Endgame at Redoubt

Unusually for me, I failed to take a single photograph at the Redoubt show over the weekend, but I can tell you that it was hot, hot, hot! The battlements of the doughnut-shaped fort kept out most of the sea breeze, though we did have a few dramatic moments when occasional gusts came over the walls and sent tents and product displays scattering in all directions, like the rout after Waterloo.

I ended up doing an all-nighter on Friday night in a last-ditch attempt to get everything finished in time, but I was defeated by the discovery that the hands of most of the Zulus needed drilling out to accept their assegais. Argh! What should have been a job of a few minutes was clearly going to take a great deal longer, so I concentrated on getting a third of the force finished. I was still gluing sand to the bases as I ate my breakfast at 8 a.m. Note to self: check the fit of weapons before you do anything else to a figure!

Other little discoveries along the way included the fact that the ‘stitching’ on the Newline Zulu shields was indented, not raised, which meant that I needed to reverse my technique, painting the stitching first, then dry-brushing the surrounding area of the shields. Then, of course, one runs out of superglue to attach them to the figures…

But what wargames show game doesn’t have these last-minute little dramas, being played out wherever enthusiasm and determination come face to face with an impossible deadline and the laws of entropy? As it turned out, the three groups for whom I ran the game seemed to enjoy themselves immensely, and it went down to the wire in every case, resulting in a British win, a draw and a close loss. I kept the games fast and furious, accompanied by the soundtrack from Zulu; I was most gratified that the rousing rendition of “Men of Harlech” seemed to come along at just the right moments, as the doughty 24th Foot disappeared beneath a cloud of Zulu warriors, only to re-emerge victorious.

Would I do it all again? Maybe, with a great deal more time to spare! At the very least, I’ll give the game another outing at the Woolwich show in a couple of weeks. If you’re there, come along and have a go!

Anyway, here are some pics of the finished figures.

The 24th Foot in line

The 24th Foot in line

Close-up showwing Captain Grant and Lieutenant Quarrie

Close-up showing Captain Grant and Lieutenant Quarrie

24th Foot in column of threes

24th Foot in column of threes

The Zulus appear on the British flank

The Zulus appear on the British flank

Another view of the Zulus from the business end

Another view of the Zulus from the business end

Zulus on the move

Zulus on the move

3 comments for “Endgame at Redoubt

  1. August 4, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Hi there Henry,

    Your Zulus and British soldiers look mighty fine. Funny how detailed native troops wearing not-so- very-much can be. Great work as usual!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

  2. July 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Henry – nothing quite as good as yours, but I got a few shots which appear on my blog at:

    http://steve-the-wargamer.blogspot.com/

    I think it’s a couple of posts down.

    A most enjoyable and relaxing day out, and apologies for forgetting the espresso! :o)

  3. Brendan Morrissey
    July 30, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I played this game on the Sunday with my two sons (aged 11 and almost 9) and it was one of the best participation games they (and I) have played for some time. We had a very exciting finish in which we ended up one man short of achieving our mission, with one man just one inch short of the compound. Henry generously gave us the draw, but I’d have to say we lost (just) based on the victory conditions. A worthy effort by No.1 son as Captain Grant – and who will forget the heroic Sgt Featherstone belying his 90 years and fighting off a dozen Zulus single-handedly in that tense final melee (more Bob Hoskins than “the Don”). The only suggestion I would make for future outings is that “faux fur” would provide excellent “veldt” for the Zulus to appear from

    Congratulations for running such an excellent game – and a great pity that there were too few people there to enjoy it. Hope the boys weren’t too loud (I promise to work on Patrick’s sense of humour!) and that Emmet wasn’t the one trying to “transform” the figures. I have to say that sort of behaviour tends to be the product of non-wargaming families, as children of wargamers do tend to have better “table etiquette” – but I agree that 11-12 is probably a good cut-off age for this game.

    “Don’t linger longer in the donga!”

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