A couple of weeks ago I ran my 'Brisk Action at Hawkes Farm' Sharp Practice game at Rockcon, just down the road in Illinois.
I'd got a full sign up of six players with three Union commanders called Mike - that made things easy - and Scott, Terry and Brian leading the Confederates.
I'd divided the two sides into three forces each comprising a couple of commanders plus two to four units each. Each force was given a minor and a major objective to add a little extra role-play to the game.
Red 1: Captain James Turnbull (Leader, Status III) leading three groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets.
Red 2: Sergeant Jake Woodward (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets
Minor Objective: You and Lieutenant Carter vie for the affections of Molly Golightly, if you were to suffer a minor wound, she would be sure to favour you.
Red 4: Sergeant Elijah Barnes (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets, one of them is a ‘Cracker’
Minor Objective: The cracker must survive the game.
Red 5: First Lieutenant Nathaniel Eppendorf (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight cavalry with mixed weapons
Red 6: Second Lieutenant Jonah Fish (Leader, Status I) leading a group of six skirmishers with rifled muskets.
Major Objective: Beat an enemy group or formation by at least ‘Defeated by 2’ with a mounted charge
Minor Objective: Perform a mounted charge
Blue 2: Sergeant Jebediah Hawkins (Leader, Status I) assisting
Major Objective: The colonel does not hold you in the esteem that you believe you should be, you need to burn the farm house and barn to the ground. Your men are equipped with tinder boxes and supplies to do this.
Minor Objective: If you are going to lose the game it would look better for you if you were incapacitated, if you lose the game and have been wounded this is a minor objective, not if you win.
Blue 3: First Lieutenant Francis Kennedy (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of eight infantry with rifled muskets
Blue 4: Second Lieutenant Pearson Blake (Leader, Status II) leading two groups of six skirmishers with rifled muskets
Major Objective: Chicken dinner tonight, secure three bases of chickens from Hawkes Farm
Minor Objective: Any chicken shall do, get at least one base of chickens from Hawkes Farm
Blue 6: Second Lieutenant Jonah Fish (Leader, Status I) assisting.
Major Objective: Cause any group or formation of Confederate horse to break and run either by fire or steel.
Minor Objective: Escort any civilians to safety.
All my players entered into the swing of things and although only two had played Sharp Practice before the game went rather smoothly.
A brisk action did indeed take place at Hawkes Farm, Union troops occupied the farmyard, snaffling many chickens and Lieutenant Carters troopers ransacked the farmhouse stealing the cash.
In a sharp firefight in the centre the Confederate troops were getting advantage over Captain Jones troops who were rather outnumbered in that area, but the Union troops really dominated on the flanks.
Effective carbine fire saw the Confederate horse dismount and skedaddle for the cover of the orchard on that flank . While Union forces were pouring carbine and skirmisher fire into both flanks against the troops that had been overwhelming Captain Jones.
After about three hours it was time to wrap up the game, the Union forces had the slight edge in Force Morale while one of the Confederate commanders, Lieutenant Carter had achieved his major objective. On the Union side Captains Kennedy and Keller had achieved minor objectives.
I called a draw!
Everybody seemed to enjoy it and hopefully we shall have more recruits to Sharp Practice.
I do seem to have taken a lot of photos of the cavalry, here is one more of the infantry for you to enjoy.