Sunday, 26 September 2021

Graspan – Scenario

On the day following the Battle of Belmont Methuen’s force continued its march north following the route of the railway line. 9th Brigade led the advance while the Guards were allowed to bring up the rear because of the heavy casualties they had suffered the previous day. The following morning (25th November 1899) 9th Brigade reported that the Boers had occupied a line of low hills east of the railway covering the approach to Enslin Station.

The Boer force was not the same one that Methuen had faced at Belmont and included Transvaal Boers with strong artillery support under Commandant Roos de la Ray. Methuen deployed his artillery and commenced a heavy fire on the Boer positions whilst summoning the Guard units forward to support an attack by 9th Brigade.

This scenario focuses on the action on the British right involving the North Lancs, the KOYLI and the Naval Brigade.

Initial deployments - the game will be played using the full width of my 6' x 4' table.

Special Rules

1. Methuen began the battle with a heavy artillery barrage to try to knock out the Boer guns. Rule: The game starts with an additional two turns of counter battery fire, the guns on either side may only fire at the enemy artillery.
2. The field officers in the British Regiments had learnt by now to remove any signs of rank that might attract the fire of Boer marksmen however the Navy personnel did not have the same experience. Rule: The Naval Brigade testing for fallen officers lose their officer on a die roll of 1, 2 or 3.
3. The Naval Brigade showed great elan at the real battle and successfully stormed a kopje. Rule: The Naval Brigade adds +1 to any melee die roll.
4. The Guards were assigned to protect the camp and were called forward in a hurry when battle commenced. Rule: The Scots Guards arrive on turn 3 and the Grenadier Guards on turn 5, they arrive deployed in line on the British base line.

The Boers occupying the high ground at Graspan.

Order of Battle

British C in C Lord Methuen
Guards Brigade (Colville)
Grenadier Guards
Scots Guards
9th Brigade (Featherstonehaugh)
North Lancashire Regiment
Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
1 x Maxim Gun
2 x Batteries Royal Field Artillery (75 & 18 batteries)
Naval Brigade
9th Lancers

Boers C in C Commandant Koos de la Ray
Jacklex Commando
Ross Commando
Newline Commando
2 x Field Artillery
1 x Pom Pom

The KOYLI prepare to advance. These are more very nice Jacklex figures efficiently supplied to me earlier this year by Mark of Jacklex.

Victory Conditions

To win the British must force two of the three Boers Commandos to flee by the end of Turn 12. The Boers win if they can reduce the British force to below 50% strength.


  1. Everything looks great Ian! It will be interesting to see how your battle turns out. Captain Prothero is standing out like the proverbial "sore thumb." I fear that he won't last long in this battle!

    1. I think you're probably right Brad but let's see how the dice fall!

  2. Damn it Carruthers - I told you they were up to something. Why doesn't anybody listen?

    1. Now, now stop that wobbly lip they're only a bunch of farmers, boys and old men mostly...

  3. Spiffing stuff Ian…

    All the best. Aly

  4. Very nice photos there IAN -crisp and detailed- looking forward to the forthcoming battle. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Thanks Kev, I should make a start on the game this week.

  5. Where are all those guns you promised me? There's not enough there for a vicar's tea party. They must be all cunningly camouflaged to escape the Boer counter-battery fire?

    1. Sadly there were only two batteries present but in terms of the number of guns they represent they do significantly outnumber the Boers!