With hindsight it is quite easy to criticise Methuen’s decision to launch yet another frontal attack at Magersfontein however, tied as he was to the railway line and lacking the cavalry he needed for a successful flanking move, in reality he had little other choice.
The decision was made to attack directly against Magersfontein Kopje following a night approach with the newly arrived Highland Brigade under Maj-General Wauchope. The Guards Brigade were to support them on their right but not to assault the enemy line. 9th Brigade was to remain in camp as a reserve.
On the Boer side, De la Rey had convinced Cronje to make a stand at Magersfontein rather than fall back. He cleverly sited trenches at the base of the hill knowing that the British would be expecting the Boers to occupy the heights. The Boer’s use of smokeless powder would make detecting the trenches virtually impossible.
Order of Battle
The game ends in a British victory if they get one unit on Magersfontein Kopje. Otherwise play continues until one side reaches its break point.