Sunday, 4 September 2016

Sharp Practice - First Game Impressions

So not having had a game in months, I had two in three days! This time it was a trip to Craig's house to meet up with our regular group of gamers to have a go at Sharp Practice. Only Craig had played before, so we were all keen to see what sort of game they produced.

As always Craig put on a wonderful looking game, despite having only got in from a trip to Europe in the early hours of the morning! Set in the Peninsular War, the aim of the scenario was for the British to escort the Colonels' lady to safety, whilst the French were rather keen to nab het for themselves.

So after the usual banter and badinage, as well as bacon sarnies, it was time for the game.  Keith and Jonathan were the French (baddies) whilst Craig and I the British (goodies). I made no notes of the game as we were concentrating on the mechanics, but at least managed to take a few piccies to give a feel for some of the action.

The village somewhere in Spain where the main action would take place.
The good lady was in the central house protected by two units of Spanish skirmishers.
The French appear out of the early morning light.
The British arrive too late as the French Voltigeurs enter the house to try and sieze the Lady and her maid.
The British advance is somewhat fragmented as a French cavalry attack sends a British unit reeling back.
The 95th Rifles arrive and try and push on into the town to swing things in favour of the British.
However the Colonel's Lady seems rather keen to leave with the French!
The British simply cannot get close enough to prevent the French from leaving with the Colonels' Lady

Post Game Thoughts
As always we had a great game, full of fun and silly comments. What more could you ask for? Well Craig also provided pizza and biscuits, which kept us well victualled during our trials and tribulations at the gaming table. So what did we think of the game?

  • The mechanics were very easy to get to grips with, which was good, so the game flowed nicely. It also helped that I had played Chain of Command before, as the mechanics are virtually the same.
  • These rules are certainly not for competition games, but seem aimed squarely at fun games with friends that have a strong narrative feel to them.
  • There are plenty of nice touches when say three flags are pulled from the deck in a row. We had the British leader stepping in some dog poo and then needing to wash this off as soon as possible. Add in the fact that three French units ran out of water and wanted to get to the well, and you have an interesting situation developing. Now these may not be to everyones tastes, but we enjoyed them.
  • The card activation system could lead to anomolies and spoil a game, where one side barely moves, but this would be rare in the extreme. There are plenty of ways this could be addressed should you so wish.
  • Whereas Chain of Command suffered from each scenario ending up by being won with the side that got the MG unit into the bulding first (or at least that was out experience), these rules don't appear to have that issue to contend with.
So would I play again? Most certainly. In fact I have already ordered the rules and have started thinking about which period to play with these. Nothing decided yet, but am looking forward to giving these a good run out in the future.


  1. nice looking game and good thoughts about the rules. I to like them very much

    1. Thanks Michael. I look forward to reading your article on Swedish units in the latest issue of WS&S. You never know, I may be tempted down this route...

  2. What a pleasant day's gaming! Always nice to catch up with friends in this way. Much preferred Sharpe Practice to Chain of Command.

    1. Definitely a nice way to pass the day with good friends. I agree that Sharp Practice is preferred to Coc.

  3. I have to agree Steve a far better gaming experience than coc and SP1. We just played out a game with 7 players it would be impossible with the previous offerings.