melee with one of the rifle units. Another unit of Amazons is quickly moving up to support.
One of the units of rifles had been pushed way back. I sent in a unit from my left flank to finish off the rifle unit but it slammed into a fresh unit of Zulus as well. I defeated the rifles, but lost the unit to the new unit of Zulus. In this picture, I’m frantically advancing units from my reserve to aid a unit about to be overwhelmed by the Zulus. I charged up the hill that had been vacated by my musketeers to plug a gap. In the first round of melee, I take one casualty, the officer, so the entire unit fled back down the hill leaving a gap. Meanwhile, a unit on the far right, not in the photo, is trading blows with a Zulu unit. They are giving as good as they get, but if I can’t do something to plug that gap, my entire right flank will collapse.
In the center of the board, I couldn’t get to the unit engaged in melee. It took casualties & the remaining fled the field. The last unit of rifles had exploited the gap & climbed the hill where they shot into the unit coming up the road & forced it to retire back to the creek bed to regroup. I moved my bows into the brush. The unit that had previously retired down the hill rallied & I attached my commander-in-chief to the unit. On the right, the powerful REP 6 Zulu unit left the hill to sandwich the unit on the far right. Here in the picture, my unit has forced the unit to its front to retire, but is still in contact with the REP 6 unit.
Realizing that moving down the hill to engage my far right unit opened a gap in his own line, the Zulus broke off the melee & moved back up the hill. My unit followed but couldn’t re-engage. This turn, I attacked the REP 6 unit, we both took casualties, but we both survived for another round of melee. I moved the revigorated unit back up the hill & charged the REP 6 unit. In the picture, Isawannayu’s unit has just defeated the REP 6 unit & killed the Zulu commander-in-chief. I score a couple of more hits sniping at a Zulu unit with my bows. I’m down to a little over 30 figures & the Zulus have around 15. But without their commander-in-chief, they call it a day.
We used Muskets & Mohawks in today’s game. We really like the initiative system used much better than the initiative system used in Colonial Adventures. However, we seem to like the reaction tests in Colonial Adventures better than the reaction tests in Muskets & Mohawks. The game flowed smoothly and was fun. The Zulus had more units with higher REPs than the Amazons, but winning the initiative for all but 2 turns & having the advantage of being the ambusher helped to even things out. By continually winning the initiative, the Amazons were able to keep gaps plugged & able to keep their flanks from collapsing. One of our next games may use Colonial Adventures with the initiative system from Muskets & Mohawks.
It took a little over 4 hours to play. We play Colonials every 4th Sunday & anyone is welcome to join in. There are other games played on weekends & you can check with the store or the LSHM_DFW mailing list for the schedules.