Bad Day at Blood River

Generally speaking, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool fan of 25-28mm figures. I have some 15s, mainly for playing DBA and HotTs. I've never seriously considered switching to a different scale because all my terrain is 25mm, and I don't want to create all-new terrain and then find storage space for it.

But Don Perrin, owner & operator of Perrin Miniatures and a good friend and fellow alliterate, mentioned one day that his company now makes 10mm Zulu War figures. My first reaction was mild interest lacking commitment. Then he showed me some of the pieces and I was impressed. These little 10mm guys are better proportioned than most 15s, they're a snap to paint, and you can put a lot of them on the table.

Then Don said I could have all I wanted, gratis. That got my attention. Some of them were even painted already. The only catch was, I had to come over to the workshop and help cast them up, and I had to use them at conventions to showcase the line. Hey, no problem. We'd already established what I am, that was just haggling over price.

So this year at Cold Wars I ran a Zulu War game, twice. It was called Bad Day at Blood River and it ran Saturday evening and again in my customary slot on Sunday morning.

Blood River was a big game: about 500 Zulus, 200 or so Brits, artillery, cavalry, a bunch of ox wagons, and a few other things. Compared to my usual 100-200 figure game, this was something new for me.

The rules I used were a combination of the Science vs. Pluck turn sequence and The Sword & the Flame combat rules. It worked OK—I felt the seams showed a bit, but the players either didn't notice or they were too polite to say anything. I took photos during the game, but they turned out rather poorly thanks to the dismal lighting. I finally have a report ready, complete with poorly-lit photos, and you can read it here. Brett Abbott's Darkest Africa web page,, has some better photos (some of which I used in my report, too—thanks, Brett). Be sure to check out the rest of Brett's site, too, especially his colonial variant rules for the Mordheim game.

Read the Blood River Game Report | Return to Main Page | Jump to some notes on my Zulu rules in progress