Saturday 17 October 2020

Elandslagaate – The Game

The British advance begins. The Imperial Light Horse are followed by the Gordon Highlanders with The Manchesters on their left.

The Devons move off supported by two batteries of Field Artillery. The job of the Devons is to pin the enemy to their front so that the flanking movement may succeed.

Generals French and Hamilton watch as the attack begins.

The Boers await developments on top of the ridge. The fence section was scratch built for the game, really I should make a few more.

The Boers only have one under strength Battery in this scenario which is good news for the British.

Actually not such good news for the Devons who are in the direct line of fire.

This is the situation by Turn 3. The Devons are taking fire however the other British units are so far unscathed.

The 5th Lancers move up to support the Devons who are under pressure.

After several attempts, The Royal Artillery knock out the Boer guns.

But now the Mausers have sprung into action adding to the Devons losses (including 2 Officers down).

But it's not all one-way traffic as the Boers are taking losses too.

The Manchesters press forward and start to take casualties.

The Devons are now prone (blue counter) and have taken two pins (red counters) but they are doing their job.

With cries of "Remember Majuba!" the Manchesters surge forward and cause the Ross Commando to break and Flee!

It would appear that Ross and his lads have remembered an urgent appointment somewhere else.

The jubilant Manchesters carry the Boer line.

Meanwhile on the right, the Newline Commando wave a sneaky white flag at the Imperial Light Horse who come forward in a gentlemanly way to accept their surrender only to receive a point-blank volley. Fortunately the Boers roll low and only 2 casualties result.

The Newline Commando holds its ground despite the loss of the Ross Commando to their right.

"Charge 'em lads!"

The Manchesters wheel to their left and launch another charge this time directed at the Jacklex Commando.

Who are forced to retreat from the ridge.

At the same time, the Imperial Light Horse charge forward and see off the remaining Boers. It is a text book victory for the British in just 5 Turns.

The first battle for the Gordon Highlanders and they didn't even get a look-in. The war will definitely be over by Christmas.

A convincing win for the British, which was a relief to be honest, although it was always going to be a tough one for the Boers. By flanking the Boer line, the British were able to avoid the massed rifle fire experienced in the Talana Hill game allowing them to close with the bayonet.

This was the first time I had properly played my Melee rules, and they proved to be both dramatic and fun, although I did make one mistake with a charge move that benefitted the British but we don’t need to dwell on that.

Thursday 15 October 2020

Elandslagaate – Scenario

Special Rules
1. In the real battle British Generals French and Hamilton displayed unusual common sense by insisting all the infantry maintain extended order to minimise casualties. Rule: British troops are not subject to the bunching rule and remain in extended order throughout the game.
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). This rule does not apply to the Imperial Light Horse.
3. In the actual battle, the British flanking force advancing along the hill became held up by barbed wire fences near the farm. Rule: It takes a whole turn for a unit to cross the barbed wire fence, during this turn the unit will count as being in close order if fired upon.
4. There was an infamous event during the battle when Boers waved a white flag then opened fire on the British as they moved up to accept the surrender. Rule: Once during the game a Boer unit within 12” of a British unit may wave a white flag (at the start of the turn), the British must move forward 6” and then receive full fire from the Boers without retaliation (all pin markers are removed from the British unit prior to movement).
5. The Imperial Light Horse were awarded two Victoria Cross medals for their gallantry during the battle. Rule: The Imperial Light Horse do not receive PINs in this game.
6. The 5th Lancers famously charged the retreating Boers at the end of the battle inflicting many casualties. Rule: All fleeing Boers must exit the table to the left, the 5th Lancers may charge these (provided they are within 15”) without making the usual Melee die roll. If contacted the Boers are eliminated.

Order of Battle

British C-in-C Major General French
Devonshire Regiment
Manchester Regiment
Gordon Highlanders
Imperial Light Horse
5th Lancers
2 x Batteries Royal Field Artillery

Boer C-in-C Commandant Kock
Ross Commando
Jacklex Commando
Newline Commando
Field Artillery

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