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rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 897
Location: Long Island NY USA
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Saw, If I can ask, what's your town? I think you noted it but it has slipped me. You're in New Hampshire, right?

I've never seen the Soweto group down here in my neck of the woods. Of course they're absolutely great. Thanks for the ref.

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Rich
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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Yebo, Baba. I am in fact a resident of "Cowhampshire" and more specifically Rochester, New Hampshire. We're about 13 miles North of Portsmouth and close enough to consider that fair city to be nothing more than suburb of our own city! Truth be told, I believe that Boston is actually nothing more than a suburb of Rochester as well.
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rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
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Location: Long Island NY USA
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Got it...I'll keep that in my mind (and GPS) on my treks north. And it's fresh to see that NH centrism!..Wink....I can see why you guys kept our friends across the pond tied up on these shores a "coupla years ago"... Wink

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1418
Location: Wales
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We're still here Rich, even though you've wandered a little.

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rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
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Location: Long Island NY USA
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Very good Alan, very good..I DO lament to not have the pleasure of wandering around that little British fort that existed here around my neck of the woods back in the 18th. Unfortunately, the acreage assigned is now part of homeowners back yard. The timbers have long ago fallen over a cliff and consigned to the Sound. It's tough now, they won't let me see it........ Wink

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Isandlwana DEMONSTRATION GAME – COLOURS 2011 - From Bill C
Peter
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Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 80
Location: Hertford, UK
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FROM BILL CAINAN

Our Isandlwana demonstration game at Colours 2011 seems to have created quite a bit of interest, so I thought it might be useful to provide some background information.

The size of figures (28mm) used determined the ground scale, which was 1:64. The table provided was 38 feet by 6 feet, which in “real” terms meant an area 811 yards long by 178 yards wide. This enabled us to recreate the length of the firing line at Isandlwana, from the mountain to the rocky knoll (where the artillery were positioned). The width – 178 yards – did restrict the number of figures we could get on the table and retain correct spaced formations, yet, we did manage to get well over 3,000 figures involved ! To portray the whole of the battlefield in this scale, we would have need a table about 65ft by 65ft, and generous though the Newbury club was ........ !

What you see in the pictures reflects the position at about 1.15pm (ish) on the 22nd January 1879. The Zulu left horn has swung around, forced Durnford to withdraw and has swarmed into the camp, over-running the lines of the 1/24th camp, and most importantly, over the ammunition wagons of the battalion positioned behind the tent lines. This in 1/64th scale would be nearly 45 feet behind the firing line ! The ammunition supply to the firing line has thus been severed and the troops on the firing line are firing off their last few rounds, before re-deploying into rallying squares to fight to the end. The two Zulu Regiments facing the firing line, the uNokhenke and the umCijo, have come out of the dead ground some 200 yards away (7 feet on the table) and are surging towards the redcoat line with renewed vigour, seeing the crashing volleys beginning to falter.

Four Imperial companies are represented, each in a different formation –
Younghusband’s Company are in close order are are inclined back against the mountain
Mostyn’s Company are in extended order to cover as much ground as possible.
Cavaye’ Company, with an eye on the approaching Zulus, have already formed a rallying square
Porteus’ Company, in close order, are deployed by platoon to cover the guns.

Wardell’s company would be 2 feet “off table", and Pope’s Company would be moving towards Durnford – about 20 feet “off table”

Between Younghusband and Mostyn are the Natal Native Contingent (NNC) Company of Erskine and a Troop of the Natal Native Horse (NNH) under Shepstone. Erskine’s company have broken and are fleeing the field, while Shepstone is just about to order his troop mounted.

On the rocky knoll is the two gun section commanded by Lt Curling – one gun is already limbered and withdrawing. The other is firing one last round before limbering up.

Lt Col Pulleine (CO 1/24) and Lt Melvill (his adjutant) are adjacent to Shepstone.

Each of the units are represented in correct numbers – the Imperial companies have about 100 men each, Erskine has 150 and Shepstone about 50 men.

The Zulu regiments are deployed in Company blocks (some 50 – 60 warriors per company) in the traditional three rank formation. The uNokhenke have some 750 warriors on the table (about a third of the regiment) while the umCijo have nearly 1,500 warriors deployed (about half the regiment). The 6ft width of the table prevented us from deploying the full regiments – but I think what is “on” reflects the odds quite clearly.

Admitted errors :
· The tents shown are actually those of a battalion of the NNC and should in fact be improvised shelters and not bell tents !
· Some of the Zulu warriors are clearly wearing red coats, but have not yet had the opportunity to strip the British dead !
· The Zulu company formations are a bit too “regimented”.
· In setting out the firing line, I inadvertently reversed the positions of the NNC and NNH – oops !
· The Imperial Companies are shown with their established strength of 107 men and 3 officers, whereas, in reality they were probably nearer 80 strong.

Team Zulu:
The game was put on by “Team Zulu” which comprised:
Bill Cainan
Ian Knight
Michael Lane
Alex Knight
It took us nearly two hours on the Friday night and one hour on the Saturday morning to place all the figures in position !! A quote from Michael - "Never again !" !!!!

The Demonstration:
The demonstration generated a lot of discussion among the wargame viewers as to the merits of 1 to 1 wargaming, and of course we were clearly able to show the down sides – it takes a lot of space; a lot of time to game; it takes a lot of money to fit out the armies; etc; etc. However, on the positive side it undoubtedly looks “right” and can clearly claim to be an accurate representation. To refight the action at Isandlwana which took a couple of hours, would probably take a week or more !

Acknowledgment:
Team Zulu would like to offer our sincere thanks to the Newbury & Reading Wargames Society for allowing us to put on this demonstration.


Bill Cainan
Curator
The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh
The Barracks, The Watton, Brecon LD3 7EB



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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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Outstanding! And thank you for posting the pix, Peter. Although it's a sort of "barn door after the horse has made his exit" sort of thing, but were any photos taken from above?
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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Posts: 105
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Hi Saw

Because of its size and location on the top floor, the layout was particularly difficult to photograph. I don't think anyone got high enough to photograph it from above, There were a few professional photographers there representing some of the wargame magazines. When their photos become available, I'll post some mnore on the site.

As with the real battle, hindsight can be a real leveller. You've seen the list of "admitted errors" which I'd have corrected. I would also (if I'd had the time) detailed the lower slopes of Isandlwana mountain.

Watch this space .... !

Bill
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rich


Joined: 01 May 2008
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Location: Long Island NY USA
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You know if a pictures worth a thousand words it's right there for all of us to take in as to the battle. And just a comment on the fine pix. Battle is a pretty raucous place. If that is the Zulu in the face of British fire well my hats off to them keeping ranks under tremendous fire plowing into them.
And same for the British holding their tenuous position. I'd think time lapsed pictures would really have been great but I realize all of you would be there until the cows came home!

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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
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Maybe a bit off topic... I appreciate that static displays are the norm and one as sophisticated as this get my utmost respect and admiration. but wouldn't it be the cat's pajamas to have a real time computer-graphiced (I think I just made up THAT word) aerial view of the battle? One that showed the movement significant individuals as well as units to scale both in time and terrain? A huge project !
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Mel


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 345
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Saw
Surely there must be some computer geek who could CGI exactly that. (With the guidance of the forum experts of course.) It would make fascinating viewing.

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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Posts: 105
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Saw/Mel

The problem we'd have then is which experts to rely on ? What is fascinating about Isandlwana is that no one really knows - it is the controversy that keeps us all interested !

For example, what formations were the companies actually in ? Were they in close order, open order or extended order ? I can see arguments for and against each type, and the actual evidence is fragmentary. And of course, at what stage did they change formation. My belief, and it is a personal one, is that the companies moved up in extended order, but once in position, closed up to close order to maximise the volley firing command and control. The resulting increased gaps between the companies being covered by interlocking arcs of fire.

On the model, I have Mostyn's Company in extended order, Younghusband's in Close order, Cavaye in a rallying square and Porteus in open order. This enables viewers to see the different types of formation and exactly how much ground each covers. But it is speculative.

I suppose, given enough time, we could have done a time-lapse photographic intepretation - but that would have been MY intepretation. Others, may well see it differently. And, we will probably never know who is right !

Still, at least the Colours 2011 layout gives us all an appreciation of true ground scale.

Bill
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: UK
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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
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Peter

'Fraid not. Last year was very much a one off - something I've always wanted to do - to illustrate the firing line at Isandlwana in true scale with the correct number of figures.

The costs were heavy - two nights accommodation for a team of 4; Van hire for 4 days; petrol costs; Team T-Shirts; display boards; crowd barriers; additional scenery (the Isandlwana Mountain); etc, etc. Probably near to the £1k mark in total.

You'll have to make do with the pics !

All the best

Bill
(Team Zulu !)
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: UK
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Thanks Bill. Glad that I was able to see "once in a lifetime" show - and very impressive it was too.

Hope the leg is back to normal.

Peter
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Isandlwana at "COLOURS 2011" 10-11 September 2011
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