Isandlwana Refight

Anthony and I met up in his games room to christen the new gridded battlefield he had ordered from me and I had recently delivered. This is based on the style of battlefield I created for the Portable Wargame demonstration game but with 5″ tile rather then the 100mm ones I used. He gave me a copy of the Battle Cry map for isandlwana and we converted that to a grid from the hexes used in Battle Cry.

Anthony contemplating the battlefield and the initial British and Zulu deployments.

The game was played using the Portable Wargames Rules, the sudden death variant, as usual. We rated Zulu units as raw and the British as Elite. Each side had 3 commanders.

The British are heavily outnumbered and there surrounded on 3 sides. The river is fordable but a unit has to stop when it enters the river, melees at -1 whilst in the river and can only move one square upon leaving the river.

The game started with the British firing their gun and forcing a Zulu unit back a square (The Zulus needed a 5 or 6 to retreat rather than dying and I managed to roll a remarkable number of 6’s). The Zulus needed to kill 6 British units to break them and the British to kill 10 Zulu units.

In the end, the game was very close with the Zulus getting victory having lost 8 units to the British – a number of poor British shooting rolls and the outflanking by the Zulus lost it for the British.

It was a fun game completed in 1.5 hours.

13 thoughts on “Isandlwana Refight

  1. Wow! What a great-looking battle! I’ll be mentioning it on my blog ASAP.

    All the best,


  2. Magical. It inspired me to crack out my 54’s (Sikh Wars) and have a go myself! Looking forward to seeing more!

  3. Mike, as usual you have taken excellent photos! I particularly like the close-up of the mounted Induna. Well done for winning what was a very enjoyable and balanced game. And thanks for the wonderful terrain!

    Best wishes

  4. Great looking set-up, engaging and colourful. Nice to see the Zulus overcoming the technological odds!

  5. Corrado,

    All figures are pre-painted 54mm size from Little Legions’ colonial range. I used the orbat from an unofficial Zulu War variant of the Battlecry game I found on the web. The Zulu force consisted of 15 units (none armed with firearms) and three leaders; the British force was composed of 1 cavalry unit (pretending to be NNH), 1 cannon, 7 infantry units and 2 leaders. My aim is to have each infantry unit made up of two bases each mounted with three figures, unfortunately at the moment I don’t have enough figures for this which is why in the photos you see some units with two ranks and others with only one. Hope this helps.

    Best wishes


  6. I really like the Little Legion figures. They match up well with Trophy of Wales toy soldiers. I have lots of both and you have inspired me to get mine out on the table for a game soon.

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