After all that hard work painting and building, the following day, I put on two games of Sharp Practice for Virtual Lard 5. Below is the blurb that I had written to attract punters to my game.....
Game 10: "The King's Private Sketches"
A Sharp Practice 2 game run by @col murray
Morning and Afternoon slots
Italy 1796 - The French army of Italy under it's new General, Napoleon Bonaparte, is pushing the Austrians out of Tuscany. Major DuRonays has heard that an Austrian Colonel has some special....documents...that once belong to Charles VIII of France. Keen to remove all examples of France's Monarchical past, he has taken a force to the village in order to...inspect the documents. Can DuRonays secure the King's sketches or will the forces of Colonel Viktor von Spiegel-Tent be able to keep the French at bay while removing the valuables to Vienna?
The idea was based around one of the Historic incidents that have always tickled my fancy. During the retreat from Naples back to France in 1496, Charles VIII army was confronted by a combined Italian army at Fornovo. The battle itself was somewhat of a draw with the French being able to withdraw to France and the Italians ending up with possession of the field. However, the Stradiots in the employ of Venice had managed to get around behind the French Army and had sacked the Royal Baggage train. In amongst the Kings personal items was a reportedly a book of sketches of all the women Charles had enjoyed the company of in Naples (apparently the whole army was rife with Syphilis which they promptly carried back to France). I liked the conceit that these drawings were still kicking about in Northern Italy and had become a choice method of attempting to embarrass the upstart revolutionaries.
The scenario called for the Austrian Forces deployed from the collection of buildings. They were given a couple of lengths of barricades that they could deploy where ever they felt appropriate. To make things a little more difficult, the French rolled randomly for the table edge that they would enter from, meaning that the Austrians, initially, were unaware of which direction the French would arrive.
The Austrians had a small group of Dragoons searching the main house looking for the drawings and their success was measured by a task roll with a target of 18. Each time the blank card was dealt from the game deck they could roll a D6 and add it the running total. Once they had the Drawings in their possession they had to escape along the road in either direction, once of the board the Austrians would win. The French would win by preventing this from happening.
In the first game the French came on by the mill on the little hill. The Legere and the Grenadiers tried to force the main road into the village, the Grenadiers marching resolutely at the Austrian Barricade. However, the commander of the German Fusiliers was made of stern stuff and kept his men order, sending an effective volley into the faces of the oncoming Grenadiers which made them rethink their plans and scurry back up the road.
The Ligne had more luck as they deployed behind the main building, wrong footing the Hungarians who scrambled to deploy in an effective manner and in doing so managed to take a fair amount of damage, which dragged the Austrians morale slowly down.
With the Hungarians wavering the Dragoons managed to find their prize, and with the building in flames around them, swiftly mounted their steeds and headed down the road
If the Hungarians could hold on until the Dragoons reached the edge of the board then a victory was assured. But no! The Horses must have been startled by stray bullets as, with their goal in sight, they slowed to a crawl, giving the French Ligne an opportunity to deliver a final volley into the devastated Hungarians, breaking the Austrian morale and handing the French a victory at the last second.
The second game started with the French coming on the opposite table edge and marching in line towards the buildings. The Grenadiers and Legere made good going and managed to get in to the field to the flank of the village and even got some shots at the Dragoons. However the Ligne suffered from some highly effective shooting from teh Hungarians. The French just never got on the front foot and when their officers were taken out the whole formation started to wither. All that was left by the end was 3 fusiliers guarding the prone figure of their officer. The Ligne troops took so much damage that the French Morale eventually broke and the game was over.
Two really different games with players from across the world, we all had great fun and the games ran really smoothly. Thanks to all the players for make it such a joy to put on.