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Author Topic: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder  (Read 4879 times)

Offline Saucy Jack

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During the last week, I have bought all of the above rulesets. Read countless reviews and watched YouTube gameplaying videos of Sharp Practice. And I don't know which system I should choose  o_o

I read somewhere that the Miniature Wargaming magazine June 2010 issue, looked and some of the systems, but I cannot find the article anywhere. Anybody got a link?

I have not bought any miniatures yet, but I want to go with 28mm.

I want the rules to be easy, but there to be a distinct difference between the different armies of France and say Austria.

I don't mind markers or any other kind of aid being used in the game, and don't care whether there is casualty removal or not.

Any kind of help will be greatly appreciated.

Offline matakishi

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 02:42:22 PM »
The only version of Sharp Practice I've played was in a Robin Hood game and I thought the system was dire, lots of pointless dice rolling that achieved nothing, the thought of doing this for a large Napoleonic game is nauseating.
The small scale version of Drums and Shakos has been well received, presumably the upscaled version will be similar.
Black powder cracks along, I have played a Sudan game using these rules, lots of units, lots of fun and a result achieved in an afternoon.
As for the others, I have no idea about them. Sam Mustapha is well respected by my Napoleonic playing friend though.

We used Shako for our big Napoleonic games and it was pretty good. I wasn't as enamoured with it when we played again more recently but my expectations have changed since the old days. It is still a solid set of rules. There is a Napoleonic version of Fire and Fury somewhere, F&F is an excellent set of rules.

Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 06:18:18 PM »
As far as I'm aware, all of the sets mentioned can be played with a fairly generic basing style. 4 infantrymen on 4x4cm or 6 on anything slightly wider should be okay with any of those, even Sharp Practice. Hence, you should be able to test yourself to see what suits you best. I gather the rules take very different approaches, both in scale (skirmishes to battle) and mechanics/abstraction – a comparison might be futile, the more since it's down to the style of game you prefer.

I've only actively played Sharp Practice so far, thus my comment may be of low value for you. I liked SP, and in contrast to Matakishi I found dice rolling wasn't OTT. True, you're rolling lots of dice at once, but working with a combat results table provides you with instant and quite obvious results. It isn't as elegant as the more recent publications from TFL (and definitely the layout doesn't help to get your head around easily). Still, it's a very decent representation of large skirmishes in the Horse & Musket era. If you've seen the videos and liked what you've seen, give it a go. For a start don't bother with force sizes as the scenarios tend to get huge. We've played with a couple of units per side, about 8 to 12 models each, and it worked fine.

Offline TheWeasel

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 06:29:04 PM »
I personally do enjoy Sharp Practice, probably because it is delightfully different from the grim-dark rulesets that introduced me to wargaming years back. The card-based turn order I feel represents the uncertainty of command in an era before radio communication; you never know when or if you'll be able to complete a maneuver or to inform forward elements quick enough. Again, it is the contrast against the more traditional you go, I go systems, where you can predict how many turns combat will last, etc. In this case it removes the ability to make meta decisions.
It is meant as a large skirmish, so you really don't want more than 4 or 5 units per side, or the game gets way too bogged down. It also has a lot of fun character, and varying the random events and bonus event cards, can really capture the flavor of the period being depicted. I use it for FIW, AWI, and 1812, and it plays distinctly for each of the wars.

Also, to be fair, I have not played the other rulesets, so I cannot compare. I have always been curious about BP, though...

Offline Gibby

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2014, 06:34:00 PM »
Love Sharp Practice. Never considered any of the dice rolling to be pointless at all, and for large skirmishes it works really well. It is, however, still a skirmish game and won't give you a mass battle in the same way Black Powder will, etc.

Offline sjwalker51

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 07:35:10 PM »
What sort of game do you want to play, as the rulesets you list are aimed at different audiences.

I'm another fan of Sharp Practice but, as others have mentioned, it's really designed for large scale skirmishes (individually based 28mm, c. 40-120 figures per side) at 1:1 scale, although it's possible to upscale the game to maybe a couple of battalions per side. It has very different mechanisms to most other rules, which you will either love or hate, that allow a lot of national characteristics and 'heroic' characters.

The others are, I think, more suited to larger scale battles, alongside plenty of other alternatives (Shako, AoE etc) and give a much more different game.

So, do you want to be Capitaine Aznavour, leading a company of voltigeurs against the perfidious English grasshoppers, or a French Corps Commander preparing to launch divisional assaults on the Grand Redoubt at Borodino?

Offline Saucy Jack

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 07:50:10 PM »
Thanks for your replies.

I am aware that SP is a large skirmish and I don't linke the 95th Rifles focus. I guess that I am looking more at commanding armies.
.

Offline Redmist1122

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 05:59:14 PM »
Alright, so I own and played two of the four mentioned.  First I'm a big fan of Sharpe Practice for a good skirmish game. As mentioned already two different types of gaming here; skirmish and big battle. I think of skirmish more on the line of the basing, like a single base figure for a skirmish like game.  The typical basing with multiple figures for me represent something much bigger.  Understanding the concepts in SP, a group is essentially a company if that.  So you would need multiple groups to represent a battalion.  In a big game a few stands would represent a battalion or the like. I use 25/28mm figures for SP.

Now for LaSalle.  I like this game as it was new and fresh from what I've played before in past. I can play bigger battles with a more command abilities from the corps or division commander level. I play this game with 15mm based figures and works great.  With that said, I also bought the rules from the League of Augsburg called, "Republic to Empire".  I like LOA rules and looking forward to trying them out.

Hope this helps.
Greg P.
Tucson, AZ, USA

Offline Conquistador

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 09:47:57 PM »
<snip> allow a lot of national characteristics <snip>

That brings up bad... nay, horrible... memories of the Tricolor; Column, Line, Square; and several others where national characteristics unbalanced the games dramatically.

What is frequently called national characteristics is more often superior training and leadership disguised as such.

Gracias,

Glenn

Viva Alta California!  Las guerras de España,  Las guerras de las Américas,  Las guerras para la Libertad!

Offline warburton

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 10:47:26 PM »
If you want massed battles then Black Powder won't lead you too far wrong. It is pretty simple and effective overall, and you can get a lot on the table.

Sharpe Practice is great, in my opinion, but only really for small skirmishes. Also, the 95th Rifles focus only comes from the campaign being lossely based on the Sharpe novels. You can quite easily invent your own scenarios!

Offline Furt

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 04:24:02 AM »
Another advocate of Sharp Practice here, but again it really depends on what type  of game you are after.

We play all our Indostan games http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=69023.0 with Sharp Practice and find it perfect for our needs. We like the Big Men of Sharp Practice the best, and I think our games take on an almost roleplaying aspect because of them. We have managed rather large games with 6 or so units per side, but haven't tried anything much bigger.
Definitely a large skirmish game as mentioned and not for battles, but the Big Men are vital to ordering the men to do things, so it makes you really feel like you are in charge.

BTW we don't utilize the light infantry (95th Rifles) options much and still manage to produce acceptable results with just the infantry. SP certainly suffers from "the British are Best" syndrome along with a few of the other Lardies titles, but in the spirit of the game it fits.
“A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.”

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Offline ansbachdragoner

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 05:52:13 AM »
I'm another Sharpe fan, however definitely for large scale skirmish. I pretty much exclusively play Sharpe with French, Austrians and assorted Germanstates, so even though the rules take a 95th approach, the game still plays very well without any brits on the table.

If you're looking for a larger scale battle set, I played a game of Napoleon At War last weekend. I have to say that while I was VERY skeptical, I was equally VERY pleasantly surprised. It's division based, plays a very fun, quick game which uses a few elegantly simple systems to make it 'feel' like a Napoleonic divisional engagement, without countless chart tables and modifiers. Neil and Rich Jones at Meeples did a review, IIRC it was episode 79.

BP is good also, but requires a very large number of figures to be painted up, something which my glacial painting rate makes impossible for me.

Hope this helps.

Ben

Offline julesav

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2014, 10:30:36 AM »
For big battles I've found that I quite like Black Powder - however the one part of it that does annoy me is the 'roll dice for your troops to do something' part. Some people love it and believe it represents the 'fog of war' - I'm afraid I just find it trying! YMMV. Regardless, being a sort of 'toolbox' system it's easy enough to drop the 'command rolls' and play BP with fixed turns and moves.

DBN is another relatively cheap to download system you might want to consider, depending on how you feel about DBx style mechanics?

There are also 'Rank & File'  and 'March Attack' by Crusader Publishing which might be worth considering? Also one of my pals has been rather taken by the Napoleonic rules Victrix include in their boxes of Napoleonic plastics.

Do please keep us posted on your progress!
"Some scientists say that humans exhibit a behavior called neophilia, which is a preference for new objects. It’s why we like shiny new things."

Offline Saucy Jack

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2014, 09:53:34 AM »
Hi guys,

I'm still undecided, I have ruled out Sharp Practice though. And decided to go with 15mm Blue Moon miniatures.

It's crazy so many rule sets there are  o_o

What about Napoleon At War - any good?

Which set of rules is the best for pick up games?

Offline Lowtardog

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Re: Sharp Practice, Lasalle, Drums and Shakos Large Battles or Black Powder
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2014, 10:04:39 AM »
For me I would agree with Matakishi in using Shako, if you wanted more of a battalion Brigade game I would go for General De Brigade, always liked it as a set of rules really captured the feel for the period

 

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