Posts Tagged ‘Colonial’

The Battle of Fort Tinta

Posted on February 6th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

On Saturday Posties Rejects gathered in a very cold shed-o-war to fight an Anglo-Zulu War game with our hosts 6mm collection. We would be fighting a what-if scenario based on actual forces and topography from the period. 
The Setup
On 21st January 1879 the advancing British No 4 Column built and garrisoned a stone fort overlooking the crossing known as Tinta’s Drift on the White Umfolozi River. From this base of operations the garrison sent out strong patrols. However upon learning of the disaster at Isandlwana the fort was vacated and the column fell back to a fortified camp at Khambula. Our scenario asks what would have happened if the British had instead tried to hold and reinforce the Garrison rather than abandon it?

Order of Battle

Zulus – Approx 15500 Warriors
Head/Loins – C/O Ntshungwayo Kamahole (Dave)
  Commanding five ‘regiments’ of warriors including one Veteran Unit
Right Horn – 3 i/c Godide Kandlela (John)
  Commanding four ‘regiments’ with one Veteran Unit
Left Horn – 2 i/c Zibhebhu Kamapitha (Lee)
  Commanding four ‘regiments’ with two Veteran units
British – 2050 Men and 4 Artillery Pieces
Fort Tinta Garrison – Major England (13th Foot) (Surjit)
  13th Foot – 4 Companies
  1 Gun 11/7 ½ 2nd Section
  1 Rocket Team
  Weatherbys Border Horse – 2 Troops
  Woods Irregulars – 1 Battalion of 5 Companies of Swazis
  Captured Zulu Cattle
Supply Column Reinforcements – Colonel Evelyn Wood (90th Foot) (Mark)
  90th Foot – 8 Companies
  2 Guns 11/7 1st Section
  Frontier Light Horse – 4 Troops
  Uyo’s Burgens (Boer Sharpshooters) – 1 Troop
  6 Wagons (2x Rifle Ammo, 2x Artillery/Rocket Ammo, 2x Food and Water)

The Action

The initial setup with Fort Tinta in the centre, overlooking the Drift and surrounded by hills and grassland.
Fort Tinta is little more than a forward base of operations but it commands excellent fields of fire in all directions.
The relief column is already on its way, headed by four companies of British Foot, and more in the rear.
The Zulu commander Ntshungwayo Kamahole gives the order to advance.
Zulu warrior’s crest the hills overlooking Fort Tinta and the alarm is raised.
The Zulu left flank (my troops) are still hidden at setup but will soon move forward.
My Zulus hidden behind a hill prepare to advance 
They crest the hill and before them lays the White Umfolozi River and the open grassland running up to Fort Tinta 
Thousands of Zulus surge forward towards the British positions
The defenders open up a witheringly effective fire (Surjit’s dice rolling was uncanny)
The Zulus close in on the fort. For the Right Horn and Head of the Zulu army their objective was obvious. For my troops in the Left horn I had to make an early decision on where to attack. Initially I assumed that the British relief column would head straight for the fort and so my plan was to hit them before they could do this. But after just one turn it became obvious that Mark had no intention of relieving the fort as he began to take up defencive positions on the hill (on the left in this picture). 
Another option was to move around the left flank of the relief column and draw some of the British away from the objective of Fort Tinta. But again it soon became clear that Mark had settled in on the hill and wasn’t going to attempt to relive the fort at all. By shifting my attack to the right and supporting the main Zulu assault on the fort four companies of British infantry were effectively removed from the game because they would have so far to march just to move within range. 
Zulus, Thousands of them!
One of my Veteran units. These poor fellow found themselves being shot to pieces for the whole game. However while they absorbed fire from the British my other units were able to advance forwards, so they fulfilled a vital role.
Dave’s Zulus reach the walls of the fort but falter under withering British volley fire. More Zulu units are moving into position from all sides and the forts defenders are looking dangerously exposed and unsupported. Now where is that blasted relief column?!?
Surjit ponders his fate. With Zulu’s converging on three sides Fort Tinta looks increasingly isolated.
My troops open fire on the British providing support to Dave’s renewed assault on the defences. Meanwhile British fire from Marks infantry on the hill have reduced my Veterans to one stand. 
The Zulu players Dave and John 
An overview of the whole table. The so called ‘relief column’ has settled in to watch the massacre of the Forts defenders and the Zulus have closed in around their objective. 
The final assault by the Zulus. Casualties are high but with such overwhelming numbers the result was hardly in doubt. The numbered tags represent casualties from previous rounds of firing and melee.
The British defenders are overwhelmed and begin to fall back. As Zulus pour over the walls of the fort more warriors sweep aside the last of the Swazi troops and begin to converge on the fleeing survivors.
The Left Horn (my troops) now turn to face the British relief column and pause while the rest of the Zulu army sweeps aside the reaming defenders.
With the last British infantry and artillery from the fort destroyed the Zulus line up again and consider their next move.
The grim faced British defenders consider the carnage
The last few British troops from the Garrison are swept away.
Meanwhile the Zulu cattle, stolen by the British earlier in the day, have now been recovered by their handlers.
Dusk is fast approaching (one turn away) and the Zulus decide to wait for darkness before sweeping away the remaining invaders. With their forward base gone the British cannot hold this territory and will be forced to retire. 
At times this felt like a one sided battle, but Zulu casualties were still very high. Tactically the battle was a draw with both sides suffering significant losses, but this was undoubtedly a strategic victory for the Zulu’s. With the loss of this forward base at Tinta Drift the British would be forced to withdraw or face assault throughout the dark of night without the benefit of their long range fire-power or prepared defences. There was quite a bit of ‘discussion’ about the scenario played and the definition of victory (I think the British players were feeling a bit hard done for!) but for me the answer is simple. Historically the Garrison at Tinta Drift withdrew without a battle to safer positions and denied the Zulu’s battle. The whole point of this scenario was to ask what would have happened had they stood their ground. The answer appears to be that they would have been forced to withdraw anyway, so their decision to pull back was probably the correct one. 
For me this makes the game we fought even more interesting because the way we approached the scenario was completely contrary to how a field commander would have viewed the situation. In the game the Commander of the relief column (Mark) decided not to even attempt to reinforce the Garrison, and the Fort Commander (Surjit) decided to stand his ground rather than retreat. Both players reacted like wargamers, seeking the best and most interesting game, rather than as military leaders husbanding their forces and avoiding a fight they couldn’t possibly win. Of course that doesn’t explain the decisions and outcome of the battle at Rourke’s Drift, but I guess that’s what dice are for…

Fire & Sword Turn 05: March 1884

Posted on January 10th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

After the rather erratic results in February 1884 the Anglo-Egyptian forces were facing some great challenges (and some perhaps unrecognised opportunities) in March. Both Eastern & Western Sudan are only showing very low levels of rebellion and not offering a

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Fire & Sword Battle 06: The Gardner’s Jammed & The Yorks Vanquished

Posted on January 3rd, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

As described in Fire & Sword Turn 04: February 1884 Sir Henry’s column continued South towards Dongola, and at the 3rd Cataract is met by the first supply steamer to have made it beyond the 2nd Cataract. It resupplies his column and brings welcome reinforcements

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Warbases Wednesday #26 – Needle in a haystack

Posted on August 27th, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Last week I eluded to some works in progress that have been in the wings of my workbench, amoung the many projects I have to complete for Martin and Diane.This week I can reveal the full range of master models that I shall be taking with me to Partizan…

Fire & Sword Battle 05: Because We’re ‘ere Yuzbashi! Nobody Else. Just Us.

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Akhtar Pasha had just spent the last few weeks trekking along the caravan trail from Suakin to Berber. When he left Suakin the Eastern Sudan was quiet and unchanged despite the violent rebellion raging in Northern & Southern Sudan –…Rea…

Fire & Sword Turn 04: February 1884

Posted on April 21st, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

With January 1884 drawing to a close, the revolt appeared to have been stabilising – however the Eastern Sudan, despite the relative quiet in the region now finally also erupted (or rather simmered) into full blown rebellion – the results …

Fire & Sword Battle 04: Sally at Abu Hamed

Posted on April 18th, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

As referred to in Turn 03: January 1884, at Abu Hamed Sayed Bey decides to sally forth from the town and endeavour to temporarily break the siege. While Abu Hamed is now plentifully supplied with resources (it has over 6 months of…Read more &#8…

Modelling New Zealand Bush

Posted on April 13th, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

I was searching for information on scenic material (scatter and flock and such) and stumbled across this (NZ 1:120  TT scale) New Zealand model railroad blog. It features some photos of Grant Morrel’s Kerosine Creek layout from the Masterton …

Warlord North American Buildings

Posted on March 21st, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

To supplement my Perry Miniatures’ ACW Buildings I also have a couple of Warlord laser-cut MDF Settler’s Log Cabins – like the Perry buildings these are suitable for most North American eras from the French & Indian Wars & Am…

From PhilH: 28mm Colonial British Hussars, Mahdist Gun and Crew & 15mm WWII American Infantry (84 points)

Posted on March 20th, 2014 under , , , , , , . Posted by

From Phil:My final offering to push me towards my target. The British in the Sudan finally get some cavalry support, the rather dashing 10th Hussars. Not a fancy pelisse in sight by this era, but I still think they look fine in their navy striped trous…

From DaveD: 28mm ‘Camelapocalypse’ – Sudan Supply Column & Naval Gun Crew (165 points)

Posted on March 19th, 2014 under , , , , . Posted by

From Dave:Its been a switch over to the Colonials for the Sudan.I had decided to make an effort on dealing with the support elements first. For the desert column I really wanted a decent amount of animals. So here we have a further addition. It’s …

Perry Miniatures ACW Buildings

Posted on March 13th, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

These are some ‘in progress’ pictures of my 28mm Perry Miniatures’ American Civil War Buildings – I’m hoping they will be useful for not just the ACW, but also for the American Old West & Indian Wars, some Colonial the…

Miniature Addiction!

Posted on March 8th, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Roundie, from my local gaming group (the Auckland Wargaming Club), has recently launched his own website & blog of his wargaming & modelling work – he’s one of our area’s most prolific modellers & painters and has built so…

From DaveD: 28mm Mahdist Horsemen and Camelry (190 points)

Posted on March 6th, 2014 under , , , , . Posted by

From Dave:So here we have the Mahdist mounted forces (19 in all) , 6 Beja camel, 12 Baggara cavalry and another leader for the cause. All 28mm Perry figures. For the Baggara I had to replace the “chocolate fireguard” Perry spears with something that wi…

From PhilH: 28mm Mahdists with Command & Challenge Desperado (75 points)

Posted on February 19th, 2014 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

From Phil:My next entry, it may surprise you to know, takes me back to the Sudan. Seven foot Mahdists, plus a command stand of one foot one mounted. I painted these alongside the casualties I also submitted, a fairly sizeable batch for me but a mere dr…

L’Iber Toy Soldier Museum – Late 19th to 20th Century Spanish Colonial

Posted on February 18th, 2014 under , . Posted by

From DaveD: Sudanese Beja Mob Part Deux (371 points)

Posted on February 12th, 2014 under , , , , , . Posted by

Here is the second points sortie in Dave’s Sudanese carpet bombing campaign.From Dave:Ok you Challengers here we have part 2 off the production line.Its 72 figures plus 4 prone casualty . all 28mm Perry . Hmm I think it might need to do some …

From DaveD: 28mm Sudanese Ansar Tribesmen (437 points)

Posted on February 11th, 2014 under , , , , , . Posted by

Dave brings out the big guns with this huge points entry.From Dave:Having completed my initial point target (600) or the Challenge , it seems to have got the paint well and truly flowing. Having completed a Sudan “caravan” as part of the chal…

From ClintB: 10mm Mahdist Tribesmen (64 points)

Posted on February 6th, 2014 under , , , . Posted by

From Clint:Yet More Pendraken figures 3 figures to a 20m by 20mm base and 21 bases in all. I have kept the patch colours on the Jibbehs muted so no need to wear sunglasses while playing in England. (Chance would be a fine thing at the moment!) Overall …

From RobP: 28mm Sudanes, Nuns & French Imperial Guard Chasseurs a Pied (276 points)

Posted on January 28th, 2014 under , , , , , , . Posted by

RobP, veteran member of the beer disposal unit of the ‘Dutch Water-bicycle Detachment’, debuts in the Challenge with this stonking entry of Sudanese, Nuns and French Chasseurs. An entry which, I’m sure, will raise the eyebrows of his compatriots Michae…

From ClintB: 10mm Ansar Tribal Riflemen (33 points)

Posted on January 22nd, 2014 under , , , . Posted by

From Clint:Another 11 Stands of 10mm Ansar. Again these are by Pendraken with 3 figures to a base for use with “Patrols in the Sudan” Rules. As the rules differentiate between rifle and melee armed stands each of these stands has two riflemen on each s…

From JamesB: 28mm Afghan Cavalry, Bengal Lancers, Ghurkha Rifles & Ronin (377 points)

Posted on January 15th, 2014 under , , , , . Posted by

James has the most ambitious points target within the Challenge this year and to start biting into that goal he sends in this very nice mixture of figures from the North-West Frontier and Feudal Japan.From James:I have had a few questions about my lack…

The Battle of Matigulu

Posted on January 13th, 2014 under , , , . Posted by

Posties Rejects gathered over the weekend for our first game of the year, and once again Postie pulled out something new from his collection for us to play with. This game used The 1879 Zulu War and Boer Zulu Conflict rules written by Richard…

Queens’ Lancers Museum

Posted on January 5th, 2014 under , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

A small interesting museum that covers some the most famour British cavalry charges ever!

From TamsinP: 28mm Coureur de Bois (32 points)

Posted on January 4th, 2014 under , , , , . Posted by

From Tamsin:This submission consists of eight 28mm FIW coureurs de bois from AW Miniatures. These represent my painting contribution for the most excellent Bloggers for Charity project organized by James B and AndrewS.These were painted over black prim…