More Principles of War in the Crimea

A game played at Tom's place in mid May 2022. Once again I am grateful to Tom for his words and pictures.

In today’s game the British get to be the attacker and go on the offensive, allocating 30pts to each of the hills on their side of the table and 40 points on the central hill on the Russian side of the table. The general and two brigades of infantry are ordered to attack and hold the Russian central hill supported by the cavalry brigade and a third infantry brigade moving up on their right. The last British infantry brigade is ordered to occupy the Russian central hill in front of their line of supply. The British use two dummy bases to occupy the close cultivation on their left and one to occupy the hill on their right flank.

The Russians are very conservative with their deployment and orders, only allocating 30 points to their central hill. The C-in-C, with the heavy artillery, light infantry and a regiment (4 Btn) of infantry have attack orders to hold the central hill. The second infantry regiment (4 Btn) and three regiments of Cossacks are formed up on the right with orders to hold the close cultivation on the left. The second Russian infantry brigade forms up to hold the area to the right of the C-in-C between the hill and the open cultivation. The dragoons have orders to hold the far right.

The British steal a march on the Russians with two brigades of infantry (6 Btn), two medium batteries and light cavalry heading rapidly to the Russian central hill, with another brigade to protect their immediate right. The Russian C-in-C has very little initiative and only manages to reach the rear of the hill before the British infantry and cavalry spill over the top. A serious battle develops with the British units assaulting the Russians occupying the reverse slope of the hill.

The Russian forces on the right reach their final positions and, due to a lack of initiative, take very little part in the battle as The C-in-C is too busy trying to hold the hill to issue changes of orders to his subordinate officers and bring them to his aid.

The Russians occupying the close cultivation on the left take several turns trying to oust the British light infantry from the farm buildings. But due to their limited orders they do not take any other action to support their C-in-C.

The battle for the hill in the Russian centre lasts for the whole game but in their eagerness to attack, the British throw away their shooting advantage to fix bayonets and draw sabres to charge the Russians on the far side of the hill. The Russians constantly use their limited initiative to rally their units in time to face the next British charge.

Until the last move the British are winning the game being 60 points up for objectives but their aggression finally got the better of them and the two brigades end up routing due to heavy casualties. This left the Russians holding the objective, giving them a 10 point terrain advantage at the end of the game.