Sunday, 27 August 2017

Sunday's Game - the Crimean War

Today's "regular" game has seen the Crimean War armies out of the boxes for the first time in a year. The game was pretty much a repeat of scenario used for the Napoleonic game of two weeks ago whereby both sides were attempting to control roads on opposite sides of  very difficult hill. The terrain was the same as that game, with the western European building replaced by some more eastern types and a number of the woods removed.

Please note that I have made little attempt to organise the images in this post into any sort of chronological order.

The armies were large. The Russians had two full infantry divisions - 32 battalions and six batteries - and a cavalry division of 4 line and 4 cossack regiments supported by a cossack battery. The Allied army could count, 11 British, 13 French and 6  Sardinian infantry battalions, 5 British and 3 French cavalry regiments plus 5 British, 3 French and 1 Sardinian batteries. So in all 62 battalions, 16 cavalry regiments and 16 batteries. The majority of the figures are Great War Miniatures, with some with some Foundry and Perry to make up differences. The rules were the usual house rules, as published on this blog. 





The Sardinians began the game in position, occupying two small redoubts with a bersagleri battalion in each, and four battalions and a battery in camp at the foot of the hill. The rest of the armies were to deploy more or less diagonally opposite of each other.





The Russians had the first move. One division went left to secure the hill while the other one swung wide to the right to move around Allied left. The regular cavalry went to the right, while the cossacks operated on the left.





For the Allies the Sardinians  abandoned the redoubts and redeployed across the base of the hill. The French held the right where they could extend beyond the Russian left, while the British secured the left.





Things developed slowly as both sides found the going slow on the steep hill. First blood was spilled when four large Russian batteries opened on Cathcart's British Division. The Russian bombardment continued relentlessly here and in the space of two or three turns most of the division was cut to shreds.





The Russian infantry on the left secured the crest of the hill, but weren't keen to push across it in the face of British rifle fire. 





The French pressed forward relentlessely. Their cavalry drove back the cossacks, then dared to attack three Russian batteries frontally. It was a risky move, but the failure of one Russian battery to cause any serious casualties allowed the French cavalry to get amongst two batteries and drive the gunners away.



As the French infantry began to dominate the Russian right, the Russians on the hill moved forward against the Sardinians. They drove off the first Sardinian line, but could not drive the supports. The Russians desperately needed to steal the initiative and if they were able would be able to sweep the hill clear... But to wasn't to be and there the attack stalled. The Russian infantry on the right finally got going and drove back two battalions of the Guards. The Light Brigade attempted to intervene, but this was no position for cavalry and it achieved little




But the end was nigh on the Russian left. The French had the better numbers and despite a couple of spoiling attacks by two battalions the Russian line began to crumble. 





Here we ended the game. The Allies could claim victory, having gained the road on the Russian right, while defending their own road.



It was an excellent day of gaming. We had played for maybe six hours in a wet and windy day.

16 comments:

  1. Yay - the Allies finally beat those pesky Russkies! I was beginning to wonder if it was actually possible! Wish I had been able to join you guys but actually did spend half the day with the family, including brunch at Karaka

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    1. Poor ol Cathcart's division though got trapped in a narrow area face by four big batteries. They simply took out one battalion in succession. The French cavalry taking out two batteries really turned the game for them.

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  2. Sounds great, spectacular pictures of a wonderful looking game!

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    1. Thank you Phil. It was nice to see all those figures on the table again.

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  3. A wonderful collection on a grand scale and in 28mm as well. Truly impressive.

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    1. Thank you Pat. I will take that as high praise after looking at some of your superb games.

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  4. Great looking game there, and it seemed that the Russians were going to prevail there for a while, especially with the mauling of that British division.

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    1. Once the French got themselves into a decent line it was all over for us Russians. They were simply able to extend beyond our left flank. In retrospect we should have ignored the hill because it proved too difficult to pass over. If we had masked the hill and focussed on the flanks we would have done much better.

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  5. A stunning wargame spectacle, Mark! So many fine looking troops out for battle and your church on a hill is superb! What a wonderful focal point for a game. Phil (above) is pleased to see the French carry the day, I bet.

    Outstanding, Mark!

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    1. Thank you Jonathan. When those big divisional lines formed it was a truly impressive sight - the images don't really do them justice.

      It was good to see the French do so well - as they did historically I hasten to add.

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  6. An excellent looking game Mark...
    It's nice to see so many toys on the table.
    I am currently (slowly) re-basing my whole Crimean collection and seeing this gives me motivation.

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks Aly. It was nice to see them "released" from their boxes for the first time in nearly a year. I really enjoyed seeing the French rolling forward...maybe one day there might be some Austrians for them to fight three or fours later (hint, hint...).

      But seriously seeing the armies on the table has inspired me to get on to the Heavy Brigade a little later in the year.

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  7. I am hoping that re- basing and wargaming with my toys will get me out of the sculpting fug I am currently in...
    If I need it for a game there is a pretty good chance I will make it...
    The more eye candy the better :-)

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Ah...I might just have a solution. I'll invite you to a game down here, with plsenty of time to plan...maybe a year out. I'll make it a substantial game - two or three divisions a side - and organise lunch, and maybe a bottle or two. How is that for an incentive?

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  8. Replies
    1. Thank you Colin. It was tremendous fun too!

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