A Xhosa War Battle using Principles of War

A game played at Tom's place in early January 2023. The Xhosa Wars are also known as the Cape Frontier Wars or the Kaffir Wars and it is the latter term that is used in the following account: -

For today’s game there were two objectives. The Kaffirs placed both objectives on one side of the table and most of the obstructing terrain on the other side of the table or blocking the objectives. This gives the British player a choice either to start on the side with the objectives, but only able to put 30 points on each objective, or start on the other side and have to fight their way past the obstructing terrain to a terrain objective worth 60 points on the opposite side of the table.

In turn one the British move onto the table in one column and deploy on the hill near the centre of the table. The Kaffirs move all their blinds forward, the two blinds on the right only go forward one move as they move into tactical range of the British occupying the hill. The two blinds on the left move forward and cross the half way mark.

On turn two the British spot the Kaffir dummy blind on the right and a foot Kaffir command moving between the wood and the mimosa scrub in the centre. Seeing that all the Kaffirs were deployed on the far end of the table, the British C-in-C takes control of the mounted infantry units and moves them to his right to block the Kaffir flanking movement. The Kaffir formations move forward with the C-in-C occupying the hill by the British baseline.

Over the next few moves the British move their regular infantry off the hill and move them down the table using artillery long range fire to break up the Kaffir formations in the centre. The Kaffir C-in-C changes the mounted commands' orders and sends them back to circle behind the British infantry, using strategic movement to threaten the baggage and the British held hill. To stop this new threat the C-in-C sends the regular mounted infantry and one unit of irregular mounted infantry to cover their vulnerable flank.

The regular mounted infantry cut off the advance of the Kaffir mounted troops forcing two units to retire while the other units to move found behind the mimosa scrub. The fight then boiled down to all the mounted infantry manoeuvring round the hill and British baggage. The British finally manage to force the Kaffirs off the hill but lose their baggage in the process, Meanwhile the British infantry move slowly down the table, destroying one Kaffir command in the process. When the Game ends the Kaffir C-in-C is desperately forming up his units to block the British advance.

At the end of the game the Kaffirs had 45% of their strength remaining and held their 60 point objective giving them a total of 105 points. The British had 75% of their strength remaining with 30 points of objective giving them 105 points but had lost their baggage giving them a final score of 69 points.