Thursday 29 September 2022

Mexican vs Apache Sharp Practice AAR

 Chris C decided this week he would get his wonderful Mexican and Apache collections on table for a game of Sharp Practice.

He has had many of these for some time but recently rebased them for use with Sharp Practice and this was to be their first outing after re-basing.

Based on the battle of Tres Castillos in Chihuahua in 1880 where Victorio's band of Apache were destroyed by the Mexicans.

The Apache were hiding near a lake in the desert with their families and a large Mexican force attacked them from both sides. Looking at the above picture you can see the Apache have plenty of cover but no where to pull back to.
These two slept through the whole thing. A long hot day I suspect.
The Apache had the flexibility of being skirmishers and of the majority of the cover. The Mexicans the advantage of many more troops and also surrounding the Apache so they had nowhere to go.
Steve's State Militia deployed and immediatly fired a long range volley which caused casualties amongst the Apaches.

To offset the massively outnumbering forces of Mexicans the Apaches had two units with repeating carbine rifles. allowing them to fire twice in a turn but not getting the extended range. They also had a blank card allowing any unit with repeaters and extra shot.
On my side I have a formation of state militia and a formation of town militia supported by a group of 6 skirmishers. I am facing the best of the Apache, two groups under Victorio armed with Winchester Carbines. So doubled firepower as they dont need to re-load but not the extended range of repeating rifles. Chris also has a card allowing an extra round of firing for any repeater armed unit.    
A long range shot causes two hits both of which I save on the Town Militia, I doubt I will get so lucky going forward.
A further couple of rounds of shooting and the Town Militia are suffering quite a lot of shock. They get a return volley away but not much impact.

A further round of firing sees my Town Militia leader shot and knocked down. Its not looking good.
On the other side Steves State Militia formations are closing with the Apache, on this side the units are mainly armed with mixed weapons and are classed as poor shots to reflect the Bows, Muskets etc they are fighting with.

Sots from the formation on the flank and the skirmishers ont he other flank have started to whittle down the Apache who of course have no where to retreat to.
Shock and casualties are mounting on my side, particularly on the Town Militia who look very shakey and have too much shock to be able to advance, my skirmishers and state Militia however are returning fire with the odd hit.
Chris turns one of his flanking units to return fire on my skirmishers, this does however reduce the fire going into Steve who has taken very few casualties so far.

As Steve closes on the other side he puts a couple of close range volleys in and suddenly the Apache are in big trouble with lots of casualties and shock. My guys continue to fire at the repeater armed warriors and knock off a couple more causing one unit to retreat, but they can only retreat closer to Steves advancing troops.
Two units of Apache break completely under the weight of fire reducing Chris force morale further.
A further two volleys from Steve and the Apache at his side are almost wiped out.
My skirmishers close with the remaining three Apache with repeaters, whilst the Apache win, just, there are virtually no Apache warriors remaining in the centre of their position and Chris's force morale is spent.
A Mexican victory which was always on the cards really. Sharp Practice handled this later period really well, giving the Apache mixed weapons as well as repeaters in different units gave both sides some headaches. All told a cracking game I am sure we will see more of these lovely figures. 


  1. Fantastic looking game of SP, if a little bit one sided from the Apache point of view!

    1. With more intelligent command, I could have finished off Roger’s town militia. And could have maybe given the Apache some sort of ‘gone to ground’ rule. It was a big ask for the Apache. Never easy turning an historical massacre into a playable scenario. Inspired me to add to the collection tho! Cheers, Chris

    2. I think it demonstrated that the rules can work well for this period. Always a big ask for the Apache,

  2. Game looks great and a great balance of photos and text made this fun to read. It seems to me you guys did a great job extending the rules to this period- well done.

  3. The game looks very interesting. Especially this is not very common on wargaming tables conflict between Mexicans and Natives. Well done guys!

    1. Cheers Bartek, definately somethign different.