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"Zarebas questions??" Topic

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655 hits since 17 Jan 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

OSL200017 Jan 2017 9:49 a.m. PST

Hello I have a couple questions regarding zarebas in TSATF rules. First is there anything in the rules about setting them on fire and if not how would you go about doing this? Second question is what kind of modifier does a zareba give you?


Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2017 10:08 a.m. PST

The intent of the zariba was an impassable barrier to stand behind and shoot. It was wide enough to preclude stabbing across it.
I would definitely not treat them as a wall, since you can stand on a wall.
The intent was also to funnel the attack in a preferred direction.

I would give the Native player the ability to tear the zariba down. After all, it was just piled up thorn bushes.

It will take D6/2 movement dice to tear down the zariba.
If the Native player starts adjacent to the zariba, he announces that he is using his entire allotment of movement dice to tear it down.
If he doesn't start adjacent, see how many dice he needs to move up (not charge dice bonus!) to the zariba with leftover dice applied to tearing down the zariba.
This is done in the shooting phase. So, the defending unit can fire into the natives.
Now roll dice to determine "degree of difficulty".
I would then insert another Special Rule. grin
If Native player takes 1/3 casualties, he must pass a Charge Completion roll to try to tear down the zariba.

As for burning it down, a unit may designate up to 2 torchbearers, who count as key figures. They must charge the zariba and contact it. They automatically close. Draw a card. A red card (of course!) sets the zariba on fire and it cannot be extinguished. All adjacent units on both sides must retreat 3".
On one turn the zariba is gone and it's area is now clear terrain.

Obviously a set up zariba should be a scenario specific exercise.

This off the top of my head.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

John's suggestion sounds very similar to one I used several years ago at a convention game. As sections of the zariba were burned, I replaced them with similar sized black bases to resemble the ash left after a fire.


slugbalancer17 Jan 2017 11:34 a.m. PST

Nice rules governing zaribas. What do other use for them in the game?

SgtGuinness17 Jan 2017 3:19 p.m. PST


Here are the zariba rules I developed for one of my Sudan games. I think they worked rather well.


Zareba: When attacking a zareba we basically use the same rule as attacking over a low defended wall or barricade. The troops (imperial or native) must move up to the zareba on one turn. If they charged they cannot fire. If they just moved they can fire. We designate the cover to be a class III for troops on both sides of the zareba. The next turn would be the removal of the zareba. The unit declares its charge and attempts to remove the zareba. I have the player roll a die to attempt to remove the brush. The figures attempting to remove the Zareba roll a D6 and consult the table for results. There is one roll per unit per turn done during the Firing Phase attempting to remove the zareba. There must be at least 5 figures attempting to remove the zareba. The figures attempting to remove the zareba are considered class II targets as they are bunched together but also receive a slight benefit of cover from the zareba. If the roll is successful or automatic the attackers may charge through the gap on the following turn. The gap will be 5" inches wide.

Turn-1: Roll a 3-6 on a D6 successful
Turn -2: automatic
Turn -1: 4-6 successful
Turn -2: 2-6 successful
Turn -3: automatic
*Engineers roll as Native forces above.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 7:29 a.m. PST

A few more thoughts on "my" method above.
When I say a "unit", I am of course referring to a standard TSATF unit if 20 figures. We use true 25mm figures, Ral Partha, Hinchliffe, etc, mounted on 3/4" bases. We also use Masonite or plywood movement trays that are slightly wider than 10 figures wide. Do the math. grin
The trays are deep enough so that a British unit can be in Open Order and a Native unit can be in a Mob.

So, when I talk about a zariba above, I mean one that will fit in my movement tray. I mean a zariba will cover the front ad a deployed unit in double line.

OSL200018 Jan 2017 8:28 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the ideas.

Nick Pasha18 Jan 2017 3:53 p.m. PST

troops behind a zareba are considered class two targets for firing. We used a zareba in a game I ran at Historicon. Sgt. Guinness commanded the natives behind it and mowed down 2 units of Highlanders.

SgtGuinness18 Jan 2017 7:12 p.m. PST

Nick Pasha, I remember that game, it was BIG fun! I had
Uncharacteristic hot dice rolls, a determined gun crew, and a suburb defensive position. The Mahdi was in the oasis behind me and he needed to be protected at all costs….

I really did decimate 2 units of Highlanders. My one and only time doing so.


Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 9:22 p.m. PST

Sarge: whatever you do, don't tell the Scots!!!

SgtGuinness20 Jan 2017 9:41 p.m. PST

Mad Guru, roger that…lol


hunter4a05 Feb 2017 3:57 p.m. PST

Sgt Guinness and Mad Guru,
As you know I have also been using those Zareba rules since my last Sudan Campaign and recently in my Gunboat to the Rescue scenario. They work out nicely!

Last Stand Dan


SgtGuinness07 Mar 2017 6:59 p.m. PST

(Updated after recent games)
Turn-1: Roll a 6 on a D6 successful
Turn-2: 5-6 successful
Turn -3: automatic
Turn -1: 6 successful
Turn -2: 5-6 successful
Turn -3: 3-6 successful
Turn -4: automatic
*Engineers roll with a +1

Input appreciated.

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