Crimean War POW Battle 8

Played at Tom's house in early September 2023 using figures from his 25mm collection. Thanks again for the report.

This game had two objectives positioned diagonally away from each other, one on the British side of the table and one on the Russian. The British roll a one for the position of their line of communication leaving it only 6” from their right. The Russians roll a 20 leaving their line of communication only 24” from their left. So both lines of communisation were opposite each other at one end of the table. The British get the initiative and the Russians are forced to deploy their blinds on the table. They position their 1st Infantry Division with attached Schutzen (light infantry) in the fields on their far right. Their 2nd Division, C-in-C with two light and one heavy batteries are positioned to the left of the woods. The Cossacks are placed in the centre with the 3rd Infantry (3 battalions) plus one heavy and one Llght battery behind the hill and the Dragoons to their right.

Both sides then write their orders and allocate their objective points, both sides place 60 objective points on the objective on the opponents side of the table and nothing on the other on their own side of the table. As the objective on their side of the table is distant from their line of communication, the British player decides to put the C-in-C, artillery Guards, 3rd and 4th Brigades on one blind to come on to the table on their line of communication with the1st Brigade and one dummy blind to come on the table behind the woods. All the infantry have orders to advance on the Russian line of supply and the hill. They position the Light Brigade on their far left to make a demonstration against the hill on their side of the table with three dummy blinds to bluff the the Russians as to the position of their main attack.

The Russians order both the 1st and 2nd Brigades and attached units to advance to and attack the hill on the British side of the table. The Cossacks have orders to move forward and to skirt behind the woods on the British side of the table to threaten the British line of communication. Their 3rd Infantry Brigade is ordered to occupy the hill but hold position behind the crest. The Dragoons had orders to engage forward against the British line of communication.

The British have a disappointing start with limited initiative, the Light Brigade fails to get to the hill to impose their presence and prevent the Russians using strategic movement to get to the hill. At the other end of the table they have similar issues with the Infantry only managing to advance slowly, as the woods in front of them turn out to be impassable. The Russians get maximum initiative and their infantry on the right rushes forward and manages to occupy the British hill in the first turn. The 2nd Brigade and artillery move up on their left to support them. In the centre the Cossacks move forward in the centre the infantry and artillery take the hill and the Dragoons move forward on the left. Over the next few turns the British infantry move slowly forward forcing the Dragoons back and developing their attack on the hill and the Russian left, while the Russian infantry hides behind the hill crest. The Russian C-in-C on the right, seeing that his forces are only faced by the Light Brigade changes, the 2nd Brigade's orders instructing them to move behind the woods to their right to take the British line of communication. He then changes the orders for this 1st Brigade to move back to the hill in front of their line of supply.

The next few moves are a race for the British to develop their attack while changing the 1st Brigade's orders back to cover their line of communication. The Light Brigade sacrifices themselves to delay the advance of the Russian 2nd Brigade while their 1st Brigade shoot off and chase the Cossacks from their line of communication.

At the end of the game the British 4th Brigade had chased off the Russian Dragoons and forced them back to their line of supply. The Guards and 3rd Infantry Brigade has stormed the hill and chased off the Russian artillery and were pushing back the Russian infantry. However, the Russian 1st Brigade made it in time to support their beleaguered left flank and protect their line of communication and support their troops on the hill.

At the end the Russians had 75% of their strength still intact and had taken their 60 point objective, giving them 135 points. The British had 80% of their army remaining but had only managed to dispute their objective so had 80 points. So the result was a decisive victory for the Russians.