A little to the south of the bridge scene from the last game sits the village of Chiesa, with the Griffon Inn (a favourite haunt of off-duty Medetian officers and a regular stop-over for wealthy merchants) nearby. Burning the inn down, capturing idle officers and possibly making off with a bit of loot would be a good way to pay the enemy back - and in the detested, but tough, Major de Grenache, the Fleurians had just the man for the job.
De Grenache gathered a raiding party from his regiment, made up of 20 line infantry, with a further 20 chasseurs and 12 elite voltigeurs drawn from the light companies. He was assisted by a junior officer and a veteran sergeant. The force approached the inn at dawn, entering the table on blinds and moving swiftly forward.
The unsuspecting Medetians were scattered and asleep, with only a single sentry (who turned out to be sleeping on the job..) posted. Major Nebbiolo was in the Griffon after a bawdy night, with some riflemen down in the taproom and a group of line infantry camped in the trees behind the yard. In the village were young Ensign Lambrusco and Sergeant Gerduzzo, who between them commanded a further group of infantry, one of elite grenadiers, and a light gun with its crew.
The sleeping sentry (his card failed to come up for the first 3 turns) was surprised (to say the least) when the Fleurians sprang out of the early morning mist and made straight for him! He legged it and called out his alert but was captured before he get get over the wall and rejoin his comrades. The net was closing in and the Medetians were still stumbling from their beds and blankets.
First to react, the grenadiers looked decently smart when they piled out of their village billets and took up a defensive position:
Table overview at this point, the Medetians haven't exactly established a defensive line yet:
Things soon descended into typical chaos and violence as the fighting began. The grenadiers held the flank and their fire forced the voltigeurs to seek cover in the trees. In proper grenadier fashion Sergeant Gerduzzo led them in the first of several bayonet charges and routed the enemy skirmishers, before following on to offer support to the beleaguered Major and his rifles at the inn.
The rifles had done well initially, spilling from the front door and shooting down a number of the enemy attackers, Major de Grenache among them. He slumped to the ground where his men, grateful to be freed from his vile oppression, happily left him and followed the second in command over the wall and into melee with Major Nebbiolo and the riflemen.
A little dazed, he took charge of the men who'd been camping behind the inn and tried to regain control of the situation. Unfortunately for him, Captain Corbieres had stepped into de Grenache's shoes, as it were, and led his men on a successful ransack of the Griffon, before setting fire to the spirit store and evacuating again via the front door.
The fighting continued with both sides blazing away and the artillery piece taking pot-shots when any Fleurians wandered (or were chased) into view. There was plenty of hand-to-hand as the Fleurians sought to get away, their mission complete. Both Captain Corbieres and his adversary Ensign Lambrusco (valiantly leading a charge in his first action) received light wounds in these clashes. Eventually the remaining Fleurians who hadn't already routed made a fighting withdrawal and the exhausted, and equally bloodied, Medetians let them go.
The inn burnt to the ground while the Medetians tended to their wounded (including Major Nebbiolo), and dragged the bleeding and abandoned Major de Grenache into captivity. With both his senior officers wounded, 18 year old Ensign Lambrusco found himself temporarily in charge of the mess but, like any sensible Medetian young gentleman fresh from the academy, he started to make order out of chaos and soon forgot the pain of his bandaged arm. Welcome to the war!
Good fun and plenty going on every turn, the Sharp Practice rules make solo play a pleasure and all the prep has certainly been worthwhile.