September 20, 1854,
Russian army of 78 units opposed to Allies army of 96 units
for a battle of complexity 0.95 at Battalion(II) level
on a 2.5 Km/Hex map
for 40 turns of 6 Hours each.
by Mark Stevens submited on 19-04-2004
Rugged-Defense Playing Statistics
The Battle of the Alma - 20th September 1854
This scenario is using the XIXth Century database engine. You can download it here
This was the first engagement of the Crimean War. The Allied British, French and Turkish forces, having landed at Calamita Bay, were marching south towards the Russian naval base at Sevastapol when they found their way barred by a Russian field army under Prince Menshikov.
Although very heavily outnumbered, (63,000 Allies with 128 guns to 39,000 Russians with 96 guns) Menshikov boasted that he could defend the line of the Alma River for at least three weeks, by which time fresh reinforcements, and Allied supply problems, would enable him to go over to the offensive. The position was very strong, with the river itself as an obstacle, together with some small villages surrounded by vineyards, and with the ground rising sharply to the south of the river. Although Menshikov threw up two earthworks around the Kourgane Hill position, he seems to have overestimated the difficulty of moving along the Black Sea coastal road, as he posted a very inadequate force on that side of the field (the only regular troops were one battalion of the Minsk Regiment and a half battery of artillery). He was also concerned at the potential effect of shore bombardment by the Allied Navy. (The initial dispositions reflect this, but the Russian player will have time to redress the mistake if he wishes.) This may have been a reasonable deployment against the Turks, whom Menshikov had fought previously, but he was now faced with the joint Anglo-French Expeditionary Force: far better trained and armed than his own troops, and containing the best regiments in the British Army. Having surveyed the position, the Allies agreed a joint assault, with the French moving along the coastal roads, and the British advancing further inland. The historical result was that the Allies stormed the hills in the teeth of the Russian infantry and artillery, and the Russians withdrew. Neither the British Heavy Cavalry Brigade, nor any of the French, had arrived and the British wished to husband their Light Cavalry Brigade, so the victory was not followed by the pursuit that might have crippled the Russian field army. Can you do any better?
Proficiencies vary from 15% for the Turkish levies to 90% for elite British units
Proficiences vary from 30% for the Cossacks to 70% for the better Russian riflemen.
Hordes of armed civilian volunteers had turned up on the battlefield, but melted away once the shooting started, so have a starting proficiency of 1%.
In the context of a one day battle in very hilly terrain it is appropriate to designate the following lighter troops as 'mountain', although they were not trained as such in the specialised sense of the word: British Riflemen and Light Infantry, French Zouaves, Chasseurs and Tirailleurs, Russian Riflemen, Jaegers and Cossacks.
not crucial in a one day battle, but their entry roads for the Allies, plus the villages of Almatamack, Bourliouk, Tarkhanlar and the Large Homestead. (Supply at this level representing the chance to grab some food or a drink during the advance, or somewhere to distribute ammunition and make plans under cover.)
Russians - dotted around the board edge, including the roads leading to Sevastapol, all of the villages and the Large Homestead.
4. Victory Points
the Allies really need to drive the Russians from the field or take the roads to Sevastapol to claim an outright victory:
10 each for the villages of Almatamack, Bourliouk, Ulkul Akles, Ulkul Tiouets, the Grand and Lesser Redoubts, the Russian HQ position on Kourgane Hill, Telegraph Height, and 25 for each of the four roads on the southern map edge leading to Sevastapol.
When playing the PO, the Allies will go straight for a frontal assault all the way to the south: the Russians will try to defend their forward positions, then fall back to the Sevastapol roads when these are lost. The Russian PO will also 'realise' Menshikov's mistake and try to reinforce the coastal road.
No replacements, but the stronger units will reconstitute.
Each turn equals twenty minutes of real time.
Playing as the Allies you have a larger, stronger force and, despite the likelihood of heavy casualties, have no choice but to advance at speed and smash your way through the Russians.
Use the British and French, backed by artillery, as assault troops, with the Turks covering the lines of communication and dealing with the odd enemy unit that sneaks through the front. Don't forget to make use of the powerful naval force off of the coast.
Playing as the Russians you have an excellent defensive position: if the Allies are obliging enough to bleed themselves dry in fruitless frontal assaults you may be able to realise Menshikov's dream of a counter-attack, but it is not required. The Hussar Brigade is a fast, powerful mobile reserve. Your left flank is the weakest and you may wish to reinforce it from the centre.
I strongly recommend that the game is played with Possession turned off, apart from a quick supply check at the start of each turn.