Thursday, 27 July 2017

Maxims & Mausers

I’ve just finished the first draft of my Boer War rules Maxims & Mausers. Those of you who have played my Muskets & Marshals rules may notice the odd similarity in mechanisms and format. Obviously there are also a lot of differences to cater for the changes in tactics and weapons since the Napoleonic Wars.

The rules are devised with solo gaming in mind taking the part of the British player but I guess they would still work as a two player game. The emphasis is on getting the British units far enough forward to attempt a charge on the Boers. However the pinning effect of the Boer fire power makes this a bit of a challenge.

These rules are very much a work in progress and will need a lot of play testing before I have a final version however I thought I’d make them available now in case anyone wants to give them a try out. Click here to view or download.

9 comments:

  1. Just had a quick peek. Without actually trying them, looks like they will do more or less what you're aiming at.

    1 observation: one might need to occasionally make special exceptions to the no Boer charge for some historical scenarios especially during the sieges of Ladysmith and Mafeking where the Boers made several attempts to capture various British posts or to retake posts that the British had seized. These would mostly be at night though.

    2. Only one thing I disagree with. Everything I've read indicates extended order was very common for the British, at times too extended leading to control and fire concentration issues. Examples can be seen in the successful attacks by seasoned troops in the opening battles at Glencoe and Elandslaagte but also later on by all. The issues where it wasn't used or where commanders were slow to deploy seem to be due to occasional incompetent leaders rather than average ones so I would reverse the rule and say that troops must roll to extend under a poor commander. Just my $0.02

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ross - thanks for casting your eye over them, that's very helpful. I suppose I'm prejudiced by my impressions of reading about the early battles and the mostly poor leadership of the British. My focus is on the open battles of first three months of the war but I'll think about what you've said about Boer attacks and the use of extended order. Rather unusually I have produced a rule set without any proper play testing and I need to get a few figures on the table before I can take them any further!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Big Battles of Black Week did seem to highlight all the worst British faults, esp with senior management (sic).

      Have you checked out the early battles in Natal before Ladysmith was besieged? rather interesting from a wargame pov I think and more balanced. Mind you, several regimental officers when suddenly on their own didn't shine when it came to command decisions.

      Delete
  3. That's an interesting approach Stryker. Do you think it would work for the First Boer War?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it would work just as well for the First Boer War but I take Ross's point about allowing the Boers to charge as at Majuba. I'm thinking that they should only be able to charge demoralised (pinned) British troops though. I really do need to play test!

      Delete
  4. Its an interesting and neat mechanism. Of course time will tell how the tactics work out. and to some extent it will be the balance of troop numbers that determines outcomes. If there are plenty of Brits infantry and artillery concentrated against one of the Boer flanks then they stand a chance of getting enough unpinned to manage a charge, though having only one in three chance of charging even when unpinned is a high bar to set.
    My initial observations are:
    That British horse artillery , maxims on gun carriages and pom ons move at something near cavalry speed.
    Later in the war Brits can move mounted and dismount to shoot.
    Is there no ROUT result for British morale failure?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no rout as such for the Brits but I anticipate units will get worn down and go to ground once their officers are hit and so lose combat effectiveness. The interaction of artillery and infantry is hard to judge without play testing so time to get painting!

      Delete
  5. Should red coats be easier to hit?
    British horse artillery should move at the pace of cavalry.
    It will be interesting to see how the British do because getting to 8 inches of the Boers, without being pinned, looks a hard enough task in itself !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree it does look hard, we'll have to see how it goes!

      Delete