Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 - innovation in an update of a popular set of rules.

Sharp Practice2 from Too Fat Lardies is quite innovative in updating the Sharp Practice rules.

No more blinds - deployment points which are scenario based but can be added to using a Scout from the support lists. Units deploy within a radius from these depending on their type and other scenario based conditions (e.g. attacker/defender).

In the card deck for activation there are Command Cards as well as the individual leader's cards which can be used to either activate units that have not acted at the turn end, be used to activate units out of sequence or use troops characteristics, such as firing controlled volleys.

Cards or chips to determine the order of play - something that as a bit of a numpty when it comes to shuffling cards and that I find it easier to make poker chips I am glad of.

Leaders number of actions is based on their ability.

There are explanatory posts at the Too Fat Lardies blog and videos on their YouTube channel going into more detail on these.

The rules are still available for pre-order with bundles including cards, chips and markers till Friday so it is worth getting in there quickly and then they will be released on 23 April, St Georges Day (and Shakespear's birthday).

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 in 15mm

I plan to start using the new Sharp Practice 2 rules from Too Fat Lardies with my 15mm ACW collection, which I am sure will provoke cries of horror from those who consider them to be a "28mm ruleset". This obsession which some gamers have with a supposedly correct scale of figures for a set of rules is something I find hard to understand and I am not alone in this. The distinction is more between using individually and stand based systems, though I can appreciate that it makes sense that the figure scale is greater than the ground scale as Mike Whitaker explains.

Getting back on topic I find that my preferred range of miniatures for 15mm ACW, which is Peter Pig has a limited set of the figures I might need for support options in their range, but Freikorps 15 now sold by Total System Scenic does have a lot of the things like a US Army mule cart and Engineer figures for the ACW in their ranges. Though if you go looking the mule cart is under the US Mexican War (which of course it can be used for too).

Initally I may well start playing using multiple bases for the line troops in my Union and Confederate forces with just the leaders and skirmishers on single bases, but as I paint up more from the lead pile I will probably build up to being able to field most of the infantry in a game as singly based. The cavalry will probably still tend to be on the 2 figure bases I already have and likewise artillery bases will be my current ones with the crew all fixed on meaning I will use markers to show casualties.

The Friekorps range also contains plenty of other vehicles that would be useful for the different supply options for SP2 in 15mm for periods like Napoleonic or 18th Century European wars and 15mm means that it will be possible to substitute cm for inches on the measurements and play on a smaller area if space is an issue and it will feel less of a mismatch than using cm measurements with larger scale figures.

Now just have to get back to terrain making, painting and waiting for the rules on the 23 April.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 - First Impressions

First impressions from a pre release demonstration game hosted by the Peterborough wargames club. Thanks to Mike Whitaker and the club for being welcoming and Rich Clarke for coming up and running a game after getting the game off to the printers which implies he probably had minimal sleep. 

It has been quite a while since I last played Sharp Practice as the last time I played was at the SELWG show in 2012 with the Terrible Sharp Sword supplement. That was also a demonstration game run by Richard Clarke.

There are a few noticeable changes like the replacement of blinds with jump off points deployment points, making random events occur based on the cards coming out of the deck and the Force Morale for the overall morale of each side. The system plays smoothly as last nights game had a lot of novice players but still gave an exciting and close game where the final result really came down to the order of the cards out of the deck as either side could have won. 

I am definitely signing up for this as soon as the pre-orders are available at the Too Fat Lardies website in the next couple of days. 

Worst thing is the amount of possible projects that this has got running through my head now, but my first thing will be 15mm ACW for SP2 as that ties in with my current painting project. 

Pictures follow
The terrain largely from Rich Clarke but some items like trees and roads from the Peterborough club collection.

The first rebel skirmishers deploy

The continentals and militia arrive. 

The British regulars march up the road towards the bridge

Loyalist cavalry advance

The cavalry charge and drive off the American skirmishers.

The US forces form up to receive the British regulars and Hessians.

The Hessian grenadiers finally arrive.

British redcoats advance into the attack.

Near the climax of the game Rich Clarke makes a point.