Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sharp Practice up the Khyber

For our second game of Sharp Practice we chose the North West Frontier. We have gamed this using a Colonial adaptation of Bolt Action and also Black Powder but we thought Sharp Practice would lend itself well to the size forces we have at our disposal. The forces were calculated using the Army List kindly made available on the Blog, rabbitsinmybasement.

The scenario was an attack defender game with the British launching a punitive raid on the naughty Tribesmen of the Nobugagozeer Valley in retaliation for stealing the Regimental goat and comitting unspeakable atrocities on said beast of which I am loathe to speak of in polite company.

The Brits, led by Major Cedric Raxworthy, comprised a mixed force of Brit regulars, Highlanders and Native infantry with a mountain gun for good measure.

The natives were the usual mixed bag of deadly jezail-armed sharp shooters and spear chuckers with big choppers under the command of the old sheep shagger himself Ahmed el Khazi.

Once again we ran out of time due to still checking the core rules for clarifications when we encountered a situation we had not yet encountered and the fact that we were introducing a new player to the rules. We are confident we have a firm grasp on the rules after this game so we intend to refight this to a conclusion next week.

Despite this we still managed to play around 6 changes of deck or 'Chapters' and had a rousing good time...more so for the Brits as their rapid and disciplined fire made mincemeat of the brazen tribesmen who inexpicably decide to go on the offensive rather than taking advantage of the excellent terrain and exposed themselves, if you'll pardon the expression.

As in our last we game we quickly learned that successful application of your leaders and command cards can be utterly devastating to your opponent if you get it right.
In one memorable instance the British Native infantry unleashed a controlled and crashing volley on a formation of tribesmen at close range and followed up with a round of cannister from the mountain gun inflicting 4 kills and no less than 12 shock.

Next time we play this I am going to have a go with the natives but I intend to keep some troops aside near the deployment point to launch an Ambuscade and will adopt a strictly defensive stance hoping to eat away at the attacker with deadly fire from cover to such an extent that he will be played out by the time he makes it to the village as happened in the last two NW games weve played. Another good option for the defender would be fire from cover them melt back towards another section of cover and repeat the process.

Now the obligatory pics:


  1. Great stuff! I use SP 1 with home-brewed rule modifications for Colonial African gaming. They give a good game, although I might tweak the rules governing Shock so sharpshooters lurking in the rocks have greater endurance.

    1. Yes I agree re sharp shooters. We found that they were too vulnerable to the disciplined massed volleys of the Brits and once they start shooting they keep shooting till your leader gets them under control, if he fails to do that, which is highly likely if theyve ammassed a lot of shock, they're stuck there getting shredded rather than pulling back into new cover.

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  2. Hey Ogilvie! Great looking game, good figures and terrain too!
    When will these native learn cold steel is no match for hot lead?
    Two unfinished SP games, I understand the delays with new rules and players though. How long will one of your gaming sessions stretch before you retire to the smoking room for cheroots and port?

  3. Yes unfinished games seems to be a bit of a pattern lately Captain...must allow ourselves more time. I never need an excuse for cheroots and port though I'm more of a pipe man myself.

  4. Interesting report. I'm also intrigued by the colonial variant Bolt Action rules you mentioned. I had been recently wondering if Bolt Action could be converted for colonial NZ Wars, as I am really enjoying these rules. Is the colonial variant you speak of available to see online anywhere?