Sunday, August 20, 2023

Battle of Spion Kop, a Bloody Big Battles scenario

I was inspired to run a Boer War scenario from a wargaming friend who had been reading a book about the Boer War.  I have not run a Boer War battle in a long time so figured I'd give it a go again.  This time using the Bloody Big Battle rules.  It turned out the Spion Kop scenario would work out good because I had all the miniatures for the scenario painted up and based already.  This would also be my first foray into the Bloody Big Battles rules.  I played in a Franco-Prussian War game awhile back, but really couldn't get into the rules as a player.

In all the Bloody Big Battles scenarios, you will notice a lot of terrain.  They are not simple throw down a few terrain elements, these can be elaborate winding rivers to expansive hills.  I wanted to see if I could come with a way to simply create these features for this game and future games.  I don't want to spend a lot of time building fancy terrain when I will only use the setup for a couple sessions and then I'm onto the next battle with a different layout.  I also really don't have the room to store the terrain.

I have a lot of future Bloody Big Battles scenario options that I want to do in the future in periods I already have a lot of 15mm miniatures for: Crimean War, 1859 Franco-Austrian War, and Boer War.

The Spion Kop, Boer War scenario by Anton van Dellen is a good one.  I would drop the British artillery can not fire at a Boer target if a British unit is within 9", British artillery suffers a left shift because of Boer camouflage, and British artillery suffers low ammo if they roll a 10 or more.

It is certainly a challenge to figure out visibility between units when you have hills in the battle.  I need to build a diagram to explain when units can see each other and when they are blocked by contours.

In the playtest and at the club, the British has it hard.  I was able to get to a draw in the playtest.  The club game we only made it through half the scenario turns and the British were struggling to take any of the objectives.

Video on the terrain and setup of the Spion Kop scenario.

Video showing the results from each of the 8 turn playtest.

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