Zulu Armies: DBM
Bernard Haasbroek

Based on a recent stay and first-hand contact with Zulu's in Natal, Bernard Haasbroek has come up with the following on a possible Zulu Army for Ancients, playing DBM.

Zulu 1816-1828

Warm. Aggression 4.

C-in-C - Irreg Bd(F) @7AP 1

Sub-Generals - Irreg Bd(F) @7AP 3-5

Impi Irreg Bd(F) @7AP 80-120

or all Irreg Wb(F) @3AP All

The Zulu army's real strength lies in its simplicity. The whole nation was geared into awarlike machine that would obey its rulers every command. All the males of the nation were grouped into a so called "Ubuthu" or regiment. These regiments were formed from men as young as16 years with an age difference of 3 years. The entire regiment were housed in a military homestead which could number as much as 3500 men. This regiment would perform any task their ruler would ask from them from harvesting crops to building more homesteads to conducting raids or waging war. During the winter months the regiment will retire to their family homestead and return the next summer for duty.

Even after marriage which symbolises adulthood the regiments kept their bonds through annual ceremonies and rituals. Although not called on for duty unless urgently needed these older "Ubutu" were just as efficient in times of war as their younger counterparts.

Some historic facts about the Zulu army to take into consideration is that the entire army could be mobilised within one day. The entire army could travel up to 40 Km a day for three days in succession in some of the roughest terrain thinkable. The army always functioned in four units. This aided the standard attacking formations of the shape of a bull's head. The centre command, or head of the bull would first make contact in a serious of faint or sacrificial attacks thereby committing the enemy's forces. This gave the flanks, or horns of the bull enough time to outflank the enemy. When the enemy is finally encircled the reserve, or loins of the bull would charge in a head on assault and overpower the enemy.

When playing with the Zulu army you should always play aggressive. This army does not have staying power and you should be prepared to almost always lose your centre command as explained above. The speed and agility of this army should however proof to be its major asset. Try to get your opponent into a disadvantageous position by outmanoeuvring it in the initial stages of the battle. When the time is right, pin the enemy down quickly with the initial attack. Then Once the trap is shut you should pour all your forces in to the final charge.

This is the only way the Zulu knew. If it does not work it would not have worked for real.

It should result in an exciting and eventful war game facing any kind of enemy.

Bernard Haasbroek can be contacted via email: bernardh@global.co.za