Battle Report: Attack on 203-Metre Hill

Today, I thought I'd share another epic battle report from our Russo-Japanese War campaign, which is being fought between Kieran and Ollie on the Russian side, and Paul on the Japanese side.  I'm a (almost) completely unbiased umpire doubling as the Russian strategic commander.  Mike stood in as the Japanese commander on the ground, and Paul gave his orders by email.

So far, the campaign has consisted of patient sapping activity, punctuated by short bursts of intense combat, against a backdrop of attritional artillery fire.  The Japanese have been preparing an assault on 203-Metre Hill with great patience, and after seven weeks, the battle can begin!

General Nogi orders an assault on the hill.  Fushimi's Division detonates two mines and launches a full divisional frontal assault on the heavily-fortified Russian positions.  A counterattack by the Tamirsky regiment leads to it being all but annihilated, although it successfully disrupts the Japanese second wave.  A dawn banzai charge is repulsed - with General Fushimi shot down at the head of his men - but the Russians begin to withdraw anyway shortly after, since heavy siege artillery makes their position untenable.  The bloodied Japanese cautiously follow up into the ruins of the position.

This picture shows the dispositions of the armies.  The Russians deploy a column of pioneers ready to counterattack, while the Karelsky Regiment man the barricades.  The Japanese launch four regimental columns directly up the hill.

The Tamirsky Regiment departs just minutes after the first mine is detonated under 174-Metre Hill.
The initial Japanese assault is thrown into confusion by the heavy fire - despite six companies being wiped out when the mines under the forts are detonated.  On the left you can see Col. von Hartmann's aggressive assault which catches the faltering columns of the First Brigade off-guard, throwing them into confusion.

But the Japanese quickly recover, and caught in the open, the Tamirsky Regiment is almost wiped out.
The Japanese form up a super-column, collecting every last man together for one last almighty push up the hill.  Despite supporting fire which begins to tell on the crucial MG positions, the column suffers very heavy casualties.
The Japanese column retreats, and Fushimi is killed by one of the last 'spillover' shots.  A suitably cinematic ending!
We had to call the game for time there, but everyone agreed that the Russians' position was untenable, with Krupp shells now raining down and a fresh brigade lining up for the assault.  We decided to withdraw from the hill and hand a strategic victory to the Japanese Army.

A big thanks to all the gamers, to Paul for his participation and enthusiasm in some very characterful orders, and Mike for stepping in and playing as the Japanese.  So, what did you all think?  Comments below!


  1. That was quick. The last time I saw you, you were fighting against the king....

    1. I'm nothing if I'm not versatile. Give me five minutes' notice and a changing room and I can be any century that the occasion demands.

  2. Seems that the Japanese are rushing far more men into this hotpot than the Russians can stand against.

    The table looks rather lovely this time, with those hills seeming very natural indeed. Good for this scale.

    1. They do seem to have the will to see this through! The Russians' position is looking decidedly shaky.

      Thanks! Apart from portability, the ability to easily make realistic rolling hills is my favourite feature of these roll-up boards.

  3. General Nogi compliments General Stoessel on the bravery and tenacity of his fighting men. The Japanese 3rd Army is honoured to face such worthy adversaries and the Russian wounded captured during this engagement are being well cared for in our field hospital. The senior Japanese officers look forward to meeting their opposite numbers in peace and goodwill once the hostilities at Port Arthur are brought to their natural conclusion.


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