The Russian army played the role of the Austrians and was made up of the following:
Commander in Chief: staff rating 8
Corps troops: Rifle detachment (small unit), Heavy artillery battery (2 gun models in entrenchment), Field artillery battery (2 gun models)
Moscow infantry regiment (9): 4 battalions (2 off table, enter on move 3)
Tobolsk infantry regiment (8): 4 battalions (enter on move 1)
Borodino infantry regiment (7): 4 battalions (enter on move 3 plus 1D3 turns)
Cossacks (7): 2 regiments
6th Hussar brigade (8): 2 regiments
6th Uhlan brigade(8): 2 regiments
Horse artillery: 2 light gun models
The British forces were:
Commander in Chief: staff rating 6 (Lord Raglan)
Heavy cavalry brigade (8): 5 small units of cavalry
Light cavalry brigade (7): 5 small units of cavalry, 1 horse battery
Guards brigade (8): 3 battalions, 1 battery artillery, 1 small unit riflemen
Line brigade (8): 3 battalions, 1 battery artillery
Highland brigade (9): 3 battalions, 1 horse battery (enter on move 3 plus D3)
Line brigade (7): 3 battalions, 1 small unit riflemen, 1 artillery battery (enter on move 4 plus D3)
We used 2/3rds distances for this game, especially given the long ranges involved with the artillery but particularly the British Minee rifled muskets (30" normally). As usual we used Black Powder with my Crimean amendments as I don't necessarily agree with what's in the book.
The British got to move first and made slow progress trying to cross the swampy river along the baseline. On the left the Heavy Brigade were drawn into combat by the Russian hussars and two squadrons of the former were broken and another shaken and forced to retreat, effectively putting the entire brigade out of action.
In the centre the Guards and their supporting brigade advanced on the Russian position. The Guards spent much of the battle engaged in a prolonged exchange of musketry with the Russian line which had advanced to the edge of the escarpment. The Russians tried a few bayonet charges but they were either shot away before they could close or held and pushed back by the Guards. The other British brigade on the left made slow progress towards the Russian skirmishers and artillery, taking some casualties on the way.
Paul's reinforcements arrived more or less on time and were thrown into the fight. The remains of the Moscow regiment (in red hats) occupied the redoubt as the gunners had become shaken due to sniping from the British riflemen. The last brigade made straight for the British to the left of the Guards and tried to drive them off. Meanwhile the British reinforcements had arrived and were pushing straight up the centre in the hope that the unsupported Guards would hold long enough for weight of numbers to tell against the Russian centre. The Highlanders took quite a battering but held off another Russian bayonet charge and one English battalion in the third line managed to throw the only blunder of the game and charge three moves right at the Russian line. They were bounced back quickly enough in disorder and shaken.
Meanwhile all along the line the British infantry and artillery had been wearing the Russians down to the point where two brigades were broken with most of their units shaken or routed. On the British left, the Light Brigade finally made it into action and predictably while doing some damage to the Russians were driven back. Having a stamina of only '2' and a save of '5' against lance-armed cavalry made them very brittle but they look very pretty and are actually figure-for-figure a match for the Russians. Paul's Cossacks finally made it across the river and were moving into a position to threaten the British left centre but by now the Russian line was in retreat.
A decisive British victory? Just about, as there were no cavalry left to exploit the situation. The Russians always have a hard time against the British (which is right if we are to believe the history books) but they have won in the past quite convincingly. Not this time though as they didn't have their usual numerical superiority in infantry and especially artillery. They would normally field a full division (which is what I have) of 16 battalions supported by 4 batteries (each of 2 gun models). I also made their cavalry commanders better than normal to better reflect the scenario where they were playing the role of the Austrians. The British firepower is of course deadly but not overwhelmingly so (Paul might disagree) as with a save of 3+ and a stamina of 4 the Russian columns can take quite a battering.
Anyway, it was an enjoyable game and its always great to get my Crimean troops on the table as they look very splendid indeed!