Thursday 28 September 2023

Boer Deployment

The Boers don’t need a choice of strategy as such as their objective is to expel the British from Natal. To achieve this, they need to beat the soldiers of the Queen in battle or out manoeuvre them or both.

Once again, I’m using a D6 to determine the deployment of each command (the Orange Free State Boers are automatically deployed to hex 0105 and General Joubert to Ingogo).

1 = hex 0501
2 = hex 0503
3 = hex 1803
4 = Utrecht
5 = Wool’s Drift
6 = Ingogo

The deployment went like this:

Meyer’s Command – hex 1803
Kock’s Command - Ingogo
Botha’s Command – hex 0501

Quite a decent spread of troops. This means that the initial deployment for both sides is as below.

Next post will be the campaign rules.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

British Deployment

I’ve written up some basic Campaign Rules, but my intention is for everything to be dice driven as I’m playing this solo. This should limit my ability to bend things too much in favour of the British but we’ll see!

Before we get to troop deployment, I first need a strategy with which I can then frame my orders to the various British commands. So, I’ll start things off with a D6 die roll against the following British Strategy chart:

1 = secure Ladysmith, Harrismith, Newcastle & Dundee
2 = secure Ladysmith, Harrismith & Newcastle
3 = secure Ladysmith, Harrismith & Helpmakaar
4 = secure Ladysmith, Harrismith & Glencoe
5 = secure Ladysmith, Newcastle & Dundee
6 = secure Ladysmith & Dundee

I rolled a 3 so it’s secure Ladysmith, Harrismith and Helpmakaar. An interesting one as it means I’m taking a southerly line of defence but it’s also quite a wide area to defend.

Anyway, now it’s time to deploy with another D6 to determine deployment of each British Brigade (General White is automatically deployed to Ladysmith).

1 = Newcastle
2 = Dundee
3 = Harrismith
4 = Helpmakaar
5 = Ladysmith
6 = Ladysmith

So this is how it went:

Symon's Brigade - Helpmakaar
French's Brigade - Helpmakaar
Yule's Brigade - Dundee
Hamilton's Brigade - Dundee

This is already causing me a serious headache!

Next up will be the Boer deployment.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Natal Campaign OOB

I have a map so now I need an Order of Battle for the campaign. I’ve tried to make this as historically accurate as possible but have had to bend things a bit to fit it to my actual figure collection.

British Force

C-in-C Lieutenant-General Sir George White
1st Devonshire Regiment
2nd Gordon Highlanders
5th Lancers
Imperial Light Horse
Naval Brigade Detachment
1 x 4.7" Naval Gun
13th Field Artillery
18th Field Artillery
1 x Maxim Gun

Lieutenant-General Sir William Penn Symons
1st Leicestershire Regiment
2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers
21st Field Artillery
1 x Maxim Gun

Major-General John French
1st Manchester Regiment
1st Black Watch
42nd Field Artillery
1 x Maxim Gun

Brigadier-General James Yule
1st Royal Irish Fusiliers
1st King's Royal Rifles
53rd Field Artillery
1 x Maxim Gun

Colonel Ian Hamilton
1st King's Liverpool Regiment
1st Gloucestershire Regiment
69th Field Artillery
1 x Maxim Gun

Sir George White VC

Boer Force

Transvaal Boers
C-in-C General Piet Joubert
2i/c General Daniel Erasmus
Pretoria Commando
Krugersdorp Commando
Boksburg Commando
Middleburg Commando
1 x Long Tom
1 x Krupp Field Gun
1 x Pom Pom

General Lucas Meyer
Vryheid Commando
Piet Retief Commando
Utrecht Commando
1 x Krupp Field Gun
1 x Pom Pom

General Johannes Koch
Johannesburg Corps
German Corps

General Louis Botha
Wakkerstroom Commando
Ermelo Commando

General Piet Joubert

Orange Free State Boers
General Christiaan Rudolph De Wet
Vrede Commando
Heibron Commando
Kroonstad Commando
Harrismith Commando
1 x Krupp Field Gun
1 x Pom Pom

Next up will be the British initial deployment.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Map Revision

As I started to think more about some campaign rules, I realised that the map I had drawn needed to be shifted slightly to the north to allow for the historical lines of approach of the Transvaal Boers. So, I have redrawn the thing taking it 2 hexes further north which adds an extra crossing of the Buffalo River at Wool’s Drift.

I also took the opportunity to add in Isandlwana (well, I had to, didn’t I?) and Majuba has also crept in at the top. Maybe a second battle of Rorke’s Drift is on the cards?

Saturday 2 September 2023

A Campaign Map

One of the things I’ve had in the back of my mind since I started this project was to play some sort of solo campaign and for that I need a game map. I’ve found some images on the web of Boer War hex game maps, but they are very lacking in detail and such games are thin on the ground anyway, so I have resorted to knocking up my own.

I thought I’d start with the Natal area as this seems the most interesting in terms of terrain and is where the action kicked off in the real war. In drawing up the map I have used my copy of The Boer War Atlas as well as the excellent British Battles website and various other maps found on the web.

The map is A4 and each hex = approximately 5 miles

A detail from the area around Ladysmith (in case you can't zoom in on the larger map)

I don’t expect to get any prizes for my draughtsmanship, but I think the map contains all the ingredients I need for a campaign, now I just need to write some campaign rules!