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.