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Author Topic: Sharp Thwarted: A Peninsular War Game Using Sharp Practice  (Read 181 times)

Offline goingaviking

  • Student
  • Posts: 10
Carole Flint and I played a game of Sharp Practice using David Hunters' Cerro Manteca Campaign, in preparation for an event. [Carole is the author of the Hippolyta's Tiny Footsteps blog]. We fought the Escort Duty scenario with the British force trying to get an Exploring Officer (intelligence officer) past a French force.
We had 85 points each side. The British force contained 4 groups of Line infantry and 3 groups of Light skirmishers. They had 6 leaders. The French force contained 5 groups of Chasseurs and 3 groups of Voltigeurs. They had 4 leaders. Both sides had a Force Morale of 11.
In the Cerro Manteca campaign French Legere are superior to French Line and of a similar quality to British Line and Light. David encourages players to limit themselves to four leaders each. If one player has more than this then the relative probabilities of drawing of chits, to activate leaders, can jar with your expectations and appear unbalanced and frustrating. This was the case in this game

The British Deploy.
The 4 groups of Line infantry, with the Exploring Officer, advance in open column up the road with one group of skirmishers on the right flank and two groups on the left flank, by the river.

The French Appear and the British React.
It was Turn 5 before the first French leader deployed. They 2 groups of Voltigeurs appeared in the church in the centre of their position.
The British reacted to this by forming their Line infantry in line in the centre of the table. One group of skirmishers occupied the house by the bridge. The other two groups of skirmishers crossed the stream and advanced.
The French deployed 3 groups of Chasseurs, with their Level 3 leader, in a formation behind the church, out of musket range.

The French Deploy and the British Respond.
The British sent the Exploring Officer across the steam to joint the skirmishers and the Line infantry resumed their march in column down the road. Once this column had crossed the bridge it formed into two lines. The group of skirmishers crossed the river and captured the French Deployment Point. It then joined the front line to attack the French flank.
The French Level 3 leader was activated using 3 flags. One group of Chasseurs turned to face the British and, with the support of a group of Voltigeurs, delivered an effective volley that halted the British. The rear British line was shot at in the flank from the church. This formation was unable to advance and suffered casualties and significant shock.

After 15 Turns we stopped, as we had run out of time, and called the game. Casualties were light: the British lost 4 Line and 4 Light figures and had two Level 1 leaders wounded; the French lost 2 Chasseurs and 3 Voltigeurs and had one Level 1 leader wounded. Force Morale was still high: 10  for the British and 9 for the French.

The Historians Speculate.
Carole thought that the 2 groups of Light skirmishers would not be able to escort the Exploring Officer past the French right flank. They faced 3 groups of Chasseurs and 2 groups of Voltigeurs.
The attempt by the 4 groups of Line infantry and 1 group of Light skirmishers to force the French to move groups to defend their left flank had failed.
The British plan was based around using the fire power of their massed line infantry. Once they had committed them to the centre of the table, which was tactically unimportant, they surrendered the initiative to the French.
In a game where the objective was to get an individual through the enemy lines it might have been better for the British to use their Line infantry to support the advance of their skirmishers, as the French did on their right flank. [Groups of skirmishers in Sharp Practice get a third, movement, activation each turn and can quickly move through terrain or around a position].
« Last Edit: May 25, 2022, 04:44:50 PM by goingaviking »


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