February 2, 2019 by Lee
For my birthday recently I organised a Sharp Practice AWI game and invited Richard and Josh to join in with Mel. Jamie and myself. This was going to be our first proper game of Sharp Practice although, we have tried the rules a few times beforehand. In our usual tradition, we consider doing a game before properly working out if we have got enough models to play the game.
In order to work out what figures we had for the scenario I asked Richard to bring his figures over as then I could work out the forces. Good job I did this a little ahead of time as we had plenty of British to field, however the Continentals were seriously lacking. If you have ever read any of our posts before then this it would seem to be normal. I, in my usual way turned to Mel and was about to say “What’s the chance of getting a few of your Continentals painted for the game?”, which was a week away. After what could only be described as a Paddington Bear Stare (click here) she set to work (que the A team music).
So over 3 evenings Mel managed to paint up a unit of 24 Continental Infantry, a unit of 6 Militia Skirmishers and 5 officers / NCOs. Meanwhile Richard was also a busy bee, as he was supplying most of the Continental Militia (already painted), he also managed to paint up another unit of 10 and a leader. As Mel had worked really hard getting the miniatures done, I thought I would push my luck and slipped onto the painting table a unit of 12 Indians which to be fair were half finished. Yes you guessed it I got another Paddington Bear Stare. Just to put this into context, Mel and I are currently working on a really large project which will be in a future post.
And so with the figures all done it was time to set up the table, to which if you know me then you will now that I can set a table several times before I am completely happy with it.
Jamie bravely helped me set the table again and again until I got the (yes you guessed it) the bloody Paddington Bear Stare (inherited from Mel). I think I better had leave the table set as is before my wargames room becomes my permanent abode.
The scenario for the game; It’s 1777 and the British are preparing for their winter camp and set out to forage for the last bit of supplies they can muster. However, the Continental force is also out gathering much needed food and fodder to see them through a harsh winter.
Richard and myself were controlling the British force, while Jamie, Josh and Mel were controlling the Continentals.
The units deploy using mission 1 of the Sharp Practice rules and both sides have a moveable deployment point (which they both use to good effect in the game). The British had a force morale of 11 and the Continentals force morale was only 9. The game would last until either reached a zero force morale and the other side had to stay at 3 or more to achieve a victory.
Jamie was also in charge of drawing the counters from the bag. It seemed early on that he hadn’t put any of the British counters in due to most Continental units were deployed before the 1st British unit arrived. This did give the British the advantage of being able to deploy advantageously.
The Continental skirmishers formed a skirmish screen in front of their main force, this was a good tactic but also proved to be an issue due to the fact their main units struggled to march through this screen.
Meanwhile the British were also having troubles of their own. They managed to get their light infantry and skirmishers deployed to cover their flanks, but their main units again struggled to cope with the terrain (which was a fact during this period).
The dice rolls at this stage were pretty poor to average, apart from Richard who started with a blinder and was on a roll albeit short lived as the Downing curse struck.
The fighting was beginning to intensify all across the battlefield and the Continental right flank was beginning to press hard against the British left. Shots after shots were being fired, reloading and firing again. At one point the smoke would have been that bad that it would have been difficult to see friend from foe, let alone the battlefield.
As for the Continental centre and left flank, these were starting to suffer from the relentless musketry at this stage from the British. The Continentals were losing units and leaders which had a devastating effect on their Force Morale. But hope was not lost as the Continentals pushed hard again on their right flank to clear the British from the woods in front of them.
The Queens Rangers and the British Light Infantry were by now low on ammunition and they too were suffering casualties. In a last ditch attempt of glory, the Queens Rangers decided to charge the Militia unit to their front…………
Meanwhile, the Indians were having a conversation as to whether to charge the militia skirmish unit to their front or not.
Back to the Queens Rangers charging the militia, this was heroic if not foolhardy adventure. The Queens Rangers managed to cut down the Continental army leader along with other men, at the cost of their unit being wiped out. Losing their army leader put the Continental force morale through the scale and as a result they withdrew in a disorderly fashion.
The Indians were still having a chat as to whether or not to charge…… At this point the game ended with a British victory.
The game was a real success as everyone enjoyed it as the rules were easy to pick up and certainly lend themselves to a narrative gaming experience. If you are looking to get into a period and don’t want to build or paint large amounts of figures then we can certainly recommend Sharp Practice from the Toofatlardies.
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