Continuing the siege of Rorke’s Drift, we join the fight at Turn 13.
Impi: Both Horns move 1 square forward. As the Zulu ibutho draw closer, their war chants overlap and spur the advance forward on both Horns!
Action: I use Commisary Dalton to replenish Ammo/Water supplies. Commisary Dalton rushes to the men’s aid, and quenches their thirst, whilst palming a few rounds of ammunition into each soldiers hand.
Free Action: Surrendering Surgeon Reynolds using his heroic ability, I can replace his card with any one from the discard pile. I choose to swap back in Lt Bromhead. With deft hands, Surgeon Reynolds sutures Lt Bromhead’s wound together and applies a dressing. Bromhead stands tall and doffs his helmet as he marches out briskly to re-join his men.
Draw: I draw the “Night Fighting Begins!” card. A -1DRM (Dice Roll Modifier) will be applied to all Volley rolls UNLESS one or both buildings are on fire. As darkness descends, the fear creeps in to the men’s hearts. However the light from the burning Storehouse roof makes the advancing Zulu’s stand out enough to carry on firing with a reasonable level of certainty.
Hero: No heroic action this turn.
Impi: Move all ibutho forward 2 squares! This disastrous draw for me, means all limbs of the buffalo formation are inside the compound. However inside, the ibutho’s begin to block each others progress. The rules state that the ibutho with the greatest strength has precedent. So, the Chest blocks the others as it takes position in the Outer Perimeter. An almighty howl accompanies a total charge by all limbs of the Zulu attack, the British troops gasp in horror as they see hundreds of Zulu’s attempt to clamber over each other to get into the Outer Perimeter. The savagery and hunger for blood is palpable. Many troops falter at the sight. Sgt Bourne loudly attempts to put some steel in their backbone and some sap back in their pizzle.
Action: I desperately play the “Independent Fire At Will” card giving a close range volley on the Chest. It only affords me a measly 2 dice in the attack. With fear eating at the British Line, only a few men manage to muster a shot at will.
I roll (5, 4) which confers a single retreat. The Chest moves back into the hospital building. Luckily those few errant shots ring loud enough around the warriors in the Chest to coax them back towards the Hospital building.
Draw: I draw a “Mark your Target” card. Sgt Bourne bellows “Mark your targets boys! We’ll get them next time!”
Hero: I put forward Lt Bromhead.
Impi: I draw the R marker, all ibutho perform a Rally, Regroup and Retreat – plus the British get to Rest the lads. All ibutho move back 1 square. With opportunistic fire from the British the Zulu chiefs call for a Rally and Regroup amongst all ibutho. The British raise a welcome cheer at the sight of the Zulu withdrawal.
Action: I play the “Mark Your Target” card, at medium range on the Loins, affording me 4 dice in the attack. Sgt Bourne steps forward, calm and collected and quell the cheering. “Steady lads, mark your targets as they pull back, and thin their numbers”.
I roll (5, 4, 4, 1), conferring a single retreat. The Loins move back further. The spattering of fire coming from the British, worries the Loins further, and they regroup well outside the Kraal.
Draw: I draw a “Volley Fire by Ranks” card! Nice! Sgt Bourne barks “Assemble in ranks!” ready for the next attack.
Hero: No heroic actions are taken.
Impi: Loins move 1 space forward. Having collected their numbers together again, the Loins want to prove themselves worthy, so they begin their push towards the Kraal again.
Action: I play another “Mark Your Target” card at medium range on the Loins. Again, the action uses 4 dice. “Mark those targets boys! We’ll pot them at distance, aim straight and true!”. A ripple of rifle smoke chokes the air as a co-ordinated volley rips through the air.
I roll (6, 4, 3, 3), resulting in an actual HIT! The Loins lose another strength marker (which is placed in the Zulu casualties box), leaving them at 1/3 hit points. The Loins take heavy losses to the volley. A significant number of them fall outside the walls of the Kraal.
Draw: I draw a “Volley Fire; Present, Fire!” card. Fatigued and wounded, tired and bruised, the British men assemble into their firing ranks once again – awaiting the next never-ending pulse of Zulu attacks.
Hero: No heroic actions were taken.
[On to Part 5 (Turn 17, 18, 19 and 20)] [Back to Part 3 (Turn 9, 10, 11 and 12)]