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Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

So it doesn't look like Simplefish is doing all the work here, I'll do a quick comparison of our line units.



As you can immediately see, the British line troops are better than their french counterparts - they are Regular to the French conscripts, and worth two more points. Both are armed with Muskets and have the same number of soldiers in a group.

Formation Always - Both sides can always form up. These are trained troops after all!

First Fire - Both sides know to properly measure their powder before battle.

Controlled Volley - - Here we see the first difference, British troops can take a more accurate three step fire procedure (Load, Present, Fire!) while the French can only fire the quicker but less accurate uncontrolled volleys (Load, Fire.) - While the French will be putting out more fire, it will hit less often and has the additional problem of making it hard for them to STOP firing - if Simplefish wants to break a unit off, he needs to test for each group in a formation firing uncontrolled fire. failing means they will continue firing if able. This can lead to formations breaking up as part of a unit pulls back, but other parts stay in place.

Crashing Volley - Both sides can use command cards to deliver a more devastating volley, but the number of cards they have to use is lower for the better trained British troops.

Step Out The first French advantage! Their men are quicker to march, using the reformed columns rather than the unwieldy lines of the British.

Drill The British forces can change formation quicker with the help of command cards, while the French cannot.

Now we move on to the Special abilities -

The British have "Sharp Practice" - meaning they can spend two command cards to fire or reload without taking an action - aiming to get that fabled three rounds a minute! They are also Aggressive, making them good in fisticuffs, and have the "Thin red line" trait, allowing them to spend two command cards with a leaders activation to fire a volley into the enemy then charge in with 3d6 of movement.
All in all, the British troops are good shots and aggressive fighters.

The French only have "Pas de Charge" - This allows their leader to spend two command points to charge in with 3d6 movement while shedding two shock from each unit - meaning they can rally themselves and make on last push through enemy fire, which may be key!

I won't go into as much detail about both sides skirmishers - both have Sharp Practice though, and the skirmisher bonus means they are harder to kill than line troops - and Simplefish has two units of 6 to my own single unit.

I hope that's useful to people!

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simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Sorry Grey, I haven't disappeared, just something unexpected came up last night

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

simplefish posted:

Sorry Grey, I haven't disappeared, just something unexpected came up last night

Its not like I have you and a timetable!

Btw, can you see the command cards? if so, you can always draw the next one yourself, if not, I'll take a look at it at some point.

I fully expect you to get all your men out, then draw the tiffin. This will be followed by a massacre.

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Cdt Angers is getting on to the table.

He's going to use the forward deployment point, and the idea is to get into the pub as quickly as possible. I'm not sure this is a good move - this is an encounter battle, its not an objective. But again, I'm seeing this game mostly as familiarisation, and the building will introduce rules on cover, and on firing from inside.




You'll notice the new lines I've drawn on the map. This is the line-of-sight to Grey's DP. Since he has no troops on the table yet, that's all I need to worry about right now, and I'll explain why:

When you deploy out of line of sight of the enemy, you get 6 bonus inches to deploy from the DP

Since Line troops deploy at 6 inches away at standard,
And with the scout adding an extra 3
I get (6+6+3=) 15"

This, it should be clear, is a Good Thing, especially as Grey's troops are better than mine. The extra skirmishers will help but they're a long way from being in position, with a river to cross into the bargain. If Grey hammers my line troops hard enough, then is able to turn his attention with impunity to the arriving skirmishers, it's going to be a bad day to be French. But getting the troops into the building should help them survive a bit longer.

p24 says leaders must deploy either attached to or within command range of their men, and that I can deploy as a formation or as groups or any mix thereof. We choose to deploy as 2 groups
Angers wisely deploys his men in the building and on the road outside. He is attached to the Nantes, and remains within six inches of Nice guys hanging around outside.
Now, technically if I went RAW I think I could say that he's still able to activate the group outside next turn, but that seems silly - there's a big wall in the way between him and his men.
So I'm happy to just say that the group outside cannot be activated while Angers is inside. They've been left on sentry duty or something.
If I move him back to the doorway, so that he'd reasonably be able to yell those inside and outside, then Grey would you be happy to let him activate both the Nice and Nantes if they're both inside his command radius?

Although we have not discussed where the door is, I think it makes sense that it would be next to the road.
Also, we didn't discuss whether it was a single-storey building, or if it had an upper floor too. I'm going to be kind here and say it's a single-storey building, because otherwise I'd have two groups of men sitting inside hard cover getting ready to massacre the British as soon as they walked into view. That would make for a less interesting game.

The men represent where the windows are, Angers is standing in the doorway. But the eagle-eyed amongst you will have seen that little "18in" to the furthest men.
That means that although I can deploy the Nantes into the pub, they can't get to the windows yet. It's a shame, but there it is.
The token next to "Nantes" is the indicator that they have the tinder and spirits.



I also do a quick line of sight check - that Frenchman by Grey's DP isn't really there. He's just representing the furthest Grey can put his troops, at 6" away from his DP.

What's important is that Grey can't deploy out of my line of sight to the right of his DP, because of my skirmishers. That means 6" is the maximum I need to worry about - unless he draws his skirmishers.

I quickly do another line for the 12". It's a little crowded, but my men should be safe there.



Despite the snap-to-grid, the men should be lined up with that line. I remember that my men need their facing indicated, so I add that in before deleting the guide lines I've drawn.



Then I draw more cards...

simplefish fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2016 around 17:06

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Grey continues his bad luck - the next card is French Leader 4. But there is no French Leader 4*. I'll ignore that for now.
We keep going, and uncover... Red Leader 3!



Of course, this is his skirmishers.

*I do have a fourth leader, but because in the OOB it has him serving under Colonel Sot-Poisson, I think it would be unfair to spin him off as his own thing before he even gets onto the table. I'm sure it'll be covered in the rulebook somewhere, and if anyone knows the page I'd appreciate it, but I'm not going to do it for now.

simplefish fucked around with this message at Aug 25, 2016 around 17:13

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

Finally the 1st Innsmouth take to the field!

Sargent Blunt and his six men are the Skirmishers at the Van of the regiment, and as such can deploy up to 12" from the DP - I can't get anywhere more than that without being seen.

This gives me something of a problem, as due to cunning deployment by Simplefish, I cannot get line of sight on him!



I have to go for the next best option, and put my men against the fence and ready to engage - As skirmishers, they upgrade cover by one, so should be harder to hit here. Plus we can put fire into anyone stupid enough to show their faces - lets hope the rest of the boys turn up soon!



The next card is a blue flag, followed by my 1st commander - Sir Smashington-Smyth has arrived! Shame he can only deploy his line infantry up to 6" from the DP. (The skirmishers on the hill can pretty much see the entire area of deployment, cutting down my options a great deal.



They come on in formation with the entire entourage. This is a stirring sight, but they are going to have a few issues getting out of the ambush that is forming. I could really do with my last unit then a tiffin now! (Or four command cards.)



I meant four command cards for me!

While I get Captain Hogswash and his men, Simplefish now has all four of his cards. With only 6" of deployment zone, I decide the area is to cramped to properly deploy the 4th and 5th companies, and will hold them off the board for now.

I'll now let Mr Simplefish decide if he wants to make a bonus activation or not - all my men have activated, and all I can hope for is my two command cards before the tiffin is drawn.

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



I decide not to make a bonus activation for now, but instead to take a bit of a gamble. I have something else in mind, but I need the leader card... if I get the turn end card, it's all over.



One red flag, and then I get it! The Big Bossman is here, Colonel Sot-Poisson!

I decide to make an Ambuscade, as outlined on p26, with further detail on p27. Honestly, I think I could have done it last turn, but I hadn't read the bit on command cards yet. I thought they weren't used during deployment but it seems I was mistaken.

An ambuscade allows me to deploy as normal, and then either charge into close combat or take three actions that turn.

I opt for the Maximum Elan Plan, which while it may leave us vulnerable in the coming turns, allows us to stick the boot in first!

This time we'll be deploying in view of the enemy, so we don't get the bonus 6". On the other hand, we still have the bonus from having pre-scouted the terrain, that's 3".
Line infantry deploys at 6", making it 9" total.



I place what's going to be my corner troop and then form up on him.

I've also put the Water Cart onto the table. I am a total idiot, and for some reason brought a water cart to a battlefield where water is the defining feature. Oh well, live and learn.
On the other hand, I'm glad I brought a musician, especially since my troops will be firing uncontrolled at all times.

We deploy into an Open Column, facing to the Left of the screen



Our first action is going to be to MOVE
Then we will spend an action to WHEEL into a nice long line
then FIRE!

The musket range is 24". Yes, this is long range, but it's what we have to work with.

Let's get this show on the road!

1: MOVE
Movement is easy - just roll 1d6


A five! That's a good solid roll and exactly what we need right now.


We move our pivot-man his 5 inches.


2: WHEEL

One of the advantages of an Open column is that you can wheel your groups round for a single action, which is what we do (p34)


3: FIRE!
Next up - targetting!

P40 says that: if the enemy is obscured by low features such as garden walls (so I think a farm fence fits into this category) then they benefit from Light Cover.
Light cover (p47) changes the effect of hits, but I don't think it changes whether I can hit, so we'll get to this later.
Talking of whether I can hit, I've used 3 command cards to get the Ambuscade underway, so I'll use the final one to have Sot-Poisson direct the fire of his men towards Smashington-Smyth's 'orrible lot. That gives me +1d6 to hit.

Then Sot-Poisson himself give me +3d6, one for each of his command status levels

And one D6 for every figure that fires (p45). I've spoken to Grey and we're counting the leaders as armed. So that's (8x2) and 2 leaders = 18d6

Total is thereofre (18+1+3=)22d6 shots.




I make it that the Brits are 22 inches away, which means although I can take a few potshots, they really are potshots.
I need a 6 to hit as a base value; but I get +1 to hit because of the First Fire characteristic.
Of course, needing 5+ to hit, I neglect, out of 22 dice, to roll even a single five.

That's still 8 hits on target!

Now to roll the effect of the hits


No kills, which is a shame. Smashington-Smyth isn't getting winged by a stray bullet in the first round of combat. But I do put a good deal of shock onto the enemy.

Shock occurs on a 4 or 5 (p48), meaning 4 points of shock

An ambuscade doubles shock, though (p27), so that's 8 points.

Grey allocates the shock points across his groups, trying his best to keep his leaers out of it.
NB: The hits should have been allocated to groups before their effects were rolled. We forgot to do this, then Grey remembered, so it all worked out in the end. I mean, the title does say "Let's Learn Sharp Practice 2"!



Shock is a really good thing. Of course, kills are better, but shock:
1) reduces the movement of a group by 1" per point of shock (p50)
2) If there is more shock points than men, the group will run away "involuntarily retire" - and they won't come back until rallied, and their firing will take a penalty
3) If there gets to be twice as many shock points as men, the unit break.

All of these can make Bad Things Happen, which can hurt Force Morale, which is how the game is won. So the French are off to an excellent start!

Here's how things currently stand

simplefish fucked around with this message at Aug 26, 2016 around 06:05

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

Sir Smashington-Smyth coughed, the damned light infantry had failed to warn him about the French ambush, his men were in disarray, but luckily no one had been hit!
He gritted his teeth and got to work.


The next card is just what I wanted.



My 4th command card - this means I can take a bonus action! I activate Sir Smashington-Smyth and get ready to pay the French back.

Steady Boys, Steady! PRESENT! FIRE!

Rallying off 2 shock, I now shoot back - I am going to fire a controlled volley, so lets see how the french like a taste of their own medicine!

I have 24 men in this formation, plus a status 3 leader - a total of 28 dice. I then lose 1 per 2 points of shock, leaving me with 25

This is first fire, plus a controlled volley, so I'm hitting on a 4+, as opposed to the French's 5+



Actually Grey, there is a 4 there, so that's 13 hits. This is six each, and the extra hit on Capt. Amiens' group .



In light cover, its 4+ for shock and 6+ for a kill, so both units gain 3 shock, and one French soldier is killed - Its now time to see if it was the officer - a roll of 1 in this case.



He's okay!



Battle has been joined proper!



The last card in the deck, a tiffin - and as everyone has activated this turn, we go into turn 2!

[b]TURN 2[b]



It looks like the British are still on the advance!



This gives me something of an issue, as my men have not been able to advance forward, I can either leave him off, or bring Captain Hogswash and his men in in column formation. I decide its better to have some men on the field rather than none, so I do so. They are just out of range of the French, but will have to hope they are not hit to hard before they can shake out of their march!



French Leader 4 (Capt. Amiens) is drawn, and Simplefish gets to ponder these new developments!

lilljonas
May 6, 2007

We got crabs? We got crabs!

So the firefight rules looks extremely similar to Chain of Command, which I've played a lot. That's really helpful!

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Seems like the next thing I have to do is work out what happens when a formation's junior leader activates before its senior one

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

I think all you can really do is rally off a point of shock - he can perform all the same actions as a leader, execpt activate the formation.

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Cpt Amiens can't do much, except undertake "an action which is not an activation", on page thirty-something. I think p36. This is stuff like getting a unit to form up, the sort of thing a junior officer would push his men about for: nothing proactive, just getting things more ready for the more senior officer to do something meaningful with.

Anyway, it means he can rally off 1 point of shock for each of his command status - that's just 1.



He does so off the group that's lost the man.

Time to draw more cards



A blue Command Card then my skirmishers activate!

I'll be back later once I figure out what to do with them and how to do that. One difference I've noticed is that Grey has bunched his skirmishers up a bit more, which I had trouble with (grid snap rides again). As I said at the time, my aim is to get the men over the ford in the quickest possible way. Hopefully there can be some reasonable leeway on that.

We should also be tracking the order that cards are drawn in. Drawing several in a row can mean extra things happening. I've put them into order rather than dealing them as hands.
There are rules about interrupting your opponent's play sequence but I don't think that'll translate well to this format.

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

Erm simplefish, I'm red, YOUR blue. so hose are my skirmishers activating......

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Oh wow, yes, that's right. What a mistake, eh? Good job I haven't moved them yet!

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

So this is the first time we've used Skirmishers - Skirmishers are special in that they get a free action that can only me used for movement.



I want to scoot along the fence here and get the drop on the Nice troops. I'll use one action to move and boost it with my free action.



Well, that's a bit pants! I use my last move to get a bit further along the fence line.



Well, it's better than nothing!



Three guys can see their targets now, next turn I should be able to get more into line - and I've preserved their first fire bonus!



I get a command card and then its the Voltigeur's turn to activate!



Thankfully, their a little out of it!

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

You still around Simplefish? 'Tis your turn.

lilljonas
May 6, 2007

We got crabs? We got crabs!

I've got three days of business trips by train incoming, the Sharp Practice rules as a PDF on my laptop, and a big fat tome about the Grande Armée (https://www.amazon.com/Swords-Aroun...g/dp/0306807572)

Hopefully I'll be fit for fight soon.

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Grey Hunter posted:

You still around Simplefish? 'Tis your turn.

still here, just busy with bank stuff, it's a bit of a headache

simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



Should be back onto this next week. Just spent all day up to my eyeballs in old receipts, invoices, and copies of cheques. And spreadsheets that sometimes seemed to forget to save.

simplefish fucked around with this message at Sep 3, 2016 around 11:52

Grey Hunter
Oct 17, 2007

Your friendly croctopus overlord LP'er

Right, I'm back from the hell of visiting family.

Are you still alive there? Or did you die under a pile of paperwork?

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simplefish
Mar 28, 2011

So long, and thanks for all the fish gallbladdΣrs!



I live, I die, I live again!

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