Sunday, 28 June 2020

Talana Hill – Scenario

Special Rules
1. In the real battle Penn Symons instructed his infantry to fight in close order. Rule: British units may not use extended order.
2. At this early stage of the war officers still displayed obvious signs of rank making them easy targets for Boer marksmen. Rule: Officers become casualties from rifle fire on a die roll of 1, 2 or 3 (rather than the normal 1 or 2).
3. The Boers waited until the British had closed the range before firing on them with their concealed pom-pom. Rule: The British artillery may not fire on the pom-pom until the turn after it opens fire.
4. This was the first time the Boers had been under shrapnel fire and many of them fled the field as soon as the British guns opened up. Rule: On the first turn that the British artillery fires roll 1xD6 for each Boer Commando, the result is the number of Boers who panic and flee.
5. Penn Symons rode forward and took personal control of the battle when the British advance stalled and received a mortal wound as a result. Rule: The first time a British infantry unit receives a Pin marker Symons must be attached to that unit and remain as an additional officer for the remainder of the game.

The view looking from Dundee towards Talana Hill (left) and Lennox Hill (right). Smith's Farm is the white building in front of Talana Hill. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers have just crossed Sand Spruit and deployed into line ready to advance. Behind them are the Kings Royal Rifle Corps followed by The Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Order of Battle

British C-in-C Major General Sir William Penn Symons
Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Royal Irish Fusiliers
2 x Batteries Royal Field Artillery

Boer Commandant Lucas Meyer
Ross Commando
Jacklex Commando
Newline Commando
Field Artillery
Pom Pom

Victory Conditions
If the Boers have not been defeated by the end of turn 12 the game ends in a British defeat.


  1. Hi IAN- Excellently thought out pre-planning and the troops look splendid...this looks to be a very interesting and exciting Battle - enjoy your game there. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks Kev, a bit of preparation does help with the enjoyment of a solo game I find!

  2. Looking forward to seeing the action . Many years ago I was lucky enough to see Talana Hill briefly whilst traveling on a bus in S. Africa , it didn't seem to have changed much .

    1. That's interesting, there's nothing quite like seeing a battlefield for real for getting an understanding of the action.

  3. The Boer war really does lend itself to solo play - I remember from one of my old school wargames books (either the Asquith book or one of Featherstone's) that you would not even have to have any Boer figures at all to game it.

  4. I think that's right Matt, in every game I've played so far the Boers have remained static and still won so don't really need to be on the table - the models look nice though!

  5. I like the scenario specific rules - always nice to capture the feel of an engagement while hopefully still making an alternative result possible.

    1. Thanks Rob, I'm hoping the British may actually have a chance in this one but we'll see!