Crimean War POW Battle 9

This game was played in early October 2023 at Tom's place and I am grateful to him for providing the following description and accompanying photographs.

The British win the roll for the initiative and the Russians have to deploy their blinds on table. On their tight flank they deploy their Cossack brigade masking their 1st infantry Brigade (8 battalions) supported by the C-in-C and two battalions of light infantry. Next to them is the Light Dragoon Brigade masking the 2nd Infantry Brigade (6  battalions) between the line of supply and the hill. On the hill on the Russian left they deploy their 3rd Infantry Brigade supported by 5 batteries of guns (2 heavy & 3 light) with a dummy blind deployed behind them.

Seeing the Russian deployment of their blinds the British decide to deploy their Light Brigade on their left flank with orders to move around the Russians to threaten the Russian line of supply. They deploy their 3rd Infantry Brigade (3 battalions) plus two artillery batteries on their line of supply with orders to move forward then deploy to hold the flank. On the right, the British C-in-C deploys the 1st and 4th Infantry Brigades and Guards Brigade (10 battalions) to the left of the hill with orders to advance to take the hill on the Russian side of the table. They allocate 60 points to the hill on the Russian side of the table and 30 points to the hill on their side of the table. The three British dummy blinds are allocated with one to move forward to the hill in the centre of the table on the left, the second to move forward and deploy in the cultivated area in the centre and the last blind is to advance and hold the hill on the British side of the table.

The Russian orders are for the Cossacks to move forward over the hill in the centre of the table to cover the advance of the 1st Infantry Brigade who are to move forward to occupy the hill but not to advance over the crest (so as not to expose themselves to heavy British fire) The Dragoon Brigade has orders to move forward across the front of the hill on their side of the table and then to move to the hill on the British side of the table. The 2nd Infantry Brigade has orders to move forward along the road to cover the flank of the 1st Infantry Brigade and to cover their own line of supply. The 3rd Infantry Brigade and artillery has orders to hold the hill on their left flank, As the hill was impassable to horse and artillery they choose to deploy their two heavy guns on the right of the hill and the three light batteries behind the hill to cover their exposed left flank. The Russians allocate 45 points to the hill in the centre of the table and 30 points to their hill in their deployment area. 

In the game, the British main attack moves forward but is held up for several turns by the Russian dragoons who are wiped out after several suicidal charges. The tentative British attack results in them only managing to get a single unit on the hill managing to dispute the objective so they did not loose the objective points but the Russians still manage to get half the points they allocated.

On the British left the Light Brigade get held up by poor initiative and the Russian Cossacks. The Brigade suffers heavy losses from the Russian riflemen before breaking through and moving towards the Russian line of supply. However, they do not make it before the end of the game. The British 3rd Brigade and artillery valiantly hold their position when threatened by the Cossacks and the Russian 1st and 2nd Brigades. The Russian C-in-C, recognising the situation, rushes over to change the 2nd Brigade's orders and instructs them to move to the left to threaten the rear of the British main attack, but the British send their Guards Brigade round to cut them off.

The Russian Cossacks pass round the 3rd Brigade's flank to the British line of supply and in response the British turn their guns around and force one unit of Cossacks to retire. However, the last Cossack unit passes its morale test in the last turn (needing less then 4 on a d20 to pass) therefore leading to -30 point to the British for the loss of their line of supply. The Russian C-in-C moves over to the 1st Brigade to change their orders to attack but it was to late in the game to take effect.

At the end of the game, both sides had 83% of their army remaining. The Russians had taken their main objective (45points) and half the value of their other objective (15) points, giving them a total of 142 points. The British held their 30 point objective they were disputing their 60 point objective but had lost their line of supply, giving them a net zero objective points. So the British only had 83 points, resulting in a big victory to the Russians.