Well I finally made it to that mythical land known only as ‘Lard Island’ and despite all the warnings I received on my journey (see previous post), I found The Lord of Lard (aka, Rich Clarke) to be a wonderful host indeed.
I arrived at Lard Central at midday, and after a quick chat with Rich we went out for lunch at the Old Guinea before returning for a test game. The idea behind my visit was to try out the force compositions and army lists I have put together for the War of 1812 campaign book I’m working on and chat about how to put everything together, so we decided to have a small game in the afternoon, before visiting the Lard Research and Development laboratory in the evening where Rich’s crack team of wargamers would test the rules on a larger scale.
There will be another post on the second game, but for now lets look at the afternoon game.
Sharp Practice 2 uses an army composition mechanic that is similar to Chain of Command, where players get a core force and can add support options using points the number of points available for support is dictated by the scenario being played. As it was a test game we used some basic infantry core forces similar to those in this post and we added a single unit to each side, the Americans who were defending had a small cannon, whilst the British took an extra unit of Indian warriors.
the Scenario was attack and defend, with the Americans defending a fort whilst the British tried to take it from them, each side had 2 Deployment points, the Americans had their main one in the center of the fort with a secondary one in the woodland to the side of it, whilst the Brits had a main on on the short edge and had a movable one in the woodland on their left flank. The movable DP was assigned to the Indian warriors but once they had deployed my other troops could use it until it came under LoS from the enemy when it would be removed, so I knew I had to be quick.
the game started with my Scouting force coming one from the main DP and pushing forward in the hope of forcing the Americans to deploy, this was followed on by my main infantry force deploying in attack column and marching towards the fort., by scouts had the desired effect and Rich was forced to deploy a single group of infantry outside the fort with an NCO.
Rich was playing a very canny game and not showing me where his troops were, so in turn 2 I was able to move my deployment zone forward, ready to ambush his patrol. before I could do that he started firing on my scouts and inflicted a kill and some shock, but then I got enough command cards to deploy my Indian warriors, from the Deployment Point and use my command cards to carry out the Ambush by rushing them forward 3d6″
unfortunately I didn’t make contact in that move and the turn ended.
The next turn saw my luck continue as I managed to activate the Indians before Rich was able to anything with his regular infantry, they, charged in and inflicted some serious shock to the regulars and forced them back into the fort. I was also able to deploy my Canadian militia on the roadway and move my main force slowly up. Rich was forced to deploy his 2 units of Riflemen in the woods on my flank and the rest of his regular troops and Militia in the fort. The next turn saw my Indians charge into the fort and rout the first unit of regulars but with the loss of the Indian leader, then Rich opened fire with his second infantry unit which caused a kill and some shock, but this left Rich unloaded with some seriously upset Indians in-front of him
A skirmish had started on the flank with Rich’s riflemen causing my Militia some pain, but it was the action in the fort that was of most interest. luck remained on my side when I was able to activate the Indians using some command cards and got them into Fisticuffs before the Americans could reload, with some lucky dice rolls I managed to rout the regulars and also capture their primary Deployment point causing a huge drop in morale for the Americans
well we carried on playing for another turn but by now the American force Morale was on 1 whilst the British was on 8, so it was a forgone conclusion on the result and the Americans surrendered to the British infantry who finally made it to the fort.
all in all a great first test of the rules, they gave a completely different feel to a European based Napoleonic game and bodes really well for the campaign book.
in my next post I’ll tell you all about what happened in the evening game