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Sean Bean and the Rifles

Sean Bean, the famous actor from Troy, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and a boatload of historical dramas, really cut his teeth on a great English TV movie series called "Sharpe's Rifles". My friend Brian suggested these movies to me but I never found them in a store or for rental anywhere.  One day, I was browsing my local city library's DVD collection. Surprisingly, they had all 14 of Sharpe's movies for check out!

Let's hear it for public libraries!  I picked up the first two movies in the series, "Sharpe's Rifles" and "Sharpe's Eagle"

Sharpe and The Chosen Men

For those who are not familiar, Sharpe's Rifles is a series of romantic adventure books by Bernard Cornwell. In the mid-1990's, TV movie versions were made with Sean Bean in the title role of Richard Sharpe. The story takes place during the Napoleonic Wars in the campaign known as the Peninsular War. England and Spain are allied against Napolean and the French army which was attempting to occupy Spain (around year 1808-1812). Richard Sharpe is a member of the English 95th Regiment in Spain. The story begins with Sharpe rescuing his commanding officer, Sir Arthur Wellesley, from a band of French cavalry. Wellesley commissions Sharpe on the spot and gives him the command of a group of Riflemen known as 'The Chosen Men'. At first, Sharpe's men don't appreciate being commanded by a freshly minted lieutenant. After several all-out brawls, Sharpe gains the confidence of the soldiers and a reputation for being a gritty, tough-as-nails fighter. Along the way, they encounter a Spanish resistance force led by Commandante Teresa Moreno played by Assumpta Serna, who provides a love interest for Sharpe.

Sharpe is tutored by the mysterious Major Michael Hogan, played by Brian Cox (famous from X-Men 2, Troy, Braveheart) who provides the dangerous missions to challenge Sharpe's Rifles. In the second movie, there is a brief cameo of a young Daniel Craig.

I don't want to tell you too much about the story for fear of spoiling the movie. A simple Google search will reveal more than enough details.

The movies are well made and the acting is top notch! But, what really interested me was that the story and setting were so ripe for wargaming or RPGs. I would love to see these stories turned into some type of scenario or campaign.  Apparently, some gamers have done exactly that. The guys at Wargames News and Terrain came up with scenario based on Lord of the Ring skirmish rules at here. Lord Ashram thinks he has a great idea to remake these movies into a trilogy with a 'serious' budget at Lord Ashram's House of War. I'd like to do a scenario based on Hordes of the Things, DBA, or possibly Song of Blades and Heroes.(or more accurately the variant 'Song of Drums and Shakos'). In any case, this might turn into a 'someday maybe project' because I don't have any Napoleonic minis at all! That sad condition will be rectified but probably not soon.


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