I played my second game of Sharp Practice with the new 1809 forces against K. She took command of the Austrians, who were intent on disturbing some French Légères improving their supply situation.
The French had a forager wagon in the center of the village. Each time the Tiffin Card was drawn, one D6 would be rolled. On a total sum of 30, the wagon could start moving towards the French Primary Deployment Point. The wagon also served as the French Secondary Deployment Point. If the Austrians captured the wagon, they would win the game. If the French brought it off the table, victory would be theirs.
The Austrians deployed in force, with the skirmishers and Jäger advancing through the woods while the massed line infantry slowly marched forward in the road.
Commanding the French, I deployed skirmishers in the gardens and a small column marched out to meet the enemy. The village did not offer much space to deploy a line and I knew I had to play for time, so I decided on an aggressive defense.
At the same time, I deployed my largest formation from my Primary Deployment point. My plan was to bring them around the village on my left flank and outflank the attacking Austrians.
My gallant small advance guard formed line in front of the village and tried to slow down the mass of whitecoats.
Confronted by this mass, my first line of skirmishers fell back. This was perhaps not the best decision, as you can see a column of Austrians advancing in the distance on my far right flank. They were very slow and I had another group of skirmishers behind a fence in front of them, so I was not too worried.
Although the main Austrian line took severe punishment, my advance guard came under a withering fire from not only the regulars, but also some very nimble Jäger hiding in the bush. Gradually, they lost nerve and fell back.
Just at the right time, my flanking force arrived and smartly formed line. I quickly withdrew the groups of the shattered advance guard into the courtyard of the first farm building.
However, the Austrian column on my right flank suddenly rushed forward. I decided to hold my ground with my skirmishers – they were loaded, behind a fence and Light Infantry. Alas, this arrogance was to be punished! The Austrian bayonets made short work of my skirmishers, knocking out their leader and routing the rest. In just an instant, my right flank had broken down completely!
Fortunately, my foragers finally had finished their work and loaded the wagon with all kind of goods, Off they drove, when the driver casually turned his head to his left… Zut alors!
The Austrians rushed forward and caught the wagon in the nick of time!
The game was over! A win for the Austrians and their gallant commander K.
This was an excellent game, dramatic, fun and very close. We both really like that napoleonic SP provides a different experience than the ACW version, although rules-wise, the differences are subtle. But the generally shorter weapon ranges, the different terrain and the colourful uniforms all contribute to making this feel quite different. Also, after playing a series of games remotely, it was great to play once again face-to-face.
Hopefully, there is more to come. In any case, I’m very motivated to paint more figures. I’ve almost finished French Ligne, after which I will paint Austrian Grenzers, who should provide a very different experience from the sluggish Austrian regulars.