The Rearguard – Reflections

As will hopefully come across from the after action report, this was a very enjoyable game! I played it solo, and as always the unpredictable way the game evolves under the card-driven rules provided plenty of surprises and challenging decisions to make.

I went about setting up the game in a slightly back-to-front way. I laid out a 6×3 foot table, basically wanting to keep the terrain reasonably simple with a single building, an orchard, and a walled road leading to a bridge in the corner. Some trees and a small area of wet ground rounded things off. I then let the set-up dictate the scenario, and decided that an attack on a rearguard, with some prizes to carry off (2 wagons and a cannon, of which the capture/retention any 2 would result in a victory for the relevant side) would make sense.

I decided the convoy would move each time the Blank card came up, at 2d6-2″ per turn. I didn’t know how the game would play out on this basis, but fortunately in the end it worked really well!

The Fleurian force was rated Good, and was made up as follows:

Captain (Big Man Level III)
Artillery Lieutenant (I)
Cavalry Lieutenant (I)
Chasseur Sergeant (II)

  • 2 groups of 10 Line infantry
  • 1 group of 10 Light infantry
  • 1 group of 5 Artillery crew with a light gun
  • 1 group of 8 Hussars (to arrive on the 3rd occurrence of the Fleurian Blank card)

The Medetians were also rated Good, and comprised:

Captain (III)
Infantry Ensign (I)
Cavalry Lieutenant (I)
Rifles Sergeant (II)

  • 3 groups of 10 Line infantry
  • 1 group of 12 Grenadiers
  • 1 group of 10 Rifles
  • 1 group of 8 Hussars (to arrive on the 3rd occurrence of the Medetian Blank card – as it happened, on the same turn the Fleurian cavalry arrived)

I played the game straight, taking all cards, events and dice rolls as they came, as I know from previous experience that with Sharp Practice there’s nothing to be gained from trying to massage the narrative – the game itself generates all the storyline you could want and somehow manages to do so better than you could write yourself!

The rifles really did catch the last wagon (which had helped by only moving a measly 3″ in its last go) on the very edge of the table and saw off 2 desperate Fleurian attacks to keep up the chase.

In all, half the Big Men were wounded, 2 seriously, but after 4 games of this occasional campaign series there’s yet to be a fatality. At least it means I don’t have to print any new character cards for now!


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