Sharp Practice: Struggle for Blindenmarkt

Yet another Sharp Practice battle report! Yeah, I’m too sluggish to organize games these days. Thankfully, Cpt.Shandy is not. He keeps coming up with new scenarios. This one deals with a skirmish at Blindenmarkt which took place in 1809.



The Scenario

is a slightly bath-tubbed version of Cpt.Shandy’s findings:

sharp practice skirmish


Here’s what the table looked like:

sharp practice skirmish

French flag is the French Deployment Point, Austrian flags are Austrian Deployment Points (primary and secondary). The French (played by Cpt.Shandy since I played the attackers last time) goal is to either force the Austrian force to retreat by reducing their Force Morale to 0 or take the Austrian Primary Deployment Point. Austrian (played by yours truly) goal is to drive off the French by reducing their Force Morale to 0.

The river is just a very small stream at best and can be crossed anywhere (major obstacle). The forest in the right is on a hill and counts as broken terrain.


The Forces

The French (historically they pulled together a whole bunch of voltigeurs from all sorts of battalions to form this force):

5x Voltigeurs in line formation (Status III Leader, Status II Leader)

2x Voltigeurs in skirmish formation (Status I Leader, Status I Leader.)

3x Chasseurs à Cheval (Status II Leader, Status I Leader)

Force Morale: 11


The Austrians

4x Grenzers in line formation (Status III Leader, Status II Leader)

2x Grenzers Skirmishers with rifles (Status I Leader, Status I Leader)

2x Uhlans (Status I Leader, Status I Leader)

Force Morale: 11



The Game

The game stars with the French side deploying two cavalry squadrons, ready to cross the dried-up river.

I worry where to deploy. Getting bogged down by having single groups of men fighting in the streets of Blindenmarkt doesn’t sound appealing. Instead I decide to deploy all my line infantry out of sight in the forest, and march up the hill.

Here’s an overview:

You can see that the French deploy their line infantry units. Two groups to cover the approach, the rest – led by their Status III leader, march up the stream to link up with the light cavalry.

The Chasseurs cross the stream.

Here’s a special effects shot, depicting several chasseurs jumping the stream. USD 17,000 well-spent, I say. Many thanks, Industrial Light & Magic!

Once they make it across, disaster strikes in the shape of Grenzer sharpshooters. They take out the leader and cause some disarray among the horsemen.


The French commander has some trouble keeping the cavalry together. At the other flank the French Status II officer decides to take matters into his own hands. The Austrians seem to have deployed most of their force outside of Blindenmarkt, so the town is ripe for the taking. They got the secondary Deployment Point almost in reach…


…as two squadrons of Austrian Uhlans arrive just in time. They charge the unsuspecting French infantry.

…and send the few survivors packing.

To top it off, the Uhlans take next to no losses. Just one of their leaders is knocked out.

French chasseurs a cheval, kept in reserve for such cases, move up to keep the Austrian lancers from crossing the river and causing further trouble.


They even attack them, despite the odds being stacked against them!

The brave French chasseurs are beaten, but they cause damage themselves. Most of all, they make the Austrian Uhlans think twice about crossing that river for a counter-attack.

On a third think though – the Austrian cavalry give it a go. And are immediately met with musketry which stops them in their tracks halfway across the bridge. Yikes!

At the other end things look way better. At this point French force morale is down to 4, while Austrian Force Morale sits at a comforatable 10. This prompts the Grenzer line to advance out of the woodwork and fire a salvo at the French cavalry who just made ready to get back across the river.

Despite the volley being fired at long range, it doesn’t fail to impress – the Chasseurs accumulate heaps and heaps of shock, the formation breaks and retreats back across the river.


French Force Morale is reduced to exactly zero, the attack is called off. It’s an Austrian Victory.



A view of the main road down Blindenmarkt a bit later in the 19th century.

Phew, quite the bloody affair, at least at the gates of Blindenmarkt. I got pretty lucky there at two points in the game: first, killing that Chasseurs leader early on, which stalled the French advance in the fields right away, and put the remaining cavalry in a very unfortunate situation. The second point of course having been the charge of the Uhlans which took out two goups of line infantry. Later on the Uhlans got into some trouble, but the French at this point just lacked the manpower to commence a serious attack across the river and into Blindenmarkt any more.

Using cavalry is always tricky in Sharp Practice. Especially light cavalry is really useful for counter-attacks around deployment points. On the attack light cavalry seems to be much more useful for supporting the infantry. At this point the scouting, harassing and all of that probably has been done and it’s time for boots on the ground rather than …hoofing around. To coin a phrase that’ll probably be very popular in the future.

Anyway, very interesting scenario with several decisions to make on either side. I hope that you enjoyed this battle report. Here’s Cpt.Shandy’s game report, with more historical background and a view from across the table. 🙂


Thanks for reading!

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