Relief in the Forest - an AWI game using Sharp Practice
A game played at the club in November 2023, the following account contains contributions from Ian (the umpire) and Andy J and Tom D (the Rebel commanders). Andy R and Daniel M were the British leaders. My thanks to all concerned.
Our game was an early AWI scenario using the Sharp Practice rules. The backdrop being; the Rebels having made their way through the Forest to attack and overwhelm an outpost of the Crown, found themselves in turn surprised by a relief column of British Regulars making its way up the road to relieve that very outpost. A 2 vs 2 game using one card deck.
Caution got the better of the Rebels (Andy J and Tom D) who seemed reluctant to leave the cover of the forest. This gave the forces of the Crown (Andy R and Dan) enough breathing space to get themselves sufficiently organised from their unprepared state, to make a fight of it. A ragged scrap followed where some units on both sides were failing to get engaged. As the firefights did finally intensify, darkness fell and both sides were forced to call it a day. Time to sit around the campfire and reflect on what might have been.
However, I am sure the surviving Frontiersmen (they suffered very badly against British Infantry at close quarters) who had offered their Rifles in support of the Rebels, will think twice about it in the future!
Andy J's account
Myself and Tom took on Andy R and Daniel with Ian providing the game and umpiring. The aim was for the Rebels (Andy J and Tom) to destroy a British camp. Although the Rebels approached through a dense forest the British sentries seemed to spot them as soon as they arrived on table! Undeterred the rebel scouts fired on the British gun crew slowing down their efforts to bring the gun into operation.
As everyone deployed onto the table it became clear that the British relief force were happy to take their time and let the men in the camp sort themselves out. This wasn't a problem for two reasons : The card deck kept on giving the British action phases but then showing "Tiffin" before the rebels had fully activated! Secondly I (AJ) got into a fire fight when I should have been running around trying to set fire to the British camp!
As a final disaster my six scouts (and a sergeant) attacked a British remnant of five regulars with a load of shock - The Tomahawk attack by the scouts added no further to the shock and then the British somehow inflicted seven dead on the scouts for the loss of one regular! Fortunately, the one dead was the officer and after all of the "bad things" were adjudicated the force morale of both sides was equal.
The British thought this was a draw but if I'm honest the Rebels never got anywhere near achieving their objectives!
Tom D's account
Thanks to Ian for umping the Sharp Practise game. It was a nice little intro to the rules.
The cards seemed very unkind to us Rebels or it certainly felt like it. However, getting out the woods to take the advantage of our surprise took longer than we had expected. Even so the battle seemed well balanced, with fisticuffs taking a couple of squads off the table. Daniel managed to get amongst my Skirmishers who had strayed too far along the tree line in the hope of a good shot. This forced me in to defending the tree line rather than getting amongst it.
As the battle moved on, Rebel militia and British regulars exchanged a few volleys of fire on the road leading up to the camp. Neither forced each other out of place. However, the well ordered ranks of British troops looked a rather formidable force compared to the rag tab bunch hiding in the trees. I don't imagine that they would've held out too much longer as the British managed to form their lines.
I think a British win sounds about right. But thanks again to Ian, Andrew J, Andy R, and Daniel.