A couple weeks ago we played our first game of Sharp Practice 2 from Too Fat Lardies. I gathered the guys - all willing to give a new set of rules a whirl - after sending them the links to the Lardy tutorial videos.
FYI I don't intend to review the rules per se in these posts, as there are plenty of thorough reviews already on the net, but I will mention some key mechanisms as I go, and provide some personal views, too, mostly at the end of the posts.
The goal for the day was to play a simple game, in its entirety, knowing we would make plenty of mistakes in both tactics and rules applications, to get a feel for the overall experience of the game. Accordingly I put together two "representative" 1755-ish opposing forces of 53 points (including support options). . .
• Note we are using the wooden markers to denote the "leader number," important because leaders are activated when their card is turned up, and the D4 the leader's Status, which can change due to wounds, etc. •
Both sides rolled up an "11" on the Force Morale Chart, which tracks how committed each force is to the battle; the commitment can degrade as "bad things happen" during the battle and when a force's rating falls to "0" it quits the field!
I divided the terrain about evenly between "wooded" and "cultivated."
View from the British side's corners:
View from the French side's corners:
We used the Meeting Engagement scenario straight from the rules.
Leaders are activated when their card is turned up during game play, and they may only deploy, with their assigned groups, when their card appears. A Primary Deployment Point for each side is determined at the beginning of the game, and if purchased as a Support Option, additional Moveable Deployments can be deployed, then moved during card play, prior to actual deployment of groups. The British rolled up the "#2 Point" on the road (blue arrow above):
Their Moveable Deployment Point, belonging to the Rangers (which they actually weren't entitled to - oops) was assigned to the dogtrot barn on the farm:
The French rolled up the "#3 Point" in the woods (red arrow above) and added a Moveable Deployment Point and a dummy Moveable Deployment Point deeper into the woods:
Let the fightin' commence! The French got the early cards for deployment and did a good job pf pushing their Moveable Deployment Points deeper into the woods. The Marines and Militia were quickly deployed along the edge of the woods.
The British Rangers deployed first into the barn, while more French Marines popped up along the treeline.
The Militia got an extra turn of movement due to the early appearance of 4 French Command Cards, and dashed out of the darkness of the woods!
The Status I Leader of the Provincial Regulars deployed next into the Farmhouse; the French Militia moved up to the fence and opened fire on the house.
Meanwhile, the British Status III Leader was getting concerned about his Primary Deployment Point - the French were dangerously close to it and several turns ended without his Leader Card turning up. Instead, the Status I Leader had to be sent with just one of the groups of Regulars to defend the Primary Deployment Point. The French were so close that the group was just barely able to deploy, sending a volley into the Marines at the treeline to try to buy some time to move forward.
When the card for the British Status III Leader turned up, there wasn't room to deploy at the
Primary Deployment Point, so they deployed instead at the barn, and tried to draw fire away from the other group of Regulars embattled on the road.
Both groups of French Militia poured lead into the farmhouse; the Provincials inside returned fire.
Suddenly the Natives showed up, and added to the fusillade of bullets ringing against the farmhouse.
The fight on the road turned bloody. One of the Marine groups was getting mauled, but the British Regulars in the open were taking casualties and accumulating Shock at an alarming rate. . .
. . .which eventually forced the Regulars off the table! This meant a roll on the "Bad Things Happen Table" and a 2-point reduction to the British Force Morale!
Without so much as a "by your leave," the Provincial Rangers made a dash for the treeline. The Regulars tried to provide covering fire. . .
. . . but the Rangers were sent reeling backward, with casualties and Shock, by fire from the Marines.
The shooting on the farmhouse was taking a toll of the Provincials inside (we placed the troops on the table edge and tracked losses there), even as losses and Shock mounted on the French Militia.
A Random Event caused the Natives to be low on ammo, impairing their shooting dramatically!
And Suddenly, the cards decided Chapter One had ended!
Chapter Two will follow in the next post. See ya!