Home Forums Horse and Musket General Horse and Musket A great mass of Zulus

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Ochoin Ochoin 5 months ago.

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  • #108891
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    The received wisdom is that trained troops from civilised (whatever that means) nations are capable of nearly infinite differentiation.

    The 3rd Foot & Mouth are veterans, noted as crack shots but brittle if their beloved colonel is rendered hors d’combat.

    Whilst the King’s Own Blunderbus Guard are green but, recruited from London barrow buys, are a +1 in melee.

    Etcetera.

    But how about the Colonial opposition? The great mass of Zulus, trained & divided into regiments with different experience, different leadership & different whatever, tend to be all lumped together.

    So, specifically with Zulus, what are the historical & wargaming (these can be different) implications of Unmarried regiments as opposed to Married ones? Are there any named regiments whose battlefield performance hints at some extraordinary military virtue or some military vice?

    Do you discriminate between Zulu units & if so how & why?

     

    donald

    #108903
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    If it was me, I’d give more elan but less professionalism to young regiments (so, verve, but brittle) and probably give movement and fighting bonus for young marrieds and movement for unmarrieds.

    #108904

    Doug Melville
    Participant

    Having walked the Zulu Wars battlefields accompanied by a Zulu guide, it’s not a conflict I would game. But I would suggest you are posing a question that is an artefact of a particular rules set. The personal character of the ‘Colonel’, the loyalty of the rank and file, are all characteristics that would apply regardless of army.

    Now you could make a case that the married regiments were older men, with experience, and extrapolate particular characteristics from that. So if the rules you are using don’t, and yet have that level of detail for colonial troops, then that’s a problem.

    There were nicknames for many of the Zulu regiments, and varied experience. You could quite easily add additional characteristics if you wished. I suspect though, that some players still see colonial era opponents with colonial era eyes.

    #108907
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Absolutely, getting mown down by plucky redcoats is what they are for; the odd bloody massacre to ensure we keep our edge.

    #108910
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    Being British, it’s easy to relate to the forces of the empire but one of the fascinating things in war gaming (& a study of history in general) is to see the humanity of their opponents. The Zulus have always had a special place in British history. I think one of the reasons the iconic movie, “Zulu” retains its approval is that it did not make the attackers of Rorke’s Drift some evil inhuman mass but showed their courage and greatness of spirit. The heroes of the movie aren’t just the Redcoats but also the Zulus (& filmed in apartheid SA & all!!).

    I’ll draw the line at seeing the “humanity” of the Waffen SS in my WW2 gaming but I’d like to give my miniature Zulus more personality.

     

    donald

    #108932

    There has been more work done in the past couple of decades on getting the Zulu perspective, through oral history,  among other approaches. Ian Knight has done some of this, and this book looks interesting:

    Although most older rules treat natives as undifferentiated masses, newer research is providing some nuance; for instance,  there’s evidence that some regiments at Isandlwana advanced in something like skirmish lines.

    But, if memory of my long-ago reading serves, even  “The Washing of the Spears” didn’t describe the mass charges at Rorke’s Drift shown in the film.

    I note in passing,  since you mention it, that it was witnessing the abusive behavior towards the Zulu enactors during filming that made Michael Caine swear never to participate in another film in apartheid SA.

     

    Now, I have to say, if looking for character in native forces, I’d go with Maoris! 

     

    #108935
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    There has been more work done in the past couple of decades on getting the Zulu perspective, through oral history, among other . Now, I have to say, if looking for character in native forces, I’d go with Maoris!

     

    Like many, I’m an avid reader of the piles of books written on the subject of the AZW.

    There are many Maoris living here. They’re generally great people who live life with gusto. Get invited to a Maori meal & be prepared to lapse into a “food coma”.

     

    donald

    #108973

    My favorite kind! 

    #108994
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    I’m not a fan of sushi/raw fish. However a pal, who’s a Maori, uses this sweetish, white fleshed fish which he “cooks” in a blend of various citrus juices & vinegars overnight in the fridge. I could eat it all day long (with a glass of a Tasmanian chilled Pinot Gris).

    But back to the topic, I’m thinking of trying to reflect political tensions amongst the Zulus by varying & sometimes contradictory game objectives.

    Thus, a multi-player game for the Zulus won’t simply be to destroy the opposition. Some induna might be trying to preserve their regiments for later use in toppling the king etc. More work & research are needed.

    This will be better if we ever get the long awaited AZW campaign going.

     

    donald

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