Crimean War Battle 16

Another 25mm battle using Principles of War rules and the figures and terrain of Tom P. This one was played in early June 2024 and I am grateful to Tom for the following report.

In this Crimean War battle the British win the initiative and the Russians get to deploy first. They deployed their Dragoons on the far left with orders to make a demonstration towards the steep hill on the British side of the table and then to move back to a hold position to the right of the line of supply. The 3rd Infantry Brigade (six battalions) and two light batteries were deployed on the line of supply with orders to hold. A dummy blind was deployed in front to the 3rd Infantry Brigade. To the right was the Cossack Brigade with orders to make a demonstration forward to distract the British from the following infantry. On the far right were two infantry brigades (eight battalions each), plus the C-in-C, with two heavy artillery batteries with orders to advance over the hill (30 objective points) and then to advance to attack the British line of supply.

Seeing the Russian deployment (three blinds on each side of the table), the British general decides that he cannot both hold the hill on his right as well as his line of supply as this would spread his troops too thinly, so chooses to assign no objectives and hopes to inflict sufficient casualties on the Russians to make up for this. Therefore, he deploys two dummy blinds behind the hill on the right with orders to make a demonstration on that flank. The Light Brigade and C-in-C move onto the table behind the wood with orders to hold the right flank, sheltering behind the wood. The British 1st Brigade (four battalions) have orders to move forward through the wood and then halt on the edge of the wood. The 2nd Brigade (three battalions) deploys to their left and the 3rd Brigade (three battalions), plus the two artillery batteries are deployed on the far left. Both Brigades had orders to move forward and engage to the hill on the Russian left. The Guards Brigade was deployed behind to form the link between the 2nd and 3rd Brigades.

On turn one, the British move cautiously forward using deployed movement bases so as not to risk being caught out of formation. The Russians fail to spot any of the British blinds and so move cautiously forward using blinds instead of declaring the units and advancing at a faster pace. This fails as the British spot both Russian cavalry brigades, the dummy blind and the Russian infantry brigade on the far right. They quickly begin to form a defensive line in preparation for the expected Russian onslaught.

As the game develops, the Russian Dragoons move forward and reveal the two British dummy blinds before returning to their line of supply. However, this demonstration keeps the Light Brigade and the British C-in-C pinned in their defensive position until it is too late to affect the game. In the centre, the British 1st Brigade moves slowly forward with the light infantry, moving through the woods while the line infantry move into the open, masked by the Russian Cossacks.

The main fight develops on the British left as the Russians move forward (sixteen battalions and two heavy batteries) against six British line infantry units, three Guards battalions and two artillery batteries. The Russians move forward and engage in a series of piecemeal attacks which the British manage to hold off, inflicting heavy casualties and receiving very few in exchange. However, these continual attacks pin the British back, preventing any forward movement.

At the end of the game the British have 95% of their forces remaining. However, the Russians, although only having 75% of their forces remaining, have 30 objective points and, therefore, win the battle with 105 points.