Top 10 Battles of The Anglo-Zulu War Games
Robert Carroll
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Below is my Top 10 list of games covering the battles of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 ("Zulu War"). These are games that meet substantially all of the following criteria: (1) focuses on the campaign and battles of the Zulu War( can focus on individual battles, operational level or the entire Zulu War); (2) a wargame; (3) addresses the "theme" in an interesting or compelling manner that leaves the player with a better understanding of the Zulu War (and its various aspects); and (4) fun to play (understanding that this can be very subjective, especially for wargames). This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.

For more Top 10 Lists covering great battles, check out MetaList: Nap's Great Battles Top 10 Lists.

For a complete listing of my Top 10 lists, see--MetaList: Nap's Top 10 Lists.

As always, thanks for reading and participating!

NOTE: Where I have included quotes from BGG users, I have included the BGG user name in parentheses.
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1. Board Game: Victoria Cross [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:3720]
Robert Carroll
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Joplin
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I love the unique map, and I especially enjoy the struggle of suppressing panic, managing the troops, and combating the never-ending tide of Zulu warriors. Of course, playing the mass of Zulus is a blast too. However, a Zulu commander can easily get lulled into a false sense of superiority with his greater numbers. A cool-headed British commander can quickly pull the table out from under the Zulu battle plan.

The fight at this outpost is considered to be one of militay history's ultimate defenses.

--Deacon (will64)


Includes Victoria Cross II:

The game is a lot of fun! The rules, examples of play, charts are all in color. The maps are double sided as this is like two games: Isandlwana & Rorke’s Drift and the counters are very large. Leader counters for both sides: Zulu & British and the British have some Native Infantry counters, there is a Artillery Battery, and the Zulu’s can burn down the Hospital in Rorke’s Drift. With Zulu counters, one side is their hidden strength and the other side their strength revealed. Each maps have different obstacles to over come, like walls, building, ridges, donga. All the zones mark LOS, so there is no doubts. Now to find some more Playing time.

Update: after playing the Rorke's Drift scenario, I found it very fun, right down to the last turn, so many critical decisions for both sides to make, very enjoyable.

Now I have played this game three times including the Isandlwana scenario and this is really great game, a hidden gem. Now on to my forth play and more!

--Jay Townsend (Jay Townsend)
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2. Board Game: Zulus on the Ramparts! [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1429]
Robert Carroll
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I fell immediately in love with Zulus on the Ramparts! It has a great theme, which is implemented very skillfully, it features fun gameplay full of tense moments, and that rare, great mix of luck and skill which makes a great solitaire game.

Zulus on the Ramparts deserves to be published with greater components, and I hope GMT will do us the pleasure. It's one of my absolute favorite solitaire games. I laminated all the cards, and the board, to increase it's life, but I would still pay for a new edition with better components.

I highly recommend this game if the history of the Battle at Rorke's Drift is of interest to you, or you just want to try a tense and exciting solitaire wargame full of tough decisions.

--Yoki Erdtman (Yokiboy)
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3. Board Game: The Sun Never Sets [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:8916]
Robert Carroll
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I love this game. It's an easy system to learn but with enough colour and complexity to make it interesting e.g different weapons types; morale classes etc. What's great about it is that it really does give a feel of the period, particularly in the Sudan campaigns (which I suspect is what the game was built around.)Sure, in most games the natives will lose, but you dont play a game like this for balance you play because you like the theme and strangely enough I found that mostly it was more fun to play the natives. The Sudan games are certainly the best and you really get the feeling of a bewildered European army stumbling about in a really hostile environment. In the Hicks expedition and Relief of Khartoum scenarios the Mahdists have a real chance to steal the show. There are 5 scenarios plus 3 French foreign legion campaigns so its a pretty good deal in one box. If you like the period its a fun must have.

--Rowan Hunter (RajahBrooke)
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4. Board Game: The Defense of Rorke's Drift [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:6783]
Robert Carroll
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Played this several times, always interesting, British usually take more casualties than they did historically. First part of game very good, Brits trying to evecuate the hospital whilst manning the whole perimeter. Unfortunately once the Brits have retreated behind the biscuit box barricade its just a matter of rolling lots of dice whilst the Zulus fruitlessly hurl themselves at the British defenders.

--Robert Martin (munkeezulu)
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5. Board Game: Like Lions They Fought [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:8107]
Robert Carroll
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A personal favorite of mine - the British have superior firepower, but the road ahead of them isn't easy and the Zulus have both mobility and numbers on their side. Very light on rules, though there are a couple "twists" which it is important to understand before playing, such as the advance after combat rule. (which can lead to a chain of advances and battles under the right circumstances)

--Peter Bogdasarian (jormungandr)
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6. Board Game: Zulu! [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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Very interesting game that breaks away from the hex & chit mold into area based attacks, much more suited to the battle of Roarke's Drift. My impression is that this game is the blue print for the more recent Victoria Cross game by Waddington on the same subject. Nice map with a detailed outlay of the compound and surrounding areas.

--Ubergeek (Walt Mulder)
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7. Board Game: Soldiers of the Queen: Battles at Isandhlwana and Omdurman [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:8437]
Robert Carroll
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Have only played the Isandhlwana scenario but it was pretty good. Watching isolated mounted rifles getting dragged off their horses by the raging Zulus etc. I also remember a gun crew holed up on top of a hill, surrounded by Zulus, fighting off attack after attack - then the ammo ran out. Lots of jolly British daringdo & physically lovely.

--Ross Menzies (ross_menzies)
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8. Board Game: Zulu Attack [Average Rating:6.06 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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Isandlawana, Custer's Last Stand, and the Alamo... what’s to learn? Except what not to do!

--Paul Denhup (PAYDIRT)
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9. Board Game: The Battle of Roark's Drift [Average Rating:6.41 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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I think one was a bit ahead of its time. Although detailed, it was very playable and captured the event very well. (Played the heck out of this in the late 1970s.)

--Thomas Heaney (theaney)
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10. Board Game: Zulu: Rorke's Drift [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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A small quick-playing game that does more than many other wargames that are much bigger and more complicated. Slightly generous rating depends on : X meaning the top unit is eliminated with 2nd unit D. The maximum Zulu VP is only 25 even if the British are totally destroyed so advancing dispersed and always doing a 4:1 fire attack on whomever is in the 2 vulnerable hexes, the British cannot leave those hexes vacant.

--Tim Benjamin (RaffertyA)


Includes Zulu: Isandhlwana, Zulu: Ulundi, and Zulu: Naka.
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