The great news here on Lard Island is that So Far from God, our US-Mexican War supplement for Sharp Practice has arrived. I have long thought that this is a conflict ideally suited for large skirmishes or small battles and we have had great fun playtesting these. The supplement includes a section on rule amendments for the period, all of which are also incorporated into a new two sided playsheet that will allow you to just grab that and save referencing the main rules or the supplement during normal game play.
Additionally there are guide to the US and Mexican forces, how they were organised and armed and of course suggested troop ratings for the conflict. All of which means that organising your wargame forces should be simple. Personally I have gone with forty to fifty regular line infantry per side and then added a Group or so of other units so that I can mix and match to get a wide variety of scenario options.
So Far from God also contains eight scenarios. I had originally prepared half a dozen but just before publication I decided to add another couple that we had played through and had great fun with. To be honest I simply could not resist including a scenario with Jefferson Davis at Buena Vista, and Ged at Gringo 40s has responded by pushing his schedule for Mississippi Rifles forward. (Top man. Now make me a Zorro figure!). The scenarios are designed to be a walk-through of the various stages of the war, providing a bit of background history a colour map of the table set-up, briefings for both sides and notes for the umpire to aid a smooth trouble free game. As with all of our scenario supplements this has been designed so you can just print out four sheets of paper for each game and you’re ready to go.
So, what have we included? Well, the first scenario, The Bishop’s Residence, is set in Monterrey with a force of Mexican Light Infantry attempting to rescue the Bishop of Monterrey and his relics from two parties of US Volunteers. Stand Fast, Mississipians! see’s Jeff Davis relive the moment when he made history with a V at Buena Vista. This is the first of the larger scenarios where we have used a figure scale in order to represent larger actions. Two battalions of volunteers and a battery of guns take on Santa Anna’s finest; but will they win?
The third scenario shifts south as Scott attempts to advance inland from Vera Cruz. Here is advanced guard of US Dragoons take on a Mexican rearguard at The Bridge at Santa Maria, intend on delaying the Yanquis to allow Santa Anna to strengthen his defences at Cerro Gordo. Bring Me the Leg of Santa Anna is next as a small hand-picked force of Mexicans attempt to regain Santa Anna’s missing wooden leg which the 4th Illinois have captured near Telegraph Hill. A magnificent flight of fantasy with absolutely no basis in history but good fun all the same!
Next is another battle sized scenario entitled Down Mexico Way. Based on the historical action at Contreras, this scenario sees two Brigades of US forces take on Mexican defenders in prepared positions, however a certain Engineer named Robert E.Lee may well hold the key to the defences. The Luck of the Irish is a great fun romp with a party of San Patricios escaping from Churubusco and attempting to cross the river to Mexico City and safety. Can the dashing Lieutenant fr5om County Cork protect both his men and the lovely Conchita or will it be the gallows for them all?
Charge and be Damned! focusses on the Battle of Brazito thirty miles north of El Paso on Christmas Day 1846 as Colonel Alexander Doniphan comes up against the unfeasibly named Major Antonio Ponce de Leon in a fight to the death in the northern deserts. Again this is a scaled scenario with one figure equalling roughly ten men. Finally we have Wagon Train, where a young US Artillery Lieutenant by the name of Ambrose P. Hill tries to lead a small wagon train accompanied by Red-Legged infantry and Texas Rangers through to the besieged Puebla.
So there we have it, a rather fun look at a really enjoyable conflict which really must rate as the prettiest war ever fought in the Americas. A mere £7 for a whole tortilla load of gaming.
We’re in the middle of building work here on Lard Island so restocking products is currently problematic. To fill a gap we have produced a set of downloadable printable cards for IABSM using the artwork from the hard copy card deck which is currently out of stock. The cards are smaller than the original deck