HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. The origin of the Zulu Wars in 1879 dates back to the early part of the nineteenth century when the Boers trekked north east in search of new lands and came into conflict with the Bantus of which one tribe, the Zulus, were particularly ruthless. They had a well trained army which was capable of defending its lands. The British authorities both in London and the Cape, were opposed to the Boers trekking because of the native unrest that it was likely to cause. The disputes continued until 1840 when the half brother of the King of Zululand, Mpande, defected to the Boers with 17,000 men and struck a bargain with them to overthrow his brother. This they did and proclaimed Mpande king of the Zulus, with the proviso that Mpande kept the peace.
During the next twenty years the Boers moved out of Natal and established themselves in the north west in the Transvaal and British settlers established themselves in Natal. King Mpande's first born son Cetshwayo confirmed his position as 'heir apparent' when his followers overthrew his step-brother Mbulazi. He at once established relations with both the British in Natal and the Boers in the Trahsvaal. The British recognised him as the heir-apparent in the name of the Queen and in 1872 he succeeded his father.
In 1877 Sir Bartle Frere was appointed Governor of the Cape Colony. Frere believed that the only way to maintain peace in the area was to annex the territories of both Transvaal and Zululand so that disputes could be arbitrated by the British administration. The Governor of Natal considered this unrealistic. The current dispute between the Boers and the Zulus was over a section of land east of Blood River on which the Boers had settled.
This land had originally been recognised by the British as belonging to the Zulus but Frere hoped that the Boundary Commission would recommend that it be ceded to the Boers. However, the Commission found no justification for the Boer's claim and recommended that it be returned to the Zulus. This was conveyed to Cetshwayo together with conditions which Frere imposed which negated the sovereignty of Zululand and provoked them into battle. Cetshwayo tried to comply with some of the conditions and handed over the men and cattle demanded.
However, Frere refused to accept Cetshwayo's plea to negotiate. British forces therefore crossed into Zululand on the 11th January 1879. By the 21st January the British had suffered their first and largest defeat at Isandhlwana with the annihilation of the 24th Regiment. This defeat however was avenged in the battles of Kambula and Gingindhlovu. By mid April General Chelmsford had withdrawn his forces from Zululand to regroup them for a second invasion which he planned in June. This second invasion started on 3rd June and ended with the conclusive battle of Ulundi on 4th July 1879.
'Zulu War' is a simulation of the conflict in Zululand in 1879. The British army under General Chelmsford defeated the Zulus outside Ulundi, the capital of Zululand, on 4th July 1879. The British army consisted of 5,300 infantry and 900 cavalry. All units marched towards the capital in a huge rectangular formation which gave them the maximum possible protection against an army of 20,000 Zulus. When the Zulu army attacked, as expected, the concentrated fire blasted away the leading waves of charging warriors thereby breaking up their mass. Finally, the Zulu army retreated after suffering more than 1,000 casualties. As the outcome of the battle was predictable, this game has been balanced by assuming that the Zulu army attacked when the British were unprepared and split into their regiments. All the major regiments that took part in the battle are represented in the game.
This is a one player game with the computer controlling the Zulus and the player controlling the British. The game can be played with a Kempston joystick or with the keyboard. See Control Keys section for details. Each infantry man on the map represents approximately 30 soldiers and each rider represents 20 men and horses. The Zulu army was divided into regiments with most of them having between 1,000 and 2,000 men. The British army consisted of the Second Division and the Flying column, including 1,000 irregular troops. The British army starts the game on the left hand side of the map marching towards Ulundi which is situated on the right hand side of the map. The Zulu army attacks in regiments which appear on the north, south and east sides of the map.
THE UMLALAZI SCENARIO
This is the second scenario which has to be loaded from the other side of the tape as a completely different program. The scenario is based on the Coastal Column which was commanded by Major-General Crealock. This force was part of the second invasion into Zululand and it moved in parallel with the Second Division and the Flying Column. This scenario is less demanding than that of the Ulundi scenario. The Coastal Column never actually took part in the war but it is assumed in this scenario that the Zulu army attacked them instead of the Second Division and the Flying Column. The battle takes place immediately after the Column has crossed the Umlalazi River. Victory for the Zulus is achieved when Major-General Crealock and his officers are killed. The British player wins by completely halting the Zulu's advance.
Title: Zulu War
Developer: Astros Productions (IWA label)
Publisher: CCS (Cases Computer Simulations)
Original design: Astros Productions (IWA label)
Platforms: Sinclair Spectrum 48K