A Further Crimean POW Battle

The second game in a series of clashes, this one one was played at the end of March 2023. As usual, Tom supplied all the details.

This was the second game in the 2023 Crimean War sequence. We cut down the forces to the standard army lists from the rules as we only had two players.

The Russians deploy the Cossacks and the 3rd Brigade to hold the hill next to their line of supply. The 2nd Brigade with the heavy artillery deploy in the centre to the left of the bridge. The 1st Brigade with the Shutzen and the light artillery are deployed in the centre opposite the wood. On the right they deploy the Dragoon Brigade and a dummy blind is deployed on the far right. The British deploy their Light Cavalry Brigade on their left with the 4th Infantry Division on the hill. The Guards Brigade are positioned in the centre facing the back of the wood and the bridge. The 1st Brigade is deployed in the centre to the right of the bridge. The 2nd Brigade deploys on the right on the opposite side of the river with two dummy blinds.

Once they had seen their opponent’s deployments the players rolled for initiative the both sides wrote orders and allocated objective points. The Russians allocate 30 points to the hill on their side of the table and 45 points to the bridge. The Cossacks and 3rd Infantry Brigade /(3btn)  have orders to hold the hill, the 2nd Brigade (6btn+2 heavy Batteries) are ordered to attack to the left of the bridge while the 1st Division (8Btn, 2Shutzen & 3 Light Guns) have orders to cross the stream and to attack beyond the ridge with the Shutzen, using the woods to cover the advance. On the far right the Dragoons are instructed to fall back to their left covering the army's left flank.

The British only allocate 30 points to the hill on their side of the table. The 4th  Brigade has orders to engage through the woods towards the bridge, The light cavalry are ordered to engage around the Russian right hand flank to the Russian line of supply. The Guards have orders to engage to the bridge, the 1st and 2nd Divisions are to engage to the bridge.

In the game the Guards,1st and 2nd Battalions move forward and deploy facing the bridge. The 4th Brigade and cavalry move forward but do not initially deploy. The Russian 2nd Division and heavy artillery move forward and deploy in a line next to the bridge and come under heavy fire from seven British infantry battalions and two artillery batteries (1st & 2nd Brigades.). The fight is uneven and after six moves and several charges the 2nd Brigade is destroyed, the British only loosing one battalion when it advances into within close range of the two Russian heavy batteries. Once the Russian infantry is destroyed  the British 2nd Division quickly reforms and advances to attack the Russian heavy artillery and to take the far end of the bridge.

The Russian Cossacks and 3rd Infantry Division remain on their objective and other than making a demonstration/distraction to threaten the British flank, do not move. In the centre the massive Russian 1st Brigade and attached units get bogged down crossing the stream and finding the woods to be impassable they are forced to attack the British Guards piecemeal. The Guards have their flank securely placed on the impassable woods and manage to hold off multiple charges from the Russians only to be forced to retire on the last move of the game, the Russians losing several battalions in the process.

On the Russian right the Dragoons slowly retire back over the stream followed by the British cavalry who finally manage to catch up with the Russian Dragoons and push them back towards the Russian line of supply. Finding the woods impassable, the British 4th Division is forced to move round the outside of the woods in an attempt to attack the Russian flank, taking long range shots at the Russian Dragoons as they retire.

At the end of the game both sides hold their home objective and the central objective so the Russians to not get their extra 45 objective points. So with objectives even the game came down to casualties. The Russians had 57% of their strength remaining the British 85%, so victory went to the Brits. The Russians are looking to go downhill from this point on as the British cavalry rapidly advance on their line of supply and the Russians by the bridge are surrounded.