Crimean War Battle 14

This game was played at the end of April 2024 at Tom's place. Once again, I am grateful for his report.

For this weeks game as usual the Russians lose the initiative roll and have to deploy on table. Looking at the table and, seeing that the hill in the centre of the table is rough terrain, they decide not to have this as one of their objectives. Instead they intend to make a demonstration against the hill with the 2nd Infantry Brigade (6 battalions) while the 1st Infantry Brigade (8 battalions) is deployed to their right to take the British line of supply (allocating 60 objective points). They deploy their 3rd Infantry Brigade, plus all the artillery, on the hill on their side of the table allocating 30 objective points.. The Cossacks are deployed in front of the 2nd Infantry Brigade with orders to move first to the central hill to mask the advance of the infantry and then to move round the hill to threaten the hill on the British side of the table. The Dragoons are to be held off table to come onto the table on their line of supply on turn three. The dummy blind was deployed behind the hill on the Russian side of the table to fool the British into thinking this was where their dragoons were deployed.

The British allocate the full 45 objective points to the central hill and 30 points to the hill on their side of the table. In their first move they move their two dummy blinds onto the table on their far right into the shelter of the woods to make them difficult to spot. Their 2nd Infantry Brigade (3 battalions and the reserve artillery) moves onto the table and hides behind the crest of the h   ill (30 point objective) The Guards Brigade rolls a 6 for initiative and manages to reach the central hill (45 objective points) and deploys behind the crest.  To their left the 1st Infantry moves onto the table to protect the flank. To their left the 3rd Infantry Brigade moves up the road from the line of supply. On the far left, the British cavalry brigade blind moves up the side of the table with orders to move round the Russian flank and occupy the Russian line of supply.

In the Russian first turn they only manage to spot the British 3rd Infantry Brigade on the road. The Russians deploy the Cossacks onto the table and, using their 4 initiative, they move the individual units 24” forward to mask the advance of the infantry moving up behind. The first two infantry brigades also deploy straight onto the table and use their 12” column movement to rush forward to close with the British. The blind for the remaining Russian Infantry Brigade (3 battalions of line infantry, 2 Shutzen. 2 heavy batteries and three light batteries) move forward over the crest of the hill on their side of the table.

In response, the British Guards move over the crest of the hill ready to fire on the advancing Russians and the 1st Infantry Brigade deploys to their right. On the road the 3rd Infantry Brigade starts to deploy and on the left the cavalry move up the left hand table edge. The 2nd Brigade remains hidden on the rear hill objective and the two dummy blinds remain hidden behind the wood on the far right.

As the game develops the Russian 2nd Brigade gets into close range of the hill before the British Guards and 1st Infantry Brigade manage to fire their first volley, the group fire reaching 200 firing factors and inflicting 13 hits, but only managing to force one of the Cossack regiments to retire. As the Russian attack on the hill develops,  the British C-in-C rushes back to the leader of the 2nd Infantry Brigade (3 battalions and 3 medium artillery batteries) and changes his orders to move forward to move and attack the left of the Russians as they attack the hill. These come under long range artillery fire from the Russians on the hill opposite, hitting the 2nd Brigade commander and delaying their advance.

On the British left their cavalry move round the flank of the advancing Russian infantry and make their way to the Russian line of supply. However, the Russian dragoons arrive on table in time to block their advance. A lengthy cavalry melee ensues with the Russian cavalry managing to tie down the British cavalry and preventing their advance. The Russian 1st Brigade (8 battalions) continues to move forward and, with the help of the remaining Cossack unit, manages to close with the the British 3rd Brigade (3 battalions) and, after a series of melees, the British brigade is finally overwhelmed and the Russian infantry manage to occupy the British line of supply.

In the centre the Russian attack on the central hill is stalled by the weight of fire from the guardsmen and the broken ground but their attack on the 1st Brigade hits home and breaks one of the British battalions and forces a second to retire. However, the British 2nd Infantry and artillery move up and manage to save the day, cutting down the Russians and  leaving only one Battalion out of the six still remaining at the end of the game.  The Russian C-in-C tries to move over to get the remaining Russian infantry on the hill to their left but does not manage to get them moving before the end of the game.

When the Game finishes both sides have suffered 30% losses and, therefore, both have 70 points worth of troops available. The British hold both of their objectives giving them 75 points but have lost their line of supply (-30 points) giving them a total of 115 game points. The Russians hold both of their objectives (British line of supply 60 points plus the hill on their own side of the table 30 points), giving them a total of 160 points so a win for the Russians.