Boardgame – The Battle of the Alma

Rob Markham
The Battle of the Alma – The Crimean War 1854-1856

The Battle of the Alma was the first major action of the Crimean War. General Alexander Sergeivich Menshikov, the Russian commander, had promised the Czar he could hold his position along the Alma for at least 3 months, against anything the British and French could do. In fact he lost in 12 hours!
However, the attackers did not have it all their own way – plagued by leadership problems, their frontal assault on the Russian defense atop the bluffs was no easy proposition. Historically, the second Allied wave carried the bluffs and breached the Russian line – but only after fierce hand-to-hand fighting and severe losses.
Like designer Rob Markham’s widely praised Blood & Iron I (Franco-Prussian War), Battle of the Alma features an interactive game system which engages both players all the time, and makes the unexpected the norm (this also makes it a perfect game for solitaire play). The order in which units move is determined by drawing chits, and this has the effect of making each game played a new experience. Designed on a „Grand Tactical“ scale of 75 yards per hex and 100 men per strength point, the chief focus of the game is leadership, with each leader having a Command Rating, a Command Span, and a Command Bonus Rating. The rules feature morale, facing, commands, formations, cavalry charges, and a rich variety of weapons types. Players will experience the real feel of command, as they wait to see if subordinate units follow orders or not. Above all, the sytem rewards skilled and flexible play, for in truth „no plan survives contact with the enemy.“
There are seperate scenarios for the French (and Turkish) and British attacks, plus a Campaign Game covering the entire battle. Alma is an historically accurate and highly playable (and replayable) simulation from one of today’s top designers at the top of his form.

  • 1 Rules Book
  • 2 34“ x 22“ Maps
  • 300 Die-Cut Counters
  • 1 Sheet of Charts and Tables
  • 2 Player Aid Cards
  • 2 Player Record Sheets
  • 1 Ten-sided Die

Playing Time: 2-3 hours depending upon the scenario chosen; 7 hours for the Campaign Game
Players: Two or solitaire

Box. 1994.