Monday, 23 October 2017

Another Sharp Practice American Civil War AAR

I played another game of Sharp Practice yesterday at the club against Richard, who hadn't played the game previously. He said later that he'd found the activation via card mechanism a bit odd at first, being used to I Go, You Go games generally, but once it had sunk in he enjoyed the game.
All the troops are from my Peter Pig 15mm ACW armies, and the resin buildings, animals and civilians are also Peter Pig. The fences are by 4Ground. The rest of the scenery belongs to the club.


This was an mid-war scenario where both sides were made up of regulars. All infantry were equipped with rifled muskets. The Union cavalry had breech-loading carbines and the Confederate cavalry had Mixed Weapons (half rifled muskets and half close range firearms).

The Union forces (Me), led by Captain Bradley Stoke, have been sent forwards to test the Confederate defences and also to forage for food. Led by cavalry, they have found a hamlet where there are supplies (represented here by four stands of pigs and sheep). The mission is to make off with supplies but also to cause casualties to any Confederate forces they come across.

The Confederate forces (Richard), commanded by Lieutenant Nahum G. Pierce are charged with protecting the hamlet, but initially are unsure of the direction of approach of the Union troops.

Union troops

2 groups of 8 cavalry (dragoons) with with a Status 2 Leader, Lt Travis Perkins
4 groups of 8 infantry (regulars) with a Status 3 Leader (Capt. Bradley Stoke) and a Status 1 Leader (2nd Lt Richard Cunningham)
1 group of 6 skirmishers (Berdan's Sharpshooters) with a Status 1 Leader, Sgt. Henry Gibson)

Additional: Water Cart, Musician (bugler) , Physic and Status 1 Leader (Cpl Lyle Tate)

Confederate troops

1 group of 8 cavalry (dragoons) with with a Status 1 Leader (Lt. Byron Beausoleil)
4 groups of 8 infantry (regulars) with a Status 3 Leader (Lt Nahum G. Pierce)
2 groups of 6 skirmishers (One being Louisiana Tigers) each with a Status 1 Leader (Cpl Cooter Davenport, Sgt Randolph Cartwright)

Additional: Status 1 Leader (Sgt. Cecil Green), Musician (bugler), Colour Party and Mule Train

 Here is the table before any troops emerged.


The Union troops would deploy from the far end of the table, with the Confederates moving on from the closest end. The first troops to appear were the Rebel cavalry and the Louisiana Tigers skirmishers, who were rated as Good Shots. groups of sheep and pigs were placed in pens, to be the target of the Union troops and there were a number of non-combatants in the hamlet.

The Union infantry began to deploy and move forwards but the cavalry were delayed for some reason for three rounds of play. This would be a cause of concern. I had hoped to use the cavalry to secure an advanced position early on to prevent the Confederate infantry from moving at will.

The Rebel cavalry embarked on a long flanking movement on the left flank as more Rebel skirmishers appeared, led by Cpl Davenport.

The Union troops began to advance, with the main body of infantry in the centre, supported by Berdan's Sharpshooters. One group of infantry were given the task of defending a line of fences against the threat from the Rebel riders.

Finally Lt Travis Perkins arrived with his two groups of carbine-equipped cavalry, swinging round to attack the Confederate right flank.

Unfortunately, at this point the Union troops were crippled by inertia for two turns, with no Blue Leader cards being dealt. This would prove to be a fatal problem for the infantry in the centre, while the Confederate cavalry continued their flanking movement.

The main body of Rebel infantry soon deployed along the perimeter fences of the hamlet, pouring volleys of fire into the hapless immobile bluecoats.

Union casualties mounted, as did their level of shock. The musketry of the Louisiana Tigers was especially damaging. The advance stalled.

The Confederate cavalry stayed clear of the fighting and attempted to get behind the Union troops. In the end, though, they would be seen off by Union musketry, accumulating a lot of shock in the process, leaving them unable to mount a convincing threat to the Union Troops.

Things looked a bit brighter on the Union left, as the cavalry pushed up before dismounting in the wooded ground, from where they could deploy their carbines too good effect.

Things were definitely grim in the killing ground in the Union centre. No ground was made at all and before long the infantry were forced to withdraw. Force Morale suffered. The Berdan's Sharpshooters were able to fire back, and had some success against the Louisiana Tigers who had advanced into the broken ground outside the village.

The Confederate skirmishers in the woods were driven off by accurate short range fire from a group of Union infantrymen.

The Union troops advanced, causing casualties and forcing the Confederate infantry in the village to redeploy to meet the threat. To the front of the village, a huge cloud of black powder smoke hung over the field, obscuring the view for both sides.

This fire-fight took up the last few rounds of combat before it became apparent that the Union troops were never going to be in a position to make off with any livestock, having suffered more casualties than the Rebels and with their troops taking a lot more shock. Therefore, the only prudent course was for Capt. Stoke to order his bugler to sound the recall.

So, in the end, a first Sharp Practice victory for Rich and his Confederates.

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