Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Sharpe's 'Sharp Practice' Practice

Matt breaks out his skirmish troops from his Napoleonic forces again, but this time to play a rule set that he's just bought, 'Sharp Practice' by Too Fat Lardies, rather than his home-brewed ones. It's a character driven set of rules, with the 'Big Men' being all important in managing the troops.

From Furness Wargamers in Shakos

Tel, Dave M and Jim are the Honourable French. Keiron, Tony and S.O.Else, the Perfidious Rosbifs. A 'Big Man' each, plus one extra to command the forces, Kieron and Dave M doubling up respectively.

With only Matt having the rules, and himself having never played them, he took on the role of referee\rules lawyer. A simple scenario, capture and hold the four buildings on the table, with those holding the most winning.


We went through the process of rolling the Big Man attributes in full, but ended up not really using them, a good job as could barely read Dave M's writing. Most of the French must have been related as they were almost all big and ugly.

The first major incident was when fire from Jim's unit took down a British Big Man, who rolled a 1 failing to avoid becoming the casualty for the unit. A further roll found him to be Badly Wounded, effectively out of the game. His unit now relying on other Big Men to command it, the limited action of the 'Sharp Practice' card (available only to the British) or wait for the free 'Tiffin' actions available to unactivated units.

A couple of rounds of fire were traded between the parties, and then the crib sheets were disposed of as it became apparent that the shooting table differed from that in the rulebook! These were a set Matt had downloaded independently of the rules and not from the Lardies site.


At this point we also learnt that the main Big Men could greatly improve the firing by adding their command level to it a extra dice if you can get them to activate before the 'Tiffin' cards end the turn.

After advancing close to the enemy to get the benefit of cover we decided to charge the two riflemen who had been left out on a limb. Not sure if we were doing the formations accurately enough, but couldn't immediately find rules on spacing between skirmish troops, so Tony's force was effectively split into three bits of terrain. Despite being vastly outnumbered they still managed to repulse us. Rolling better on their 4 dice than our 11!


Meanwhile the main British Big Man, who had a strong resemblance to another fictional Rifleman, had made his way to the leaderless unit and was getting them firing with effect again. The other French continue to move up, but at this point the game ended with two buildings each.

A quick review of the rules at the end showed we were still doing a number of things wrong, including not accounting for the deduction in movement caused by Shock points remaining on the unit. Plus the 'Tiffin' cards might not have been done correctly, with us using separate ones for each side.

People thought it was an enjoyable game despite our inexperience, and it started to flow a bit better towards the end as we got use to the all important activation\command choices and what they meant.¶

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