Friday, February 18, 2011

Halflings. Thousands of them. The Exciting Conclusion.

Turn two started with an all out advance by the Halfling amabutho. The right horn remained stalled due to fire from the spur, although one band, further west of the reluctant warriors pressed on.

The umBilbo continued to press the Goblin Border Guard and NMGC west towards Mkene Hill. Mind you a troop of the NMGC managed to get of a fairly effective volley, but it was not enough to stem the tide.

The Halfling left horn continued to chase Dangsforc. One of his troops managed to dismount and fired a very effective volley that stalled the advance of the oiVey for a while (very lucky volley for the Goblins and several very unlucky morale checks for Halflings saw half the oiVey go to ground)!

The real drama took place in the Notch as the iNithobbitholeskhosi charged the Rocket Battery. Despite rocket and howitzer fire the warriors swarmed over the Battery. The Gunners died by their trough like proper Orcs.
Rocket Battery overrun.
At this point two stands of Halflings have been lost. Only 242 more stands left. The fur feet don’t stand a chance!

Turn 3:
Halflings advance. Goblins fall back. Howitzer pots some Halflings. Halfling left horn still in disarray.
Lt. Col. Dangsforc manages a deft withdrawal.
Turn 4:
The firing line is engaged. Three companies of the 1st/24th are now engaged against the iNithobbitholeskhosi and umBilbo amabutho. Their fire coupled with that of the howitzer section holds the enemy at bay for now.
Meanwhile the NMGC and NGC scouts on the northern side of the battlefield have regained the camp and are held in reserve.

Dangsforc’s NMGC are hotly engaged south of Amatutshane now that the oiVey have sorted out their battle order.

To the east, the uNodproudfoot corps has disappeared from Orcish view and are starting to circle round behind Isandlwana.

Turn 5:
The Halflings almost make contact at several points along the line but all are forced to ground. The Nek seems to be an untenable position for them although they may have better luck on Mkwene Hill.
Hotly Engaged.
Turn 6:
The iNithobbitholeskhosi continue to take a beating in the Nek. Halflings spread out left and right around the Orc line.

Disaster strikes when one group of Halflings charge home and eliminate a unit of the NGC in the corner of the Orc line. The firing line has been breached.

Turn 7:
Both Orc flanks continue to be pushed back as the oiVey and umBilbo continue their advance. On the congested terrain of the spur, the umBilbo are unable to take advantage of the breached firing line although the situation is far from stable from an Orcish perspective.

In the center the iNithobbitholeskhosi have stalled.
Halflings go to ground in the beaten zone.
Col. Henry Lugdush had good reason to be pleased with the course of the battle so far. Until that is, Giglamps returned from the spur to report the presence of a large body of Halflings (the uNodproudfoot corps) marshalling on the east side of Islandlwana.
"To the rear? Good Sentinel Orc!
Turn 8:
Lt. Col. Lugdush barks orders to see to the protection of the rear. He sends Giglamps galloping to Lt. Poke requesting he recall companies A and H to the camp. The Col. also sends the reserve companies of the Naal Goblin Contingent led by Capt. George Sheepston to the block the approach along the road between Isandlwana and the conical kopje. The light horse he sends south of the conical kopje to take the Halflings in the flank. Finally he orders company G to support the NGC.
Captain Sheepston leads the NGC to protect the rear.
The oiVey make a determined rush on Col. Dangsforc’s retiring troops and are once again brought to ground.

The Balrogu Troop of the NMGC in action.
The umBilbo continue to work around the Orc’s flank causing companies C and F to withdraw slowly down the spur towards camp.
Falling back by companies.
Turn 9:
It all goes a little bit pear shaped.

The Orcs continue to carry out their redeployments started last turn.
Lugdush redeploys to meet contingencies.
This turn the Halflings manage to come to contact with their foes in one each flank and in the rear.

As C and F companies continue their withdrawal both are charged. Fire from E company saves F. C is not as fortunate and the horde of hairy footed fury crashes into their line! This time it is the Halfling’s who roll well and C company is eliminated. A company of NGC right behind them doesn’t much care for their chances and routs away as well!
The right flank crumbles.
The uNodproudfoot corps succeeded in charging the NGC company blocking the wagon road and destroy it! This outcome was not unexpected, and thankfully the second line NGC company did not rout.

Finally I appear to have cut things to fine indeed with Dangsforc’s contingent of Naal Mounted Goblins.The Balrogu Troop was caught by the advance elements of the oiVey They survived the melee with some loss but alas the strain was too much and they lit out for parts unknown.
The end of the Balrogu Troop.
Turn 10:
The collapse continues.
An abortive charge by the NGC on the wagon road ended in disaster. Capt. Sheepston and another company eliminated. The mounted troops south of the conical Kopje also met with disaster and the all of the mounted auxiliaries, save for Dangsforc’s Isendale, troop have fled.
Charge of the uNodproudfoot.
Company F is eliminated. The Halflings swarm into the camp eliminating Captain Daggurshire, acting CO of the 1st 24th, what with Lugdush in command of the entire force.

The Halflings are in amongst the caissons of the Royale Artillery.

Have now lost 3 companies of Orcs, three of NGC , the Goblin Border Guard, and three troops of NMGC.
The outlook is bleak.

Turn 11:
Lt. Col. Lugdush has seen the end coming. He instructed Lt. Giglamps to take the Kyng’s Colour of the 21st and make for Orc’s Drift.
Giglamps is instructed to save the Kyng's Colours.
He continues to gather the remaining three companies of regulars about him.
Halflings pouring into camp.
G company is overrun on the wagon road.
Giglamps flees as G company is overrun.
Lt.Colonel Dangsforc is killed and the Isendale troop, fights on for a bit until they too flee the scene. The howitzer section is overrun.

Turn 12:
At this point Lt. Giglamps has left the table. Here is what ensued next based on the position of the
bodies and survivors’ accounts.

The NGC fled as best they could.

Lt. Col. Lugdush formed A and H company into square.
Stand and Die like Orcs!
The troops battled on until the inevitable end.

The Halfling’s tell of Lt. Col. Lugdush fighting, game to the end. Eventually he faltered, his stamina wasted away through dozens of tiny assegai wounds…
Last Stand.
Final losses were essentially the entire Orc command although of course there are numerous fugitives from the Colonial units and a few Redcoats as well.

The Halflings lost 34 warbands of about 100 Halfling’s each. Mind you not all of these were casualties as some ran off, and others were simply retired as combat ineffective. I’d guess about half that, or 1700 did not survive the day.

Some game notes:
The Halfling suffered from terrible dice rolling throughout most of the game, with full strength units going to ground when their comrades faltered. However they more than made up for this at game’s end when they consistently rolled high vs. Orc regular companies, who in their turn consistently rolled low, leading to several devastating melees between nominally equally capable combatants.

The Naal Mounted Goblin Contingent and other Colonial Horse did sterling work and should not really have been expected to stave off the uNodproudfoot Corps at the end.

The Naal Goblin Contingent did not rout nearly as often as I expected them too…which only led to their deaths in close combat.

I’m perhaps most surprised at how closely the game stuck to the script, following almost exactly the historical series of events.

For my part I tried to act upon the information that Lt. Col. Lugdush would have been aware of rather than whatever could be seen on the table. Be that as it may I really botched the withdrawal from the Spur, leaving it to much too late and losing 3 companies and the gun as a result.

Still no one should play Isandlwana as the Imperials and expect to win.

After playing a few small games on the Isandlwana set up which will probably not be reported upon, you, dear readers, may expect to here of Lt. Giglamp’s adventures as he rides to Fugitive Drift, and hopefully, beyond!

Until next time…


  1. WOW!! Some battle there!!!

  2. Thank you Paul. Hadn't had that many figures out at one time for a while.