Sunday, January 27, 2013

15mm Peter Laing Zulu War Battle

 I've been trying to get more wargaming in this winter.  I have found Bob Cordery's Portable  Wargames and Memoir of Battle rules ideal. They make for quick fun battles that work well for solo games.

I picked out some of my Peter Laing colonial British and Zulu warriors. I used the Battle of Isandlwana as the basis for my game.

The British army is drawn up from left to right: No.1 battery, Cos. A & B, No.2 battery, Cos. C & D.The British camp and Commander is to the left rear.  10 Zulu units are at the top of the picture.      

The British batteries start firing but have no effect on the advancing Zulus.

The Zulus quickly closed in and forces both batteries to retreat.

(This photo shows at the end of the next more). No.1 battery has been eliminated and Co. A have lost half there men. The British commander moves to rally Co.A.  The Zulus have been thrown back, giving the left wing some breathing space.

The reprieve is short-lived; the Zulus advance and wipes out the rest of Co.A,   Co. C is down to 25%, and Co. D is thrown back, leaving Co. Cs flank wide open.  The Zulus attempt to work around the British right flank is thwarted by Co. Ds retreat.

Co. B moves to their left to stop a flanking of their position. Co.  C also moves to the left, forming a new line. However, the Zulu force that eliminated No.1 battery is about to cut off the British line of retreat.

At this point the British realize the battle is lost. They start to retreat; No. 2 battery is lost.   The rest of the story can be left to the imagination. Those who know the story of Isandlwana  know what happened next.

It was an enjoyable game, once again quickly thrown together and more fun than I expected. I should have given the British greater range to both their rifles and artillery.  Maybe next game I will use Battle Cry dice instead of regular dice.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

15mm Peter Laing battle

    What got me started looking for Peter Laings was an article in a copy of "Battle for Wargamers". It was about wargaming WW1 and used the Peter Laing WW1 figures for illustrations.  Among the photos was a British trench with 4 infantrymen in it. So when I bought a large WW1 lot of PLs, I was delighted to see I got several of the trench figures. However, I never have used them, until today.
  The battle was quickly thrown together.  A British battalion would be entrenched on a ridge with 2 machine gun units in support. The Germans would attack with a Jager battalion, supported by 2 batteries.  The rules would be tweaked Bob Cordery's Memoir of Battle. I will try to keep the narration to a minimum, and hopefully illustrate it with photos instead.

German guns (on left) bombard British trenches (on right side of picture) as the Jager Battalion crosses no-mans land.

The German artillery fire has caused some losses for the British in the trenches, however  one Jager company is almost wiped out by machine gun fire.

One German company ( top of picture on left) is thrown back by heavy machine gun fire. However, German artillery fire has eliminated one of the British machine gun units.
The Germans (on bottom of picture) rally and start to advance again. The German command noticed that the British left flank was weakening; the advancing companies started shifting towards the right. Meanwhile, artillery fire kept the British machine gun unit from advancing.
The leftmost trench is finally carried by a combination of  artillery fire and  assaulting  infantry.

Germans clearing first trench.

With the Germans getting a toehold on the ridge and the rest of the German infantry  sliding to the  British left, the rightmost British infantry's line of fire is blocked, therefore the British commander pulls the troops from that trench to counter attack if necessary. The last machine gun unit advances and brings the German infantry under infiltrate fire.
The German artillery forces back the machine gun unit. The German infantry on the ridge clears the next trench, then throws itself at the British infantry that's in the open, hoping to carry the last trench from behind.

However, once again the British machine gun advances and eliminates  the closest infantry company. The German unit on the ridge shifts its' attack to the trench; the British counter attack and finally clears the ridge of the last of the Germans.
The fight has gone out of the remaining Germans, who quickly retreats across no mans land.