Sharp Practice at Steel Lard

Off to Patriot Games in Sheffield on 19th November 2022 for Steel Lard. The morning was taken up by a 4 player (2 a side) French and Indian War Sharp Practice game. Lovely terrain, the figures are Galloping Major. This was a relatively small scale affair. The models were mostly working in groups. Only 2 or 3 formations each of 2 groups came into being during the game. With small sized units and most of those being skirmish or light troops in cover a lot of the dice thrown had no effect. A unit of French Marines were, however, wiped out by long-odds missile fire. In the ACW and Napoleonic games previously described here there were big formations throwing out a lot of dice and consequent losses and shock building up. Here the pace was quieter with a lot of shots going nowhere. Close combat was more deadly but its a risk often not worth taking.

I commanded the boat on the left below. Both were full of 3 groups and a leader but it would be a push to cram them all in. Redoubt do some lovely period boats with rowers but how often would these get used in games?

The plan is to sail down the river, get out, burn down as many of the 5 buildings as possible and if there’s time find and rescue our commander’s lady friend. The British only have 1 man and a dog on the board. If the dog did not detect us in theory it is possible to do all that without anyone getting hurt.

Our luck went the other way and the boats did not get far before the dog heard our oars and the British cropped up all over the the shop. Time to get out of the boats but even that took longer than it ought to have done.

After some sorting out 1 house is on fire and the inhabitants of the other are heading for safety.

Our Milice think better of that, charge in and slaughter the lot. They later set the house on fire to rub it in. Redcoats have formed a good line behind the next fence making any further progress difficult.

Both sides settle into a firefight. Some of the British mission Indians break and run. Rogers Rangers dance about with little effect and our Coureurs du Bois loose off long range rifle shots with similar lack of result.

The end of game sees a stagnating firefight and the British decide to concede. They were 2 points lower in morale and in danger of breaking. Our French were not in a much better position and had only burnt 2 of the 5 buildings and failed to find the lady. On points I would have given it to the British.

The ‘winning’ French tactic had been to continually hammer the 2 badly hit British units (Indians and colonists) and see the British morale drop as they ran further away.

Rumour has it that the French also won the afternoon game,not that it really matters as long as everyone had fun (except possibly the British colonists).