Thursday 17 June 2021

The Crown Prince in Zululand

Its been some time since my Zulus have seen some action on the table and having rebased the natives on new 10cm coasters during lockdown I was keen to get them out to play.

The scenario I set up was a rather simple affair. The British forces lead by Sir John Butterworth (John) have recently crossed into Zululand over the Buffalo River. Sir John decided to set up a base camp at the ford and send out a cavalry patrol to find the Zulu army known to be operating in the area.

The Cavalry patrol was commanded by Major Frederick Turner (Alastair) and he had the dubious honour of escorting the Crown Prince Leopold of Luxembourg in his ranks. This Patrol would start at one end of the table (returning to camp) whilst the camp would await their return.

Pictures of the defended ford below. As you can see Butterworth took the sensible precaution of defending the ford with wagons and mealie bag walls.

Our game starts when Butterworth realises that the Patrol is late. So he send out a patrol of mounted infantry onto the nearest high ground to see if he can determine their whereabouts. This patrol includes a helio graph team, lead by Lieutenant Stick.

Sticks job is simple - look out for the missing patrol and send a message back to the camp. 

From their vantage of high ground Stick can see the camp to the south and can see dust to the north - this is the returning patrol.

Unbeknownst to the British invaders a large Zulu army is in the vicinity, and before the helio can send either a warning message to the patrol or the camp the small troop is overrun by Zulus.  

Butterworth hearing shots from the high ground send out a squad of local Boers to investigate.

Zulus can be seen massing in the valley to the North - directly between the patrol and the camp.

At long last Turner's patrol enters the table. A motley assortment of Boers, Native riders, Natal Police and Lancers. They also have a small artillery piece.

Its not long until they run into the lead elements of the Zulu army.

Forming up they begin to open fire on the approaching warriors. The artillery quickly dispersing one unit with extremely accurate fire.

The Zulus have decided to try and focus on wiping out the cavalry patrol before turning their attention to the camp.

As the game progresses more Zulus appear from the long grass. The British realise that they are heavily outnumbered.

The camp quickly re-organises its defences and begins to lob rockets and artillery fire into the Zulus hiding in the distance

The Zulus begin to sweep down from the high ground towards the cavalry patrol.

A furious action is now taking place in the North with Zulus crashing into the thin cavalry ranks but not quite destroying them.

As the fighting wears on both sides take heavy casualties. The Lancers draw up ready to charge and sweep the Crown Prince to safety. 

In quick succesion the Boers and Sikhali horse fall to the blades of the locals.

With a tally ho the Lancers charge...and disaster strikes slamming into afresh warband the Lancers are soon routed and Luxembourg is now looking for a new heir.

By now the Zulus are massing up for the assault on the encampment.

They quickly throw themselves against the barricades - its not pretty.

Once again the ranked infantry overwhelm the natives with accurate volley fire. Realising that charging onto this wall of lead would be a futile gesture the Zulu chief withdraws his men to fight another day.

A fun little game and thanks to all those involved.

More soon



  1. A splendid affair well up to shed standards.

  2. Is that fleece "grass"? Teddy bear fur?

    1. yes - from Dunelm but sadly no longer stocked

    2. I've got several of these fleeces (having been inspired by Shed Wars First St Albans) and they are brilliant. They are thin enough to lay over hills but you get a great effect by brushing the fibres in one direction. The only drawback is that if you cut the edging off to avoid a bump when overlapping cloths some of the new edging slowly comes away. At the moment, only the King Size is available.

    3. Sorry, I forgot this link