Sharp Practice


Haitian Shock Markers and other ramblings....

A couple of items that have been in the queue for quite a while.First up Haitian Regular shock markers, as the games have got slightly larger the need for more shock makers has reared it's head, these started out as British Militia from Trent Miniatures, but paint up reasonably well for the Haitian loyalists.I have opted for two dice spaces to try and reduce the number of counters on the table.They still need some static grass, something for Warfare tomorrow.Next up a Warning Beacon from the Too Fat Lardies it fits nicely into the campaign and can serve as a jump off point or simply table clutter. The cage needed a repaint as in a moment of madness I painted it as if made of wood, that would not have lasted long once it was alight.I used real twigs which did not look right so resorted to painting them, how mad is that.The Insurgents below show the size comparison.It's the annual trip to Warfare tomorrow as the Wyvern's lend a hand to Paul at Kallista with the Battle of Mohi. Another Hungarian adventure a

» View Source Article

Sharp Practice: The Culpeper Conspiracy

Too Fat Lardies' Sharp Practice is pretty popular down BIG, with regular French and Indian War events held on weekends. Whilst George and I have been happily testing out and tweaking Rebels and Patriots AWI games, we are open minded souls and when Andy said he was up for running a game for newbies, we jumped at the chance and roped in Steve with his newly painted Hessians... As I was trying to pay attention to Andy teaching us the rules I didn't take lots of photos.George swapped his Tory sensibilities to side with the brave Whig rebels taking command of three units of State troops and one skirmish unit, whilst I had two units of Continentals and one of skirmishers. Steve had two units of Musketeers, two Guards and two Jaegers, both sides have one level 3 leader, one level 2 and two level 1. Both sides were given secret missions to complete, the Americans to rescue and escort a brave spy across the table.My first deployment was the Contintentals, who started marching up the road, similarly Steve's Hessian Mus

» View Source Article

Wyvern Wargamers - Sunday night is Sharp Practice Night

A little behind on postings....Club Night and all things Sharp Practice are on offer over at the Wyverns.First up a cracking outing in the woodlands of North America, a French raiding party is about to have the tables turned on them as they attempt to raid an Indian village.With the gods of War on their sides the Indian Big man comes out of the bag first he pushes the movable deployment forward deep into French flanking the French.Meanwhile to the front the British and their Indian allies push forward.On the far left the French charge forward pushing the Indian's back, but in turn are countered charged by yet more Indians. In a bloody affair the French commander is killed and their force morale slips down into single figures.With their leader taken from the field the French morale creeps ever more towards the danger zone. The final blow comes as the Indian bolstered by their victory in melee drive into the exposed flank.Meanwhile across the hall. The first outing for 10mm Indian Mutiny coming to a wargames sh

» View Source Article

Rebels and Patriots: Virginia Rifle Corps

Another eighteen infantry painted for Rebels and Patriots, though 2/3 of them saw their first action in a game of Sharp Practice earlier this week. From a Rebels and Patriots perspective they will be classed a Light Infantry, in a few test games we've played neither George or I felt that the Skirmish classification rules worked in a suitable fashion for the C18th and the one time we had a Sharpshooter unit on the table it was like facing an MG42! :-)As to what unit at Guildford Courthouse these guys are I'm not 100% sure. Initially the idea was to have some units of Virginian Rifle Corp Skirmishers but I need to have a think about it, perhaps they could be split into Light Infantry small units. Something to ponder...As previous the figures are a mix of Perry plastics and metals and some Foundry metals, block painted and dipped...

» View Source Article

Dispatches from the front II

I bloody hate cavalry...… I have been sitting looking at the same cavalry unit for the best part of three weeks, if I can't break the back of them tomorrow they might have to be bounced from the queue for a while. I am not sure if it's the mass of horse flesh or the fact that I have glued the riders on first, something that I don't normally do in the painting process. Do we all have a touch of OCD when it comes to painting? Meanwhile we had a crack at Osprey's latest card game, a two player game with a number of missions from D-Day to play through, you use your cards to grab the initiative and use your squads to grab objectives I must admit it was a real blast and felt very realistic, very much a band of brothers feel to it, the early missions contain only rifle squads, but later missions introduce MG's Mortars and snipers.MG's are great at pinning troops, mortars are flaming nasty and you need to get a move on once the targeting round lands. Stick and move is the name of the game.Send your scouts out to cl

» View Source Article

Cotswold Wargaming Day - A cracking days gaming.

Last weekend saw a fine days gaming down in the Cotswold in the town of Northleach, now not only famous for the BBC's This Country but also a day of summer gaming before the autumn sets in. All credit to Keith Flint (of "Honours of War" fame) for organising there were 8 games on offer and over 30 gamers in attendance.The day was a very relaxed affair with players encouraged to try the various games on offer and Stuart Asquith was on hand to award various prizes on the day.I did not get to spend as much time as I would have liked around the other tables, but here's a selection of some of the great games on offer.For our part we hosted a Haitian rescue, with the French army looking to free the civilians from the church to get them to the port, whilst the rebellious slaves and the free people look to kill or capture them.Thanks to Nigel for taking part, by the end he was playing like a Sharp Practice veteran.It was a close run affair with both sides thinking they had it in the bag at various times of the da

» View Source Article

Drawing in the outposts - Pearl of the Antilles Campaign.

The summer months are always a testing time with campaigns as the lag between games can kill off peoples interests or the gap between games is extended the Pearl of Antilles campaign in Haiti is no different. There is also the risk that as the action hots up that the number of games makes the gap between moves to long to combat this the plan was to dice for some of the smaller games.Within the Dawn and Departure campaign rules I adopted the simple dice mechanism with a couple of tweaks.When attacked, an Outpost may elect to stand and fight, or may choose to retire.If an Outpost elects to simply withdraw, it rolls 1D6.  On a roll of 1 or 2, the troops from the Outpost will simply disperse and play no more part in the campaign. On a roll of 3 to 

» View Source Article

A Dark & Stormy Night – Sharp Practice AAR

On July 4, 1863, the Union cavalry was in hot pursuit of the Confederate army retreating from Gettysburg. Judson Kilpatrick’s division had information about a rebel wagon train making its way through the South Mountains and set out to capture the wagons. Due to a rainstorm, the Union troopers arrived at the approaches to Monterey Pass in the evening. When they slowly made their way up the pass road, a lone Confederate cannon opened fire. Thus started the Battle of Monterey Pass, one of the most dramatic small cavalry actions of the Gettysburg campaign. The unusual circumstances – a fight at night, in very difficult terrain, while a torrential rainstorm was raging – made this “a night never to be forgotten”, as one participant in the action later wrote. For Sharp Practice, I have decided to divide the action into three parts. This was a playtest for the first part, the approach to the pass road and the Confederate ambush. The results of the game will have an effect on the next sce

» View Source Article

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - Day Ten - 10th August 1791

Day 10 and with a fresh player taking control of Henri Christophe in the south of the island things are starting to hot up.The forces of General Jean-Jacques Dessalines (Gold) continue their expansion through out the region with another village - St Louis du Sud falling under his control.The British hold firm at Pestel as the South West of the island starts to become somewhat crowded.The Republicans continue to hold rallies and petition the people to show free will, but take no aggressive actions whilst on the other side of the mountain Rigaud's forces can be seen marching West along the coast from Jacmal.Our new player Henri Christophe has sent out a flurry of orders, his men set about their new orders with great vigour with troops scurrying here and there.In the North of the island Gen Louverture continues his advance into the territory of Georges Biassou, his skirmish troops push him hard. Louverture pushes his skirmishers forward keeping the pressure on Biassou. Biassou throws a shielding force to halt th

» View Source Article

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - The Battle of the Sugar Field - 9th August 1791

Jean - Charles a name given to him by his plantation owner peered out from the sugar field looking across the estate, an estate that had for so long been his home if you can call 25 years of slavery and imprisonment home. But free he was now and he was not going to let the Spaniards return him to a life of slavery.Having been beaten a few days before the next engagement in the Pearl of Antilles Campaign is a further engagement between the Spanish and the slave army of Princess Amethyste in the north of the Island.The battle is a fighting withdrawal with the Slave forces seeking to delay the Spanish by giving them a bloody nose before falling back.The Spanish had learned much since their last encounter with Jean - Charles one of Princesses Amethyste's most trusted lieutenants. They knew the freed slaves would be waiting for them anywhere on the table, with numerous plantation houses and slave quarters. The enemy could ambush them from anywhere, but the Spanish had a one advantage they had recruited a local man

» View Source Article

Yet more Spanish - Trent Miniatures Black Militia

With the varnish just about dry the Spanish Black Militia make it to the table top for the battle between the Spanish regulars and the rebellious slaves of Princess Amethyste.The full battle report should be up this weekend.Some great castings from the guys at Trent, at the moment only enough to make up an Irregular skirmish unit, but eventually I will paint up the remaining 14 to give me a couple of militia stands.Let's hope the curse of freshly painted figures can be broken... :-)Next up.... something a little more modern.

» View Source Article

The Spanish Army in Haiti - 1790 - 1802

With a change of job just around the corner, I seem to have a little more time on my hands in the evenings, which is good as the Spanish won't paint themselves, with a self imposed deadline of Thursday evening I wanted to ensure these were off the paint table.Within the campaign setting they will be regulars in sections of 8. I have a couple of Big men to bolster the ranks with a couple of mounted figures to come later. As usual the Infantry are from Trent Miniatures, with Officers and drum from Front Ranks Spanish Range, they are a good match once painted and based.The Spaniards whilst a major player in the region seem to be somewhat overlooked in terms of history and documented accounts, I suspect because they seem to be on the losing side in a number of the encounters. There may be some Spanish text but I have not been able to track down much.Here's my take on events pulled from a couple of different sources for those interested.Once the French Revolution reached Haiti shores it's impact was bound to sprea

» View Source Article

Encounter in the Hinterland - 9th August 1791

Try as he might Georges Biassou could not shake off Louverture and his forces, they were better organised, armed and trained after yesterdays initial Biassou's slave forces had been forced back. But before they could reorganise the lead elements of Louverture were amongst his pickets.George Biassou called his men out it was an all out attack...He would be defending the left hand side of the table while the General would come on from the right.So the scene is set. Biassou knew where the loyalists would be advancing from so rallied his men seeking the best ground he could in the limited time available to him.He had high ground to his right and a small orchard to his left. The battlefield was littered with slave shacks and small plots of merger crops. Biassou ordered his men forward.Biassou ordered his men up to the wooded ridge but the going was tough and despite his urging his men struggled to make progress up the steep incline.On the far right his skirmish troops grabbed cover in a small plot of crops and awa

» View Source Article

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - Day Nine - 9th August 1791

The orders are in and after a lull to reinforce. The fight for control of the Pearl of the Antilles is underway once more.Across the island the various protagonists make their moves.The British under Thomas Maitland continue their onward march along the peninsula knowing that the day will soon come that they will have to engage the defenders of the island. Meanwhile the Republicans and Free Mulattos under Andre Rigaud continue to view each other with suspicion waiting for each other to make a mistake or show their hand.To the North the French Planters ready themselves for future engagements. After the attack by rebellious slaves at Bahon, they scout the surrounding area for the enemy to establish their number and directions of potential attack. Dutty Boukman and his forces bloodied but unbowed spread around the surrounding high ground and cut the routes back to the regional capital. If the Planters are to receive future reinforcements they are going to have to force their way through the slave lines

» View Source Article

The Pearl of the Antilles. - The Haiti Campaign - The Battle of Bassin-Bleu - 8th August 1791

Bolstered by reinforcements General Toussaint Louverture launched his offensive on the riotous slaves of Georges Biassou. Tensions had been building since the the war broke out, Baissou had moved to forces to defend the border at the Los Trois river, however Louverture had found a crossing point undefended and had caught the slave forces in the flank.Louverture significantly outnumbered the defenders and had spent wisely with both a secondary and moveable deployment point, the table was a scattering of slave huts and the occasional plantation field.Biassou's force was limited with 3 sections of militia a handful of skirmishers. They had been bolstered by a mass of unarmed slaves keen to defend their newly found freedom.The insurgent forces positioned their deployment point behind the orchard and were quick to throw their skirmish troops into the wooded area just as the first unit of Haitian loyalists appeared on the road to their left letting off an opening volley. The insurgents ducked for cover but their in

» View Source Article