Thursday, 22 February 2018

First Game of The Men Who Would Be Kings

Natal Mounted Police and British Regulars.
This was my first game of The Men Who Would Be Kings and the first outing for the Zulu War figures I've recently been accumulating. Please excuse the unfinished bases made from Coins of the Realm. Queen Victoria would not have been amused and I would have been doing hard labour, but times have changed.

I didn't actually play myself but ran the game for two other players who had played it before so I could piggyback on their experience. The table was set up for Scenario A, a sort of ‘passing engagement’ in which each side is aiming to get off the opposite end of the table while picking up additional points for inflicting casualties.

I persuaded the players to throw for Leadership Ratings but not for Leadership Traits as they didn't want to be faced with too much innovation.

First move: the Zulus waste no time.
With faster moving troops the Zulu player (Bernard) had the initiative. Some units bolted for the far end while others concentrated on cutting off the British. This seemed like a good strategy.

The British move out a little but are outpaced.

The British (Chris) were inevitably slow but also handled  cautiously.

Over-confident Zulu attackers are pinned.

The Zulu blocking units advance in the open and suffer badly from British firepower. In this photo they are pinned. They recovered from the pins and managed a couple of charges, but were beaten off. Perhaps they should have stuck to the cover.

The Great Escape, but is it enough?
Three of the Zulu units, followed later by a fourth, make it off the table, but not without suffering some casualties from long-range fire. The damage was minor but was to cost points in the final reckoning.

Two Zulu units are wiped out, but the British haven't got very far.

With four Zulu units off the table and two annihilated, the British were left unopposed but still had to make it off by the end of the scenario (turn 15). One didn't, resulting in a draw. With my godlike impartiality and benefit of hindsight I'd say the British were too cautious and the Zulus not cautious enough.

Both players seemed to enjoy the game though Chris is more of a fan of Lion Rampant. Both players have played both games before. I look forward to taking command myself.


  1. We really like TMWWBK’s at our club. The Zulu War seems poplar, although I am doing the French of the 1890’s period. The Sudan seems to be new interests with other players.

    1. The Zulu War and the Sudan are the all-time classics of Colonial conflict at least from an Anglocentric perspective. Are you doing the French in Africa or Asia?

    2. Sub Saharan Africa, although I now have French for North Africa as well. These include Foreign Legion, Zouaves, Tirailleur Algerian and Chasseurs d’Afrique.


    3. My Sub Saharan include

      Foreign Legion, Troupes Colonial, Tirailleur Senegalise, Marines (can also be used for Legion), Sailors and Tirailleur Algerian.

    4. Sounds good...any pictures anywhere of them or their opponents?

    5. I have a De Bange Mountain Gun planned for each Field Force to be crewed by spare Infantry figures.
      I am playing a game on Monday with them down the club. I usually do 1870’s Apache Wars and can send som pictures of them if you have an email you can give me.
      Apologies I am not a blogger. Also 0lay a lot of Congo, which always seems to give a good game.

    6. I am intrigued by armies that are a little more unusual. My email address is my blogger name