Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Sharp Practice: Encounter at Guareña River 1812

The following is a scenario for the popular skirmish rules in the black powder era Sharp Practice published by TooFatlardies in the context of the Salamanca campaign in 1812 won by Wellington's allied forces.

Before the actual battle of Salamanca (or “de los Arapiles” as it is known in Spain) was fought, on 21st  of July 1812 the British and the French armies spent several weeks following closely each other looking to exploit a moment of tactical advantage to defeat the enemy in force.
Since the end of June 1812, the theatre of operations had moved north of Salamanca, to the Duoro river line where both armies try to outmanoeuvre the enemy during several weeks.
Marshall Marmont finally caught Wellington out of step in a faint move in which the French crossed to the southern bank of the river, posing a flanking threat to Wellington and also potentially cutting the line of retreat to Salamanca and further afiled, to Portugal.
On July 17th, Wellington ordered the army retreat towards Toro; the objective was to move from there via the north-south road that links this city with Salamanca. The retreat continued during the 18th reaching by mid-afternoon the line of the Guareña stream, a small tributary of the Duoro. The British crossed this small river unopposed and formed a line along the west bank, supported on the village of Vallesa on the right.
Considering the position sufficiently secured and the late hour (around 4PM), the British were ordered to prepare the camp for the night.
However the French thought differently and spotted a good opportunity to cross the Guareña at a lightly defended position on the left of Wellington’s line. This move if correctly executed will allow a flank attack on the British and allied forces.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Sharp Practice: The Battle of García Hernández

The Battle of García Hernández took place on 23rd July, 1812 the day after the victory of Wellington at Salamanca.
The defeated French army left the battlefield covered by General Maximillien Foy’s 1st Infantry Division, a fresh French force as it did not have an active role in the main battle. Foy`s forces comprised two brigades with two regiments each and artillery.
Foy’s also got a light cavalry force reinforcement commanded b y General Jean-Baptiste Curto, with 2 squadrons of the 3rd Regiment d´Hussards, two squadrons of the 26th Regiment de Chasseurs and one squadron the 28th Regiment de Chasseurs.
According to French sources (but not mentioned in the British reports) the cavalry rearguard also comprised elements of the Division de Dragons commanded by General Pierre Boyér, in charge of protecting the artillery train retreating ahead in the north.
In the British side, Wellesley took personal command of pursuers, forming a group with the 1st Infantry Division, the Light Division, the light cavalry brigade of General Anson and the heavy cavalry brigade of General Von Bock (1st and 2nd  KGL Dragoons Regiments), the latter being part of the reserve division the previous day.
At dawn of July 23rd, both Anson and Von Bock initiated the persecution.

Sharp Practice Corunna Campaign Errata

As you probably know, the 2016 TFL Summer Special released yesterday includes the full Corunna 1809 campaign for Sharp Practice that we´ve been designing, testing and playing over the last two months.

Alas, when I downloaded the issue, I discovered to my horror that my eagle eye failed to spot several mistakes in my latest revision of the article just before publishing. So here are the corrections in case you are interested in taking note:

  • In page 13, the note with an asterisk about General Colbert should be deleted, it does not apply to the 4th scenario.
  • In the same page 13, in the British reinforcement table, the Marksman Thomas Plunkett should also be deleted (again it does not apply to the 4th game of the campaign).
  • Less important, the photos posted at the end of the article are from Cacabelos not Bembibre.
Sorre for the inconvenience.

Also worth noting that we introduced a British "Rifle Column" organisation in the artcile. But recently, we have realised that the brunt of the fighting was in fact undertaken by the light infantry with the support of Rifle companies distributed among the main British force.

Therefore, if you like a more historically accurate approach to the campaign, we would suggest using the Light Column Force of page 98 of the rules instead, as the backbone of the British forces for the campaign.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

TFL Summer Special 2016 Released

Just a quick note to let you know that biannual TooFatLardies Special (Summer edition) is out and full of gooddies for Sharp Practice and Chain of Command aficionados. It includes (unshame publicity) the full Corunna Retreat campaign designed and played by Club Dragón members of Madrid. As usual, incredible value for money at GBP 6.0 price.

Full content follows:

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

More Sharp Practice Coming Soon

As mentioned in a previous email, the activity of the blog was likely to fall substantially as a result of the club's flooding and the difficulties now to gather to play a game. Nonetheless, we've been evereything but idle, and I have a couple of announcements to make:

The first is that I played a small game last Friday at a friend's house and I'm planning to publish the scenario sometime this week. The game is in the aftermath of the Salamanca Battle (1812), when the rearguard of the routing French decided to take a stand against the pursuing British cavalry near the village of García Hernández.

The second is that the full Corunna Retreat campaign will soon be published, this time in the TooFatLardies 2016 Summer Special to be released in a few days from now. There you'll find all the details and special rules to play the campaign whose AARs I've been posting over the last two months.

So no dead but alive despite my low presence here. Stay tunned.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Changing colours


Some of you may have noticed that I have changed the design of the blog.
I used to have darker colours on the back (greys and blacks) and light colours for the text.

Well, juts to inform you that this was not  my intention and actually I DO NOT LIKE at all the new design. But the bloody blogger suddenly change automatically the colour of the post titles to blue and the colour of the links to a kind of scarlet and I haven't found the way to revert to my original palette.

For this reason, I was forced to change the background colours to lighter tones, because in my original (and long-time) used layout it was impossible to read some of the texts. I'm still trying to figure out what the hell happened with the blog and looking to revert to my previous design. In the meantime, please bear with it.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Club Dragon Closed! (...temporarely)

If you follow my Twitter account, you probably know by now.

Yesterday disaster struck at our beloved club premises: a pipe of the Madrid water utility broke, flooded the underground property next to ours, and the wall dividing both premises busted as a result of the water pressure and the tons of building materials stored there.

Literally a tsunami swept all our club and the water height reached over 30cm, flooding the lockers where many of us store our gaming toys. I have come out of the disaster with very light casualties as I use to keep my models in plastic boxes, only loosing some self-made scenery I used in my games.

But some of my club mates here were collectors of tabletop games and literally I saw then shedding tears when they open the lockers and all that was left were a mass of wet board. Some have lost several hundred euros in games and many are irreplaceable, belonging to the collectors category (old Avalon Hill, Victory Games, etc from the 70s and 80s... I did a quick search in Ebay and found one of the games being sold for US$300).

The level of destruction is such that we are unlikely to return to normal before October or November. Which on the other hand it's going to have an impact here too, as most of my blog posts deal with the games I usually play on Sundays.

Therefore, if you see a drop of activity it's not as a result of me losing interest in blogging, but because of what I just explained. As said, you can still follow my activities in my Twitter account and I'll keep posting and updating with any news as they come out.