The Friday gaming group in Tacoma, known as the Truants, met today in order to get in a game of Sword and the Flame.   I have played with the rule set before and have mixed emotions of some of it’s mechanics, but I put my normal criticisms aside and played the game.  I commanded 3 companies of the doomed British at the Battle of Isandlwana.  I have put some photos below, mostly of the action on my side of the table as the game had 3 playing the Zulus and another 4 playing the British Forces commanded by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pulleine.  Having previously read about the battle, I have always wanted to know why the British force Commander, Lord Chelmsford, refused to send aid when it was first requested (other than he was an idiot).

The Guys before the Battle.

Initial set up of the armies(my side).






In the initial turns of the game, I was very proud of my troops, who defiantly held against the endless Zulu horde (no really, any destroyed units come back on the next turn).

Dean M. positions the Zulus for the attack.

My companies deliver very accurate rifle fire and drive wave after wave of the Zulu back.  Joe is not very happy, but time and numbers are on his side!



Unlike the historical battle, my troops performed well and destroyed many of the Zulu, in defiance to history, I did not allow Captain Reginald Younghusband to retire to the base of the mountain and make a valiant last stand.  I keep my three companies together in order to volley fire into the charging Zulu.

Great unit cards were provided with pictures of the actual commanders.

While my flank holds, the center of the line begins to fail.




Well history can not be undone, despite my best efforts and forming 2 of my companies into a defensive Square, the British positions crumbled.  I took the moral victory that my three small(ish) line companies, destroyed 12-13 Zulu units.

The British line falters, I form a square with my remaining 2 companies.   Hold the Line!

The end is near, the remnants of the defensive square is charged by even more Zulus.  Most are dead by the time they charge, but attrition wins out!



This was a great game!  I had a blast.  I might even pull out my dog-eared copy of the Sword and the Flame sometime in the future.  I must admit that the NHMGS group down in Tacoma (at the Game Matrix) are a great group of guys to play a game with.  I want to thank Mark Waddington for running the game and his son Joe (for running the majority of the Zulu force(s) opposing me on our side of the table).

One thought on “Battle of Isandlwana

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s