Battle Report: Black Powder ‘Crimea River…’

Warlord Games’s Illustrious leader John Stallard has been presiding over battles at his place with some of the Warlord crew on a Tuesday night, and here one of the brethren brings us tales of glory as they try Black Powder in the Crimean:

Black Powder Crimea fan

Doug: After several months of learning the finer points of Black Powder, refighting the exploits of Wellington in the Peninsular Wars, we decided to change our period and have a try at the Crimean War, John’s favourite period.

Where better to start than the game from the Black Powder rule book the aptly named ‘Crimea River…’ Using some of the finest miniatures I have ever had the pleasure of playing with. John presents us with the armies used for the Rulebook article, a mixture of Warlord, Great War and Foundry miniatures painted by the elustious Dave Andrews and Alan Manders. We were all in for a real treat!

Crimea river map

We played on a 12 foot by 6 foot table and included 3 redoubts for the Russians. Raglans boys would have their work cut out and had no time to be hanging around looking pretty.

Order of Battle

The British (Chez & Steve)

  • Line Brigades of 3 Battalions with Foot Artillery (Left Flank)
  • Line Brigades of 3 Battalions with Foot Artillery (Right Flank)
  • Mixed Turkish Brigade, 2 Turkish Line Battalions with 1 British Line Battalion (Centre Left)
  • Guards Brigade, 2 Guards Battalions with the Rifles (Centre)
  • Highland Brigade of 2 Scots Battalions(Centre Right)
  • Light Brigade, 1 Lancers, 2 Light Dragoons and 2 Hussars with Horse Artillery (Right Flank)
  • Heavy Brigade, 3 Dragoons and the Scots Greys (Centre)

The Russians (Doug & Wojtek)

  • Kazan Brigade, 3 Battalions with Foot Artillery (Right Flank)
  • Moscow Regiments, 3 Battalions with Foot Artillery (Centre left)
  • Volhynia Regiments, 4 Battalion (Left Flank)
  • Preobrazhenski Brigade, 3 Battalions with Foot Artillery. Rifle Armed, Command 8 (Centre Right)
  • Large Redoubt with 2 Guns (Left Flank)
  • Small Redoubt with 1 Guns (Centre)
  • Large Redoubt with 1 Gun (left Flank)
  • Cavalry Brigade, 4 Regiments of Cossacks (in reserve)

Russian and British Lines before a shot had been fired, in all their Glory.

British where given the first turn and wasted no time in getting stuck in with left Flank Line briskly advancing to within Rifle Range to start hammering the Volhynia Regiments supported on the hill by the Highland Brigade

Left Flank supported by the Heavy Brigade and the Turks advanced to the ridge line for a co-ordinated assault on the Russian Right and Centre .

All was proceeding to plan and the Russians where looking nervous when the Light Brigade failed to support the Line Brigade on the right and Guards Division Blundered and promptly left the table in the Centre…

The Russians redressed their lines to bring as many muskets as possible to bear awaiting the Cavalry Brigade in reserve to arrive on the Right Flank while the British Light Brigade where dithering.

Co-ordinated left flank looking very swanky. The Light Brigade have a cup of tea while the Line get stuck in. Earl Grey or Scots Grey tea?

Turn 2

Everything started well for the British with both the left flank and centre looking strong. The Guards
Brigade finally turned up and wasted no time marching straight up the centre to support the
Highland Brigade and engage the Preobrazhenski Brigade and the centre redoubt.

On the right flank undeterred with no support from the Light Brigade the British Line clashed with
Volhynia Brigade. After intense closing fire and a good old bayonet charge both Battalions where
broken… If the Light Brigade take advantage with the Highlander’s support this flank looks won.
On the left flank the Kazan Brigade where proving stubborn. Time to bring up the Heavy Brigade…

The Russian Cavalry Brigade arrives on their right flank. We agreed before the game that starting
turn 2 with a command of 6 the command will increase by one each turn until they arrive.
This was to prove a disaster for the Russians. Having rolled only one order they were unable to
Charge.

Being Put-in between the Light Brigade and the broken Line Brigade in an attempt to prevent
the line retreating and the Light Brigade Supporting they suddenly looked liking sitting ducks!

Turn 3 Charge of the Light Brigade

Being able to react on Initiative the Light Brigade thundered into the Russian Cavalry Brigade
which had just arrived as reserves. With the Lancers leading the charge this was a spetacular sight
unless you where a Russian…

Despite the cavalry disaster on the left flank this turn was to prove pivotal for the Russians as they
weathered the storm and held their ground. The Turkish Brigade pressed the flank of the Kazan
Brigade while the Highlanders and Guards pressed the Centre. The Heavy Brigade failed to support
the infantry giving the Russians a little breathing space was this all to prove too little to late…?

Turn 4 The final turn

The British right flank had only the redoubt to overcome with only the remenents of the Light Brigade
to take it. Never one to turn down a challenge the Lancers lead a full hardy charge face on with a
follow me order from the Brigade commander, Lord Lucan!

The Light Brigade looked on stalwartly to the large redoubt while everyone checked the rules on
how good redoubts where against unsupported cavalry charges to the front. Desperate time called
for desperate measures . Alas the closing fire was to prove fatal and the unit was anniahalated.
Looked great though and had the Russians really worried!

The British centre right was unable to move the stubborn Moscow Regiments preventing them
from engaging the centre redoubt.

The Heavy Brigade finally arrived to be forcing the Kazn Brigade into square on the British left flank
while in the centre the rifles where locked in mortal combat supported by the guards against the
Preobrzhenski Brigade.

Heavy Brigade and Turks press Kazan Brigade. Rifles and Preobrzhenski slog it out

Moscow Regiments vs Highlanders. All is quiet on the Right Flank. Where did the Lancers go…?

Conclusion

Great fun, with the British being declared the victors. Although no redoubts had been taken only two
of the Russian Brigades remained unbroken out of 5…

Although still playing Black Powder it was great to feel how different the period played. Smaller
Cavalry units are a challenge and the different infantry ranges. We had all the British armed with
rifles giving them a 24’ Range where the Russian Brigades had only 18’ range from muskets.

We also gave all the British Line a command of 8 with the Guards being a 9 versus the Russian Line
being a 7. This really meant the British can be relied on for those critical command rolls as was
demonstrated in the first turn of this game although that rivalry of Cavalry vs Infantry and
Guards still came through in spectacular fashion with failure and blunders.

We will continue to play different periods of Black Powder as well as giving this one a further bash,
we do need more players to speed up that British advance…

Finally a huge thanks to John for use of his home and prized miniature collection and let us know
your thoughts on the different periods for Black Powder. AWI and ACW are all calling to me…

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