Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Rebels' Redoubt: an AWI skirmish with Sharp Practice
Exploring the built-in diversity of the Sharp Practice ruleset for small skirmishes, I ran a game set during the American War of Independence. Dave and I played a scenario that had an outnumbered and outclassed Rebel force holding a dug-in redoubt with one functioning field gun against an onslaught of elite Redcoats.
The crown forces, consisting of 1 line unit supported by lights, grenadiers, and Hessian mercenaries, began their approach through the wheat fields of a colonial farmstead.
Awaiting them were two groups of Colonial Militia, supported by a light field gun and one line unit of Continental Regulars, and led by an army Lt. and a collection of unimpressive "officers" elected by the militia. Substantially outnumbered and facing a much better trained force, their only hope was to offset these disparities with earthwork defenses.
But would abatis and gabion be enough to stop an empire?
Holding the center redoubt, the Continental regulars load their field gun.
The Centre Company and Lights get uncomfortably close to the left flank, undeterred by the militia's ragged firing.
Charging bayonets, the redcoats storm the redoubt, and the militia lose their nerve.
The Continental line, however, holds strong. They fire a close range volley into the British, and charge into the fray, temporarily pushing them back.
The highland grenadiers and Hessians stoically shrug off casualties from the artillery emplacement, and march on the right flank.
Having thrown back the Continentals, the light company advance on one of the militia's officers. Despite protestations of surrender, he is bayonetted where he stands.
As the grenadiers bring the last remaining militia into combat, the rest of the Americans abandon their position and flee the battle. They can only hope they delayed the armies of the Crown.
In parting, I am again impressed with the flexibility of the Sharp Practice ruleset. With only a few minor tweaks and the selection of an appropriate scenario, the game changes its mood dramatically, and really captures the flavor of different conflicts from the age of black powder. Quite agreeably, this game did not seem like a Napoleonic ruleset forced onto the American War of Independence, but really played as though it was purpose-written for the conflict.