The new Isandlwana Series begins with a cross section of figures and accessories to help recreate the battle. Durnford and some of his troopers as well as new 24th Foot figures with an ox wagon and tents make up the first release of British figures and accessories. A new Zulu Regiment, the uVe, who were in the Zulu left horn and would have been some of the first to engage Durnford, also join the initial line up. Many more releases for this range are planned for 2010
What must of British Lt. Col. (Brevet Colonel) Durnford thought as he and his troopers crested the ridge and peered down into a valley covered with 25,000 Zulu warriors? Did he believe that the British, native and auxiliary troops back at camp next to Isandlwana could defeat them or did he know it was only a matter of time? His troopers withdrew in an orderly fashion, dismounting and pouring a devastating fire into the oncoming Zulu, then remounting and pulling back to another position. As his final position began to be overrun he gave orders to fall back to the camp, at which point the entire British position gave way. The battle then degenerated into a series of last stands and hand-to-hand fighting by the remaining British troops. All in all 1,300 defenders were killed with only about 60 Europeans surviving.
As the Zulu army closed on the British encampment at Isandlwana, the Zulus saw the British already deployed to meet them. Two British Royal Artillery 7 pdr field guns had been pushed far forward from the tents and were supported on either side by a thin screen of infantry. The Zulu uMcijo regiment found themselves facing the British guns and initially sought cover, becoming pinned down, but was rallied forward by the Zulu officer Mkhosana Biyela. Their pride stung, the uMcijo rose up and pushed forward into the teeth of the British fire, shaking their war-shields and shouting the war-cry, 'uSuthu!'Ahead of them, the British had already begun to fall back towards the camp. Even so, the speed of the charge took them by surprise - it took just a few minutes for the Artillery crews to drag the guns back towards the waiting limbers but the uMcijo were on them before they could complete the manoeuvre. One gunner was stabbed as he tried to climb onto a gun-seat and the limber crews kicked the horses into a gallop; the guns set off with the remaining gunners running behind.
The gunners on foot were soon run down and killed. Panic-stricken men from several units grabbed at the guns and harnesses as they went past, a lucky few pulling themselves on board the limbers. Yet there was no safety in retreat, either, for the Zulu right 'horn' had already passed behind the mountain and cut the track to Rorke's Drift. The guns veered off across open country, bouncing and clattering over the rocky ground until, at last, they stuck for a moment in a donga - and the Zulus caught them, spearing horses, riders and passengers alike.