Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Ford on the Bugaroff Part Two

Continuing our exciting tale

Looking at the table midway through the battle. The British have formed a line to protect the camp ridge.
The cavalry complete their crossing of the Bugaroff, led by the impetuous but not particularly competent Feodor Dunnovich.
The famous meeting between Verdlunchko and Onegin-Offagin.
V: 'Join with me general! We must attack now. The British flank is weakened and will not survive any more blows. We must not give them time to consolidate.'
O-O: 'Do as you wish, Sir, but my men have done their duty. They have taken the redoubts, and we must now hold them. I cannot waste them on some fool's errand.'
V: 'If this battle is lost, General, then it will be lost here.'
O-O: 'I'm afraid you may be all too right,Sir.'

Verdlunchko presses forward, as do the cavalry.

The rifles fall back into the vineyards where they can continue to snipe at the flanks of the advancing infantry but are out of danger of being charged again.

The Russian attack prepares to go in.
The Norfolks unleash a volley.
The guards pour fire into the lone battalion on the right. The job of this unit is to pin the left of the British line in place while the main attack breaks the other flank.
The Russian cavalry deploy to support the infantry, while the artillery prepares the way..
From their flanking position, the Rifles continue to exact a toll on the advancing Russian wing.
Paddington-Beere leads his men from the front, and is wounded.
The Norfolks repulse Verdluncko's first assault, but the Dragoons charge into the weakened Suffolks, pushing them back. If the Russians can break the Norfolks with another attack then the whole mad charge might succeed. However, the 92nd have deployed into line to try to cover the gap made by the Suffolks.

While the battle rages the last of the Russian column crosses the Bugaroff.
The Russian Dragoons are seen off by the Scots, who at first are driven back, but then unleash a hellish volley. Dunnovich is caught up in the rout.
The Uhlans, in the meantime, true to their orders, form up. Their job is to break the centre.
Gotanich gets his first glimpse of the battle since crossing the river: 'Good God - what is happening?!'
Meanwhile the Coldstream guards have advanced on the British left flank and annihilate the hapless jagers.
In the distance the Uhlans can be seen riding towards the Gordon Highlanders, through a curtain of fire. The British line is thin, but it is holding as the last Russian reserves arrive on the battlefield..
The death ride of the Uhlans.
'That is quite enough of that thank you very much.' Half a unit will be lost for no gain whatsoever.
The newly arrived reserves look to break the British right again.
The Coldstream guards wheel into line and with the Grenadier guards proceed to wipe out the last infantry unit on their flank.
Gotanich himself leads the assault and drives the Norfolks back.
The battlefield at this crucial juncture. The Russians pour everything into breaking the right of the British line, while the Coldstream guards begin a turning movement of their own to recapture the redoubt.
In one of the greatest feats of arms in the whole war, the Coldstream Guards recapture the redoubt. Onegin-Offagin and the first battalion of the Caucasus regiment are expelled.
Now the Suffolks are charged, while Stark-Raven manages to rally the Norfolks. Verdluchko spurs his horse to catch up to the St Petersburg regiment on the far left of the Russian line in order to lead it into combat once more.
The Suffolks are reduced to a handful of men, but are kept in the battle by General Colin Dour-Haggis, the Divisional commander.
Onegin-Offagin gathers the second battalion of the Caucasus regiment for an attempt to retake the redoubt.
The Norfolks are pushed back in hard fighting, but the St.Petersburg regiment is staggered and unable to rally, due to their commander General Verdlunchko, being captured! 
The day can still be won. The Russians roll the last die with an attack on the centre of the British line.
Onegin-Offagin recaptures the redoubt. The dice throws for this particular event have to be seen to be believed.  The Russians reclaim their objective.
The Scots are pushed back in the centre. Is the battle turning the way of the Russians finally?
The hard-pressed Suffolks see off the last Russian attack by Gotanich.
Trumpets sound. The cavalry has arrived to help the hard pressed British!
A final view of the Battlefield reveals that neither army has much left intact. The arrival of the cavalry is the signal for Gotanich to withdraw his battered forces. 
What an epic! I wanted to get all of my toys on the table, and I did that, although it was late and I couldn't be bothered playing out the final few turns with the cavalry and Russian withdrawal. The game was declared a tie. The Russians took one objective (and then retook it) and the British held one objective.
British unit of the match would have to go to the Coldstream Guards for their assault on the redoubt, but to be honest any of the units could have claimed the prize. The Anglian regiments in particular suffered heavily but refused to give in. Had they broken earlier the Russians would undoubtedly have taken both objectives.
Russian unit of the match has to be the Caucasus Brigade. The jagers performed expertly, and the taking of the redoubts was legendary.
General of the match was Onegin-Offagin who did his duty and held his position without any rushes of blood to the head.
At the end of the game yet another guards commander was out of action (Paddington-Beere wounded), but Verdlunchko was captured. One must now debate - was Verdlunchko right to press the assault, or should he have waited for Gotanich to arrive with the rest of the Russian force and co-ordinate it?
I've decided that in the grand scheme of the Bugaroff front, the Russians have held the ford. The British will have to fortify Camp Ridge and remain vigilant.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Al. I much prefer the effect of the hills under the blanket than the other way around.

  2. ...and great looking Russian troops! Very nice report.

  3. Great report and photos Nate!

    1. Cheers Rodger. For the first time I've used my phone to take the photos. Apart from a couple of fuzzy shots it did a pretty good job.

  4. What a great game! Lots of back and forth and it came down to the very end. Just how you want them.

    1. It was a lot of fun. I derived just as much pleasure from this solo game as I do from a face to face game. Perhaps more, because the narrative takes on a life of its own without people deciding to sacrifice every unit to the death.

  5. Super stuff! What a great game, and I love the names of the commanders too :-)

    1. Cheers Paul. Hard to believe the whole project is based on a $100 Trademe purchase. I spent another $40 on the rifles, Russian Dragoons and artillery. It's been a pleasure to paint and dream up the all of the details and solo mechanisms.

  6. Excellent BatRep, Nate!

    Onagin-Offegin was On-again!

  7. Thanks Jonathan. He certainly was. It must be the hat.