Crimean War Battle 15

Tom was the host for this game, played in early May 2024. He also produced this AAR, for which I thank him.

In this game the Russians won the initiative and the British had to deploy on table. They chose to refuse their left flank, covering this with two dummy blinds and the cavalry brigade to act as feints. They deploy the 1st Infantry Brigade with one battery of artillery on their right with orders to move forward to the broken ground hill on the Russian left. To their left was the Guards Brigade with orders to protect the right side of the hill and block any advance on the line of supply. The 2nd Infantry Brigade was positioned to the left of the guards with orders to move to and hold the hill (allocating 30 objective points). The 3rd Infantry Brigade was deployed to the right with orders to cover the flank. The British intent was to hold the one hill, then to see the Russian deployment and to use their superior command control to counterattack.

The Russians chose not use their movement bases in favour of moving onto the table already in formation and faster movement to make the most of their limited command control. The Cossacks moved up to left of the wood in the centre of the table, covering the advance of the 1st Infantry Brigade (with 2 heavy batteries), who had orders to deploy 2 battalions in the village (allocating 30 objective points) then to move to the steep hill on the other side of the table and deny the British any objective points. To their right on the other side of the village, the 2nd Infantry Brigade moved onto the table towards the hill on the British side of the table with orders to deny the objective to the British. The Russian 3rd Infantry Brigade (and two light batteries) moved onto the table to the right of the hill with orders to hold it (allocating 30 objective points) with 2 Battalion of infantry, then to move the remainder to the hill in the British centre to join the attack with the 2nd Brigade. On the far left the Russian Light Dragoons moved onto the table with orders to move round the edge of the table behind the British flank then to cross the British line of supply and attack the rear of the hill.

The attack went well for the Russians. On their left, the Cossacks were charged by the British cavalry and evaded behind the supporting infantry where they remained for the rest of the game. The Russian infantry moved forward with two Battalions moving onto the steep hill exposing the two dummy blinds. The British cavalry then  charged the Russian columns in an attempt to delay their movement, but, after two turns of fighting, one cavalry regiment was routed and the other was forced to retire. The Russian infantry advance stopped at this point due to a lack of orders and remained in position. The British 3rd Brigade fired on the stationary Russian columns at long range while under fire from the Russian heavy batteries.

In the centre the 2nd and 3rd Russian Infantry Brigades converged on the British hill where the 2nd Line Brigade were deployed, their left protected by 3rd Line and a gun battery and their right by the Guards Brigade. The Russian columns marched through heavy fire from the deployed British (over 130 fire factors per turn.) The Russians made repeated charges over the next few turns.

The Russian 3rd Infantry Brigade charged the guards to the right of the hill and managed to get into melee, breaking one of the guards units (20 morale roll on top of a lost melee) The guards fell back and the Russian 3rd Brigade managed to get one battalion onto the hill and hit the exposed flank of the British infantry. British 1st Brigade and artillery moved forward, forcing the Russian Dragoons back and after one charge hitting the shaken Rifles the dragoons were cornered by the hill. However, the game ended before the British managed to get to the hill to dispute it.

At the end of the game the Russians had 70% of their army remaining and had taken both their objectives giving them 130 points. The British had 75% of their army remaining but as their one objective was disputed they only gained 15 objective points, giving them a total of 90 points. So a major victory to the Russians.