The Battle of Coldstream Bridge May 29th 1895, Part Two

Excerpt from Manchester Guardian

The Battle Continued

Following on from the previous post the forces of the Tsar once more pressed forward with their attack

Help arrived in the form of the Cossack force that had been despatched to pillage Coldstream but now emerged on the left flank of the British defenders

The Rifle Brigade were forced to fire off a quick volley and then to escape in the direction of Gallowsknowe. Unfortunately the swiftness of the Cossacks caught them by before they reached safety and they were brutally cut down where they stood

Only Private W. Gates managed to escape into the Scottish countryside. Alone in enemy occupied territory Private Gates was unable to take further part in the battle, but he has sworn to take his revenge on the despicable Cossack Captain.

Meanwhile the 25th Smolensk Regiment renewed the assault on the British line – bravely charging the Coldstream Guards who repulse them after savage fighting with the bayonet.

As the Russians gathered to charge the line again, the British opened fire, pouring destructive shot into both the Smolensk and Guards regiments. The Smolensk Regt. bravely stood and charged again before being cut down to a man. General Soldatik rallied the Guards and amazingly survived  a direct hit where the bullet struck the cigarette holder given to him personally by Tsar Nicholas.


The engineers on the bridge signalled that the explosives were in place. At this point the battle started to look lost for the Russians. However they were given hope by the return of the Cossacks who used speed to their advantage and charged the Green Howards in the flank. Unable to react quickly enough, and threatened by the Guards to their front, the Green Howards resisted bravely but were ultimately broken and fled for the river.

The Cossack commander lost control of his men who pursued without orders. The disappearance of his cavalry meant that the Russian Commander lost the opportunity to seize the bridge.

The remainder of the British force was thus able to retire across the bridge in good order and reach safety.

Last man across the bridge was the Guards commander Captain McNeill who saluted the Russian general with his sword before running back to the south bank upon which the bridge exploded in a huge plume of smoke.

The Russians had failed to take the bridge and the toll was horrendous. For now their advance had been slowed.

The Scenario

Played using the excellent “A Gentleman’s War” rules by Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley.

Russian Forces

2 x Guards regiments (Gallant & Brave)

2 x Infantry regiments (Gallant)

1 x Cossacks (Swift)

2 x Light artillery

British Forces

Coldstream Guards (Stalwart, Brave, Well Drilled)

Green Howards (Stalwart, Brave)

Rifle Brigade (Marksmen)

RHA Light Artillery (Crack Shots)

12th Lancers (Gallant, Brave)


Russians arrive from the North but with the cossacks able to deploy on the western flank roads

British deploy up to 3 units on the board. Other reinforcements can arrive over the bridge on play of a court card

Special Rules

No brigade orders

Blow the bridge: After the 4th Joker the charges have been set on the bridge. The British player may set them off by playing a court card – but only when they have evacuated their forces over the bridge (It wouldn’t be right to leave any chaps on a sticky wicket)

‘farsands of ’em Sir: On playing a court card the Russian may remove any infantry unit from the table and place it back on the arrival point at full strength

Markers and Tokens

Pennies, penny red stamps (not real ones!) and “What Luck Chaps” cards used in the game

Goat Major Written by:


  1. January 10, 2018

    Bloody brilliant!! Death to the Russians!

    But what will they do next?

  2. Purp
    January 10, 2018

    Wonderful game and narrative.
    A great project you’ve squirrelled together there.

  3. January 11, 2018

    Great report! You’ve managed to capture the spirit of the period from the miniatures to the cards and markers.

  4. James O'Connell
    January 11, 2018

    A lovely battle, full of charm and colour.

  5. Dave
    January 26, 2018

    Superb! Great period feel to the write up and the look of the game. Nice markers too!
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

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