Today Andrew and I took a trip to Tony's house to try out the Song of Drums and Shako (SDS) Napoleonic skirmish rules. We threw down with the figures that Tony had painted in 28mm. Andrew and I took the British/Portuguese side and Tony and Matt Gripin took the French.
The troops for this battle were of all different types. Andrew had an officer and 6 British Line and I had a mounted Hussar officer with 4 troops and 3 Portuguese Cacadores (Rifles). Matt had a small troop of French Dragoons and Tony had a mix of Voltigeurs and one Old Guard chap.
Tony laid out his typically beautiful terrain pieces. He should be showing these on his blog soon. So I wanted to talk about the rules.
I think after the first two turns all of us had a pretty good idea on how to play. The SDS system is very clever and easy to use. You roll to move individuals and groups. You can take chances by trying to roll from one to three actions. If you roll 2 or more fails you lose the initiative and it goes to your opponent. In this case we had four players in the same action so each of us had a designated card. When one of us lost the initiative a new card was pulled for the next player.
I really enjoyed SDS and look forward to more skirmish Nappy games. I even ordered some Perry Miniatures already and they should be on their way so I can start slinging some paint on them. I ordered British Rifles, British Light Infantry, KGL Light Infantry and French Voltigeurs and Light Infantry. We will probably move into the Russian Front next year.
Some highlights of the battle were several Dragoons charged Andrew's British sitting behind a fence on a small hill. It was a very tight battle but ended with the British pushing them back and finally shooting a few off the backs of their horses. What is cool in SDS is that you can knock people down with a shot or from a hand to hand action. It costs an action to get back up but if you get caught on your back like the poor Old Guard guy that took a Hussar charge and fell down, well when someone comes along like another Hussar becomes a quick kill if you lose.
I also have to say that the Old Guard are pretty scary guys. They fight with a +4 and they have a Quality of a 2. That makes them pretty dangerous. Good thing there was only one of them.
One other highlight was when I finally got my Portuguese Rifles in line of site of Tony's officer walking across an open field. I used my own Officer to issue a Volley order and they took him down.
You might notice that these highlights were pretty much good for the British. So you can imagine that the French vacated the village we were both trying to clear. Great battle.
Anyway, look for Tony's blog on this battle. Lots of fun!