This is just some brief notes; not a detailed analysis; maybe more of a self-reminder for times when needing a quick memory-jogger. I put more general “Rule Reminders” first (or details easy to get wrong) then minor “spoilers” or strategy “lessons learned” that you may prefer to learn yourself. (if so, only read to the ++++++)
1. Zulu placement on their first space on the board edge count as a movement point.
2. Zulu leader movement bonus to move 2 spaces w/ 10 SPs cannot be used to cross walls.
3. Zulu sniper fire rolls 6 dice against one space (non-building interior) during the day; 4 dice at night.
4. Besides night reducing Zulu sniper fire, it reduces Brit range from 3 spaces to two.
5. Only 2 Brit leaders, Chard and Bromhead can direct volley fire; 3x strength of 4 SP each plus their 1 SP (but not over a wall or after moving- difficult to do!) May want to allow 3 of the 4 Brit leaders the Chard/Bromhead abilities.
6. Bayonet charges (additional Brit-initiated melee) allows a leader (1 SP) + 4 SP worth of infantry to have additional rounds of melee (Zulus fight back simultaneously).
7. Units in bayonet charge occupy target area at their option. Though they do earn the +1 across a wall.
8. Only total of 8 SP factors can be in certain zones (i.e. H=storehouse roof; G=first aid station; D= last redoubt; L,M,N,O=hospital zones).
9. A maximum of 8 SP may melee OUT of any building zone; but 8 SP can attack INTO every door/window.
10. Hospital fire starts on 1st turn that Zulus melee any hospital zone (successful or not) AND roll anything but a one in the following “fire start” phase.
11. Hospital has entries from the north and east.
12. Dalton and Bourne may only use leadership bonus abilities in the optional rules. For the basic game they are 1 SP infantry units. Maybe giving one of them the special abilities (move 4 units two spaces; bayonet/volley leads) is more balanced?
13. The leader’s movement bonus does not apply to moving the VP units.
14. Melee (not direct fire) across a wall (or into OR out of a building) is +1 for Brits (hit on 4,5,6 not just 5,6).
15. Brit fire that crosses a space then a wall is penalized by one; across two walls is not allowed, except from storehouse roof (all accounted for on LOS chart).
16. Zones vacated by melee may be advanced into.
17. Example of Zulu ways to achieve their 14 points for victory (assuming no points loss by having >47 SPs eliminated in one turn):
a. Control both parts of Kraal (4 points) + Final Redoubt ( 10) or
b. Burn down hospital (6) + Water cart destroyed (5 if done during day) + three patients eliminated (3 – a point each). (Q1) Does a water cart destroyed during the day lose points during the night?
Of course, reducing the Brits to <10 SPs is another means for Zulu victory.
Great idea from Peter Bogdasarian (jormungandr) for tracking losses during simultaneous melee:
“Simply place a couple of different colored dice in the space to track losses by turning them.”
I use a couple of homemade numbered “loss tracks”.
GMT’s website on Rourke’s Drift:
Which has links to the indispensable LOS chart (thanks Walt Mulder), Consimworld, FAQs, download of rules (better than trying to read the enclosed rules printed on a disruptive background).
Hopefully, these rule reminders will help make your first games close to the “correct” rules; rather than having a couple of “learning” games flawed by missing important points.
Similar to prematurely hearing the conclusion of a book or movie, the fun of game strategies is often in their discovery. Especially disheartening is discovering that there are set strategies for a game that will guarantee a win. Don’t think Victoria Cross has this problem, anyway these obvious strategy tips are very basic and surely subject to countermeasures.
Since there are NO strategy articles for this game; just wanted to get this started and look forward to your thoughts and criticisms.
1. Brits should keep 8 SPs (4 1s + a couple of 2s) on the storehouse roof because they can shoot almost anywhere and if wounded by snipers can jump down to the first aid station to trade places for repair (2 SPs per turn). Remember, Zulus can’t melee the storehouse roof (H) from outside the compound but can from C and F; Brits can’t volley or bayonet charge from roof.
2. Brits could use a free leader to ferry wounded units to the last redoubt (D) then into first aid station (H) for repair. If a small group of reduced units is stuck in the open, include a 2 or 3 unit that can absorb sniping.
3. Conversely, Zulus should snipe at small groups with wounded units in hopes of getting an elimination.
4. Brits need to evacuate the 4 wounded from the hospital before it burns (requires 4 SPs to carry) getting them to the storehouse.
5. Seems hard to get a chance to do a volley (triple firepower for 4 SPs if led by Chard or Bromhead) since it can’t be done over a wall or after moving.
6. Brit bayonet charges, however, can be very useful to finish off small pockets of Zulus if you charge with two leaders each directing 5 SPs for a 10 point attack. (Q1) Do they lose the +1 modifier from attacking behind a wall? Appears not)
7. Zulus could send some sacrificial groups forward at the beginning just to discover “where the British rifles are”; just like in the movie (and real life).
8. Zulu leaders should stay with a large enough group of SPs that can absorb losses so they survive possible withering attacks.
9. Zulu leaders can be used for surprise shifts of troops two spaces (but only 10 SP per leader); and ferrying troops up quickly.
10. Zulu simultaneous attacks on opposite sides of the compound make it tough for the Brit to concentrate fire in just one area.
11. Brits might just do a delaying defense around the hospital but ready to evacuate.
12. Focus Zulu random fire into the area with the least units.
Great game to relive the heroic defense vividly portrayed in the old movie. That is why it is on BOTH of my geeklists:
Best games that capture a movie:
best defensive games:
Originally this was supposed to be just highlights, sorry for going on so long. Hope to hear from you…
Experiencing senility daily since... I forget.
Great post, no wonder you always win. Can't express enough how much easier and fun Walt Mulder's fire chart makes the game.
Don't have anything to add about the British, but a couple things about the Zulus:
Make use of the hidden blocks and the Zulu ability to redistribute strength points within the same area. An area with three blocks could be split up becoming an area with ten or more blocks. Confuse the British!
In order to maximize the effectiveness of an initial two prong attack and keep the British guessing, place many blocks with small strength points in one area and in the other concentrate your leaders and 10 strength point blocks. The British will not know which is the main attack until it reaches the compound.
Unless a golden oppurtunity develops, initially do not make use of the Zulu leader movement bonus until you reach the compound wall. This keeps the British player in the dark. Once there, you can swing a 40 SP force of Zulu along the compund exterior to strike at a weak point. Once this force is whittled down, use some of the leaders as much as possible to ferry in reinforcements quickly.
Early on it is a game of artrition where the Zulu player must inflict casualties without regard to loss or even attaining victory points areas. Later on, a consolidated mass attack can stand a chance of overcoming the British firepower that will no doubt be centered in the store house / redoubt region of the map.
If it is early in the game, during a turn where you suffer a small amount of casualties, consider holding the reinforcements off-board for a turn until a larger force can be built.
The hospital area of the compound is the British player's hardest point to defend, the storehouse area and kraal the easiest.
Protect your leaders! Lose them early and you will lose the game.
I always for the first Zulu move just move all 90 sp (either together or seperated onto the first zone on the edge of the board. Two reasons for this, first it puts the British at the farthest range, two it allows the Zulu to hit the wall the next turn with the 4 leaders and 40 sp, gets the pressure and bleeding on the brits in a hurry.