Tuesday 16 October 2018

Battle of Tenitsa Pass

Over the weekend Postie unveiled his newly completed Turkish forces for the Crimean War. The Ottoman army was generally considered poor quality (from what I have read) being several years behind in terms of military technology and military thinking. What the Turks were able to do however was muster large resources to support the allied nations against the Russians. Their fighting force may have been small but they had arguable the best looking kit with their distinctive red Fez's and blue jackets. 

We played a fictional battle with the smaller Turkish army holding key passes in mountains near the Danube. Ottoman engineers have been able to build some redoubts but the work is far from complete with several large gaps in their lines. Then the much larger Russian columns appear and begin to rapidly advance towards them.

Orders of Battle
Ottoman Turkish Army - C/O Omar Pasha
   1st Infantry Division
      1st Brigade
         1st Line Regiment (3)
         2nd Line Regiment (3)
         2x Heavy Gun Batteries
      2nd Brigade
         3rd Line Regiment (3)
         4th Line Regiment (3)
         1x Medium Gun Battery
      3rd Brigade
         5th Line Regiment (3)
         6th Line Regiment (3)
         2x Medium Gun Batteries
      4th Brigade
         7th Line Regiment (3)
      1st cavalry Brigade
         1st and 2nd Regiments Lt Horse
         1 Battery Horse Artillery
      2nd Cavalry Brigade
         3rd Regiment Lt Horse
Attached Engineers - 4 Companies

Russian Army - C/O General Dannenberg
   10th Infantry Division (4th Corps) c/o Maj Gen Vilbon
      1st Brigade
         19th Ykaterenburg Line Regiment (4)
         20th Tobolsk Line Regiment (4)
         3x Medium Gun Batteries
      2nd Brigade
         19th Tomsk Jager Regiment (4)
         20th Kolyvan Jager Reginment (4)
         4th Schutzen Battalion (1)
         3x Heavy Gun Batteries
      4th Light Cavalry Division
         4th Hussar Brigade
         7th Hussars (2)
         8th Hussars (2)
         1st Ural Cossacks
         1x Horse Artillery Battery

I've merged two pictures to show the whole table and all the Brigades in their starting positions. Most of the High ground is impassable to infantry and cavalry. The Turks have built defences across the main pass and sent their cavalry to hold the other small pass. 

The Russian 1st and 2nd Brigades have a straight path laid out for them.With impassable terrain on both flanks they have little choice but to advance into the Turkish defences. 

However the Russian Regiments are much larger than the Turkish regiments and can take a lot of damage and still remain effective. 

The Turkish troops meanwhile are wearing nice blue uniforms and bright red Fez's on their heads!

Their engineers have thrown up some hasty redoubts that will hopefully give them an edge against the massive Russian regiments about to bare down on their position. 

Even the Turkish Cavalry looks very dapper in their smart uniforms.

More redoubts filled with nervous infantry and more importantly their artillery. 

The Russians begin the long advance. 

Forward progress is quick and the Turks look a little worried at first. 

Meanwhile at the smaller pass their Cavalry makes a show of advancing towards the Russians. 

Russian Infantry pushes forward and begins to fan out aiming for the large gaps in the redoubt defences. 

The first Russian casualties are taken but the Russian steamroller continues to advance. This is Marks 1st Brigade which were slightly ahead of my 2nd Brigade so would make contact with the enemy first. 

My 2nd Brigade is on the left and Marks 1st Brigade on the right. We are beginning to fan out away from the strongly held central redoubts. 

Now in charge range the front regiments of the 1st Brigade take fire as they advance in to melee.

Meanwhile Surjit has advanced his infantry towards me in a nice tempting bunch. One of my fighting columns charge into melee. 

The Russian 1st Brigade have breached the defences but the Turks are putting up a hard fight. 

My column wins its melee and goes on to hit another Turkish regiment as well. But meanwhile my other attack against the redoubt has proven less effective. 

Meanwhile the Turks are being sneaky. Having made a show of advancing their cavalry they then turn them around and rush back towards the main pass, leaving a small division of infantry and a Gun to block the narrow route around their flank. Two infantry divisions form square, with a Horse Artillery piece and another infantry unit in life filling the gap between them 

Marks Cavalry division must traverse the pass in column formation as the pass is two narrow for more than one regiment at a time if deployed in line. 

The First Division continue to push across the defences but casualties are mounting and the deeper they get the more Turkish regiments can fire upon them. 

My 2nd Brigade prepare to send in the next wave of columns but every turn sees more casualties. I calculate I have one more opportunity to force a breakthrough. Meanwhile my Schutzen Skirmishers have finally traversed the hill to the right and begin to fire down on the Turkish positions. 

Marks 1st Battalion pushes forward again trying to consolidate its earlier achievements. Yellow disordered markers are beginning to appear and those big Russian regiments are starting to get whittled down. 

Another opportunity. If the Marks infantry can break these Turkish units they may be able to force a Brigade check. 

My 2nd Brigade has lost its momentum. Three regiments have battered themselves against the Turkish Redoubts and taken heavy casualties in the process. I'm not going to force a breakthrough here but maybe I can cause enough casualties to break some Turkish units. 

Meanwhile our guns have regrouped and open fire on any Turkish regiment fool enough to shun the protection of the redoubts. Fortunately Surjit obliges and two regiments take damage and have to pull back to regroup. 

Marks Cavalry have finally been able to get through the small pass, form up and are ready to attack the Turkish infantry squares. Its probably too late however to make a difference to the battle, 

The once impressive and formidable Russian columns have all but disappeared. 

Marks infantry columns have eventually seen off most of the Turkish infantry on the right flank, but now the earlier redeployment of their cavalry pays off. Having moved their cavalry regiments back behind their main infantry position Ray has not only provided rear support for his faltering infantry but is also ready to charge our exhausted infantry. 

Darkness is beginning to fall as the Russian assault finally falters. The Turkish positions have been threatened and even breached but in the end they have held the pass and the Russians have nothing left to exploit any weaknesses that remain. 

Postie added up the points but the Turkish won a clear victory with 26 points to 20 points for the Russians.

This was a cracking game with both sides fighting hard right to the end. We were enjoying ourselves so much we didn't notice the time slipping past and in the end our game went on for over eight hours. The redoubts made all the difference to the Turks despite the gaps in the line. Mark and I may have been able to exploit those gaps a bit more but to be honest the dice were just not in our favour. Poor luck aside I think Ray and Surjit played a good defensive game and wholeheartedly deserve their victory. 


  1. Poor quality but beautiful Turkish army, great looking game, a very tempting conflict to play!

  2. all these attacking columns on this terrain are the most beautiful effect!
    Thanks for the report

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