The Empire Club

Mboto Gorge

A Confederate raiding party has done considerable damage to the interior of Zulustan (the colony formed by defeated Zulus after the 1879 Zulu War, naturally) and is hurrying back to the river to be picked up. However, the Zulus have got wind of their plans, and are also hurrying to cut off the escape of the hated gray-coats.

The Zulus began widely scattered across the valley called Mboto Gorge, while the Confederates were grouped in two places; the cavalry column scouting ahead and the infantry plodding along behind, burdened with loot and Gatling guns.

The cavalry quickly located a Zulu band and rode forward to determine the location of the Zulu main body. There wasn't a main body yet, but there were several groups close at hand, who charged the horsemen with their spears. Although most of the Zulus were run off or killed, the cavalry was stuck in melee, unwilling to abandon a third of their number to save the other two-thirds, and every time they finished off one band, another arrived, with a third close behind!

The infantry formed a half-square, so as to rake the valley with rifle fire while avoiding a charge from the riverward side of the battlefield, and marched forward, loading as they went. The Gatling guns broke up several attacks, but others closed to spear-and-bayonet range, and soon the Confederates were hurting in numbers, though their great deficiency was time. They had barely made it a third of the way to the river when the last of the cavalry was wiped out, and now every Zulu in the world knew right where they were. Marching ahead, firing left and right, their commander feared being taken from behind and formed his men into a hollow square, and there they waited.

At this point, the Empire Club replay ended; with the Zulu players' thirst for revenge adequately sated, they may have felt a bit unsporting about burying the Confederates under a wave of spearmen, or better yet a rain of arrows. But it remains at least possible that the Rebs could have somehow held out, shooting enough Zulus that the rest would lose heart, before they were overwhelmed. Perhaps some future game will resolve the fate of the survivors of Mboto Gorge ...