Tuesday 26 August 2014

Sharpe's Standoff

It's nearing dawn in a Spanish village, and the French commander is interrogating a young lady, believed to be a spy for the nearby British. Little are they both aware of a daring rescue attempt being orchestrated outside by a certain Captain Sharpe.

From Furness Wargamers in Shakos

Terrain, figures and rules supplied by Matt, who has spun off these rules from his home-brew Napoleonic big battle rules so that he can make use of his singly based skirmisher figures. Tel leading the British as Tony plays the defenders.

The attempt at sneaking into the village failed as they ended up being spotted by a group of soldiers billeted in a house. As a Frenchman attempts to leave the building a brutal melee ensures, with both protagonists becoming victims. A close range fire fight breaks out through the windows, not achieving much until Harper burst the door open and set off his Volley Gun, killing the two soldiers on the lower floor.

A commotion breaks out on the other side of the village as a detachment of the 92nd Highlanders unexpectedly turn up and engage the defenders on that side. (Mark was a late show and missed the first few turns.)

The small squad sent to cover the central street spots a detachment of Frenchmen responding to the commotion and open fire on them, which was enough to persuade them to seek cover in a churchyard on the outskirts of the Village. The British, feeling exposed to counter-fire while in the street, seek cover in a building.

With the three Riflemen now in place in the building near the centre, the inhabitants of both churches are now in range. The French commander, surveying the situation from the top of the Church Tower, narrowly avoided a shot from a Sharpshooter. Deciding discretion was the better part of valour, he promptly went back indoors to the safety of the thick walls.

The Scots mysteriously stopped approaching the church and started making their way down the side of the village, exchanging the occasional volley with the church and dislodging some obviously shaken Frenchmen from a neighbouring building.

Any French trying to leave the front of the church would be in for a nasty surprise as The Rifles were now within effective range, while the muskets of the defenders, peering from the Church windows, were still at long range. The French in the building right next to them remained inactive at their windows as they wait for a target to come into view.

With a stalemate now developing and time running out the game came to an end. The reason for the Scots behaviour was then revealed as having been a rescue mission of another variety. Rumours of a large barrel of Brandy being stored in the village had circulated through the troops who had decided to liberate it! Unfortunately for them it in fact contained a large quantity of gunpowder.

For the first trial of the rules things played out quite well and should go faster in future now that we are aware of how the various modifiers would take effect. The main oversight on my part was not initially including either the veteran bonus or commander in range bonuses for reloading rifles. This slowed my advance down quite a bit while waiting for reloads.

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