I was able to think and plan though, and so the next stage in the refight of the Battle of Deve Boyun, the Camel's Neck, is the subject of this post.
I have already decided that the rules I shall be using are Bob Cordery's Big Battle Portable Wargame 19th Century set and as a result of my deliberations of the last couple of days they will be used as they are written. I have a couple of scenario specific instructions needed for the action but these in no way change the rules. The only decidionI needed to make though was how to tackle the thorny question of exhaustion levels. For the Turks this is fairly straightforward but less so for the Russians. The reason for this is because the Russian attacks were made in three waves (four if you count the decisive finale) so I needed a mechanism whereby a specific action caused a reaction - essentially programming the battle but not in such a way that the result would be inevitable. What I have decided to do is to assign exhaustion levels to specific formations - this is how Volley and Bayonet by Frank Chadwick works - and to ensure that the opposition reacts accordingly when such an exhaustion level is reached. Luckily the action is very much an 'attacker-defender' battle so this is not too much of problem.
For the most part the units of both sides are fairly anonymous in that we do not have much in the way unit designations but luckily we have plenty of commander's names to add some flavour. We are also fortunate in that we have the overall strengths for both sides which makes the calculation of the two sides a whole lot easier. I have used Quintin Barry's book - War in the East which is fast becoming one of the most valuable books in my collection.
C in C - Lt. Gen. Heimann
Right Flank - Lt. Gen. Tergukassov
Left Flank - Lt. Gen. Devel
5 regiments of Cossacks
C in C - Muktar Pasha
Right Flank - Ismail/Faizi
Left Flank - Mehmet Pasha
Of the Russian forces the only unit identification I can find is that the Erivan Grenadier regiment was held in reserve and played a decisive role in the battle. These will of course be rated as Elite while the rest of the Russian Army will be Average. I have clased as such as they had been fighting the Turks for some time and had been chasing them for a while so would be seasoned despite the fact that the entire army was woefully understrength andwith many fresh reinforcements.
The Turks are mainly average although I have rated a third of the infantry as poor as the army was a hodge-podge of units, was suffering from indifferent to poor morale, was poorly supplied and was suffering from increasing levels of desertion - particularly among the cavalry.
The final composition of the armies then, was something like this:
12 x 4 Infantry (10 Average, 2 x Elite) - 6 under Lt. Gen. Tergukassov, 4 under Lt. Gen. Devel and the 2 Elite Grenadier units in reserve under Lt. Gen Heimann.
4 x 3 Cavalry - in reserve under Lt. Gen. Heimann.
6 x 2 Field Artillery - 2 batteries with each commnader.
9 x 4 Infantry (6 Average, 3 Poor) - 4 with Mehmet Pasha, 3 with Muktar Pasha and 2 with Ismail/Faizi - each formation has one Poor unit.
3 x Field Artillery - 1 battery with each commander.
This was fairly straightforward to calculate and the next post will include a formal order of battle with the appropriate exhaustion levels etc. The one point I should make with the infantry is that the Turks were equipped with the superb Peabody Martini - Henry Rifle which outranged the Russians by a fair margin and so I shall give the Russians a maximum infantry firearm range of 2 hexes against the Turkish 3.