Crimean War Battle 11

A game played at Tom's house in late October 2023. My thanks to him for the pictures and text.

In this game the Russians won the initiative roll and the British have to deploy their blinds on the table.

The British deploy their 4th Infantry Brigade blind in column of march on their far right beyond the wood. The 3nd Brigade’s (with C-in-C) blind is deployed on the other side of the wood also in march column. The 1st and 2nd Brigades' blinds are deployed on, and adjacent to, the road on the line of supply. The Light Brigade’s blind is deployed to the left of the cultivation next to the road. On the British left they deploy their two dummy blinds. Both sides then write orders.

The Light Brigade has orders to move forward to the steep hill on the Russian side of the table then to circle round to the left to shield the left flank and to delay any Russian manoeuvres. The 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades have orders to move forward to the crossroads, the 1st Brigade to deploy facing the left to protect the flank while the 2nd Brigade must deploy to defend the crossroads (assigning 30 objective points) from any frontal attacks, The 4th Brigade has instructions to move forward to take the hill on the Russian Left (assigning 60 objective points). The 3rd Brigade are to move forward to form a link between the 2nd and 4th Brigades and to move towards the Russian line of supply.

The Russians give orders to the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades (with the C-in-C) to take the two hills to the right of the road (assigning 30 points to the nearest hill and 60 points to the furthest). The Light Dragoons are to hold the line of supply while the Heavy Brigade are ordered to move to and to hold the hill on their left.

In the first move the Russians move their 1st Brigade onto the table, discarding their blind to be able to deploy directly and move round the wood to allow them to attack the far hill in next move. The 2nd Brigade with the C-in-C, heavy artillery and Schutzen (light infantry) also deploys directly on table without a blind and use all their initiative to move between the two areas of cultivation and occupy the hill to the right of the road. The Light Dragoon blind moves onto the table fully deployed and stops 12” onto the table. The Heavy Dragoons, also on a blind, move forward in march column behind the hill on their left. The British first move gets the 4th Brigade to move forward and deploy their blind to the rear of the hill on the Russian side of the table. The 3rd Brigade moves forward and deploy in front of the cultivated area. The 2nd Brigade and one battery of guns move forward and deploy on the crossroads. The 1st Brigade deploys to their left facing to the left flank. The Light Brigade deploys off their blind and make a maximum move forward to face the Russians on the hill.

Over then next moves the Russians occupy both of their objective hills and the C-in-C moves frantically round trying to change the brigades' orders to get the infantry to turn and move to their left to attack the British flank, but a series of low initiative rolls and some confusion delays this movement. On the British right their 4th Brigade moves over the crest of the hill and discovers the Russian Heavy Dragoons on the other side. Two regiments of dragoons immediately charge the British line. Poor morale die means two units are shaken and the third forced to retire shaken (20 morale roll). But the defensive fire from the two shaken units manages to halt one of the cavalry units, the other charges home but the British infantry unit manages to hold after losing the melee. Over the next few moves the 4th Brigade forces the Russian dragoons of the hill and eventually chase them all from the table.

In the centre, the British 3rd Brigade slowly moves forward giving long range support fire to the 4th Brigade then swinging round to threaten the Russian Light Dragoons defending the Russian line of supply. The British 1st and 2nd Brigades hold their position protecting the crossroads.  Due to low initiative, the Light Brigade gets caught by the Russian infantry and the C-in-C has to rush over to pull them back behind the 1st Infantry Brigade (one regiment in the process) and redeploying them on the left of the infantry when the Russian infantry move round to attack the flank.

At this point the Russians get their act together and launch a co-ordinated attack. The 1st Brigade swings round behind the lake and charges the cavalry protecting the British right. In the ensuing melee the cavalry force the Russian infantry to retire but have to follow up only to get routed by a flank charge from another Russian infantry battalion. While the Russian 1st Brigade keeps the British artillery and cavalry busy, the 2nd Brigade (supported by their heavy batteries firing at close range) wipe out one battalion. The 1st Brigade then charge home and over the next three moves pushes the remaining British battalions back towards their line of supply. The British C-in-C dashes over to the 4th Brigade and changes their orders to get them to move back to defend the line of supply (using strategic movement) they move 48 inches.

At the end of the this exciting game both sides have taken their objectives giving them 90 objective points each, the British had 78% of their strength remaining and the Russian had 74%, giving the British a winning draw.