Thursday, February 17, 2011

WTNW The Battle of Rorke’s Drift – Alternate History – Borderlands Demo

Yesterday after the Jacksonville Garrison meeting we hosted a demo game of WTNW Rorke’s Drift. The game is set at Kwa Jim’s mission station and features the 2nd Company 24th Warwickshire Regiment with Bromhead and Dalton. We had a very good turnout of six players and several onlookers.

You can get the FULL version of the WTNW game from When The Navy Walked

There were four Zulu players and two British players. The Zulus divided each taking a leader, a unit of muskets and a unit of Assai. The British players divided the resources down the middle each taking two leaders and four units. The Zulus had steam cannons, the British had arty, and Steambots as well as the Natal Cav and Natal infantry that historically ran away before the fight got started. Obviously, the steam cannon and steam bots were not historically accurate but hey it’s VSF!

I had the British players arrange the mealy bags around the station and plan their defense while the Zulu players planned their offense. The Brits setup a very large perimeter that ultimately lead to their downfall and the Zulus attacked on all sides deciding to force the British players into defending all areas of the perimeter.

The game lasted four turns. Turn one everyone got an overview of the rules and moved into position. I made the British players roll to see the Zulus that were in cover as they crept up because historically the Zulus got very close to the British station before they started shooting them. The British cannons shot at a zulu formation and caused little damage while the steambots were positioned within the Kraal to defend the flank.

Turn two involved most units firing at one another and both sides taking some heavy casualties before the northern flank of Zulus charged the mealy bag walls held by a regiment of British line. The NNC had a heck of a time keeping the Zulus off their southern flank and the British line waited anxiously by their cannons as the Zulus waited patiently behind the rock wall. The Zulu steam cannons caused the boiler on one of the steambots to explode resulting in a fire and damage to the vehicle. The steambot responded by shooting at the steam cannons and killing a crewmember, the British cannons took out the other crew member leaving one gun for the Zulus.

Turn three had the Zulus and British in heavy melee. The Zulus had a hard time crossing the mealy bags but when they did finally break through the Brits were surrounded. The NNC cav played an important roll in the game and was able to beat the northern Zulu Impi with the help of the British line that was all but decimated there. The last Zulu leader went down fighting for his Impi. The steambot repair crew was able to put out the fire. Several British units picked up as did several Zulus as they routed.

Finally turn four was a blood bath for the British as the surgeon Renolds worked very hard to patch up his men and put them back into the field. In the end it was a well played game by both sides but a victory for the Zulus.

A couple of notes for people playing the game that I recommend.
  • Do not allow a charging unit to overlap until the following movement phase.
  • Cav units should remain where they are for one turn as they are blown after charging. They can still fight and shoot but are in disordered formation (as per the rules) and need to regroup before moving again.
  • The Zulus should only throw their spears once per unit.
  • No unit can shoot into melee.


  1. The Zulus never throw their spears they're were
    used like short swords!

  2. Good point but Bill from what I've read in Osprey they never threw their iklwa but if they had the other spears (from before King Shaka) they would throw those. King Shaka changed the spear for the Zulu saying to get close to the enemy shows you are no coward.

  3. Looks like a fun game! What's the basing for WTNW? Is ist 1" x 3/4?

  4. Atom yes there is a recommended stand size though the game is specifically setup to run by stands not stand size so as to allow people to not have to rebase their figures.

  5. I use #7