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Subject: A brief Sharp Practice after action report rss

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Bob Roberts

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Having heard that the vile Unionists were heading to burn the bridge
at Hillman's Crossing, I was dispatched with a small force to prevent
them (after all, they are only Yankees, we didn't need to take the
whole regiment!)
We approached from the south, I split my small company into four
groups and sent two of the groups across the creek and into the woods
past the Hillman house. The other two groups I placed on either side
of the bridge in the brush along the creek. I also sent some scouts
out around the right flank in the hopes of distracting the Federals.

It wasn't long till we saw the blue bellies marching in force down
the road, like they owned it. It appeared that we were slightly
outnumbered, which put the odds in our favor. Lieutenant Keyser, a
big strapping young officer, but somewhat wet behind the ears, was
the first to engage. His group started shooting at some Yankees who
were tramping through Mr. Arbogast's wheatfield, ruining the green
wheat as they came. They got to the edge of the field and returned a
brisk fire, whereupon Lt. Keyser got a bit nervous and he and his men
fell back from the cover they were in to the safety of a wide open
field! I had been orchestrating the flanking maneuver on the left
across the creek but had to scurry over there to help the young Lt.
get his men back in order.

The Federals were pressing on to the bridge, when Lt. Yokum charged
out of the woods taking a bunch of them by surprise. They ran off, as
expected, but the ones behind them curiously stood their ground and
poured a galling fire into Lt. Yokum's men. He was forced to retire
into the cover of the trees. In the meantime, I managed to rally Lt.
Keyser's men just in time to stop the Yanks who were crossing the
bridge. They fell back in some disorder and milled about on the other
side.

My last group, led by Sgt. Simpson had managed to get around the
Federal's right and had started shooting into their flank. They
turned and fired back, setting poor Mr. Arbogast's house on fire, the
dirty scoundrels. My men went looking for water to douse the fire,
not sure exactly why they didn't just run back to the creek...

At any rate, when night fell the bridge was still there, and we had
control of at least one end of it.

Capt. Roberts
Commanding, Co. I 73rd VA Provisional Battalion


From my opponent:
Quote:
Badinfo brought Sharp Practice in and some Civil War mini's. We spent a bit of time setting up and reviewing rules and then - it was on!
The objective for my Yankee's(5 squads of ten with command attached) was to take and hold the bridge. The Rebels were to keep that from becoming a reality. It was a terrain heavy board and when it was all over I has pushed on to the middle of the bridge but Badinfo's Rebel force had rallied and pushed me back off. His troops also executed a perfect ambush and charge out of a wood that broke one of my squads. In turn, my Captain rallied two squads at the ambushers and sent them in to a forced withdrawal. We had a lot of fun trying out Sharp Practice, and I think we'll see much more of this set of rules at our gaming tables in the near future. Thanks for bringing Sharp down from the mountain. I hope every one interested in skirmish gaming gets a chance to check this on out soon.


Sharp Practice has lots of potential. The game ran slower than I had
hoped, having read several AAR's online. But it was the first time
and we did have to refer to the rules at points. The fire table was
quickly memorised, which was nice as we did a bit of shooting. I need
to make a proper QRS for the game, the one that comes with it only
covers fire and movement, both of which seemed unnecessary after a
few turns. But the random events table required a few lookups.

We made a few minor mistakes, nothing too serious. The worst was
including the National Characteristic cards in the draw deck instead
of the Bonus deck. That was easily sorted out though.
Lots of potential in this game, and several periods are tempting to
try. F&I, AWI, ACW, Napoleonics (what the game is written for) Indian Mutiny, Wellington in India, Mexican War, Brit
Colonials all would work well.
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Timothy Burke
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Nice report Bob, good to see someone reporting on miniature games. I've got plans to run this as a demo game next March and your report has lit a fire under me to finish up some buildings.

Tim
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Richard Berg
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Two observations . . . . mostly from from viewpoint as The Industry Curmudgeon

1. The term "sharp practice" unfortunately has anti-semitic overtones. It has been used in the past to describe dealing with Jews in business . . . not tragic, but, shall we say, unfortunate and not overly felicitous.
Then again, i have a game entitled GRINGO,so I can't really complain . . .

2. Got to watch it when you use fictional figures in games - such as Flashman, Sharpe, etc. They actually have services that keep an eye on their use, and some authors - including Fraser (who, granted, is recently dead but notoriously has not allowed any use of Flashman in games. . .i know) and Cromwell) are not very flexible on their use.

Neither concerns whether this game is good, bad or indifferent . . . just some observations.

RHB
 
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Steve Burt
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It's called 'Sharp Practice' rather than 'Sharpe Practice' precisely to avoid infringing copyright.

'Sharp Practice' certainly doesn't have anti-semitic overtones on this side of the pond.
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Bob Roberts

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"Sharp practice, gentlemen" is a quote from Wellington, something I would have guessed you to know Mr. Berg. Aside from that Sharp Practice is the name of a UK tattoo parlor, a barbershop quartet, books by Frederick Forsyth, Anders Larsen and John Farris, and an article on cooking in an Israeli newspaper. It is also a term used to describe "clever but dishonest" dealings by lawyers but somehow I don't think that was what Rich had in mind when he named the game. Though he does seem to detest rules lawyers...

I would add that the character Richard Sharpe is not mentioned or "used" in the game at all. It is a set of Napoleonic skirmish rules that covers the whole period, and contains no direct references to Sharpe. Though it is certainly inspired by the Sharpe novels.


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Richard Berg
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O am aware of the many uses - literary, legal, as well as vernacular - of the tem "sharp practice", but one of its less felicitous uses has anti-Semitic undertones, as noted in this quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia . . .

"...the trade rivalry which caused Christians to accuse the Jews of sharp practice, and to
resent their clipping of the coinage, their usury, etc..
.."[/i]

Not something i would rant and rail about . . . .just making an observation.

RHB
 
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Jan Spoor
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"Sharp practice" is in no manner specifically anti-semitic, unless every bad word that any Jew has ever been called automatically becomes anti-semitic. Which would be a load of old cobblers. That's like saying "lazy" is a racial slur because racists often call Black people lazy.

Either you are being intentionally disingenuous, Mr Berg, or you are singularly ill-informed.
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Steve Burt
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So is the argument that any phrase used in the Catholic Encyclopedia to describe Jews has anti-semitic overtones? Presumably on the grounds that the Catholic Encyclopedia is itself anti-Semitic?
Because that is what it appears to be.
On the same grounds, you could argue that 'trade rivalry' is anti-semitic because it appears in the same sentence. And so is 'Christians', and 'accuse', and 'clipping of the coinage'.

This has to be one of the silliest allegations ever.



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Richard Berg
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I'd be surprised if someone living or dead actually got all pissy about having their intellectual property do what they did in their own fiction. Also since the game states that it's intent is to bring fictional heroes into the foreground for action might make your caution well-intentioned but sadly misdirected.[/q]

Oh you'd be surprised, would you; you'd probably be even more surprised by the letters you'd eventually receive . . . You have liittle idea to what lengths the owners of such intellectual property will go to ensure that such does not enter "public domain" by unlicensed usage.

Example: I have been working on a game, GODZILLA, for some time, fairly visually here on BGG. I did not state the company for whom I am doing this . . . . and, sure enough, I get a letter from the attorney;s for Toho Pictures asking me to cease and desist (from using their property). Luckily, the company I am doing the game for is licensed to do so, so that turned outto be a "no problemmo". But it does show you how closely the owners of intellectual properties keep track of what would appear to be low level goings on . . .

And as a Tolkien licensee, I am also quite aware of how tight they are with such properties . . .


"Either you are being intentionally disingenuous, Mr Berg, or you are singularly ill-informed"

Neither . . . but I am extremely well read in a wide variety of areas, a professional practicioner in the usage of the English language and all its vernacular, as well as its history . . . And I was just being observational, with no other intent. And if you don't think that apparently harmless phrases cannot have hurtful meanings to others (and i was not hurt by the use of "sharp practice", so relax), note the legal premise of it not being what was meant/implied, but what the listener inferred. Cf. the infamous "water buffalo" case at University of Pennsylvania.

Whatever, hope y'all enjoy the game in question here . . .

RHB
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Richard Berg
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"The session report as far as I noticed doesn't mention any fictional greats that I'm familiar with from popular literature. The description for the game does mention some popular fiction heroes but there is no indication from just that they actually used in the game apart from saying... 'now you can use your favorite heroes in this game'."

No, it says "Hornblower, Flashman, Sharpe, Bolitho, all can lead their men into battle with these much heralded rule set." And that seemed to me to be pretty specific in terms of what you can do in the game.

To take a quote from a movie, "If you don't say what you mean, you won't mean what you say."

"Of course I'm not as learned as you..."

There is that . . . but it shouldn't stop you from offering your opinion. (It rarely does.)

Again, both my points were observations . . . . not condemnations. Of course, some have inferred what i did not imply . . . buit that happens quiyte often . . .

RHB


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Richard Berg
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"...so don't feel too righteous."

I have many states of mind . . . but "righteous" is rarely, if ever, one of them. I have too much baggage tp carry that load.

RHB


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Peter Card
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BROG wrote:
"The session report as far as I noticed doesn't mention any fictional greats that I'm familiar with from popular literature. The description for the game does mention some popular fiction heroes but there is no indication from just that they actually used in the game apart from saying... 'now you can use your favorite heroes in this game'."

No, it says "Hornblower, Flashman, Sharpe, Bolitho, all can lead their men into battle with these much heralded rule set." And that seemed to me to be pretty specific in terms of what you can do in the game. [..]




Linearist!

The point of the blurb is that personal leadership is the key mechanic in the game, not that it involves licenced characters.

The Too Fat Lardies ran a participation game at Newbury Colours earlier this year. There was no sign of Sharpe but there was a certain Capt. Lawnmower leading a naval landing party. The title is fairly obviously a play on words, and the terminal 'e' missing for copyright reasons, as one of the TFL's cheerfully admitted.
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Charles Vasey
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PeterCard wrote:
BROG wrote:
"The session report as far as I noticed doesn't mention any fictional greats that I'm familiar with from popular literature. The description for the game does mention some popular fiction heroes but there is no indication from just that they actually used in the game apart from saying... 'now you can use your favorite heroes in this game'."

No, it says "Hornblower, Flashman, Sharpe, Bolitho, all can lead their men into battle with these much heralded rule set." And that seemed to me to be pretty specific in terms of what you can do in the game. [..]




Linearist!

The point of the blurb is that personal leadership is the key mechanic in the game, not that it involves licenced characters.

The Too Fat Lardies ran a participation game at Newbury Colours earlier this year. There was no sign of Sharpe but there was a certain Capt. Lawnmower leading a naval landing party. The title is fairly obviously a play on words, and the terminal 'e' missing for copyright reasons, as one of the TFL's cheerfully admitted.


So anti-semantic rather than anti-semitic?
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Richard Berg
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Those of you considering using fictional characters in games might want to check out this article:

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/11/godzilla-terror.htm...

RHB
 
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David Gray
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BROG wrote:
Then again, i have a game entitled GRINGO,so I can't really complain . . .

RHB


You got that right.
 
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