Crimean War POW Battle No.3

The concluding game in a three game series, this one was played at the beginning of April 2023. Many thanks to Tom for sharing them.

Continuing our Crimean adventure, after two games the score is tied at one game each so this is for the decider.

The Russians deploy their 1st Brigade (8 Btn plus all 5 batteries) on their right with their Dragoon Brigade (3 Regiments) in support. Their 2nd Infantry Brigade (6 Btn) were deployed to their left and the 3rd Brigade on their left and deploying a dummy blind behind the hill on their left. The Cossacks were kept off table. The British deployed their 1st Infantry on their left, behind the wood, with the Cavalry brigade deployed on the hill to their right. The 2nd Brigade were deployed to the right, then the Guards Brigade with the 4th Brigade to the right and two dummy blinds to the far right in the cultivated area.

After deployment the two generals write their orders. The Russians allocate 30 points to the hill on their side of the board with the dummy blind ordered to hold (behind crest). They allocate 45 points to the village in the centre and order the 2nd Infantry Division to attack the village with the 3rd Infantry Division guarding their flank. The 1st Infantry Division has orders to attack the hill on the British side of the table with the Dragoon Division in support. The Dragoons had orders to stay off table until turn 5 then arrive with orders to threaten the British right flank. The British allocate 30 points to the hill on their side of the table. Their First Brigade was ordered to engage (long range) to the hill. The Cavalry Brigade is ordered to move round the wood and the far side of the marsh to get behind the Russian right flank. The 2nd Infantry Brigade are ordered to move forward and engage (long range)  to the village in the centre. The Guards Brigade were ordered to engage forward to the right of the village and the 4th Brigade were ordered to engage to the Guards' right.

The British have the initiative and move forward, deploying their 1st ,Guards and 4th Brigades when they reach tactical range of the Russians. The 2nd Brigade and artillery are slow to move but the C-in-C manages to force them forward, but cannot deploy. The Cavalry Brigade is slow off the mark, moves forward and fails to deploy. The Russian infantry are already in tactical range so they choose to deploy their units on turn one so they can move at full speed forward.

In the following moves the British manage to form a solid firing line and slow the Russian infantry advance (helped by the British hitting the Russian 2nd Brigade Commander three turns on the trot. The British Rifles deploy in the woods on the right and come under repeated charges from two Russian columns and after some bayonet fighting the Russian attack finally fails. The Russian light artillery form on their right to fire on the British cavalry as they move round the Russian right. The C-in-C quickly dashes over to the Dragoon Brigade and changes their orders to move behind the marsh and engage the British cavalry. The Russians get the first charge and a ‘20’ on the morale die means the British light cavalry retires before they are contacted. The ensuing cavalry melee lasts for the rest of the game as the Russian cavalry, supported by the light artillery, manage to push back the British cavalry.

In the centre the Russian 2nd Brigade manages to move forward and gets two battalions into the village with the other battalions to the left of the village while coming under heavy fire from the British Guards and 4th Brigades. The British 2nd Brigade holds position and manages to get one battalion into the village which forces one Russian battalion to retire and shakes the 2nd. When the Russians manage to deploy their heavy artillery battery to the right of the village the British artillery and an infantry battery comes under close range fire and are forced to retire. The Cossacks arrive on turn five and move forward but the British get a battalion to turn to face and the Cossacks are held in check.  At this point the Russian 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades begin to break up from the heavy fire from the British line.

At the end of the game the Russians hold the hill (30pts) but lose the central village (- 45points) and only have 54 percent of their strength points remaining, giving them a net 45points. The British hold their hill (30 points) and have 80% of their army remaining giving them +110 points. So a major victory to the British.