Wednesday 30 December 2020

Sharp Practice: Confrontation at Georgetown Crossroads...

The evening before the country entered the second national lockdown of the year, Andy and I met at BIG to get in a game of Sharp Practice to see if I could stop his run of victories (is two in a row a run?). The basic scenario was taken from the Swamp Fox campaign supplement (scenario nine - Georgetown) although as we don't have the requisite forces yet for Swamp Fox (how many mounted militia do I need?!!), we drew up our forces based on what we had to hand. The scenario is a meeting engagement with the aim to defeat the enemy and control the crossroads...

The game started with three groups of brave Continental Line marching down the road towards the crossroads commanded by Captain Blackmore (accompanied by a drummer and 'holy man' Molly Pitcher)

Any hope of stealing a march on the British was thwarted as the three groups of British Line Infantry under the command of Captain Haddock (assisted by Sergeant Wakefield) appeared on the opposite edge of the field of battle.

A group of Militia Skirmishers under the command of Corporal Glover appeared next rushing across the fields to take up a position protecting the Continentals flank.

A second group of Militia Skirmishers enter the field under the command of Corporal Paice and screened the Continental Line.

Suddenly more lobsterbacks were spotted, two units of Light Infantry in Line under the command of Ensign Harrow pushing forward towards the right flank of the Americans.

The race was on to reach the crossroads first with the Line infantry of both sides marching to an inevitable confrontation!

Meanwhile on the American right Harrow's redcoated Lights advanced on Corporal Glover's Militia Skirmishers hunkered down behind the rail fence.

Whilst on the left of the battlefield Corporal Stringer and a unit of British Light Infantry skirmishers deployed for action...

With Haddock's men advancing towards them, Captain Blackmore ordered his men into line and to Present, poised ready to deliver a crashing volley into the redcoats!

Unfortunately though the Command chips fell Andy's way allowing him to also deploy into line, before the Continentals could do anything...

And unleash an uncontrolled volley at the brave Patriots!

Four Continentals fell dead and the Americans reeled with several points of accumulated Shock.

Unfortunately for the Americans Tiffin came next and then Haddock's token was pulled again. Another volley crashed into the Continentals killing another four and piling more Shock on them.

Blackmore's men stood bravely and managed to return a volley, inflicting Shock on all three of the British Line groups.

Meanwhile on the right flank Ensign Harrow attempted to rush Glover's Militia Skirmishers who had been joined behind the rail fence by Paice's group. The Militia picked off a Lobsterback and inflicted Shock on the Light Infantry.

The battle at the crossroads grew bloodier with Patriots and Redcoats falling to traded volleys and both sides accumulating more Shock.

Whilst this was happening Sergeant Lord and his Continental Skirmishers armed with rifles sneaked through the orchard unnoticed and deployed on the American left...

Opening fire into the flank of Haddock's redcoats! Unfortunately they failed to kill even on Lobsterback or inflict much in the way of Shock. Very disappointing...

Haddock's men continued to pile uncontrolled volleys into the Continentals to their front...

And eventually one group of Patriot Line breaks and flees...

Fortunately for the Americans Lieutenant Gillan with his two groups of Light Infantry in Line had just arrived...

And throwing tomahawks on their way in, they charged into Haddock's redcoats...

Forcing them back and breaking them into two formations as they were unable to fall back in line!

On the right Harrow's Light snapped into line to engage the pesky Militia Skirmishers...

But their Presented Volley only killed one and inflicted just one point of Shock on the second group of Militia.

The Militia returned fire, inflicting Shock on the Lights.

At this stage the battle was finely balanced. Both sides Line units had been badly mauled but both still had strong units of Light Infantry in Line with Skirmish units in support.

On the right Sergeant Lord's Continental Skirmishers traded fire with Corporal Stringers's Skirmishers...

Whilst Lieutenant Gillan snapped his Legion Light Infantry into Line and poured fire into Harrow's Redcoats.

Pushing the disparate groups back once again.

The smaller group commanded by Sergeant Wakefield firied back at the Legion with minimal effect.

With the battle starting to swing the American way, Corporal Stringer's Light Infantry Skirmishers charged Sergeant Lord's Continental Skirmishers...

Killing Lord and routing his men! (how many of my Leaders has Andy killed now?

Suddenly the American left flank was exposed, could Andy snatch victory?!

Captain Blackmore Dressed the Ranks of his remaining two Line Infantry groups into one and despite being wounded ordered his men to fire at Sergeant Wakefield's redcoats to their front.

The fire from the Continentals was the final straw for Wakefields's men who fled the battle...

Running through Harrow's Light Infantry causing one group of them to break and flee as well!

This was the final stray for the British with their Force Morale dropping to zero. 

After a bloody battle, the field was controlled by the brave Patriots!

That was one helluva battle and hugely enjoyable, swinging one way then the other before I finally managed to snatch victory. I had thought I had the edge when I managed to deploy my Line infantry into line before Andy, but the god of Command Chips deserted me at this vital point allowing Andy's Line to pummel mine with a series of volleys. Fortunately the brave Continentals stood up to this long enough for the Legion Light Infantry to arrive and charge the British Line. 

A mention in despatches mush go to the the Militia Skirmishers under the commands of Corporals Glover and Paice who managed to hold off Harrow's Light Infantry (the British equivalent of the Legion) and protect the American right flank, ultimately ensuring victory fell the American way.

Sadly this was the last game of 2020 as the next day we entered the national lockdown and a fortnight later emerged into tier two (so no gaming) and then a week later tier three. I'm not sure when we'll get our next game in, but huge thanks to Andy for introducing me to Sharp Practice this year, it has been a lot of fun.

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