Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sharp Parctice 2 - The French in the Desert.

A little later than planned, the AAR from a month ago, nothing like a little sunshine when it's forecasted to pour down over the weekend again...

Many of the Egyptian encounters have been rather cluttered in terms of terrrain so I wanted to put on a game that gave the feel of the immensity of the desert, I also wanted to try out the new cloths, they are a better shade than my first canvas but the material on these is prone to creasing.

The French force on mass, including, the Coptic Legion and members of the Ships Crew "Le Vendeen". The camels provide support in the shape of ammunition and a water cart.

The objective.
Far across the open desert lies the watering hole with all but a few goats in sight. 
After two days march the French are in much need of supplies and if they do not reach the objective by turn 15 will start to lose men to the heat.

With skirmishers sent to the flanks the main body presses on as the sun beats down.

Now there was a surprise.
With so little terrain on the table the Ottoman Skirmishers appear in the run down adobe building, their rifles picking off rank and file before the French muskets can get in range.

The size of the table means that the French are strung out, leaving gaps in their formation, lets hope the Ottoman force does not have cavalry.

The Cavalry appear !!! 
A charge down the left flank sees them push back the ships crew and start to flank the French force, the skirmishers do what they can to slow the charge but the French main body can't get a shot off as the dunes shield the rushing cavalry.

Mean while at the adobe casualties and shock are begining to mount as the French main body loses patience and unleashes it's first volley into the defenders and the skirmishers nip away at the arab defenders.

In need of support and teh French slowly gaining the upper hand. The Arab militia are called into play, with only First Volley and being poor shots, they do little to harm the French centre, but valuable time is wasted re-ordering the line and calming the troops, time which mean't the French were not advancing on the blue waters of the oasis.

As the game draws to a close the French had held the line, the Mamluk cavalry was heavy with shock and would need to retire, but the oasis was still some way off. 
A draw....Another dry day in the field for the French.

A great game, Sharp Practice 2 certainly gives a far superior game over the first version, cavalry has that bit more impact, the force composition serves to balance the forces and gives a greater challenge for the table top general espically in this case where the make up of the Ottoman command was not known.

Playing on a larger table provides some interesting command challenges, where and when to deploy is critical, the exposed terrain makes the temptation to fire as soon as you get in range, but this slows any advance to a crawl and most of the leaders time is spent clearing up shock.

With Mark pushing through his Egypt project. See his excellent work Here.
I am very tempted to move the French cavalry and extra french company up the paint queue.


  1. Nice atmosphere, beautiful figures and building!

  2. Great to see Napoleon in Egypt again:). One solution to crease free cloth is to roll it up around a cardboard tube, piece of drain pipe etc, if at all possible when not in use.

    1. Good shout Steve, its then a question of storage :-)
      Would a travel iron be too much?

  3. Thanks for posting! Your games from this theatre are a nice reloef from the same old same old (like I play)...
    The light terrain really makes the figures stand out.

    1. Thanks CD - I was hoping to go for the less is more.. so hopefully that paid off.