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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My Sharp Practice Participation Game.

Hi Team
Recently I hosted a Sharp Practice Participation / Demonstration Game at a Local Gaming Convention, BADGACON. The showcase for the Bendigo And District Gaming Association, BADGACON is in its third year so I wanted to offer a gaming experience different to the usual fare of Fantasy and SciFi and 'Canned War-games' such as Team Yankee, Bolt Action and the like.

I thought a participation game would be good activity and something that I could make would look good might attract people to the hobby.
It also had to be of an Historical nature.

The game also had to be simple to play, with enough detail to give the gamers some decisions to have to ponder over, engaging for all concerned, fast paced and above all,.... FUN.
The game also needed to be played to a conclusion in at least 2.5 hours.

I immediately thought that gaming the assault and fall of La Haye Sainte would be a great action to replay. 

I'm fascinated by the '100 Days' and have plenty of reference materials on the Campaign and in particular the battle of Waterloo.
So I'd committed to put on some kind of activity and I'd settled on a specific action,....
Now for the details,....


Firstly I need to settle on a scale or 'size' of game and for me I think 28mm is the best for a demo / participation. Big enough to catch the eye and visible to spectators and participants alike. The play or game area couldn't be more than 8 feet by 5 feet, but ideally something closer to 6 x 4.
Ultimately it was an 8 x 4 table we played on 
I next settled on 'Sharp Practice 2' as my rules of choice.
These rules are easy to play even if you've never read the rules and as long as the person running the game understands them it'll be fine.
The participant simply needs to say "I wish to do this followed by that,...". 

The 'Game host then simply states "Yes, you can do that, now roll two D6 an see how far you move,..".
SP is also gives a very realistic game and one that's fast paced. 

I initially looked at 'The Complete Fondler' (CF), a TOO FAT LARDIES Campaign / Scenario book released back when Version One of Sharp Practice was released, for some inspiration. 
Straight away I was drawn to the 'Fondler's Waterloo' scenario.
The Battle of Waterloo is reasonable well know, I have all the correct figures already painted and I have the beautiful 4Ground model of La Haye Sainte (LHS)!
The CF scenario is a series of engagements (3 in total) around and in LHS.
Taking a leaf from the TFL CF scenario I decided that the game would be played as follows:
The French would attack LHS in a series of 'Waves', (4 Maximum), with 2 wave each day as follows:
The French first wave. Game commencing at 09:30AM to 12:30PM
The French second Wave. Game commencing at 1:30PM concluding NLT 4:30PM 
Repeat as above for French Waves 3 and 4.
If the french were successful in taking the Farm in the first wave I'd simply rest the table and let the gamers switch sides!


Photos from the game in play.

                                                    ABOVE: Lieutenant Hogo Boss:

BELOW:Lieutenant William 'Willy' Spanker 

                                                                    ABOVE: Col Richard Winchester
  BELOW: Major Hanns Jobbs
  ABOVE: Major Michael Schmetkampf

The Combatants!

The French:
Each wave would consist of two 'Forces' each consisting of two formations or 24 Line Infantry (Fusiliers or Chasseurs), and two formations or 12 Voltigeurs.
In addition each formation would have a choice of the following to be added to them:
a Troop of two Cannons (one medium Howitzer and one Medium Gun)
a Storming Party of Pioneers under the command of Status 1 Leader Maximillian Shagolotte and his inconceivable large 'Chopper' (axe)
an additional force of 12 Grenadiers (deemed 'aggressive')
Giving a grand total of:
96 Line Infantry
60 Skirmishing Light Infantry (Including the 12 Grenadiers)
6 'Pioneers' (Aggressive)
2 'Guns' with 12 Gunners.

ABOVE: the 95th Rifles in The Sandpit

Leaders were allocated to the French as follows:
1 x Status 4 Leader Marshal Ney, and overall Commander of the French effort;
2 x Status 2 Leaders (Each commanding a 'Force' of Line and Lights plus supports) as allocated by the CinC (Ney);
2 x Status 1 leaders (To assist the Status 2 'Battalion' Commanders);
2 x Status 3 Leaders (To Command the two formations of Skirmishers) allocated to each of the Line Infantry formations; 
1 Status 1 Leader of the Pioneers.
There was the possibility the could get a replacement cannon, but no replacement Gunners.

By contrast the French would have their force fully reconstituted (less Leaders) as each wave was activated. 
The french player could 'Recall' any wave at any point and get all his 'dead' returned to the ranks.
Additionally the French would have Access to a formation of 20 Cuirassiers from the 2nd Wave onward.
These would be triggered if any allied troops ventured out of LHS in a group of 6 or more.

The Allies:
The allies would have the following troops to defend La Haye Sainte:
2 groups of 12 x 1st Regiment of the King's German Legion Light Infantry (1st KGL LI) with Rifles
8 x Militia armed with Muskets (rated as Light Infantry), and attached to the 1st KGL LI
20 x KGL 5th Regiment Light Infantry armed with Muskets
12 x 95th Rifles (in the Sandpit)
1 Royal Horse Artillery Medium Cannon with 6 Gunners

The Allies had the following Leaders:
1 x Status 4 Leader in the Farm Complex (Colonel Winchester, of The Prince of Orange's Staff)
1 x Status 3 Leader in the Farm Complex (Major Hanns Jobbs, 1st KGL LI)
1 x Status 2 Leader (commanding the 20 KGL 5th Regt), Major Michael Schmetkampf
1 x Status 2 Leader (Commanding the 95th outside in the sandpit) Lieutenant Willy Spanker

1 x Status 2 Leader, Sergeant Robert 'Bobby' Blurter (sidekick to Colonel Richard 'Dickey' Winchester) 
1 x Status 1 Leader, Sergeant Dan 'Polly' Pollard (of the 1st KGL LI)
1 x Status 1 Leader, Sergeant Ash Locke (of the 5th KGL)
1 x Status 1 Leader, Sergeant John Travolta with the 95th.

To add a bit of internal 'Friction' I also gave each leader some 'Personal Goals' they could achieve in addition to gaining 'Points' or 'Honour' for simply winning the game.
Some also had extra skills and traits that would prove useful or incentivies players to play a certain way.
LEFT: Marshal Ney

    ABOVE: Lieutenant Paul De Grasse      ABOVE:  Le Duke d’ Darling                         

These were as follows:

French Briefings:

Gain Honour Points (HP) by achieving the following:

Gain 30 HPs by leading your men into the farm.                                                                        

Gain 30 HP by Killing Lt Colonel Winchester.                                                                                      

Gain 10 HP by being successful in leading your men in Hand To Hand Combat (driving the enemy back)  

Gain 10 HPs by having your men be the first to enter the farm of La Haye Sainte

Gain 25 HP by achieving a ‘Personal goal’ (PG), as follow:

1. Marshal Ney: Level 4 Status. You can dispatch ADC’s to serve as Status 1 or Status 2 leaders 
keep each of your ADCs to act as your ‘will’ on the field of battle! 
For Each ADC you dispatch you drop one level of Status. You can dispatch a maximum of 3 ADC. PG: Take the farm within two attempts / Assault Waves

2. Lt Colonel Phillip Le Douche: Level 2 Leader.  PG: Have your men enter the Farm before The Duke d’ Darlings men!

3. Lt Colonel Pierre Gripper,  Le Duke d’ Darling: Level 2 Leader. PG:  Secure the garden Kitchen! There is some FANTASTIC fromage in there,

4. Chef d’Battalion Henri Renault: Status 3 Leader. PG: Enter the farm and carry off the young daughter of the farmer within.

5. Chef d’Battalion Anton Bardotte: Status 3 Leader. PG: You or your men capture a British Cannon!

6. Lieutenant Hogo Boss: Status 1 Leader. PG. Be the first man into the farm!

7. Lieutenant Paul De Grasse: Status 1 Leader. PG: Be the first man into the farm!

8. Captain Maximillian Shagolote: Status 1 leader: PG: Smash in the main gate house gate and lead your men in a successful Hand To Hand (Fisticuffs) attack. Fight with 4 Dice! Plus 4 on any task involving strength! 

To compensate for lost leaders the French CinC (Ney) could send an ADC to assist and 'Force' by voluntarily 'shedding' a status level and creating a new Status 1 leader. For example Ney could reduce himself to a Status 2 leader but GAIN 2 status one Leaders or 1 status 2 Leader.  

                                                                        Chef d’Battalion Henri Renault

Allied Briefing:

Gain Honour Points (HP) by achieving the following:

Gain 10 HPs by having your men be the first to repulse an assault.                                                            

Gain 25 HPs by leading your men into Hand to Hand whilst outnumbered.                                                                  
Gain 30 HP by Killing Marshal Ney.                                                                                                          
Gain 20 HP by Killing a French Battalion Commander

Gain 25 HP by achieving a ‘Personal goal’ (PG).                                                                                                       
1. Col Richard Winchester: Level 4 Status. Remove 2 extra shock by simply joining a group! PG: Repulse three Assault Waves
2. Major Hanns Jobbs: Level 3 Leader.  PG: Kill the Duke d’Darling! He killed your brother in 1806!
3. Major Michael Schmetkampf: Level 3 Leader. PG:  Secure the garden Kitchen! There is some FANTASTIC fromage in there,
4. Lieutenant William 'Willy' Spanker : Status 2 Leader. PG: Enter the farm and carry off the young daughter of the farmer.
5. Sgt Bob Blurter: Status 2 Leader. PG: Make off with the Farmer’s daughter and her calf!
6. Sgt Ash Locke: Status 1 Leader. PG. Capture or Kill a French Officer!
7. Sgt Johannes Travolta: Status 1 Leader. PG: Direct the fire of an Artillery piece!

8. Sgt Danny Pollard: Status 1 leader: PG: Get the wounded to safety! And return with ammo,… (double PG points)

The Allies would only have those leaders and troops listed above to play out the entire battle.
Also, after the french 2nd wave was activated they would also have an increasing chance per turn that 12 x Dutch 6th Hussars and 8 x 5th Dutch Light Dragoons might ride to their assistance under the command of 1 Status 2 Leader,...

If the French Cuirassiers were activated then the Netherlands Cavalry would also be triggered, otherwise from turn 3 of wave 3 the Allied cavalry would arrive on the field on a roll of 5 or 6 on a D6 

ABOVE: The Netherland's 5th Light Dragoons. Below: The Netherlands 6th Hussars

 ABOVE: Pas de Charge!!! The French Light Infantry advance!
 ABOVE: The Prince of Orange. A 'Non Player Character' on the table just for colour,...
 ABOVE: The RHA coming into action
 ABOVE: Sgt Pollard
 ABOVE: Captain Max Shagolotte and his HUGE chopper

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A SP2 AAR. Game 2

Another Sharp Practice AAR.

 ABOVE: The French Grenadier interpenetrate the French Fusiliers in an attempt to close to 'Fisticuffs' with the two groups of Englishmen in a 'LINE' Formation.
The volley from the English sends the reeling back.

 BELOW: The top right see's Major Dickie Winchester leading three groups (two up and one in support) over the hedge and through the wheat-field into a ragged counter volley from two french Fusilier groups. The French officer (Lvl 2) was KO'd in the first round of Fisticuffs that resulted in a draw. The french were wiped out to the man in the subsequent round of H2H.
In the center of the photo two groups of English fire another Crashing Volley into the remains of the French Fusiliers that were opposing them.

"For you Monsieur the war is over" 

Yet another great fun game of SP2. Cant rates these rules high enough.
This was our first game using Artillery, (The single French 8 Pdr Cannon).
Post game I wrote up some 'HOUSE RULES' covering ARTILLERY V ARTILLERY FIRE.
These are them here: (See Below)

For each KILL sustained by the Artillery piece that is being fired at BY ROUNDSHOT you must roll equal to or below that number to convert that kill to a strike on the Gun / Howitzer.
Then consult the table below:

The Veteran Wargamer. A Podcast

Hi Team
I've discovered this great little Podcast.
It's delivered by a Wargamer who is both a 'veteran' of the Hobby  AND a Veteran.
Obviously as being a veteran myself I find this Podcast very interesting.
I highly recommend it:


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sharp Practice 2 AAR

Hi Team
Played another absorbing game of SHARP PRACTICE tonight.

Jacob Heath Wakeling and I played the 'Rescue' mission.
Baron Le Pen was being held captive and the French and their Bavarian allies were tasked with busting the Baron out!
The table with the red roofed prison with the Baron within. 8 soldiers from the 69th Regt are guarding the prison under the command of a corporal (Junior Leader Minor Character)
 The Corporal and his guard. They were keen to make sure the hens were also safe,..
 12 Bavarian Jägers (allies assisting the French since all their Voltigeurs were employed elsewhere) were the first to entered the fray and immediately assaulted the guardroom. Soon they had the men from the 69th in retreat, leaving 4 dead men behind.
 However suddenly Sergeant Major Shudup of the 40th Foot appeared and ambushed the Jägers
 Retreating back into the crop of trees the Jäger return fire on Sgt Maj Shudup's skirmishers
 Soon the little crop of trees is thick with smoke from the musket fire
 It's getting hot in the clump of trees as the 'Fog Of War' rolls in,...
But now the French troops arrive in the wake of the Jagers! The send two men to smash in the guardroom come prison door in and rescue the Baron, 'BRAVO"!
However their escape is blocked by Colour Sergeant Bustard and 16 redcoats from the 40th Foot! The French Fusiliers fire a Volley

 Meanwhile Baron Le Pen is freed and Lt Petit Merde asks him to accompany him and his men,..
With 16 British infantry under Colour Sergeant Bustard now up supporting the skirmishers on the left, Captain Dickie Winchester leads 24 redcoats on the right to block a force of French Fusiliers and Grenadiers coming to aid Lt Petit Merde and the Baron!
 Capt Winchester's men deliver a controlled Volley into the French coming to the rescue,..
 On the left it's a tense situation as volleys and skirmish fire is traded.
 The British on the left are dishing out more hit than they are taking,...
But then it's disaster on the British left! The Colour Sergeant is wounded and then they are charged by the French and sent fleeing
The British left crumbled,.. The colour Sergeant steadies his men but is hit for a THIRD TIME and crumples into the dirt dead. 2 out of 4 leader's are down, (SGT MAJ Shudupis also now a casualty) and Captain Winchester has been wounded twice though he's still in the fight!
 On the right the British cause the French Grenadiers to rout,... but it's not enough
The British command (Officers from the Prince of Orange's personal staff) orders a withdrawal!
With two out of four of their leaders dead or routed and Captain Winchester wounded twice discretion is the order of the day,..
 The Bavarians (only 4 left from the original 12) hasten the Brits away,..
The story of the day,...
A dead Private Tommy Adkins.
Sharp Practice is really a fantastic set of Black Powder Skirmish Rules.
I highly recommend them.