Sharp Practice 15mm Napoleonic

A run out of Sharp Practice with 15mm Napoleonics based as 3s on 3cm by 1cm strips. Each strip is a single Sharp Practice model and the game scale has been changed with 1″ measured as 2cm.  If we use 1cm as 1m in real scale a model is 1.6m high and short musket range is 24m.   In real life any shooting below 50m is dangerously close so the models should still be 2-4x shorter to match a believable ground scale.  The buildings are 15mm Hovels and a little on the small size for 1:1 type games. 

The Church is the French deployment point and the British win by capturing it.  Even as a small Chapel the 156 French troopers in the game could just squeeze in on the pews assuming the gallery could take their weight.  So the French could stuff their entire force in the tiny Church and call it a day.  Tactically that would be a poor plan.  Only a minority of troopers could shoot out and if someone played with matches it could all go horribly wrong.  A slightly less bad plan would be to line up in front of the Church as 3 rows, skirmishers, line, line; then taunt the British to go for it (or possibly round it).

Instead we aim for a more open game and see what happens.  There were a few false starts before the re-setting for the opening moves.  This clarified which units were best deployed first and the ‘virtual’ size of various openings in the terrain features.  The river is dry but rough going.  Units can follow the road and pass through gates 2 stands (6 men) abreast.  We assume some crunching up within the fixed bases.

The British have 2 deployment points but only the mule group by the house counts for ‘bad things happen’.  The other point has been deployed well forward but the mass of French skirmishers are threatening to shut it down.

The left field British skirmishers suffer withering fire.  A British formation of 2 groups heads across the bridge with skirmishers to their right.  French pile into the field ahead of them.

A column on road moves 3D6, up to 36cm in this scale.  They could be instructed to halt at some fixed point.  Forgetting that the British road column jogs up the road and ends up uncomfortably close to the French line by the Church.  From this point on it all starts to go horribly wrong for the British.  There are French in front, to the right and behind them.

The British sort themselves out but take serious shock from the French in line to one side and their skirmish cloud (who have shown off their British opposite numbers) to another.  Luckily the French line to the right are still in column and another British formation is coming up to try and deal with that threat.

The British cross the dry river as groups breaking up the formation.

The French drive the remaining British skirmishers to the right away from the wall.  The British charge up the road again forgetting how large a score might possibly be rolled on 3D6 and that they could have been ordered to halt.

The lead British group led by their leader drives the French back from the Churchyard walls.  The other 2 groups nominally under that leader’s command are across the river but without a commander will not be able to act as a formation nor recover any shock.

The British inflict some damage on the French in the Churchyard but those inside the Church are unaffected.  The British are suffering from severe shock.  From left to right below; 7, 9 and 1.  British morale is dropping.

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The British leader facing the French skirmishers can’t remove shock as fast as more shock is taken.  The British are starting to lose command cards leading to a downward spiral.  The French and British on either side of the wall trade volleys.  The French have the shelter of the wall and 2 leaders to no British so clearly are doing better out of it.

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As the British moral plummets to zero their remaining lines are pushed back.  There is still a British group in the Churchyard but they would have minimal chance of taking control of the Church.

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In game tactics the British made a major mistake in moving their best commander from his formation to push a single group into the Churchyard.   The remaining formation units had restricted activation opportunities and could not recover shock.  The formation of 12 French skirmishers under a leader 2 had good fortune in sending off the group of 6 British sent against them.  They rolled well and earned an extra shot from a shooting related random action.   With the British skirmishers out of the game the French could turn the British flank.  The British should have put both their skirmish groups on the same part of the field as the French skirmish formation.

Rules wise the same French skirmisher formation was too powerful.  It put out 12 stands of shooting and benefited from the skirmisher cover bonus.  This would not have occurred with fixed single model stands as the line of models would be set to reflect who could shoot.  It was assumed that the 15mm models might virtually move within their bases allowing 2 ranks to shoot.  On reflection if 2 ranks were allowed to shoot then the formation is in line as shot at as such.  A 15mm based skirmish formation is best seen as a single line of stands.