Having landed unopposed at Calamita Bay in the Crimea in 1854 the allied French and British armies have marched south towards Sebastopol with a view to taking the city and destroying its naval and port facilities. The Russians have decided to make a stand along a line of hills outside the city in an effort to stop them or at least to delay them while the city’s defences are improved.
This game was designed to playtest our in-house rules for the period and so far they are surviving quite well. The allies have advanced and are engaging the Russians all along the line. Both sides have a mixture of Divisional Generals from poor to good and this affects the performance of the troops in their Divisions. Command and control are important factors and will ultimately determine the outcome of the game.
So far the allies have advanced into contact but are finding the Russians harder to drive back than they thought and a tough slogging match is scheduled to continue next week.
PART 2 – A STUNNING RUSSIAN VICTORY
The action continued last night but this time there was no doubt as to the direction the battle was taking. Nothing less than a stunning and glorious victory for the Russian Army in the Crimea. From his deathbed, Czar Nicholas ordered church bells to be rung across the empire and a Te Deum to be sung in Moscow. Profound disappointment reigns in both London and Paris and Austria and Prussia are reconsidering their position as ‘neutrals’.
Both the British and French Commanders blamed each other of course but in truth both had deployed badly to start and had attacked piecemeal on too broad a frontage. Their obvious inability to co-ordinate their efforts highlights the need for a supreme allied commander in this theatre. The Russians stood firm with their accustomed doggedness and with a number of well timed counterattacks proved once again that the bayonet is superior to the bullet. Suvorov’s ghost was smiling down on them.
While all sides are considering the positions, below are some photographs from The Times correspondent who was present throughout the battle –
MEANWHILE ON THE ALLIED RIGHT WING THE FRENCH WERE NOT DOING MUCH BETTER. THEY GOT ENTANGLED AMONG THEMSELVES AND ENDED UP ATTACKING THE RUSSIAN DEFENCE PIECEMEAL. THEY WERE REPULSED AT ALL POINTS.
Overall the rules worked quite well and will need very few tweaks before the next game – assuming the allies have not retired to their respective fleets and gone home. Indeed they might be well advised to set up a defensive perimeter around their landing places as the confident Russian army awaits orders from St. Petersburg.