Sunday, 14 August 2016

As mentioned in my previous blog, I took the 20mm (1/72) helicopters along to todays Crimean War game and photographed them all from a couple of angles with the table below them for a better background - I still need to figure out a way to take them with a background that looks natural from level or below - maybe next time I am at home during daylight hours (which will be next weekend now) I will try to do some pics outside with the REAL sky as a background!

Anyway, here are todays efforts.....

The Italeri Blackhawk with Elheim crew from the port side

The Italeri Blackhawk with Elheim crew from the starboard side

The Italeri Blackhawk with Elheim crew head on

Revell RAF Chinook from above

Revell RAF Chinook from the port side

Revell RAF Chinook from the starboard side

Tamiya Hughes AH 6 "Littlebird"

Another view of the AH 6

OH 6A Cayeuse with Elheim sniper. The seating for the sniper comes with the figure from Elheim and is attached to the helicopter after the kit is assembled with the door in the open position

Another view of the OH 6A

An RAF Apache attack helicopter

A second view of the Apache

Next, a brief after action report on todays Crimean Game, which was the first we have played in this period. One of the group of players I regularly game with has spent the last year buying and painting troops for both sides of this conflict using almost exclusively the excellent Great War miniatures. I am at the moment thinking about contributing to this force by purchasing some Ebor British, but that's another story...after todays result, I may invest my hard earned dollars in another era!

The game we played had two per side with the organiser acting as umpire. I was in command of the British and my ally had a smaller force of French. We deployed at opposite ends of a 12-14 foot long table, whilst the two Russian players started in a village in the centre of the opposite side of the table. The mission was to control the heights that lay approximately 5 feet (equidistant) from the French and British starting positions, and directly opposite the Russian starting point in the village.

The initial Russian position inside a village in the centre of their table edge

Another view of the Russian horde champing at the bit

The initial British deployment on the extreme left of the Allied table edge

The British C in C Lord Raglan

On the opposite flank, a much smaller French force awaits the order to advance

The Russians moved first and then won the initiative so moved again. They streamed out of the village and quickly occupied the pivotal heights in the centre of the Allied side of the table. Cossacks with artillery support moved to the Russian right, opposite the British deployment area, whilst four regiments of regular cavalry advanced to cover the occupation of the hill.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the Russian infantry - approximately 12 battalions - advanced to their left., towards the much smaller French force

The British Light Brigade advances to intercept the out numbered and lesser quality Cossacks, accompanied by both Lord Lucan and Lord Cardigan - a recipe for disaster if ever there was one!

A small brigade comprising the Rifles and 47 Foot deploy on the left of the line, whilst to the right, three battalions of highland infantry comprising the Highland Brigade do likewise. The four regiments of Russian cavalry screened their advance.

The Light Brigade continues the advance on the left flank but comes under heavy and accurate Russian artillery fire - which is reasonably appropriate I suppose! Within a couple of turns, the 17 Lancers have quit the field in disgrace, and another unit was in retreat - forty per cent of the Brigade rendered ineffective before they even saw a Cossack!

A couple of moves later and these brave Russian gunners faced off against the remainder of the Light Brigade. The three units of Cossacks were to their rear in support, but the gunners must have felt pretty exposed

The Brigade of Guards deploying to face the Russians

The Highland Brigade advancing

Another view of the Highland Brigades advance, showing the picket line of Russian cavalry who were covering three Russian battalions deployed on the strategic heights

Action on the left flank a couple of moves later - these Cossacks have defeated one of the Light Brigade units and chased it to the rear of the main British position, where they finished it off. The rear of the Guards Brigade can be seen behind them, giving an idea of what a dangerous position they had managed to get themselves into for the British.

Meanwhile, the remaining two units of the Light Brigade continued to struggle with other Cossack units. In the end, they did succeed in destroying one, but at the eventual cost of the entire Brigade, hardly a good return on investment for the War Ministry and Exchequer, not to mention Lord Cardigan!

The advancing Highlanders were forced to form square when threated with a charge by the four Russian cavalry regiments

Meanwhile on the other flank, the French forces were struck by an irresistible tsunami of Russian infantry battalions, supported by heavy artillery fire

The French desperately attacked, hoping to gain some advantage from their superior elan, but the weight of numbers soon told

The Cossacks shown in the rear of the British lines a couple of photos earlier return and take the RHA battery supporting the Light Brigade in the rear, with predictable results

Meanwhile, the three Russian battalions advanced through the cavalry screen and engaged the Highlanders with close range musketry whilst they were still in square and hence a dense target

The one bright spark in the Allied cause, a small brigade of French cavalry managed to destroy three out of four Russian battalions on the extreme right flank and advance across the rear of the Russian position to enter the village from which the Russian advance commenced. If the Allies could have reinforced this success with infantry, the entire disaster might still have been redeemed.

However, the rest of the French force was simultaneously being completely overwhelmed and driven from the field

The Russians inflicted heavy casualties on the highlanders yet suffered virtually none in return, despite the fact they were armed with obsolete smooth bore muskets with a range only 60% that of the British rifled muskets

The denouement de l'armee Francaise

The last act in the destruction of the Light Brigade - Light Dragoons about to take a pasting in the flank from short range Russian artillery fire, whilst the Cossacks in the left of this picture destroy the last unit out of shot

The Russians advance on the wavering "Thin Red Line"

"And then there were none"...the Highland Brigade disintegrated and fled. The victorious Russians wheeled right and left to engage the second line in murderous close range musket fire

The position a move later - where there had been three brigades of British infantry, now there are none. Nine battalions were destroyed in a few minutes

The Guards Brigade on the right achieved a very slight moral victory by holding off a Russian charge then counter charging to destroy a couple of Russian battalions, but it was far too little, far too late

The victorious Russians who swept everything before them

The final position - the three Guards battalions and two batteries of RA gunners still holding out but, to paraphrase Lord Byron, with "Russians to right of them, Russians to left of them, Russians in front of them..." and, if we had continued any longer, Russians to the rear of them as well! A complete and total victory for the Russians!

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