Sunday, December 6, 2009

French & Indian War w/Sharp Practice

I was able to play a fun game of Sharp Practice (from Too Fat Lardies) on Friday night with Steve Thomson and his very nice 28mm French & Indian Wars collection. As an introduction to the rules for Steve, we decided to keep the scenario simple: a small Indian village with a group of Indians "at home" attacked by a Colonial force of rangers and colonial regulars under the command of George Washington (the pictures of whom unfortunately did not come out well); to the rescue come another group of Indians and some French regulars. But the scenario was actually rather secondary to just learning the rules. With that in mind, some pictures below with little in the way of an After Action Report:

Indians holding the village. All the figures and buildings are from Steve's collection. The figures, I believe, are from Conquest Miniatures. Behind the one long house you can see a "Blind." These are hidden units (or dummies) as yet not spotted by the enemy. Steve has made up some very nice textured bases with counters marked with ID numbers and national colours.

An Indian war party working its way along a stream bed hoping to outflank the colonial regulars (sneaky Heathens!).

The same war party debouching from the woods and engaging the colonials in Fisticuffs!

A colonial Ranger group led by the intrepid Major Rogers (leading from the rear).

Sharp Practice is a card-driven system that focuses on the actions and initiative of the Big Men in a battle, those men who, while not necessarily heroes in the normal sense of the word, influence the nitty-gritty happenings in combat. Each turn involves the turning of a deck of cards that essentially is directed at the abilities and actions of these Big Men. If the "Tiffin" card (or Tea Break) is flipped, the turn is over and the deck is reshuffled, regardless of whether some Big Men have been activated or not. While this adds a certain tension to a turn, (which I like), not knowing if any or all of your plans can be carried out, it can at times become overly restrictive (interesting coming from a Piquet-ophile). I think next time we'll use an optional second Tiffin card in the deck. In this version, the turn ends on the appearance of the second Tiffin card. Still some tension, but fewer turns ending on the first or second card flipped. Otherwise, the system is great fun and has a number of possibilities for conversion to other periods and genres. I'm sure I heard Steve musing about using SP for his 28mm modern collection!


  1. Great report and pics! Haven't tried Sharpe Pracrtice myself yet - apparently there is a specific AWI version in the works.

    Best wishes


  2. Great report, I've been tempted by the Indian wars figures but luckily have been able to restrain myself so far. Not the same story with the Perry AWI figures, in the midst of painting up 50 southern militia figures for the TFL "This Land Divided" scenario book. Isn't SP a great system!

  3. Tim,

    Luckily, I don't have to paint a single figure to enjoy the genre or the Conquest figures. Steve has it all under control!

  4. only the colonial rangers and french are conquest. The indians are Perry AWI and Colonial militia and George W. are Eureka.

    I do have 6 Conquest mounted indians and the last of teh mohican characters, though htey were not on the table.

  5. SP works great for just about any black powder period. The AWI books by Chris Stoesen have a huge variety of games. You can create ongoing stories with the rules (I was doing this before M&T was around) and develop some interesting characters