For the first time I also added two minor characters to the game a herder and a holy man, who each could provide some help to either side if persuaded to do so.
The table was littered with terrain as I tried to replicate a lush valley where the strong sun had left much of the flora dead. It took me some 45 minutes before I was satisfied with the look of the playing field.
The Escorted Lady
July 1857. The British have been tasked with getting colonel Cooper's headstrong daughter Kathleen away from the small farm, which she so far has refused to leave. The British, led by captain Pilkington must escort her across a valley.
The Rebels are led by Sagai Palatha, a vengeful mutineer who hated Cooper and has sworn to rid Indian of him and all his kin. The Rebels know that the British are trying to move out the colonel's daughter across a valley where an ambush would be ideal.
Capt. Pilkington (Status 3)
2 x British Skirmishers
Lt. Moore (Status 2)
1 x Gurkhas
Lt. Halson (Status 2)
1 x Artillery, Medium
Sagai Palatha (Status 2)
Daman Mahajan (Status 1)
2 x Well-ordered Sepoys
Gadjaahar Negi (Status 2)
1 x Sepoy Skirmishers
Shavran Kapoor (Status 2)
1 x Sepoy Skirmishers
Mohammed Falat (Status 1)
1 x Badmashes w/Big Choppers
The British deployment point was a bit to the left of Kathleen Cooper's farm, so the British would have to swing around the farm to get hold of the headstrong daugther.
The Rebel deployment point was situated behind a rocky hill and the secondary deployment point was placed behind the same hill but closer to the middle of the board.
Both sides took their time to deploy, must have been the bloody heat. Kapoor's Skirmishers found a good spot close to the holy man where they would make full use of the cover, and would be able to get into a good firing position once the British moved forward. The Badmashes led by Mohammed Falat were not as affected by the heat, so they moved swiftly across the table into the almost jungle like terrain on the opposite side. They would attempt to get in behind the British. Halson's Artillery were the first British to make an appearance, but the artillery crew was suffering in the heat and the medium gun only slowly moved forward.
Eventually the rest of both forces entered the fray. The British strategy was for the Moore' Gurkhas to take care of Kathleen Cooper, while the Skirmishers of Capt. Pilkington and the Artillery would try to provide cover. The Rebels learned the hard way that both the British Skirmishers and their Artillery were dangerous from a long distance. Sagai Palatha had moved his Sepoys forward behind the rocky cliff, confident that the British were too far away. The British Skirmishers first fired at the Sepoys, and inflicting casualties, worse however was that Palatha himself was injured and this hindered his ability to lead his men, so Daman Mahajan was given control of one of the groups.
Kapoor's men then ran towards cover among the palm trees, and the British move ahead. Both Pilkington's men, despite their shock, and Halson's artillery reacted fast to the new thread from Negi's men, and more or less took them out of action, as Gadjaarhar Negi was killed. The remaining few men retreated, unable to do anything.
The Gurkhas move swiftly along the road, but straight into the now functioning Well-ordered Sepoys of Palatha and Mahajan, who fired. The Gurkhas took fire from both the flank and head on, and suffered a few casulaties as a result. The Badmashes decided to abandon their original plan and turned around making an attempt to cut off the Gurkhas later up the road.
At this point we had to stop the game as Chris had to get up early in the morning. As usual I really enjoyed myself. Even more so in this game than the first, as most of the rules we could remember, but also because the game had fewer miniatures. In the first game I had 60 figures, while in this I had 40, and I much prefer the smaller number. Chris still hates unit games and is not a fan of the Tiffin Chip. He likes the uncertainty of who goes next and the Command Chips, but not that your Leader could end up not activating. So it will probably be a while before he will want to play Sharp Practice again.
What to do?
I am left wondering whether the Indian Mutiny is the correct setting for me. The difference in the quality of the troops on the two sides mean that the Rebels will almost always have a lot more figures. Looking at the French Indian War, both sides are more evenly matched and games with more or less only skirmish troops will give you small, intense games, which I think I like more. Sharp Practice as a rule system is certainly something I want to continue playing.
So should I sell of my Indian Mutiny collection, and start a French Indian War project? I don't really know, but if someone is interested in this Indian Mutiny collection let me know as I could be interested in selling them.