The Potomac Wargamers assembled in Dunn Loring, Virginia on 9 January 2016 to re-fight the Battle of Kozludzha from the First Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774).
Empress Catherine II (the Great) has ordered the Empire's boundaries expanded to the shores of the Black Sea. Lieutenant General Aleksandr Suvorov leads his division of 8,000 into Turkish Rumelia (present day Bulgaria) against some 40,000 Turks under Grand Vizier Abdul-Rezak. Suvorov catches a portion of the Ottoman army crossing a tributary of the Danube, inland from Varna on the Black Sea.
The Russians have just cleared a wood line defended by Albanian skirmishers and have entered open ground in front of a ridge line defended by the Ottomans. Suvorov forms his infantry and begins his advance. A light rain has begun to fall and the Ottomans are struggling to move reinforcements across the river to support their surprised troops.
-- Scale: 54mm
-- Rules: All The King's Men
-- Victory Conditions: to win, the Russians must force a Turkish withdrawal. If the Turks do not withdraw, it is a Turkish Victory. If the Russians are forced to withdraw, it is a Turkish Major Victory.
|The battlefield looking north -- Ottomans occupy a slight ridge on the left|
|Albanian skirmishers screen the village of Kozludzha|
|Grand Vizier Abdul-Rezak and Zagano Bama Pasha - second in command|
|Sinope Corsairs (warband) hold the Turkish right flank|
|Major General Kamenskii, Russian second-in-command, pushes forward on the Russian left|
|Russian medium battery opens fire on the Turkish position|
|Azaps and the Bostanci Corps jannissaries advance against the Russian center|
|The Russian dragoons take casualties but continue their advance|
|Russian jaegers under fire|
|The Serdengecti "head-risker" elite janissaries move forward|
|Timely reinforcements: Turcoman Nomad light cavalry|
|Russian grenadiers form for the attack|
|Crimean Tartar sipahi heavy cavalry|
|The Russian left grinds forward|
|The Sinope Corsairs refuse to give up their ridge|
|Chechen skirmishers screen the Cairo Janissaries' advance|
|Zaporozhian Cossacks -- allies to the Russians; retreat to the woods|
|Russian dragoons attempt to flank the Ottoman artillery|
|The grenadiers press their attack in the center|
|Zagano Bama Pasha views the onrushing Russian juggernaut|
|Lieutenant General Suvorov, Russian Command, rallies his troops for another go|
|The Sinope Corsairs charge the Zaporozhian Cossacks|
|Russian artillery hammers the Ottoman position|
|Turcoman light cavalry looking for an opportunity to strike|
|A hot afternoon in mid-January|
|Tartar horse archers sweep around the Russian left and take a battery in flank|
|The action viewed from above|
|The grenadiers press home their attack|
|The Turkish commanders|
|The field at game's end|
The scenario pits 14 Russian units against an initial deployment of 12 Ottoman units holding the high ground. Both armies risk collapse once reduced to half-strength. The Russians must advance and drive off the enemy before the Turks can bring up reinforcements. The Turks must advance and force a Russian withdrawal before the worsening rain degrades their more-primitive firearms.
We played three turns. Abdul-Rezak brought on three reinforcing units, but the Ottomans were reduced to six units remaining on the field. The Grand Vizier rolled to see if his army would continue the fight, but the test failed. The Turkish army collapsed resulting in a Russian victory, but purchased at a heavy cost in casualties. A fourth turn would have permitted the Turks additional reinforcements, likely forcing the Russians to test for army collapse.
A close-run contest. Historically, the battle resulted in a major Russian victory, convincing the Sultan to sue for peace and relinquish control of the Crimea. Today, the village of Kozludzha is known as Suvorovo.