For King, Country and Sugar – Our 1st Sharp Practice Game

Our group in the far reaches of West Texas had our first go at Richard Clarke’s “Sharp Practice” rules this past Friday. We conducted a 4 hour playtest of a scenario that I have been working on for a Regional Convention in November. We had a great time and found the rules to work very well with large games – they flowed smoothly and the game was exciting!


The premise of the scenario is that the British land a force in reprisal against the French on the Caribbean Is. of Martinique. The game is set in 1774 and is a prelude to the hostilities in the colonies. This obscure setting was chosen for the figures that I had and to try and offer a interesting scenario – ie., something a little different from what our group had done in the past.


Anyway, the British landing force marches onto the Martinique Governor’s Plantation and is attempting to set fire to it. The British see the force coming, deploy the local Fort’s Garrison to intercept and a “bruehaw” ensues. Both sides have special side missions, goals and objectives.


In our playtest (good test for a con, since I was the only one that knew the rules), the British advanced on the center (towards the governors house) and on their right (towards the barn). Both of these are primary objectives and were stoutly defended by the French. Meanwhile on the British left, their light unit was hammered by artillery and small arms fire and was unable to advance, suffering massive shock and causalities.


The attack on the center carried the courtyard wall and the British gained control of this important defensive position, having run the light and line unit off that was defending. But before the British had a chance to light the Governor’s House afire (task), a random event sent burning lint (from nearby small arms fire) through an open window and lit the house up (still satisfying the British objective in any case!)!


The attack on the Barn almost carried but the British ran out of time before the barn could be set alight. Unfortunately, the numerous side missions failed to be carried out, either due to lack of time or the Big Men concerned, being tied up elsewhere.


Final score was French 3 victory tokens vs. the British 2. Close game that could have gone either way!


We thought the rules were an absolute blast and all the players told me that they had never had some much fun playing in this genre of gaming. We will continue our playtest of the scenario and tweak as needed. I am still contemplating reducing the # of big men & nettle cards for our next test – we’ll see.




One Response to “For King, Country and Sugar – Our 1st Sharp Practice Game”

  1. Amazingly interesting… especially as I have just decided to embark on an AWI Imagi-Nation of my own. Miniatures are all bought and being painted(15mm), terrain purchased or home built, and a monumental number of documentaries, books, and articles read, I am well on my way to creating something of my own… but quite similar, it sounds, to your own very cool endeavours.

    For me, I will be adding elements of dark gothic into my world (in a highly customized form of the Colonial Gothic game and supplements) with some more whimsical Aztec, Mayan, and Pirate themes added for good measure. Just waiting to buy “Land of the Free” which I have on pre-order, and which I am HOPING will solve the last bit of the jig-saw…. the rules :)))

    I want the whole thing to be very thematic… and reading your amazing blog REALLY inspired me and helped me to be able to say “phewww, hey, I`m not too far off track after all”.

    Thank you 🙂


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