Sunday 5 February 2012

The Battle of Mackenzie Ridge

On Saturday I had the pleasure to get together with the other Rejects for a 15mm Crimean War game. It's 1854 and the British around Sevastopol learn that the Russians have occupied and are beginning to fortify Mackenzie Ridge on the road into the city. The British send out a small exploratory force and thereby set the scene for the Battle to come. Once again I tried to make more detailed notes as the game progressed but at the end realised that they made little sense. I've tried to recreate the action in this series of pictures but I'm sure I've missed many more smaller details.

Our first view of the Battlefield. Both sides would have a chance to redeploy their troops. The British won their initiative role and took the opportunity to redeploy into two wings. This proved crucial as the game progressed as it gave them an extra turn of forward movement and a chance to use their artillery at an early  opportunity. 

Mackenzie Ridge with the Russian redoubts still under construction.
Russian Cossack cavalry prepare to charge (those lances are sharp!)
British 1st Division advance towards the Russian left flank
The Russians man their redoubts and open fire with their Heavy Guns. However these guns were effectively targeted and had to withdraw halfway through the game thereby removing the only real threat the Russians possessed. 
With the Russian guns gone the British 2nd Division advances towards the Ridge
Russian reinforcements arrive do British reinforcements.
The Cossack cavalry outflank the British 1st Division and move into the over of woodland to act as a threat to the British advance.
Meanwhile the Russians continue to build their redoubts and redeploy their infantry to face the British 2nd Division which continues to advance.
More Russian cavalry arrive on their left flank and immediately charge the British cavalry  who didn't stand a chance against the massive Russian formations.
The British halt their advance just beyond Russian musketry range and use their superior weapons to wear down the men behind the redoubts.
The Russian infantry stand firm in their redoubts but continue to be ground down in a battle of attrition they cannot win
Meanwhile the Cossack's charge out of the woods into the British flank. They defeat the unit of Coldstream Guards and overrun an artillery battery.
The Cossack's continue their charge but run dead into British Square. This is too much for them and the surviving Cossack's flee the field.
British Heavy Cavalry now reach the battlefield and the remaining Russian Cavalry decide that discretion is the better part of valor and leave the field. 

By this stage of the Battle the Russians were still winning on points, but only just. However with the arrival of the British heavy Cavalry and the loss of both Russian Cavalry Divisions there was little that the Russians could now do to hold back the British. There was some debate about whether to play on but in the end two of the three Russian players decided to concede defeat. With their cavalry destroyed (or about to be) the British superiority in weapons and quality would increasingly swing the battle their way. In fact there was little need for them to actually assault Mackenzie ridge when all they needed to do was sit back and use their longer ranged rifled muskets to whittle away the Russian Infantry until they were destroyed or broke.

Keep an eye out for more pictures UPDATE: Fran and Ray have now posted their Battle Reports for this game at the Angry Lurker's Blog and at Don't Throw a One.


  1. That's a big game!
    Unusual period, nice to see.

  2. Great battle report and some excellent photos of the game

  3. T'was a great game, for us Brits anyway!! Nice pics Lee, especially of the Grenadier Guards in square!

  4. Yeh I enjoyed the game, even if we did loose. I know Fran was up for prolonging the fight but I just can't see how we could have won. Withdrawal by the Russians was the only sensible option in the face of British firepower.

  5. Great report and photos Lee. Will be interesting to read The Lurker's view of the end!

  6. It wasn't a bad game but the difference in musketry range was too telling for the Russians.......

  7. Great pictures looks like alot of fun

  8. Looks like a good game! Thanks for the AAR :)

  9. Good game Ian. Thanks for the report. That range advantage over the Russian's really is a game winner isn't it?

  10. Good report and great pictures although you, Fran and Ray need to decide who actually won!

  11. Good report. Too bad about the cavalry; Cossacks breaking a square would have been priceless!

  12. Splendid game, Lee. It doesn't get much better than seeing the Grenadier Guards in a square! Very nice report, thanks.

  13. Great report and pictures! Thanks for sharing!


  14. Not often you get to see three different reports on a game. Good betrep and also interesting to see a different approach to the photo's too.


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