Crimean War POW Battle 6

This game was played in the third week of August 2023 using Principles of War rules and 25mm figures. My thanks to Tom for allowing his account to be placed here.

This week the Russian commander from the last game demands a second chance but this time gets to play the British. The Russians roll a ‘1’ for line of communication leaving this only 6” from their right flank. The British roll an 8 and their line of communication was 48” from their right. The British win the initiative and the Russians are again on the defensive and have to lay out their blinds on the table. They deploy their Third infantry Brigade (3 battalions) and one light gun to protect their line of supply. The Second Infantry Brigade (6 battalions) with one light battery was placed between the wood and the hill in the Russian deployment area. The Russian C-in-C with the remainder of the artillery and two Schutzen battalions are deployed on the hill with the First Infantry Brigade (8 battalions). The Cossacks and the Dragoon Brigade are deployed on the far left. Both sides then get to assign their objective points and write orders. The Russians assign 30 points to the hill on their own side of the table and 60 points to the hill on the British side of the table in front of their line of supply. The British assign 20 points to the hill on their own side of the table and 60 points to the hill on the Russian side of the table and the remaining 10 points on the hill in the centre of the table.

The Russians order the Third Infantry Brigade to hold their line of communication. Their Second Brigade was to move forward and threaten the British hill from the right. The C-in-C and First Brigade are to hold the hill in their deployment area while the Cossacks are to move forward to threaten the hill on the British side of the table. The Dragoons on the far left are ordered to move round the cultivated area to turn the British right flank. The British deploy their C-in-C and Light Brigade on their far left with orders to move to the hill in the centre of the table, the C-in-C allowing flexibility to change orders once he knows the Russian dispositions. The infantry battalions are all ordered to move onto the table to the left of the woods - First Division between the woods and the cultivated area, the Guards deployed next, then the Third Division and finally on the far right the Fourth Division with two medium artillery batteries. One dummy blind was ordered to move into the woods and the other blind was ordered to move onto the rear of the hill in front of the British line of communication.

In the first turn, the British blinds all move onto the table and reach their initial positions. In their turn the Russians manage to spot all the British infantry brigades leaving the light cavalry and the two dummy blinds hidden in the woods or behind the hills. The Second Infantry Brigade, Cossacks and Dragoons move forward but the other commands remain stationary. Over the next moves the Cossacks come under heavy fire from the British Fourth Infantry Brigade and artillery while masking the Russian line. The Dragoon advance is stalled as the British infantry form up right to the table edge, leaving them no room to deploy. The Russian Second Brigade moves forward to confront the British First Brigade, managing to get two battalions into contact before the British C-in-C moves the Light Brigade off the hill to threaten their flank. The Russian First Brigade moves forward behind the Cossacks.

The Russian C-in-C then rushes up and down the table changing orders, the Third Brigade being ordered to move off the line of communication over the hill to threaten the rear of the Light Brigade. He then rushes back down the table to change the orders tor the Dragoons to pull back and move to the Russian line of communication. The Guards in the centre come under fire from the Russian artillery on the hill, suffering heavy casualties and being forced to halt to reform after units are forced to retire,

The Russian Second Brigade is finally forced to retire back towards the C-in-C after loosing half their units. Seeing the strength of the British firing line, the Russian C-in-C gets cold feet and orders the First Brigade to retire back behind the hill. On the plus side the Russian Third Brigade moves behind the British left charging and forcing back the Light Brigade and then charging the Rifle Brigade in the flank. However, the Rifle Brigade holds and the Light Brigade manages to reform and force the Russians back.

At the end of the game, both sides have managed to hold the objective on their own side of the table but have lost their other objectives leaving the British on -40 points and the Russians on -30 points. The British had suffered 20% casualties and the Russians 30% leaving both sides on a net 40 points.