So I spent my Thursday night down the club again, this time joining in a large Sharp Practise 2 game set in the Indian Mutiny. The game was set up on one double size table but in reality was split in two with a river separating two standard sized games. I took control of some well trained Sepoy Mutineers (both line and skirmishers) and had a jolly good time trading blows with the British player across the table while my secondary commander pummelled them with artillery. As its a Two Fat Lardies rule set, Sharp Practise 2 is something that plays very well but more importantly plays to reflect the period rather than being a generic framework.
The last time I saw my group of Yorkshire based wargaming friends, words were bandied around playing some Napoleonic Skirmish. We are all fans of Sharpe and the chance to take our own forces to battle across Europe with my friend Matt taking the role of the French while Chris and myself would take on two different British forces. Leaving Chris to take a look into a bulk deal on Rifle Green paint, I instead looked at my new home country and some of the more larger, angrier line regiments. With this basic idea, lets take a look at what my force and its leaders should be…
Captain Walters was the son of a wealth landowner once upon a time. Now he has fallen on harder times, money spent and lost from Edinburgh to Gibraltar, a trail of commercial mistakes stretching behind him. With the land gone to pay off his debts and refloat his wealth, he has bought his commission and joined the army to redeem himself, taking command of a forward element of the West Shiresdale Foot.
(Leader Status III, New money but personally impoverished, Honourable, Average Stamp, Fair of Face, Affable)
The West Shiresdale Foot is the standard British Army redcoat force. Drawn from the finest guttersnipes West Shiresdale could offer, the element under Walters has seen some battles in Portugal and is now ready to push into Spain.
(Three groups of 8 Regulars with Muskets)
Ensign Squirres should not be in Spain. In fact, he shouldn’t even be away from his beloved Oxford where afternoon spent by the river discussing the politics of the day was the norm. However a military father has a way of making sure a mispent youth is put back on track. A few choice words and Squirres was assigned to Walters in order to instil some honour in the boy. It isn’t going well. His education in Spanish, Portuguese and French however is much improved by the practical experience.
(Leader Status I, Military family with wealth and influence, Prig, Stunning Linguist, Average Stamp, Plain and Unremarkable, Dullard)
The West Shiresdale men under Squirres are not happy about their current lot in life. Compared to the affable Walters or the heroic McAdams or even the questionable O’Shea, Squirres is just dull. However, he does keep his head about him when the rounds start flying and so the men will deal with any issues they have so far.
(Two groups of 8 Regulars with Muskets)
Lieutenant McAdams was a former ranker. Working his way up from the gutter of Auld Reekie he was born in to now leading a party of His Majesty’s Highland Infantry to scrap across the sunny fields of Spain. Despite being a lowlander amongst highlanders, he is well regarded amongst his men. Some of this may be due to his attempts to parley his rank into gaining perks and impressing the ladies. Or alternatively, its because he should of been a Grenadier and is known for his feats of strength.
(Leader Status II, Risen from the ranks, Bounder, Giant of a Man, Plain and Unremarkable, Pleasant)
McAdams detachment of Highlanders are drawn from the more independent thinking soldiers in the company. The ones usually disposed to causing trouble. Sending them off to be someone else’s problem is just what the Colonel would want to do
(Three Groups of 8 Highlanders with Muskets)
It is a miracle that Serjent O’Shea is still alive. It is even more of a miracle (or curse) that he is in charge of a group of soldier. With a face that has seen the wrong end of a fist too many times, a wallet filled with coins that weren’t given to him by the king and backed by a group of Rifles more likely to be found in the local establishments than on the battlefield, O’Shea is the picture found under the heading “Scum” in Mr Johnson’s fantastic book of words.
(Leader Status I, Risen from the ranks, Rotter, Average Stamp, Face like a pig’s backside, Thoroughly dislikeable)
Dirty, scruffy, rude and obscene. These are words often used to describe O’Shea’s group of rifles. Effective is also a good word for them.
(One Group of 6 Rifles with Rifles | In most cases, a marksman will join them)
So that’s the core idea of my force, what is it going to be made out of?
Perry Miniatures will be the core, with a plastic box of line infantry (supplemented by a frame of Regulars and a frame of Riflemen) building up the bulk of the force. The Highlanders will either be Perry Minatures metal figures or Victrix’s set (although the idea of painting 64 models al with tartan is a little terrifiying). I may have to scrounge around for officer models. Once the core force is in place, I’ll be investigating artillery and cavalry options.