Siezez La Saucisson! Sharp Practice 2 at Hereward Wargames Show

sharp practice logo
As part of our trip to Hereward Wargames Show over the weekend, Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies invited Mike Hobbs and I to partake in the first show outing of the upcoming Sharp Practice 2 rules.

Needless to say, we both jumped at the chance, not only to play in a game with Richard umpiring (which, believe me, is a treat all of its own) but to also cross swords again across the wargames table. We don’t actually get to play together that often, and I think Mike is still smarting from his defeat at Planetfall early in the year.

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This is the table over which we were playing (apologies for the in-game shot – forgot to take one before we started)

The scenario was this:

The French Comte de Langoustine, accompanied by the Comtesse and escorted by a small contingent of French troops have just spent the night in a small inn.

DSC_0013 They are attempting to escape across the border, but the bridge has been destroyed

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A force of French Grenadiers, long with some ‘Tasty Geezers’ (it’s probably best you don’t ask), led by Captaine Du Gassoulet are building a pontoon bridge.

Meanwhile, the dastardly Prussian, Major Krabbes, along with his Cossack ally, Igor Blimie, have arrived with a force to intercept the Comte and stop him escaping.

Can the Comte de Langoustine lead his beloved Comtesse to safety? Who is the mysterious French Postman? Just how much fun is it playing with magnetised Russian Cossacks? These, and other questions, probably will not get answered in the next few minutes.

The inscrutable Welsh Wizzard, do doubt already formulating a cunning plan.

The inscrutable Welsh Wizzard,(right) no doubt already formulating a cunning plan.

The game started with the Comte frantically trying to rouse his men from sleep as the Prussians were seen arriving

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What's that coming over the hill? Is it a Cossack?

What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a Cossack?

Major Krabbes, meanwhile, heads off towards the pontoon bridge
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Seeing the Prussians in the distance, Captaine Du Gassoulet encourages his men to build faster!

IMG_20151102_082928The French are finally roused from their beds and frantically form up outside the Inn. The Prussian Jaeger appear on the hill, and fire into the French as they form up…

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First blood to the Prussians!

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The French start to advance up the road, driving off Igor Blimie and his Cossacks with a couple of volleys

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Meanwhile, Major Krabbes advances to assault the bridge building party

 

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Despite forming a line to try to defend the river bank, the French find themselves assaulted with cold steel, and fall back

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Meanwhile, the Prussians on the hill have laid their gun, and pour shot into the French

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As the infantry protect her from the marauding Igor and his Cossacks, the Comtesse makes a break for the bridge, praying that the Prussians ignore her cart with their gun

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In the nick of time, voltigeurs reinforcements arrive and assault the Prussians on the river bank, driving them back…

IMG_20151102_082843However, the Comte is unable to encourage his infantry to storm the hill – they prefer to stay put and attempt to trade bullets with shot

IMG_20151102_082850As the game drew to a close, the outcome was still unsure. Major Krabbe’s command had been thrown back by the voltigeurs, who now held the pontoon bridge. However, the Comte de Langoustine’s troops had been severely mauled by the Prussian Jaeger and their supporting gun. Whether they could still protect the Comtesse from Igor Blimie was in some doubt – however, our umpire declared the game an honourable draw…

I haven’t played Sharp Practice for some time, so it was nice to have another game, and to be reminded of just how good a game it actually is. The new mechanics, which include jump off points rather than blinds and ‘Carpe Diem’ cards (though in our game, these had morphed into something a bit different…don’t ask!)

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These cards can be used during each turn to gain advantages (using two, for example, can be used to interrupt your opponents move and take an action of your own) – or you can wait until the end of the turn (Tiffin Card) and then use them to activate units that have not yet been ordered. It adds a level of decision-making and resource management to the game which was not previously there.

Whilst there is still a lot of meat to be put on the bone, it’s clear that the basic mechanics are in place, and work together to give a fun and entertaining game – always helped by a very good umpire. In all seriousness, if you have the opportunity to play this game at a show in the next few months, leap at the chance, as it is hugely entertaining.

Thanks to Rich Clarke and the Lardies for inviting us to play – great fun and I’m now wondering if I should start collecting 28mm Napoleonics in plastic “just in case”.

As for “The Welsh Wizzard”? I’ll get you next time, Monsieur!

5 Comments on Siezez La Saucisson! Sharp Practice 2 at Hereward Wargames Show

  1. I really enjoy Sharp Practice and am very much looking forward to the new rules.

  2. Thanks for the report. Haven’t played SP despite my eagerness to play anything Lardy, but will surely reconsider when the version2 is out

  3. Thanks for the report and for letting us in on some of the new rules, which sound intriguing – I like the idea of Jump Off Points and the new Carpe Diem cards. Sharp Practice is my favorite set of rules, so I’m very much looking forward to the new version!

  4. mcdouglas2015 // November 4, 2015 at 17:07 // Reply

    I had a smashing game in the second session and tried to succeed where Neil had failed…I didnt though and failed quite spectacularly. I managed to allow the Count to get himself killed and the lady to get taken by the Cossacks….the first time either had happened in all the playtests apparently…Well I like to be memorable, ahem. The French second in command made the mistake of crossdressing it seems as the Cossacks initially mistook him for the lady and stole off with him…he hasnt been seen since but hopefully he will be happy!
    Great game, I’m just upset that I did even worse than Neil!

  5. mcdouglas2015 // November 4, 2015 at 23:01 // Reply

    As Beattie might have said – “There seems to be something wrong with our damned sausages today…”…

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