After a number of months of painting and a couple of sessions play testing the rule refinements finally the first outing of the Great Sioux War for Sharp Practice.
Thanks to Simon Walker for his original thoughts in bringing adaptions for Sharp Practice I to the table, I have made a number of of further tweaks to scale SP to 6mm gaming and introduced elements from Infamy around fervour and the original SP around ammo restrictions.
Outside of the Battle of the Little Big Horn many of the encounters were light on casualties so let's see how it goes.
A detachment of cavalry is sent out on patrol to dissuade reservation Indians from leaving the reservation and join Sitting Bull and the other 'hostile' Indians up on the Black Hills and the last great buffalo hunting grounds.
From the photo the table looks rather barren however thanks to a new set of hills from Kallistra line of sight is difficult with numerous gullies and rolling hills
The reservation Indians under Spotted Elk must exit the table on the far edge, the cavalry must stop them and turn them back. The Sioux start on blinds, a mechanism take from the Mud and Blood rule set, each blind could be up to three groups of Indians or a feint. To win the game at least 50% of the Indians must cross the table avoiding the cavalry looking to block their path.
The US Cavalry have elements of the Second Cavalry under Capt Roe, MacAdams & Mitchem together with a mule train carrying extra ammo.
Early on the first US cavalry Co crest one of the hills on the right flank, dismount and peer across the rolling grass land. The horses are set to the rear as the first blind is unmasked revealing a group of hostiles.
The Cheyenne make their move and several blinds move forwards towards the US cavalry position. They could all not be real could they?
In the centre of the table the a second US cavalry co gallop over the rise to engage the recently spotted Indians, the Indians turned and fled, it was a sneaky trap as the hostiles hidden in a stand of trees fired on the cavalry, fortunately for the cavalry the Indians were poorly armed and poor shots and they suffered no casualties.
The true Indian plan is revealed as they came off blinds, Spotted Elk had placed the bulk of his forces on the Indian right flank and were rushing towards the table edge.
all that stood in their way was Capt. Mitchem and C Coy. The Indian ponies could be heard picking up speed on the other side of the low rise.
On the far side of the battle field and Capt MacAdams was on the tiffin card, the hostiles moved first and charged into the dismounted cavalry, they were able to get off a single round before the Cheyenne braves hit them.
The cavalry fell back in disarray leaving their horse holders and three soldiers dead on the rise. The troopers ran for the tree line as the savages set about scalping the three defenders.
With the Indians occupied on the hill, MacAdams was able to call back his horse holders as other braves slipped past heading for the Black Hills and Sitting Bulls growing band.
On the right Mitchem had turned back the first group of braves, unloading his pistols from the saddle before the warriors could close and sending them back over the ridge. But he was out numbered 4:1 and decided that today he would let the Indians pass, he turned his company about and headed for the main command. Spotted Elk and his band slipped the cordon.
A good first outing and an unexpected victory for the Indians.
Post battle thoughts.
The adaptions and amendments worked well in 6mm and it had a good feel for the frontier, casualties were light on the cavalry side.
When they had the distance they were able to lay down quite a rate of fire, breaking Indian warbands, but should the Indians close their ferocity told, however this was tempered by he scalping rules which distracted men from the fight.
Mounted US cavalry had to step through the gears and could be powerful on the gallop, but where a little cumbersome to slow down and turn around whilst the Indians did not suffer this penalty.
The next outing is a refight of the Reynolds fight on the Power River, let's see how the Indian's get on when they are on the defensive.