Friday, April 17, 2015

Young Men of Harlech

 My Military History course is offered to second semester seniors. Every kid in class knows that the die has been cast in regards to college admissions.  Thus, keeping them engaged is always a challenge. With this in mind, I front-loaded my Military History course with the academics in January (Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Marlantes).  Then, for the remainder of the year, we did case studies, watching a movie sett in a period, reading four or five quality sources about the engagement depicted, and then playing a tabletop game recreating the conflict.  As you might imagine, the students are having a blast.

The finale this year was the Zulu War of 1879. While the prequel film Zulu Dawn delves more into the politics of the conflict, there is no equal to the 1964 epic Zulu.  At first the students laughed at some of the hammy acting by the extras, but by the end they were wiping away tears as the two armies serenaded each other before the final round of slaughter. How could we not conclude the year with the attack on Rorke's Drift?

We used 28mm figures (mostly Old Glory, with some plastics from Warlord and Wargames Factory thrown in). I picked up the Rorkes Drift MDF buildings for a song on Ebay. they make a fantastic centerpiece for the battle.  For rules, we're using the tried and true The Sword and the Flame.


Zulus, sir, approaching from the southwest.  Several of 'em!

How could I resist the Warlord "Hollywood" minis?  Here, the hard-as-nails Chard and Colour Sergeant Bourne steel for another wave.

The cheeky Hook offers Lt. Bromhead a drink while Bromhead contemplates a career as a butler to a brooding superhero.

Now that I think of it, I may have under-garrisoned the compound.  That's a lotta Zulu.

British soldiers await deployment.

the head and loin of the Buffalo

And the right horn of said Buffalo.

Two of the Zulu players played war chants from the movie on continual loop.  Stay classy, boys!

More to come as the game unfolds.  Stay tuned!

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