Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Capture the British Camp. A Crimean Battle

Today we headed up to Colin's for a afternoon game using his British, Turkish and Russian Crimea forces to have a good old Blackpowder scrap. It was my first visit to Colin's since he has completed the work on his new Wargames room and it looked very nice indeed. This was my first time fighting this period So I took command of the Russian forces tasked with over running the British/Turkish camp along with Collin and my Dad took charge of the British/Turkish force charged with keeping the Russian forces at bay for as long as possible, each turn would see the allied defenders reinforced by the British infantry who were marching to the camps aid. We rolled for our generals, my rolls saw my 2 foot brigades of Russian infantry have a command value of 6 and my cavalry a 7, movement looked like it could be slow going. Colin's troops were command values of 6's and 7's throughout and the Allied forces for the best part were 8's apart from the highland brigade who were a 9. The British c-c was a 7. My force was tasked with attacking across the Middle of the table over a small river and Colin's command would launch their attack from the left hand table edge, attacking the Turkish troops who had deployed in the redoubt area. My Dad deployed two British rifle units on the two hills infront of the camp and on the far left of the British was the Heavy cavalry brigade. 3 brigades of British infantry would be arriving via any place along the British table edge though in what order would would be determined by a dice roll. So with that the Russians launched their lightning quick attack before the main British infantry could arrive...... Yeah right, our Russian force sauntered onto the table, with one move only, one battery of mine stayed off table as did Colin's brigade of Cosacks and Ulans who were to eventually arrive later in the game. One of Colin's infantry brigades however wasted no time in advancing full moves towards the Turkish defenders. I did learn a harsh lesson in the first turn mind when I sent a battery of guns up the road and over the bridge only to be charged by a unit of Dragoons and destroyed while still limbered! I'm used to playing Blackpowder in 15mm so we use centimetres, 2 moves (36inches) covers alot longer distance in this scale oops, lesson learned!


My Russian March columns entering the table at a slow march, most of mine and Colin's Russians made slow progress across the battlefield.

The Russian infantry storm towards the Turkish defenders as the first shots of the game are fired. This area of the battlefield was to see a major tussle as the Russians attacked the redoubt and over many turns of bloody hand to hand combat the Turkish defenders repelled the attack holding their ground heroically while awaiting the British reinforcements.

After a few turns of very slow going from my Russian infantry my Brigade commander suddenly remembered what he was there for and got the whole infantry brigade to move 3 moves pushing them up to hill. The British riflemen who by this time were supported by a reinforcing battalion of British guard infantry evaded the charge and left the guardsmen to deal with the oncoming Russian horde.

The Brithish guards in line formation strengthen the allied centre as more reinforcements arrive in the form of the Highland brigade. With this arrival I ordered my second brigade to charge the guards, Blunder!! One Russian Battalion charged forward one move right into canister range...the result the following turn was one Russian battalion becoming shaken. Colin kindly tried to help these poor Russian infantry with a charge against the artillery with the Cossack cavalry who suffered a even worse fate and routed as result of the closing fire.

A penny for my dads thoughts as he looks on to the massive Russian attack on his right flank. Thรจ Turkish infantry were still holding after seen two battalions of Russians sent packing but they now found themselves shaken and under attack from fresh infantry. The Highlanders sent 2 battalions to reinforce the flank as the Turkish lancers managed to rout a Russian infantry battalion who had hastily formed square, but been shaken the lances smashed home and broke the square. With glory still fresh in their veins the lances sweeping advanced into the supporting Russian attack column only to find themselves well beaten in the pursuing combat leaving my dad wishing he had pulled the back after their original sucess.

Seen the loss of there fellow comrades 2 battalions of Russian attack columns charged into the Guard unit. After 3 or 4 turns of H/H combat the guards were defeated and forced to retreat shaken, one of my Russian battalions was broken in the combat and the Brigade commander was killed in action to.

All my infantry were now committed to melee were, on the hill another unit of Guards was eventually worn down and routed meaning the Guards brigade was finally broken. The British camp was now insight all tough it was now defended by tne British line infantry and riflemen.

I had to take this picture of Colllins Lancers as when they finally did arrive onto the battlefield they refused to move and take any part in battle! They did arrive well dressed though it has to be said.

Colin and my dad in the thick of the action, before this game they both had dark sets of hair, honestly ๐Ÿ˜‰

Back over to the British right and the Russian infantry were now in melee with the highlanders after pushing back the shaken Turkish infantry. After a couple of rounds of stalemates the Russian Batallion was finally broken when the Turkish infantry charged from the Redoubt and into the flank of the Russian infantry tipping the balance of the combat. The fight for the redoubt was about to come to a conclusion...

Back in the centre the British infantry held firm in the valley against the advancing Russian attack column who became disordered and found themselves at the mercy of the British rifles.

Finally the redoubt fell and the Russian infantry took the position as the Turkish brigade was finally broken and there artillery over run. However it had come at a cost as a Russian brigade was also lost in the assault.

The British riflemen desperately hold onto the camp as the Russian infantry get to with in touching distance after breaking the Guards. However this was as close as they were to get as the Russian brigade caught in the valley were about to be routed.....

With time just about up I made one final charge with a follow me order into the British line infantry to try and break there hold on the camp. Despite a bitter struggle my Russians were routed taking there supporting unit with them. With this my attack had collapsed and my whole right flank was now broken meaning the infantry on the hill in front of the British camp would now have start to withdraw. In the British final turn a unit of Dragoons who had been getting shot away at off my horse artillery managed to charge and break a unit of my lancers but they themselves had become shaken in the process, meaning both sets of cavalry brigades were one unit from been broken.

The British troops cheering as the Russians flee after their defeat in the hand to hand combat! With this time had ran out and the game had come to an end. Both armies had lost 2 brigades at this point and both sides were very close to losing further brigades.

The battle turned out to be a really tough hard slog for both sides. In the later stages of the game I thought I had the Britsh on the brink when the Guards finally broke but a quite spectacular round of morale saw my right flank collapse. Up to that stage my Saving throws had helped me gain the upper hand along with some quite poor British shooting, but the British held firm to just edge the game with a minor victory as they still held the camp. Collins attack onto the the Turkish troops had been a bitter struggle and they took some shifting out of the fortifications, when they finally did break the highlanders brigade had arrived and strengthened my dads British right flank. If the Turkish infantry had failed one or two morale throws earlier in the game I fear that the British flank would have been rolled up and with my attack pushing hard in the centre the camp would have been captured. I Really enjoyed the game and thanks again to Collin for the invite and putting the game on.
 


4 comments:

  1. Excellent photos and write up. Just as I remember it! ........and I've been grey since my 30's! You must come up again soon, weather and work permitting.

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  2. Hello Colin, thanks again for the invite and game and I'd like to come up again next time I can wrangle a lieu day from work. The game looked impressive and was enjoyable to play in.

    Cheers

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  3. Fantastic report, looks like a great game, beautiful figures and elements of terrain...

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  4. What a fantastic looking battle - inspiring models and terrain
    Thanks for sharing!

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