To try out the scenarios in One Hour Wargames, we decided to set up a game of Sharp Practice. Scenario #6, Flank Attack I, sounded interesting, so K. took the French ambushers and I took the British, which deployed in column along the road.
For the first two turns, I added a ‘French Initiative’ card to the turn deck, which would allow the French to activate any of their Big Man. Also we ruled that, as long as the French hadn’t revealed themselves, the British were only allowed to march forward.
The first two turns saw the French at the road block take some potshots at the British advance guard without much effect. However, the French also formed a line with their flanking force and swiftly moved it up the hill. When they opened up, their fire was withering and threw the British column into confusion!
While the British Major was rallying his troops, the Maroons charged out of the jungle and crashed into the other group of British regulars. They were repulsed but again the British took casualties and shock.
Things were going downhill for the British. Most of the next turns ended early because of the ‘Tiffin’ card, which meant that the French could keep up a steady fire which wore down the British troops while the British couldn’t do much besides shooting back. The Chasseurs were falling back fast and soon the whole column was in a state of disarray.
I decided to let the Chasseurs run and concentrate my effort on the regulars. To our surprise, Major Turvington and Lieutenant Winkworth managed to rally their troops and get them on the road again. Ranks were dressed and the men marched forward towards the barricades.
The rear was pretty secure as the Maroons had fled into the jungle and the French regulars were far behind, so I nourished hope that I might swing the game around. Major Turvington led the first charge onto the barricades, but alas! a thrust from a French bayonet felled the brave fellow and he dropped from his horse dead as a doornail.
We decided to end the game at this point. The British charge had been repulsed, their leading Big Man was dead and it was only a matter of time until the French troops would close up. There was no chance the British could force the barricades now.
This was a very enjoyable game with some dramatic twists and turns. The scenario worked very well for Sharp Practice, it was challenging and provided an interesting tactical situation. Also, it was perhaps the most historical plausible scenario we have played in a while – ambushes like this were very common during the Haitian campaign, and the French usually got the better of it.
I am definitely looking forward to trying out more scenarios from One Hour Wargames!