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 Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War

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cetewayo

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PostSubject: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:00 pm

One of the biggest problems I've found when wargaming bigger battles of the Zulu war (ie Isandlwana or Khambula) is figuring out the best scale to use. Company level rules seem the obvious choice when you only take into account the British side, but when you read about these battles it seems that battalion level would be much more appropriate when dealing with the Zulu side as the Zulu involvement is always described as functioning and maneuvering as regiments during a battle rather than individual companies. I have tried many different rules, but I have not found any that reconciles this disparity. Most rules either have units of both sides organized as companies, or both sides organized as battalions. Has this been a problem for anyone else who wargames the Zulu War? How do you handle this? Are there any rules that handle this disparity in the organizational size of each side?
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:49 am

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cetewayo

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:14 pm

Thanks impi. Yes this does give me some ideas on how I might deal with the issue.
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craigscott66



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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:48 pm

I am currently using newline 20mm figures for isandlwana. Company/troop vs warband, wrote my own rules if you would like a copy.
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cetewayo

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:52 am

Thanks. That would be great!
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craigscott66



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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:01 am

Can you send me your email address and I will forward the rules to you with the tokens/markers I have created. Please bear in mind they are home written so probably need more explanation but feel free to ask. I have tested them a couple of times and they seem to work well enough, but any suggestions appreciated.


craig

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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Sun May 21, 2017 9:33 am

I have been gaming for around 40 years and a few years ago I wrote a set of Wargames rules for the Zulu War for games Workshop Warhammer Historical.

The rules were not published (but thankfully GW honoured their commitment to me and I got paid for them) because GW wound up the Warhammer Historical section.

The Zulu units did not remove casualties but took morale at reaching certain casualty levels.

Although, technically these rules now belong to GW, I have a electronic copy that I can send you for 'play testing' purposes......

They are a lengthy piece of work and it would help if you knew the Warhammer principle - however there was a massed battle section, which reduced the amount of dice rolling, to a manageable level.

PM me if you would like a copy.

Cheers

Simon
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s_lancaster1



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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:42 pm

Hi Simon.

I have tried to reply to you email you sent me about the rule book, but I as a new member I can not use the message option for 7 days.

I will have to message you with my email after this time

thank you

Stephen
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N.B.Forrest

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:54 pm

I use 6mm and that's great for the Zulu, but it does make the Brits look puny by comparison!
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:43 am

Hi,

I feel that 6mm - is great for large battles but as you say - (depending on man to figure ratio) the British at Isandlwana can look at little sparse - but it is an excellent scale for trying to get the over all size (area) of the battle.

I used to use 6mm but with larger companies 20 figures or so (but this defeated the object of 1/300th).

Having gamed the Zulu war for many years, whatever scale I used I think a Zulu 'unit' (at least for larger battles) should be representative of an regiment and not have casualties removed (but have them recorded and 'losses' used for morale purposes)

So in 6mm a number of figures on one base is just a counter (as in a board game).

There was a really good series of games about 40 years ago by Tabletop Games - which converted to 6mm well.

cheers

Simon


Last edited by SRB1965 on Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Rod MacArthur



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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:41 pm

I wargamed at a figure ratio of 1:30 in Napoleonics for many years and used the same ratio for my Jacobite Rebellion set up in the last couple of years. I have decided to get back into the Zulu War which I first modelled 50 years ago. Having looked at lots of rules, I have decided to go with Victoria's Battles - Volume 2 - The Zulu War. I will modify these to make my British on a 1:15 scale with 6 figures per company, representing 90 men. I will make my Zulus on a 1:27 ratio so that 18 figures represents an isigaba of 500 men. There could be anything between one to eight izigaba per Zulu regiment. They will all be 1:72 (23 mm) figures, mainly plastic, but with some home cast metal.
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:24 am

Hi Rod,

Depending on the size of your armies available and more importantly the space available, I would consider going to 1:50 for the Zulus - it would still make larger ibutho manageable but look right - compared to the British.

I do not know what games system Victoria's Battles uses but have you considered an 'element' system rather like the old WRG Napoleonic's/7YW set, that way part from the look of the game, it would not matter how many figures are based per 'element - with different numbers of elements (companies) making up a regiment.

Many years ago there was a 'boardgame' - I think it was TSS made sets of battle rules (they made them for many periods) along with counters that played well (as far as I can remember - it was 30 odd years ago) - but sadly the rules are so rare and command a very high price on e-bay etc

Colonial Wargaming has always been very hard to represent - mainly due to the smaller units vs the larger ones (and the disparity in weapons) - and if not careful can degenerate into a 'turkey' shoot or a steam roller.....the balance is very difficult to achieve - but of course you know that already....

Cheers

Simon

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N.B.Forrest

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:50 am

SRB1965.....

I have those tabletop rules and play an in house version of them. I have only ever played AZW in 6 and 15mm. For the 6mm I take off Brit and Zulu casualties (but yes the Brits do look sparse on the ground).

For 15mm I take off Brit casualties but as you suggest, I record Zulu casualties for morale reaction.

By the way, have you taken a look at the Tabletop link you posted? LOL
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:38 am

Hi NBF,

I did not know I had posted a link?

Cheers

Simon
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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:18 pm

Oh those links.....I did not try to post any links.....still the whisky one was quite apt.....

Cheers

Simon
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Rod MacArthur



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PostSubject: Re: Disparity in British and Zulu unit scale when wargaming larger battles of the Zulu War   Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:35 pm

Hi Simon,

Well I am very "old school" about wargaming, probably due to my advanced years. I like casualty removal and British units in single ranks, but would accept multi ranks of Zulu masses (although some books I have read suggested that they were more structured than that, in a series of waves, each 3 or 4 ranks deeps). I also like being able to make my units close to historically correct sizes, and not be constrained into "x" number of elements per side, or the Black Powder "standard, small, tiny" system. Victoria's Battles has casualty removal and let's you make units of historically correct sizes. It suggests 8 figures per British company in 2 ranks of four, but says they can be larger or smaller. I will use a single rank of six for British infantry companies, with cavalry troops being between 4-6 figures. Victoria's Battles suggests Zulu units of 12 figures, but I decided to make them 18 figures, then consider them as an isigaba (small battalion) of 4-6 companies (amviyo). I am going to start by incorporating the Zulu War set-up which I created over 50 years ago and have already bought most of the additional figures which I need to make it more historically accurate. For those who are interested here is my original set-up:
https://rodwargaming.wordpress.com/horse-musket/zulu-war/
I probably have a couple of months to finish my Jacobite War set-up, so should start my Zulu War one by the middle of this year. I will post blogs on my website as I model it.

Rod
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