It was Sunday morning and I had the house to myself. I didn’t want to watch TV and I was not in the mood to paint some models so I thought I’d have a game and try my hand at another write up. Zulus on the Ramparts was getting a lot of attention on the Solo Wargames group recently and that made be keen to play it again.
Zulus on the Ramparts is a game based on the battle of Rourke’s Drift. A small military hospital, manned by a relatively small number of British soldiers is besieged by a much larger army of Zulu warriors. You take control of the British and need to survive until help arrives.
If you want more detail on how the game plays and what it’s about you can have a look at my review here.
I chose to play the basic game as I’ve not played in a while and I wasn’t in the mood to re-read the rules on how to setup the deck. Although I’m now itching to give that mode a go again; but maybe next month.
Reaching into my chit bag I drew:
Both of the iButho (Units of Zulu Warriors) on the horns advanced 1 step closer.
For my first action of the game I “Put Forth” (fancy way of saying deploy/play) Lt Merriott Chard.
My intention was to return him to my hand in the draw phase so that I can make use of his ability to draw an extra card. As my final action for the round I put forth Lt Bromhead as Chard’s ability only works if I can play 2 more cards from my hand and my hand was now full.
Bromhead promptly decided to go back and have a chat with Chard over who should be running this outfit. I lost my next turn and the benefit of having a Lt in play.
This time the iButho on the loins track advanced. This was where I noted my error in turn 1 and luckily it did not impact my game.
After the setback of the previous round (and knowing that the chit was gone) I decided to put both of my Lts into play. First Bromhead as my action for the round and then at the end of the round Chard.
ALL iBUTHO ADVANCE!!!! Now the pressure starts, but I’m almost ready. I’ve got a hand of volleys but I’ve not distributed ammo and water to the troops!!!!
I start by issuing a volley order which results in the ibutho retreating under the storm of bullets.
Then realising that casualties would have been higher if the men had ammunition Chard rushes forward and sees to the troops.
Then he returns to active duty at the end of the round.
Left horn advance!
They were getting dangerously close! However I did not have any volleys that were particularly effective at range 2 so I decided to shore up defences this round and then to hit them with a much larger volley when they hit range 1.
Chard once again steps up and builds the first 1/3 of the barricades.
Just my luck no more Heroes, another hand of volleys.
Rifles overheat! This means that I have to draw another chit, if it’s an advance I have to resolve it but if not then it is returned. Additionally -1 to hit everything.
I use the round to fire at the iButho on the right horn. They are not as close as the left but they are stronger. I’m confident that when either horn reaches range 1 I can do some decent damage.
With things getting a little desperate I return Bromhead to my hand so that I can take an extra action and built another 1/3 of the barricade.
Then after drawing yet another volley Bromhead is put forth once again.
Both horns advance 2!
The Zulu Warriors surge over the fences and into the compound slaughtering everyone in their way.
Ah nuts! It was just getting interesting. Such is the game though. It can be very brutal. 1 more round and the barricade would have been finished which would have prevented this. In retrospect that particular iButho is comprised of young warriors with something to prove. As such they have their own special chit which makes them move twice anyway. I should have remembered that and fired at them instead. Not that my rolls were any good anyway 😉
I was tempted to not write up this game and play another but sometimes you lose. The States of Siege games are not meant to be easy, they are meant to be tooth and nail fights to the bitter end. This does mean that it’s possible to lose in turn 2, which happens, (thankfully it’s not often) but it does.
I did play another game straight afterwards. That’s one thing I love about it, reset is super quick, under a minute. In that game I survived all the way until the relief column arrived and the remaining Zulus scattered. I should say Zulu. I needed only 1 more hit to have destroyed them all!