Posted on 12/01/03 @ 12:00 AM (updated 12/13/03
”First comes the trader, then the missionary, then the red soldier.” (Zulu King Csetswayo kaMpande, when discussing British colonialism’s impact on his people - and his 1879 war with the British).
|Number of scenarios:
This is Version 3 of ZULU !! . Berserker Jerker was clever and persistent in fixing problems which sometimes caused a crash. He, AnastasiaKafka and Ingo van Thiel provided technical, instructional and aesthetic suggestions to help me make it better. OldGrex, 14 Dec 03.
The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 began when Zulu King Csetswayo rebuffed intentionally unreasonable demands made by the British High Commissioner for Southern Africa. In this historically-based campaign, you fight the opening actions of the war -- from two very different perspectives -- on a reasonably accurate map of part of kwaZulu (Zululand).
On January 10th, British Brevet Colonel R.T. Glyn marched proudly into Zululand from Natal Colony, across the Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River at the head of the powerful Number 3 Column - 4300 British, Afrikaner and black native fighting men, plus hundreds of support people and camp followers. This was very easy at first. The Zulu had mobilized their 40,000-man Impi (Army) at Ulundi, their capital, and had a few muskets, but no modern weapons. The British found it simple to advance toward Ulundi on 3 separate axes at once, with Glyn leading the strongest force. His initial goals were to establish an advance base in Zululand (at the foot of a mountain called Isandlwana), and to find the Zulu army. He succeeded at both, but then ...
In High Noon at Isandlwana, you are Tshingwayo, war chief for Csetswayo. With about 25,000 men, you have been racing west from Ulundi for several days to head off the British drive. You must assault and destroy the British invader's force at Isandlwana. You can slaughter great numbers of “Red Soldiers” easily -- as was true in history -- if you fight the Zulu way. The real battle at Isandlwana was a major triumph for the Zulu: over 1300 British and their native auxiliaries were slain in a few hours, including virtually all of a battalion of the 24th Regiment of Foot. This, arguably the most humiliating defeat suffered by British arms in a single battle in two centuries of Empire, came on January 22nd at the hands of mere "heathen savages" partly because the Zulu were adept at war, and partly because Number 3 Column was arrogant, overextended and somewhat undisciplined.
Then, as Lieutenant J.R.M. Chard at Rorke's Drift, back on the Buffalo River that same night, try to stay alive against the onslaught of the Zulu's fearsome uNdi Corps. Your tiny force of green infantry, logistic troops and hospital patients will face odds like those at Thermopylae. As with Leonidas (2400 years ago now), you must defend - neither attack, nor retreat, nor surrender is an option. If you fail to hold your post at kwaJimu, the Zulu will have an unimpeded route to the major depot at Helpmekaar and then into the heart of Natal, and HM Government at home may well fall. However, the fight at Rorke's Drift (if your hand keeps it true to history), will ennoble both the Zulu Impi and Company B/2/24th Foot through the crucible of one of the most stirring examples of inspired and tenacious defense (by the Brits), and of endurance and raw courage in the attack (by the Zulu), in the annals of warfare. You will give the Queen and Parliament the heart to go on in the wake of the debacle at Isandlwana. The Zulu want to wash their assegai with your blood. Only if you are smart, tough and lucky will your troops and Martini-Henry rifles be enough to hold -- and survive. Stiff upper lip, now, Chard -- you’re an Officer of Engineers; you can do this!!
The first scenario is easy to win. Some will find the second scenario moderately challenging. My purpose in creating ZULU !! (when I started about 2 years ago -- before my job got so intense I got away from the game) was to teach myself and perhaps newbie players basic AOK:TC Fixed Force management skills, try out then-new scenario design features, and prattle on a bit about statecraft, military history, tactics and leadership in combat. Be patient, as some parts of the campaign evolve slowly. Learn a little. Have some fun. Ex-Angel OldGrex.
”Here they come, boys!! Black as Hell, and thick as grass.” (A fleeing Isandlwana survivor, to the garrison at Rorke’s Drift, as he rode swiftly past toward Helpmekaar and possible safety).