Thursday 9 March 2023

Defence in Depth Peninsular 40mm AAR

 Chris Charlton invited me to the East Leeds club for a game and we decided 40mm Peninsular using Sharp Practice would be the way forward.

Both Chris Charlton and Chris Flowers would be playing and as Umpire I would join in in a limited way.

I decided to play the defence in depth scenario from the rulebook, the Spanish would deploy forward with the British deployment point about 18 inches behind, the French have to capture the Spanish deployment point with the British needing to get forward and support he Spanish to stop it being over run.

Chris Flowers commanded a 40 man company of Irish in Spanish service in a single formation with 3 units of Guerilla skirmishers supporting.

The Supporting British led by me had one group of 8 line and 3 groups of 6 Rifle skirmishers.

The French had a formation of 32 line, another of 16 Grenadiers and a further of 24 Paris Municipal Guard Grenadiers, supported by 5 groups of voltiguers. 

So the French have 102 foot and the Allies 84, but the Allies can stand fire rather than move whilst the French need to get themselves forward to take the objective and the rifles definately make up for a number of troops.
The French Ligne come out first and march straight for the Irish, for the Allies the Guerillas deploy forward into the trees on either flank whilst the Irish march two moves forward and halt to await the French.

French Skirmishers deploy ahead of the Ligne formations and begin a firefight with the Guerillas, an uneven firefight as the Guerillas have cover whilst the French do not.
Behind the Spanish the British Rifles press forward as quickly as they can to support the Guerillas on the flanks, only French Grenadiers are left behind as the troops close with each other.
The French Legere skirmishers press forward giving cover to the Paris Municipal Guard Grenadiers and firing into the Guerillas as they go.
The French Ligne and Paris MG press forward with the Grenadiers still left behind as they fail to activate. With skirmishers covering most of their front the Parisians are taking very little fire whilst the French Ligne and being nibbled away at by the Guerillas and the Spanish line with the Rifles soon to join in as they close the range.
The Guerilla's start to inflict casualties on the French Ligne who press on into the storm of lead. Major Dupont leading from the front.
The Grenadiers finally get moving, they are the best of Chris C's troops and he can now feed them in where they are needed most. He pushes them to his left where two Guerilla skirmisher bands and annoying the Ligne.
The rifles press forward looking to cover the flanks of the Hibernia Regiment, they move quickly with their skirmisher movement bonus.
The two units of Guerillas are bit harder to get rid of than Chris expected, they lasted no time at all in our last game, but being in woods they are two harder to hit than line troops and are taking some winkling out.

The rifles reach the flanks of the Hibernia regiment and fire a volley into the French Ligne adding to their woes as shock mounts and they havnt fired a shot.
The French Ligne finally open fire at long range and the Spanish formation starts to take casualties. The Spanish respond and hit both the Ligne and Paris Municipal Guard. They also manage to knock the French Commander off his horse and the French loose a morale point.

Further firing and all the Allied troops are concentrating on the line and casualties mount, their commander Major Dupont is hit again and this time looses a point of command and a force morale point alongside his light wound. 
The Grenadiers finally get into action and a close range volley drives off one Guerilla band, forcing a  test which Chris F passes.
The French Ligne are now in real trouble, despite the loss of one band of Guerillas they are still under fire from the remaining unit, the rifles and the Hibernia regiment. The commander being out of action twice has not helped as he has been unable to remove shock for at least 3 turns.
The Spanish take another Volley from the Grenadiers but survive to fight on., the last of the rifles has joined the other Guerilla unit on the left flank and is keeping the French skirmishers busy. Whilst Chris C has covered the advance of his Paris Muncipal guard with skirmishers meaning the casualties were low, they are now unable to join in the firefight as they are blocked by their own troops.
A further volley into the French Ligne causes more mayhem and the leader is hit a third time. His luck however has run out and Major Dupont rises to heaven on a cloud with a postumous Order Pour le merit medal. Oh and further force morale depleted from the French.

As the night closes the French have lost half their force morale and the Ligne formation has all 4 groups on the verge of breaking, the Spanish on the other hand despite some losses are still in pretty good shape. The French stand little chance of taking their objective and retire in relative good order.

A fabulous game with most of my troops getting on table. My thanks to Chris and Chris.


  1. Beautiful stuff and a great boost to get me thinking about a first run out with my Napoleonics the question is which rules ?

    1. Cheers Matt, Napoleonic not really my area in the past but I have found that General D'Armee worked well and of course Sharp Practice, Key thing is get them on table and play.

  2. Such a great looking game. I like the uneven rosters seldom seen in this type game.

    1. Cheers Pancerni, it was a good game and could have still swing to the French with a little luck.

  3. Great looking game but a hard ask for the French to prevail...they probably need a two to one numerical advantage at least ( contemporary military doctrine would suggest three to one is optimal for the attacker)

    1. In other rules perhaps but Sharp Practice gives advantages to superior quality and leadership where the French had the edge. Dont forget the Spanish are 58 vs 104 before the British can get there in 3 moves or so. Still a tough ask for the French I agree but achievable.

  4. Safe to say I got a right stuffing! Totally outplayed by Chris F. Such a pleasure to play SP with this gorgeous collection. Cheers, Chris C

    1. Your Grenadiers activating sooner and getting your Paris Municipal Guard exchanging volleys with the Spanish and things could have been different Chris. Still a fun game.

  5. A very nice looking game Roger…
    I really must get my own toys on the table again.

    All the best. Aly