Gary and I played Sharp Practice again last night, with much the same setup as before, except that we randomised the entry points in the hope that it would provide a game with more movement. We still kept the terrain fairly light, though; some hedged fields at one end of the board, and a couple of woods at the other.
I had the French and ended up with the fields as a deployment area. After experiencing the firepower of the British-Who-Look-Like-Prussians in the last game I opted to get into cover as soon as possible.
I also got lucky in the first couple of moves, being able to bring on and deploy the majority of my troops before the British even appeared.
An overview a couple of turns later. The British all appeared to the top left. Their light infantry moved forward towards the corner of the fields, taking one of my units there under long-range fire. Meanwhile the bulk of Gary's force went along the table edge, aiming to outflank me. To the right of the picture you can see my light troops moving to counter this. Finally he sent more troops around to his right, aiming to approach my position from the woods.
At that point my phone ran out of power, so there are no more pictures.Gary had a bad run of luck, both with his movement rolls (his troops chose to move at glacial speeds) and the draw of cards (French officers came up more frequently than British). So when he got his troops into the position he wanted them, my troops were already there to counter him, mostly in cover, and ready to shoot.
And that pretty much set the tone of the game. I managed my cards to keep firing, whilst Gary kept firing and rallying hoping to find a point where he could actually attack. Both of our senior commanders were wounded, the wound on mine being only thing to cause my force to lose any morale. At the top of the picture above, the British troops' proximity to the board edge cost them a unit as they fell back. On the left, my troops swung through 90 degrees to counter the attack through the woods, and a random event saw the two forces close enough to each other to charge, but the opportunity never really arose. When the commander of those troops was wounded for a second time, and both of his units fell back, the British morale collapsed.
Many thanks to Gary for being a gallant opponent in the face of a position that was never going to be easy to attack.I found that the mechanics of the game made a little more sense this time, and began to understand how to use the officers and particular card combinations successfully. And we did have more moving about than we'd had in the previous game. I think in future games we need more terrain which can break up fields of fire; having to cross large areas of open table does not really help any attack go in, as you'd expect.
Oh, and thanks to Dave for handling the card deck and dealing the cards my way ...