Principles of War in the Crimea

A large scale battle fought at Tom's house in February 2022 using his own POW rules. My thanks to Tom for the text and photographs

Our big Crimean game went down well, three Russian generals and two British and I umpired.

The British gained the first move and advanced onto the table. The C-in-C and the 2nd Division moved up and deployed on their right. The Second Division moving up on their left while the Cavalry Division moved up on the left.

The Russians moved forward with their Dragoon Brigade on their right and after a round of fire from the British second division forcing two units to retire shaken, the remaining unit rashly charged the British line and got shot to pieces. The Russian 1st infantry brigade (8 Battalions) advanced en masse in support of the Dragoons being forced to break up their formation to move round the ponds. This attack developed steadily and eventually, after suffering heavy casualties, managed to come to grips with the British line.

In the centre the Russian grand battery inflicted heavy casualties against the British 2nd Division in the centre of the table as the 2nd infantry Brigade moved forward. Finding the broken ground in front of them heavy going the infantry brigade had to manoeuvre round to attack between the ponds and the broken ground, finally managing to come to grips with the British centre.

On the Russian right their 3rd Infantry Brigade advanced with the Cossack cavalry on their Right. This advance caught the British cavalry division in a pincer movement with the 8 infantry Battalions in front of them and the Cossacks appearing behind them. In an effort to extract themselves the Light Brigade charged forward forcing three Russian infantry battalions back before they ran out of steam and got cut to pieces. The poor command of the Cavalry Division led to the Heavy Brigade and the Horse Artillery being caught between the Cossacks and an infantry battalion. The Heavy Brigade got pushed back in a running fight with the Cossacks before finally chasing them off only to be chased off the field by another unit of Cossacks.

The horse artillery held the Russian infantry in melee for several turns (rolling repeated ‘1’s’ for morale before being wiped out. The Russian right was disordered by the cavalry attack but managed to move forward bringing the British left flank under heavy pressure. A mix of infantry attacking their front and Cossacks on their flanks broke several units, before the Cossacks themselves were beaten off with heavy losses.

At the end of game the Russians had come to grips and had the British on the back foot.