Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sharp Practice 2 Thoughts

Curt and I were both planning SP games for this weekend coming, but he got his note out first so mine will wait a week or two.  But the thought process (my brain hurts) made me realize that I had not posted my thought son the rule system following my AAR a few weeks ago.  So here goes.

·         Overall things ran smoothly, and gave a fun game with lots of action.  The system is intuitive and we got into the swing of the play very quickly.  All good stuff.

·         I liked the unit/leader activation system which gave suspense and randomness without being too wacky.  We used cards, but long term I will use poker chips.  I found it hard to adequately shuffle a small hand of cards, much to Stacy’s disgust as he had to take several random event rolls following the appearance of the 3rd command card in a row.  If I don't get my poker chips painted in time (they are fiddly), I'll resort to fanning the cards and letting players choose one at random.

·         Getting the feel of when to use Command Cards will take a bit.  Stacy and Sylvain tended to hold on to them to make sure that units activated on the tiffin card, but I think that both made use of Cards for “Step Out” actions adding movement or prompted activations out of sequence

·         Movement is based on a number of d6s making it random, but that was just fine by me and it worked in practice.  Cavalry take some thought as they need to take a turn to slow down or speed up. 

·         Small arms fire was a snap to get – lots of d6s with simple to remember scores to hit.  We rarely need to resort to a table.  If three men in their 50s don’t need reminders, the system is pretty idiot proof!  Units need to test to stop uncontrolled fire once they start, which is something that we forgot to do.  

·         Artillery fire is also simple and can be deadly (or not).  Stacy cunningly placed his gun on a hill and Sylvain obligingly deployed on a hill in the line of fire.   In retrospect he could have avoided some of the fire by coming down off the hill but that didn’t seem obvious at the time.

·         I liked the differentiation between musket and rifle armed troops, and formed troops vs skirmishers.  Both sides’ skirmishers were effective, but Sylvain unfortunately turned his Jaegers rifles from a plus to minus by moving into close range.

·          Cavalry is brittle and tricky to use, as it should be.  Both players got their hussars into tricky spots where they were shot apart by musketry.  A learning opportunity hopefully!

·         We used a big table that allowed a lot of flexibility on deployment.  It also had the plus of letting both players get familiar with movement and activations before running into the enemy.  A few units on a big table gave a very nice feel.

·         We never got to fisticuffs so I have no idea how well that works!

·         As commented on the SP forum over at the lardies home, there are some unit points costs issues that need to be sorted out.  I went by the points in the book and may have given Stacy an advantage as the Brits seem overpriced.   We can work this out over time. 

Ad in conclusion I can't wait til we go tho the Penninsula with Curt's lads this week and hiope to go to Hesse soon with my SYW lads.


  1. It does all sound very encouraging, I'm toying with the idea of using SP2 for the Indian Mutiny, but who knows if I'll ever get there!

  2. I think that the Mutiny would work very well with SP2. There are some lovely figures available, but I need to be strong. I've also wondered about Wellesley in India but fewer figures available.
    Cheers, PD

  3. Richard Clarke thinks that Sharp Practice Two if OK for the Indian Mutiny but then he would do, wouldn't he.

    Then there's some more inspiration at: